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Thread: 1879 Remington Lee ...need a part

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    The bolt handle itself is differently placed. They won't swap. Even in a nonfunctional way. (Unless you were to butcher your rare receiver!- ) It seems a terrible shame to get in a rush at this point.

    1885 Model below (this is actually a "parts source gun" for my "nice" 1885 that I bought "just in case" for little more than the price of the magazine alone!):



    Versus the 1879:



    If you want just a display bolt that can't function, it ought to be feasible to use a bit of metal tubing and some creative wood carving along with epoxy and paint to fashion a dummy for very little expense. Good enough for static display until the real thing comes along.

    The bolt on my rifle should be identical in all respects to what was in yours. It even has the cartridge retracting groove on the underside. S/N is only 3-400 off. Plenty of photos to go by too, so it'll look good at five feet- given a little attention to detail.

    Last edited by jmoore; 11-04-2011 at 05:23 PM.

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  3. #12
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    Ummm, But IF you were to butcher a 1885 BOLT...Let me cipher on this.... It wouldn't likely be shootable, Not even otherwise functional, probably, But if you were to cut off the bolt handle and fashion a new one for up front...

    How much cubic money you got to ruin some good parts for no good purpose, whilst keeping your 1879 intact????

    I still think the EMT and some Hollywood magic is the best option for display.

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    Update after doing some parts swapping attempts:

    The 1882 and 1885 bolt simply won't go into a 1879 receiver as they're about 0.025"-0.030" bigger in diameter. You COULD turn part of one down and then reduce the rest with a shaper. (not the woodworking kind!) Otherwise it would take custom milling cutters and all sorts of set-ups to do. Not a cheap job regardless!

    The locking lugs seem to be in the correct position, but you would still have to fashion a new bolt handle. The front end on the newer model is generally longer. If no possibilty of making it actually functional is contemplated, then that's not a big deal. Firing pin is too long as well but, again, not a big deal for a non functioning display.

    If it was mine I could probably get it shooting if a late model bolt was available, but it would probably take several years and would require getting the shaper out of storage (it only weighs about 3000 lbs...!).

    Time actually ciphering and cutting and making special tools and fixtures? Likely over 80 hours, but I'm slow and cautious. Cost? Let's just say it would probably be cheaper to buy another rifle...

    A fake homemade non-functional bolt is the best option for most sane folk.


    ETA: for those anorak-ish types that might be interested, the 1879 bolt is about 0.610" in diameter. The 1882 and 1885 bolts checked are between 0.635" and 0.640" roughly in diameter. Front end of the bolts are longer because of the requirement to function with the later 500gr loads.

    BTW, I'm guessing the bolts were made fatter due to cartridge rim dimensional irregularities that must have been more common with the early folded head construction.
    Last edited by jmoore; 11-05-2011 at 07:13 PM.

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    I thought about just editing away the above "BTW", but the obvious answer as to why the bolt diameter was increased on 1882 and 1885 Remingtion Lees is that it was done to accomodate the .43 Spanish round which was VERY popular for Remington. There's likely more .43 Spanish R-Ls than 45-70. So....

    It just came to me upon awaking for work today. Sure enough, the numbers work!

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    Contributing Member AGB-1's Avatar
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    It took me five+ years to find a 1879 magazine for mine,so you can find one. Look at every Antique dealers site and post WTB on every forum you can find. AGB-1

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    A couple of corrections, now that I found GeneM's book, The Remington-Lee Rifle.

    The front band is stated to be "the Springfield pattern", which implies the 1873 Model 45-70 trapdoor. That's an even easier part to find than a rolling block Remington front band, so good news there.

    The bolt underside has an additional groove that's not on my later example. It's for retacting the cartridge via the rim to free it from the bulge at the front of the magazine. Fairly easy to add, when a replacement bolt is found. There's a photo in the book mentioned above.

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    No worries. I wouldn't sacrifice an 1885 bolt, not going the "bash to fit" method. I'll look off of all the pics you guys provided, see if I can make a good looking dummy. Keep your eyes open, should you see one for sale.

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    You just never know what will turn up! Thanks for the reminder. Not a bad idea to refresh our "BOLO" list.

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    1879 Remington-Lee Bolt

    I also have a Remington-Lee 1879 and is missing the bolt. As shown in the photos above, the bolt handle for the 1879 is forward of the receiver lug. Later Remington-Lees have the bolt handle behind the receiver lug. Does anyone know where one of the earlier bolts might be obtained?

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    Really Senior Member rgg_7's Avatar
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    What's a complete bolt worth these days?

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