Remington Rifle won at NRA match, donated back to the Association
Fairfax, Virginia - Last week we told you about the first gun to make it into the NRA Museum's official collection. A Remington Model 1871 Rolling Block Rifle. Ever wonder what baby looked like? Well wonder no more.
"This rifle, a beautiful Remington Rolling Block, is one of 20,000 purchased by the United State Military back in the 1870s," said Senior Curator Philip Schreier. "But the real story is where rest of them landed."
Apparently the answer to that is everywhere.
From the Papal Guard to the Danish Army to the Philippine Revolution and all points East, the Remington Rolling Block was as popular then as the AK-47 is today.
"The American Military purchased about 20,000, but another 1.5 million versions found a home in the military's of Europe, Africa, South America and beyond."
It was known as the Rolling Block because the block rolled back thus allowing the shooter to load from the breach.
"Cock the hammer, roll back the block and drop your .45-70 cartridge in."
Might not sound like much these days, but it made a whale of a difference when it came to the competitions of 1870. In fact, it made for such a great target rifle that competitors began experimenting with new positions.
"Guys at Creedmore would lay on their back, cross their feet and place the barrel in the crook of their toes," Scrheier said with a laugh. "We tried it once and let's just say it's not a comfortable position."
Usage went beyond the armed forces of Persia, Chile, Italy & Japan. In fact, it was embraced by one of the premiere youth cooperative organizations of the day.
"William Randolph Hearst had a rival group to the Boy Scouts of American called the American Boy Scouts. There was a Remington Model 4 Rolling Block they used quite extensively up and until they disbanded during World War I."
But if you're going to hear the entire story, or see the rolling block up close, you'll have to tune in this evening around 6:40pm eastern time. That's when you'll find our Mr. Schreier seated alongside NRA News Executive Producer John Popp as they bring to a Remington Model 1871 Rolling Block Rifle to life on the Sportsman Channel.
See all of the guns in the NRA National Firearms Museum at nramuseum.com