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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have it in my head, and I can't get it out, for a Rolling Block 32" octagon barrel in 45-70. I know where to get an action, either original or repro, and where to get a barrel.

But, fitting the barrel is where it ends. I don't think that is not in my capabilities.

@grcsat @sharps4590 @Grizzley1 I sure would like some input from you guys.
 

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Boy Don, I'd think by the time you bought everything, had the barrel fitted and stocked it you could probably buy a Pedersoli or Uberti, yes? If that's not how your stick floats then gr and Griz are both better versed in how much the work would run than I am.
 

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That's kind of difficult to answer because I change barrels more often than some people change their socks.
So the first thing we need to know is what are you starting with.
Do you have an action or complete rifle to start with?
If you have just an action, then you must take into consideration things like wood which is normally $200 and little things like sights and bluing . ( add a couple of $ hundred more )
If you already have a complete rifle then things can get a bit cheaper. ( reuse the wood and sights ect. )
After all that, how pretty do you want it to look ?

The most important part is the action. You have to know what type and strength of action you are using.
WITH OUT THIS you cannot start . You must know what you are working with.
I would look for a number five smokeless action ( military in any smokeless cartridge )
If you can find one that Buba got his hands on , you should get it for cheap.

The prosess of doing a barrel swap is pretty simple. All that you have to do is unscrew to old barrel, thread and short chamber a new barrel, index the new barrel , take new barrel off and cut an extactor slot. Note, there are two different kinds. Set the head space using the breach block as a guide and you are now finished.

How much this would cost , I don't know.
I have no idea if you can do this work your self or all of it has to go to a gunsmith.

Its time for you to start asking some pointed questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here are definite answers I have at the moment. Maybe better options are out there. If you have suggestions let's hear them.

1. No 5 Smokeless action, completely rebuilt - 400.00 from Remington Rolling Block Parts
2. 32" octagon barrel in 45-70 or 40-65, blued and fitted to my action with dovetails cut for sights - 600.00 from C Sharps.
If I want to drill and tap for a period correct scope - 75.00 extra.
3. Wood - 225.00 to 400.00 depending on wood and figuration. Slight fitting done by me. From Remington Rolling Block Parts or Tree Bone Carving.
4. Butt plate - TBD
5. Sights - TBD

Which caliber do yall like?

What twist and number of grooves would be best for each caliber. I know bullet weight comes into play, but what would be a good all around twist rate and groove setup.

Would you have the barrel drilled and tapped for a period correction scope?

That's my questions for now I'm sure more will come.
 

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The final price tag will probably be very close.
The big difference is one is off the rack and the other is a custom rifle.

I would go with a 45-70 or 45-90. ( depends on how much you want to abuse your shoulder:))
The 45-70 will give you nice cheap brass to use , where as the 40-70 will cost you a lot more.

For a barrel of 32 inches or more, I would use a octagon TAPER barrel.

Barrel twist will depend on bullet weight.
Barrel twist and grove depth will depend on cast or copper jacket bullet. And black powder or smokless.

I don't shoot black powder, so I would look at smokless.
Since this is custom, I would look at what factory loaded bullets are avable and pick a barrel for use between the lightest weight and the heaviest. This would be something like a Ruger Number one 45-70 barrel.

If it is a black powder barrel, Please ask @sharps4590 @Grizzley1 because they know a lot more about black powder than I do.

As for scope mounts, as long as you know what type of mounts you are using then go ahead. You can always put in plugs in case you change your mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just an added note.
If I were to build my last Rolling Block rifle, it would be either a 405 Winchester or a 38-Basic ( that would be the 38-55 but about an inch longer and pure heck on your shoulder )
WOW! The 405 Winchester is about 5/8 of an inch longer than the 45-70.
 

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When I bought my Sharps rifle I got it with the 34" barrel because I love the look and shooting it longs distance (1200 yards) when I visit my dad. I love shooting it so much that I wanted to go hunting with it but have not done it because it is forward heavy. I don't use shooting sticks when hunting, it is all free hand or kneeling. I've been looking around at different barrel lengths and for me I found that the 32" barrel is also a little forward heavy and found that the 30" barrel balanced very well and have decided on a 30" barrel for free hand shooting and hunting. If you plan to do free hand shooting I would take the length of the barrel into consideration for a better balance. Just my 2¢.
 

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.45 70 is going to be the easiest chambering to get brass and factory loaded ammo for. I considered .40-65 when I built my Sharps but I settled on .45-70. Remington rifles had an odd number of grooves and a .45 would have 5 lands and grooves if you want it to be like Remington would have done things, I cut 6 in my barrel as that's what Sharps did. I planned on shooting lead bullets over black powder so I cut it .458 depth of groove and gave it a 1:18 twist. I tapered it from 1 1/4 round with a 'tulip' style transition to 1 inch octagon at the breech tapering to 7/8 inch octagon at the muzzle. If you go with a 32 inch octagon barrel, taper it. Taking that weight off of the muzzle will make it balance better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If I build this rifle, ammo will have to be hand loaded. Factory is too costly.

Starline carries 40-65 brass, but their website shows backorder right now. Dies are readily available.

45-70 was my first choice. 40-65 is something different that not everyone has.

Decision, decisions!
 

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When I bought my Sharps rifle I got it with the 34" barrel because I love the look and shooting it longs distance (1200 yards) when I visit my dad. I love shooting it so much that I wanted to go hunting with it but have not done it because it is forward heavy. I don't use shooting sticks when hunting, it is all free hand or kneeling. I've been looking around at different barrel lengths and for me I found that the 32" barrel is also a little forward heavy and found that the 30" barrel balanced very well and have decided on a 30" barrel for free hand shooting and hunting. If you plan to do free hand shooting I would take the length of the barrel into consideration for a better balance. Just my 2¢.
Shoot, I've got one with a 22 inch barrel and it is front heavy.
Gun Rifle Shotgun Air gun Wood


If I build this rifle, ammo will have to be hand loaded. Factory is too costly.

Starline carries 40-65 brass, but their website shows backorder right now. Dies are readily available.

45-70 was my first choice. 40-65 is something different that not everyone has.

Decision, decisions!
Don, if you do build it in 45/70, I think I can accommodate you with some brass.
 

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When they migrated us to the new software all the pictures I posted of the build in progress went away, this is the rifle in the white on it's first test firing total weight was 10.4 pounds and with a tapered octagon barrel it balances in my left hand when I hold it offhand so it's still front heavy compared to a modern rifle. if you zoom in on the breech you can see what I meant by a tulip transition, I think Sharps ( the rifle company, not Vic) called it a Hartford collar.
Soil
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm thinking something like a 6.5x54 in a short action with a 20" barrel just to shoot cast bullet's in. Might be better off with either the 260 or Creedmoor case, they are both a bit shorter. Thinking about the old Rem 660 I gave to my son. Stock was a fence post but was one of the best hunting rifles I ever had.
I assume you are thinking about building this rifle.
 

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Welll...I shot a 45-70 for 20 years and have had my 45-90 since '95. After the 45-90 I bought #1 Sporter in 40-70 SS, 2.5" and I really like the 40. Obviously the 45-70 is going to be easiest for everything but, there is a pile of stuff out there on the 40-65. It is really quite popular in BPC silhouette but I suspect not nearly so outside the game.. Cases are easily made from 45-70 and there's a pile of bullet molds and dies are as readily available as 45-70. I would do a 40 of one variety or another and the 40-65 makes the most sense...but I'm weird that way. Twist would be 1-16, 6 lands and grooves of equal dimension and groove diameter .410. Mine easily handles a 410 gr. Lyman bullet and has shot MOA to 600 yards.

Frankly, with a rifle as your describing, it would never see smokeless powder. Neither of my Shiloh Sharps have and as long as I own them, they won't.

These days I would probably have it D&T'ed for scope bases for a Malcom or Feckert with external adjustments and the recoil spring thingy, like the Unertl.

Don, why not just get a 1903 Mannlicher/Schoenauer with a nice bore, you'd have it all in the smoothest action ever made. 260 or Gaymoor....nahh, nowhere near the panache' of the 6.5 X 54.
 

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There is something to be said about those old but wounderfull cartridges.
I like those old cartridges but I don't like black powder.

I once shot a big cat with a 405 Winchester . I hit it right in the nose and the bullet went through the nose, the neck and came out the tail end. It traveled the entire length of the cat.
That is what I call horse power in a cartridge. I figure that if it can do that to a big cat, then it would probably kill anything that walks the earth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Vic, I had an idea the 40-65 would probably appeal to you. And, I am considering BP as an alternative. Thanks for the input.
 
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