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  1. #1
    Member RogerD's Avatar
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    Swedish Rolling Block rifle

    So I was in my local gun shop today, and came across one of these beautiful rifles, in the oddball, 12.7x44 cartridge. It's a very nice rifle, clean and doesn't look too used or screwed with at all, by the previous owner(s). The shop is asking $800 for it. Is this a good price considering it's in this day and age, a hand loader's rifle and does have a good stock and bright insides?

    Also, about that oddball 12.7x44. I've figured hand loading is of course a necessity, but what do I hand load it from? What case do I have to trim or whatnot, to make it.


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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Start with 348 WIN cases...

    I think your best bet is to start with 348 WIN cases, cut to length, anneal top end, expand to size, fire-form. Dies from CH4D. Bullets? - Something for 50-70 could fit, but you may end up needing a custom mould. You'll have to search out the dimensions yourself, but take them as a first approximation, not guaranteed figures. My experience with old BPCRs is that in the end you have to measure up what you actually have, not what a drawing says it ought have been 140 years ago! A chamber cast is a very good idea, otherwise it's all a bit of trial and error. And slug the bore!

    As to price - they go for considerably less over here, because of the expense and effort required for reloading. Find out what the dies and a bullet mould will cost before taking the plunge! You are likely to discover that for the cost of the rifle + reloading equipment you could get yourself something much easier to feed, such as a Trapdoor in 45-70 (very desirable for competition shooting, because the sights are better than just about all other military BPCRs). Or a .43 Spanish RB for noticeably less than a Trapdoor, but requiring the dies and bullet mold...

    BPCRs are fun, if you like serious, precision DIY activities. But I would not recommend the Swede as a starter, unless you welcome the challenge of a really steep learning curve!
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 05-25-2013 at 05:49 PM.

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    Member RogerD's Avatar
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    Hmm, that seems like a bit much for me to put into. I guess I'll have to pass, but it sure was a nice looking rifle. I know that the Swedes also had a later model, in 8x85R Danishicon. Of course that's an oddball cartridge nowadays too. The Swede there is the only Rolling Block I've come across, that wasn't one made for the American market, but what about those in the Danish? Easier to hand load for, and make the proper cases and bullets, or just as difficult?

    Thanks Patrick, for your reply.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Most of the originally 12,7mm Swedishicon RBs seem to have been converted to the Danishicon cartridge or bored out to make a shotgun.
    The 8x58R Danish cartridge is also a very tough problem with regard to the cases.

    I do in fact have an Egyptian RB, but I would not have acquired it if it had not come with an RCBS die set. Looking at what such a die set costs, you could say I bought a die set and got a free rifle thrown in!

    Seriously, if you live in the USAicon or Canadaicon, then stick to the recommended first choice (45-70) or second choice (43 Spanish) unless you come across a cheap die set for the oddball caliber of your choice. And in my previous post I forgot to mention the cases. Any oddball caliber for which you cannot convert cases from something readily available - and for the Egyptian I can reform 32g brass shotgun cases - will cost a fortune in brass.

    Of course, if a rifle is really good enough to warrant the trouble, then just about everything can be made to fire again. Which is why I am working on a Swissicon Peabody in .41 Swiss rimfire. For which there is an economically priced die set from Lee, and cases can be reformed from 348 WIN or 8x50R Lebel. Then there is the problem of adapting these to rimfire... But it has taken me a few years of experience with simpler calibers to acquire the know-how to tackle such a project. Don't start off with something that may turn out to be an expensive flop!
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 05-26-2013 at 09:36 AM.

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    Member RogerD's Avatar
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    Thanks Patrick. Guess I'll pass up any 8x58R Rolling Block too, I might come across. I'm not too much of a Rolling Block man, but they are cool rifles.

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    Gunboards has a 3 part board for swedish arms. I have Swedishicon rollers in both 12.7 X 44R and 8 X 58 RD. The 12.7 is so close to .50-70 that cases and dies can be used. The rim might have to be narrowed slightly, and the oal trimmed back if the cases won't fully chamber. Lyman mould 512139 at 350 grains or so works unsized with SPG rubbed into the grooves. The original bullet for military ammo was a hollow base design taken from the 1860 Wredes muzzle loading rifle

    I also have an Husqvarna underlever cape gun in 12.7 X 44R and 16 ga. The rifle chamber is tighter so I had to go to the .348 WCF case and size the bullet to .512

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    Senior Member conec's Avatar
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    FYI, Allan's Armory has a bunch of 12mm Swedishicon rolling blocks for a bunch less than $800...

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    Really Senior Member jamie5070's Avatar
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    The original barrels can be very tight with deep rifling. Mine has .506 groove diameter and .482 bore diameter. I only plink with it .515 bullets and light charges, but I saw one in a gun shop that had been reamed to 50-90. I can only wonder what kind of presures the wrong person could create in that rifle.
    john

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    I have two RB's that started life as 12.7x44's. I have kept one as an original, the other I had my local gunsmith run theb 50-70 chamber reamer into it, more or less it just cleaned the chamber and it works fine as a 50-70. caes and moulds are readily available and theres no mucking about, I use 348 and some 50-70 cases for the original, they both work fine for me. hope this all helps

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    Member philcressman's Avatar
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    I have found that 50 Alaskan brass cut down to 44mm works just great in the 12.7 x 44 Swedishicon Rolling Block rifle. Compressed Black powder & 350 hollow base bullets used in 50 cal muzzle loaders.

    Phil in Waterloo, Ontario

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