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Author Topic: Swedish Rolling Block and the 12.17x44R  (Read 21522 times)

16. December 2007 kl. 2:10:29
Read 21522 times



Nice site, found it doing research on a prospective purchase.

I have a chance to get M1867/74 Rolling Block in 12.17x44r, in shootable condition and am in the process of doing a bit of research and since I don't have access to the rifle as yet, I cannot slug the bore for diameter, but I do know that the rifle has a 1 in 38 twist (talked current owner thru the process over the phone)

Anyway research so far has lead to some confusion...I have seen the barrel listed as .48 caliber and .502 diameter bullet used and have read a few articles where the writer is using unsized .512-.515 50 caliber bullets or sized down to .501...you can see why I am a bit confused.

I have also seen reference to Jämtkugle bullet and saw some basic dimension and would like to know more about it, is it hollow base, overall length, band width, grease groove spacing, weight.. anything that could allow me to have a custom mold made.

Thank you for any help you can provide.

Once again a very nice site
« Last Edit: 01. January 1970 kl. 1:00:00 by 729 »

17. December 2007 kl. 14:23:57
Reply #1


In the list there are barrel mesurements from 7 different rifle

               groove cal.      bore ca.       rifle higt.
Amerikkalainen   12.95 mm   12.10 mm   0.45mm
Karabiini   12.9 mm           12.15 mm   0.37mm
Ruotsalainen   12.7 mm           11.6 mm           0.55mm
Ruotsalainen   12.8 mm           11.65 mm   0.62mm
Ruotsalainen   12.6 mm           11.7 mm           0.45mm
Ruotsalainen   12.65 mm   11.6 mm           0.52mm
Ruotsalainen   12.9 mm           11.75 mm   0.57mm

2 first one is made by remington rest are swdish made. so as you see you have to know you rifle before you can say what is the best bullet diameter.

I know some shooters use bullet diameter 13.0 mm but it is difficult to get them in the shell.

If you make brass from 348 win shells yuo need neck trimmer to make wall thickness small enough for the bullets to go to the shell.

17. December 2007 kl. 19:54:26
Reply #2


According to Fred Datig in Cartridges for Collectors, the original bullet was a plain lead bullet with cannelures for holding grease, and was 12.14mm diameter (.478-inch).  It was not uncommon in the 19th century to provide a bullet which was slightly under groove diameter, as the use of pure or very soft lead in bullet swaging machines, produced a projectile which would upset and expand into the rifling to seal the bore.  Normally a card and wax wad was placed between the bullet and powder to help prevent gas cutting upon ignition. The undersized bullet also allowed for variations in bore and chamber sizes from rifle to rifle.

When the switch was made from Black Powder to smokeless, a general trend towards adopting bullets of slightly greater than groove diameter was being made.  Smokeless produced potentially higher velocities and higher burning temperatures leading to gas cutting and leading if bullet diameter was not matched exactly to bore dimensions.  Bullets, if not jacketed, were made of harder lead alloys and would not upset to fill the bore, leading to gas cutting.  I believe that a custom sized bullet in breechloaders to be superior in most respects to a very soft, but undersized one, whatever the powder being used.  I agree with Mauser that one should slug the barrel and then buy a mould and sizing die to fit.  As Mauser says, using fire-formed and trimmed brass will require a case mouth reamer as the .348 Winchester brass will be a trifle too thick walled.
Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

A.E. Housman

18. December 2007 kl. 7:54:35
Reply #3


18. December 2007 kl. 15:15:22
Reply #4



> Original patron and bullet for rolling block rifle

Thank You,

Don't know how I overlooked that, it looks pretty similar to RCBS's  North South Skirmish mould .500 Hodgdon adjustable. which can cast a bullet with weights from 230 - 400 grain with either a hollow base or a flat base, now I just have to remember where I put it.

I haven't used it since my buddy sold his period Spencer carbine, a post Civil war conversion to 50 caliber IIRC.

Once again Thanks for your help.

18. December 2007 kl. 22:15:04
Reply #5


Not a bad looking bullet and certainly worth a try.
Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

A.E. Housman

19. December 2007 kl. 8:07:22
Reply #6

Øyvind F.

The picture of the 12 mm Remington cartridge shows the first adopted bullet that was replaced in 1871 by a bullet that weighed 360 grains, and that had a shallower hollow base. This bullethad superior accuracy compared to the old bullet.

The original diameter of the military bullets were 12,62 mm.

Below is my drawing of the Model 1871 bullet.

Øyvind F. - forum admin
Bøker jeg har skrevet.

19. December 2007 kl. 21:41:00
Reply #7


That is perfect:-D, Thank you.

I was able to find my RCBS Mould (refrenced in earlier) and was able to cast a few and with a little tweaking achieved a weight of 348 grains for a bullet length of .902 and a bullet diameter of .501 as cast, they are very heavily skirted .120 thick walls, misplaced my depth gauge, so I can't give an exact measure, but it is about .280 +-.

I hope to find time to get out to the range and put some on paper provided they got a snow plow down the road, if not I'll make sure the cattle and horses aren't behind the house and shoot off the back porch, living out in the country has some nice advantages :)

Now, she who must be obeyed has spoken and it's off to the mall to face the rampaging Christmas/Holiday hordes......

24. December 2007 kl. 18:28:43
Reply #8



I am eagerly looking forward to a range report. As I am also looking for suitable bullets for my Swedish R/B.

By the way, if you slug your bore please let me know what it is so I can compare with mine.

Many thanks, John

31. December 2007 kl. 6:11:31
Reply #9


Today I made a quick run to the range, to find I couldn't do much, since they were holding orientation (which someone rescheduled and didn't let us know) so after an impromptu introduction to Black powder firearms and my duties as a one of the range officers, I was able to do a very limited range test.

Normally, I use Black powder, but due to regulations (storage) not too many places within a reasonable distance handle it anymore and I have just about used up my stocks, so I grabbed some Hodgdon Triple 7 (FFG + FFFG) that I have been testing in a couple muzzle loading rifles and loaded up some rounds.

The Mould as has been referenced previous is adjustable and during my second casting, I adjusted the set screw and brought the weight up to 354 grs from 348  grs and am using the hollow base plug. I am not sizing the bullets, which are coming out of this mould at .501 diameter. Further I am casting pure lead, which tends to work better, for a minnie style bullet in my experience.

1 st load

348 gr minnie
60 grs FFG T7
.030 Fibre patch
.348 Win fire formed trimmed
Win LR magnum primer
50/50 Mix Bees wax/Wonder lube
Loaded OAL 1.130

2nd Load
354 gr Minnie
70 gr FFFG T7
Rest as above.

Targets were set up at 50 meters and shot freehanded at 1 minute intervals.

Load 1 generated a 1 inch 5 round group, which opened up to 2 inches for 10 rounds.

Load 2 generated a .50 inch group for 5 and opened up to .75 for 10.

Extraction was easy with both loads, with no pressure sign, even with the slightly oversized chamber.I found I will need to put bushing in the firing pin hole, as there is a little flow happening, but it is no big deal.

I seated the rounds deep to protect the lube grooves (much like I do for hunting ammunition (cleaner and no grit in the lube to possibly hurt the bore), where normally I seat to the lands.

Examination of the targets showed nice clean hexagonal holes (everyone thought that was quite neat) and there was no indication of tipping, lead smear or blown skirts. During cleaning of the bore, there was no indication of leading having occurred and the T7 cleaned up in about 10 minutes.

The rounds were striking in the correct place on the vertical plane in relation to the sights, but were 2 inches to the right of point of aim. I examined the front sight, but some where in it's life the sight was pinned in place, there being no way to drift it over, so I am probably going to replace the rear sight assembly (or maybe the leaf if they will swap out) with a Trapdoor sight I have, that is calibrated for 50/70, since it has a windage adjustment on the sight leaf.

I didn't get around to slugging the bore and with orientation going on, I could not set up my bullet trap, to capture any of the projectiles and get a measurement.

Hopefully, I can do a more extensive test the next time around and I may even have the Soule sight mounted or at least once I make an adapter(shim) that will lift the sight high enough, so that when I sight thru it and am at zero on the mast it will be dead on at 100 yards, leaving all the adjustment available for long range shooting.

Till next time.

Have a happy holiday.

01. January 2008 kl. 0:10:28
Reply #10


> Load 2 generated a .50 inch group for 5 and opened up to .75 for


That's pretty good shooting! You must be quite pleased.
Guess I will have to get one of those molds.

Many thanks, John

01. January 2008 kl. 22:30:41
Reply #11


Indeed, that is good shooting.  Perhaps going to a slightly softer lube during cold weather shooting will help keep the groups from opening up?  It could of course be a simple matter of the barrel warming up after the first five rounds, even with the one minute delay between shoots.  

My 1873 Springfield is the same way--the relatively light barrel tends to heat up quickly with black powder charges, changing the group size.  It's just one of the things one has to put up with.  Probably a longer interval between shots might help?

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

A.E. Housman

02. January 2008 kl. 2:22:00
Reply #12


Softer lube and a longer interval would have probably kept the groups tighter, then so may more practice and familiarity with this rifle.

Compared to other rifles, this does have a fairly light tube on it, so I was expecting it to "walk" a bit as it warmed.

Other than the proofing load that my smith fired thru the rifle after checking headspace , this was the first time I actually fired the rifle and I am more than satisfied with the results.

I wasn't impressed with the balance, but replacing the pre 1874 curved buttstock with a shotgun/perch belly style in walnut moved the balance point to about 2 inches infront of the rear sight. I didn't have to fight the rifle and could concentrate on shooting, which is a great aid to accuracy.

I am looking forward to the next range session and extending the range and in the fall, will go to a buddy's place where he has a thousand meter range behind his house and full size silhouettes of various game animals.

04. January 2008 kl. 21:58:58
Reply #13


You are not alone.  Many of the old military rifles (and many civilian riles as well)were excessively long by modern standards and balance became even worse with the bayonets fixed.  

It sounds very much like your restocking did a good job of moving the balance point to a more convenient spot.  Probably the most accurate rifle I have is a 19th century conversion of a M-1863 percussion Sharps to .45-75.  The only problem is the barrel is 12,7mm across the flats and the rifle weighs in at about
6,5kg.  It is very accurate from a rest or cross sticks, but it can be a real tiring rifle to shoot off hand.  Recoil, though is hardly felt.
Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

A.E. Housman