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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ? (Read 27336 times)
Joe Do...
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Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Oct 25th, 2015 at 8:12pm
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A year and a half ago I bought a rifle from a friend and collector.  This Remington Rolling Block is not like any others I have seen.  My friend owned it for 15 years until he made a comment that led to a deal.  I bought the rifle for the rifle and not the story, but there are quite a few things that lead me to believe that this "could be" Col John Bodine's rifle used at the 1875 match at Dollymount, Ireland.

A few standard details.  This rifle is not serial numbered.  The barrel is 34" long with an excellent bore and is chambered in .44-77 Sharps.  The rifle has a long range tang sight.  The rifle originally had a bead front sight but the previous owner replaced it with a windgauge front sight.  It has a checkered horn shotgun-style buttplate, horn forend tip and a block of horn inlet into the top of the comb for a rear sight base.  The barrel is browned, not blued.  The top of the receiver has a raised oval with several patent dates.  "L.L. Hepburn" is stamped several times under the forearm.

My friend made a loose connection when looking at Harper's Weekly covering the Creedmoor Match of 1874 when the U.S. team, including Hepburn and Bodine, won against the Irish. The woodcut illustrations taken from photographs showed the team and its rifles.  Bodine held a standard Remington Creedmoor.

In the next year, the Irish invited the Americans to a rematch in Ireland.  Bodine was on the team again, but Hepburn was not.  The pictures following the match were in Harper's Weekly (July 10,1875) of the American Team after having won against the Irish.  The woodcut drawing shows Bodine using a rolling block rifle with a carved stock (pistol grip area) snd black ipped forearm.  The rifle in the drawing does not have a windgauge sight either.

  • Bodine's Remington rifle show in Harper's woodcut matches this rifle in the details of the barrel, stock carving and black forend tip.  the other Remington shooters on the team are clearly shown with standard Remington Creedmoor rifles.

  • We know that Hepburn supervised the making of the Remington rifles for the US team.

  • Hepburn's stamp is under the forearm in several places.  There is no serial- or assembly number

  • Bodine believed that full round barrels were more accurate and made this point in a letter to Sharps Rifle Co on May 15th, 1877 (printed in Frank Sellers book)


... more ...
« Last Edit: Oct 25th, 2015 at 8:25pm by Joe Do... »  
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Joe Do...
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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #1 - Oct 25th, 2015 at 8:20pm
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  • The specially shaped receiver and company marking location are more of an English style.  Many of the English and Irish shooters used e back position, of which Bodine did not, and would explain the inset (but unused) sight seat on the heel of the stock


Yes ... I know all of the above is very loose but that 1875 team picture showing two obvious conventional Remington Creedmoor rifles and the third clearly different rifle in Col John Bodine's hands.

... open to thought, opinions and even polite criticism ...
  
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Joe Do...
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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #2 - Oct 25th, 2015 at 8:23pm
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more pics ...
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #3 - Oct 25th, 2015 at 8:32pm
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Joe, is it just my imagination, or do I see two plugged holes in the top of the stock where the sight base recess is? If it was not used, then why would the holes be plugged?
Certainly a gorgeous gun, and one I'd be proud to own!
  

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Joe Do...
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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #4 - Oct 25th, 2015 at 8:45pm
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Thank you MarlinGuy ... it's amazing the things you can pick out from a photo that I miss with the naked eye.  Looking at the rifle, they look like two impressions but not plugged holes.  Good point ... thanks again ...
  
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shovel80
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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #5 - Oct 25th, 2015 at 9:13pm
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Wow, that's really a Nice Rolling Block!
Never have seen a butt stock done quite like that before!

Terry
  

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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #6 - Oct 25th, 2015 at 10:11pm
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Simply beautiful.
  
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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #7 - Oct 26th, 2015 at 3:45am
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Hello Joe,
Have you tried weighing the rifle? According to the Creedmoor Rules it should weigh no more than 10 pounds., including sights. Otherwise I would say the likelihood is that it was Col. Bodine's or another Creedmoor Team member supported by Remington. Especially as L.L. Hepburn was in charge of Remington's custom target rifle shop at that time.
 
The only item that may not be correct as far as I can see is the rear sight staff which although high enough, has no fine adjustment screw, an item that was vital for very accurate Long Range Target work. This sight could of course be a later addition, it is more useful for hunting because it can be rapidly adjusted than a target sight fitted with a very slow screw adjustment. Speed of sight adjustment isn't vital on the target range. 

It's a pity there are no Remington Factory Records for these rifles, but given the huge numbers of Rolling Block Rifles made it would have been a thankless task book keeping.

Regarding the rear stock heel mounted sight base. The rifle is likely to have been made with the base fitted at the factory to ensure perfect fit and squareness. It's simple enough to remove two screws and simply plug their holes if the sight is not required. Alternately if these are just impressions in the wood they could act as a guide to drilling pilot holes for the screws should the sight base be fitted later.

Harry
« Last Edit: Dec 3rd, 2015 at 4:08pm by harry_eales »  
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40_Rod
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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #8 - Oct 26th, 2015 at 9:41am
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my sugestion would be to get ahold of Dick Binger at Stotts Creek Armory. He may have some Knowledge on Bodine's rifle

40 Rod
  
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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #9 - Oct 26th, 2015 at 5:37pm
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Setting up the proper location and slant for the heel sight at the factory would be important of a long target rifle.  It is not something you can just screw on the end of the stock and start shooting.  That location and getting it to track with bullet without using up all the windage on the front site doesn't just happen  by accident.
  

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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #10 - Oct 27th, 2015 at 1:39am
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Would really appreciate seeing a full length picture of this one.

Thanks
  
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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #11 - Oct 27th, 2015 at 12:12pm
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That is a very unique rifle. I will follow this thread as I am very interested in Creedmore rifles.
  Don
  
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Joe Do...
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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #12 - Oct 27th, 2015 at 7:08pm
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a few more pics by request ...
  
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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #13 - Oct 27th, 2015 at 8:55pm
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Very cool!
  
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Re: Could this be Col Bodine's 1875 Creedmoor Rifle ?
Reply #14 - Oct 27th, 2015 at 10:50pm
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I couldn't begin to say who owned that back in the day, but he must have been a very proud owner, as must you be. I particularly like the proportion of the forestock on that one. Probably that way for a reason, but it just looks right. Now, I must ask- have you fired it at all?
  

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