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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe! (Read 15678 times)
RBKenn
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30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Apr 15th, 2011 at 3:11pm
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Once again someone has posted for sale a RB rifle (black powder cartridge rolling block receiver barreled in .30-06) on a gun auction site (this time Gunbroker). This particular rifle began life as a New York State rifle made in 1872 originally chambered for the 50-70 Government cartridge.  It is not strong enough to long withstand the higher pressures of the .30-06.  Francis Bannerman Company unfortunately made up some of these rollers using 1903 Springfield barrels back in the good ole days of mail order firearms.  This combination is truly an accident waiting to happen.  If you are a rolling block or single shot collector and wish to add one of the Bannerman specials to your collection for historical purposes at the very least remove the firing pin to keep some other unsuspecting soul from discovering the truth firsthand. My personal inclination, history not withstanding, is to dismount the barrel & cut off the stub so it can not be remounted in another roller. (similar message sent to seller)
  
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rdixiemiller
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #1 - Apr 21st, 2011 at 1:16pm
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I saw one of hese at a gun show in Fort Walton Beach Fl. many years ago. The seller was quite specific that the gun should not be fired and he was selling it as a collector item only. The firing pin had been removed and was in a pill bottle that went with the gun. I believe he wanted $145 for it about 30 years ago. I have seen a roller in 7.62 Russian long, but I believe it was a #5 action. I have heard of 8mm Lebel, but never seen one.
  
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theformer1878
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #2 - Apr 21st, 2011 at 6:05pm
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I think I may have seen one of these in the Davis Museum in Oklahoma.  I  had no idea they were a commercial creation.  It is hard to believe anyone ever thought that was a good idea.

Worse than .308 Indian Enfields and .308 Spanish 93 Mausers 
Worse than Klein's .32 Winchester Special Martini Cadets

It is amazing what people would do for a few bucks.  All I can say is the Lord must protect the innocent buyers.  Not being so innocent myself...

  
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RBKenn
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #3 - Apr 23rd, 2011 at 9:17pm
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The 7.62 Russian was manufactured in the #5 action. They may be the rarest surviving military rollers anywhere.  Something not many of us will ever have the privilege of examining much less owning.
  
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rdixiemiller
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #4 - Apr 30th, 2011 at 1:16pm
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The 7.62 Russian roller I saw was in pretty rough shape. I believe it was a Viet Nam bring back. It did have some Cyrillic lattering stamped on it, probably acceptance marks. The seller told me it was a rare one, I believe it was there on display, not for sale. Seem to remember he lived in Fort Walton Beach Fl. He was in hit 50's then, good chance he is at the big range in the sky now. I almost bought a Mexican contract rifle that had been rebarreled to 257 Roberts carbine. Shoulda bought it, but had my eye on an M1 carbine instead.
Ahhhh.......Youth. What a pity it is wasted on the young!
  
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marlinguy
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Ballards may be weaker,
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #5 - Apr 30th, 2011 at 4:42pm
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The #5 was also chambered in .7mm Mauser, but I've seen very few that didn't have excess headspace. Rem. did those, and I'm sur eit was just to get the contract from the S. American countries that wanted that cartrdige.
I have a Ballard #4 Perfection that came to me years ago. Bought it off an oldtimer at a gun show with a .30-30 barrel on it! Not really a barrel, but the original barrel relined to .30-30 using an old .30-06 Springfield barrel turned down and rechambered! Talk about a death trap!
I just wanted the complete gun, and although I wish the barrel hadn't been ruined, I was able to restore it with a new GM barrel chambered to .45-70.
  

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RBKenn
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #6 - May 2nd, 2011 at 9:40pm
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It is amazing how many of these ill advised chamberings are out there. I recently saw a #5 rechambered .280 Remington for sale. Another fellow called to ask me if he could rechamber his to 7mm Rem Mag.  It is a miracle we do not hear about more failures than we do.
  
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QuestionableMaynard8130
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #7 - May 2nd, 2011 at 10:38pm
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do gunsmiths have to carry liability insurance?   I can not imagine any professional 'smith doing those kind of jobs, no matter what the $$$ offered and waivers signed
  

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J. pickup
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #8 - May 3rd, 2011 at 10:28am
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I do not consider it unsafe,it's how it's loaded.I would not use factory ammo in it.But in that case, the 7mm 's are UNSAFE also, as these rifles have too much stretch in their design to use modern amo.It's not the materal. it's the design(good materals cannot make up for bad design, that's an engineering law).These rifles cannot be used with reloads unless full length resized cases are used,i found that out about twenty years ago.
  
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marlinguy
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Ballards may be weaker,
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #9 - May 3rd, 2011 at 10:58am
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J. pickup wrote on May 3rd, 2011 at 10:28am:
I do not consider it unsafe,it's how it's loaded.I would not use factory ammo in it.But in that case, the 7mm 's are UNSAFE also, as these rifles have too much stretch in their design to use modern amo.It's not the materal. it's the design(good materals cannot make up for bad design, that's an engineering law).These rifles cannot be used with reloads unless full length resized cases are used,i found that out about twenty years ago.


Interesting. I actually found that the old 7mm Rollers would work better with reloads that weren't full length resized. Once they had "fire formed" to the excess headsapce then just neck sized, they didn't have issues with primers backing out. 
I always downloaded them, fire formed them, then used moderate reloads, and they were pretty decent shooters in lower level loads.
  

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Reg
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #10 - May 3rd, 2011 at 12:44pm
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If we were to go back in time a good number of years ago, somehow I seem to remember that when the 7 m/m x 57 first came out it was loaded to very low pressure levels.  Levels low enough in fact they were more than safe enough for the rolling block rifles.  Also it seems there were some minor dimension differences as well.  Enough so that it would give a apparent condition of excessive headspace.  In other words the 7 m/m of then is not the 7 m/m we know now.  I think it was this way not only for the rolling block rifles but also for the early 93 Spanish Mauser rifles.
As far as the 06 in a roller ---- never, never do----- ever.

Smiley
  
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pmcfall
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #11 - May 3rd, 2011 at 1:30pm
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It is hard to figure out some of the deals you see.  A month or two ago, I was looking thru the Gunrunner auction site.  I saw a 38-55 Ballard rifle.  Looking at the pictures, it appeared that it had a cast action.  Not the most desireable combination but not all that bad if you know what you have and load accordingly.  However, in the description, it was stated that Ballards are noted for their very strong actions ---- say whaaaat?

That description along with the caliber and a cast Ballard action could well be a recipe for disaster.  Maybe the desire for $$$ is just too overwhelming for some!
Phil
  
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rustyrelx
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #12 - May 3rd, 2011 at 2:28pm
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Remember folks that there are 2 of the 7mm cartridges from the days Remington made the rolling block. The 7X57 and the 7mmSM. There is a difference. So look closely at what one arbitrarily calls a 7 mm.  Don
  
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frnkeore
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #13 - May 3rd, 2011 at 3:08pm
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The cartridge company's of the first quarter of the 20th century accommodated the RB and other weaker actions with a loading of 39,000 cup for the 7mm (Ref. Phil Sharp). The RB isn't that weak of a action that you can't use it for anything. The 1897 and 1902 have a large barrel thread and can contain the .472 case size of the 7mm - 8mm (including the '06). I would not be afraid of shooting that '06 RB in the 39,000 pressure range. The RB will let you know when it doesn't like something long before it gets dangerous. The case head will begin stretch but, the action will not blow up. I believe that the case will stretch until it separates long before the action will let go. Not safe by any means but, not life threatening.

I'm a reloader and never buy factory ammo, unless it's to get the brass to reload! I'm not advocating that the average hunter use a RB (I doubt that you could get one to even consider it) but, to knowledgeable reloaders, I'd say go for it and have fun working with it. I'm sure some will accuse me of being reckless but, everyone shooting a Ballard or 44 (yes, I shoot them, too) could be accused of the same thing.

To thoughs that ask "what about the next guy?" I say buy a set of Harbor Freight stamps (if your really conserned) and stamp it "NOT FOR MODERN AMMO"! Or just take a torch to it if you think it's that dangerous.

At this moment, I'm working with a GEW 88 made in 1891, shooting cast 32 caliber bullets at 1400 to 2000+ fps and I'm having a lot of fun at it.

Frank
  

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ssdave
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Re: 30-06 Rolling Block Unsafe!
Reply #14 - May 3rd, 2011 at 11:43pm
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I think the king of all these hand grenades just waiting to happen is the rifle I bid on a few years ago on Gunbroker.  Someone outbid me, at about $800 on it.  The rifle was a #5, in 7mm STW.  The fellow selling it said it was newly from the gunsmith, and unfired.  He wouldn't disclose the name of the gunsmith to me when I asked.

I wanted it just to have as a monument for how stupid some people with enough training to know better can be.  A 270, .280, 308, .30-06 in a Rolling Block is dangerous, but probably not lethal if carefully handloaded.  I can't see any way a magnum, especially one known for extreme over pressure loads, would hold together on a roller.

I can buy a 700 remington or Savage bolt action easily for what a rolling block action is worth.  Don't understand why you would barrel one to any of these high pressure bolt gun cartridges.

Reminds me of a rifle I purchased a year or two ago.  Guy came into the shop, and dropped off an old rifle to be rebarrelled to 7mm-08.  They called me in to look at it before they started the work.  The rifle was a Model 45 Stevens 44, double set triggers, marked 25-21, but rebored and chambered for .32-40.  Being fair, I bought it for enough that the fellow could buy a REALLY nice  7mm-08 bolt gun, and he and I both left happy.  John Taylor converted it to a nice multi barrel .22 rimfire for me, along with the original breechblock and lever so I could use the original centerfire.  I haven't had the courage or stupidity to shoot the .32-40 myself, but it had a lot of use before I got it, and the action is still perfectly tight.  I shoot alongside the former owner occasionally, and we're both happy with our new rifles.

dave
« Last Edit: May 3rd, 2011 at 11:50pm by ssdave »  
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