Military Rolling Block Rifles

Standard m/1867, 12,7x44R rimfire

Some Swedish army rolling block variations

m/1860-67, 12,7x44R rimfire.

Many m/1860 muzzle loaders were converted this way. The rolling block action was mated to the older rifles stock and hardware. The buttplate and the front sight bead was usually made of brass.
The cleaning rod was the old ramrod slightly modified. That item is missing in the above picture.

Regarding unit markings on the Swedish rolling blocks;
For the most part they received stock discs in similar fashion as the early discs of the Mauser rifles. But it is also common to find rifles that had their unit designation burnt into the stock. Rifles having neither is also quite common...
The disc shown here was found on an m/1860-67. Likely meaning is "Svea Artilleriregemente". Again, I would like to refer to Mats' site. A discussion on the topic of stock discs can be found here, and a general markings overview here.

m/1860-64-68, 12,7x44R rimfire.

Similar to the above rifle, but these were made up of m/1860's that had first been converted to m/1864 chamber loading rifles (system Hagström). They were mainly meant for use in schools and universities (times has changed a bit since then huh?), but as some encountered rifles have been fitted with unit discs one can only assume that a few found their way into the hands of the military. The rifle pictured was converted at Kristianstads Tygstation (Ch marking on the barrel).
Barrel length was 840 mm (33"), compared to the 925 mm (36,5") of the m/1860-67 and 915 mm (36") of the m/1867 "standard" versions.

The business end.
Note the brass bead and the former ramrod, features only seen on the converted m/67's.

All the m/67 rifles and their variations shared the same sight. A ladder type that was adopted in 1868. At first it was graduated in feet (800 to 1400 ft), but in 1879 it was replaced with one graduated in meters (120 to 300 m, 350 to 900 m with ladder raised). I.e. some rifles received completely new sights while others simply had the feet markings crossed out and new markings stamped into the sights.

Both of the rifles built on the m/1860 takes the bayonet for the same. There was also a rifle built on the "straight" (or non-converted) m/1864, the m/1864-68. This rifle accepts the m/1864 bayonet.
For a more detailed discussion on bayonets, please visit Per Holmbäck's excellent site on this subject.
In addition to what has been mentioned above there were also several variations to the basic m/1867. Visit mats site for a detailed walkthrough of the different models. Below is a simple list showing all the model variations approved for service .
Note that the list only includes the more commonly approved military service rifles. Odd models, such as the various trials and school rifles are not included.

m/1867 Remington manufacture
m/1867 Action made by Remington
m/1867 Swedish manufacture
m/1867-68 First improved model
m/1867-74 Second improved model
m/1860-67 Converted m/1860 (Wrede's) percussion rifle
m/1864-68 Converted m/1864 (Hagström's) chamber loading rifle
m/1860-64-68 The m/1860 first made into m/1860-64's and later to rolling block
m/1870 Cavalry carbine
m/1864-68-85 The m/1864-68 converted to Artillery carbine
m/1867-89 The last version, completely revised and chambered for the 8x58RD


This picture shows a couple of variations in manufacturer markings.
The top rifle was made at Carlsborg, and the other one in Stockholm.

An interesting quote for you; C. Lemchen on m/1867's for competition. Mr. Lemchen was, among other things (as I'm sure at least some of you know), a Swedish Army weapons officer, expert marksman, early pro-gun agitator and an author. His book "Firearms and the art of shooting" from 1889 still, 120 years on, makes good reading. These days he is probably mostly remembered as the key figure during the rifle trials which ultimately led to Sweden's adoption of the Mauser rifle. OK, here goes;

"To obtain the best possible rifle for the national competitions one should take a Remington made m/1867 rifle, throw away the barrel and fit a new one from an m/1867-74 rifle. The barrel change is inexpensive and easily done, and the marksman will now have a rifle consisting of the very best available parts."

The m/1860, major organ donor for the m/67 rolling block conversion rifles.

Husqvarna was one of the manufacturers of this rifle, designed by Fabian Wrede, hence the common referral to it as "Wredesgevär" (Wrede's rifle).

m/1870 cavalry carbine, 12,7x44R rimfire.

This carbine was adopted in 1870, the original intention was that it would be a replacement/addition to the cavalry soldier's armament, who were at the time only armed with sabers and revolvers.
The first models had a leaf sight with adjustments for 1200 and 800 feet. Following the development of the other rolling blocks this sight was replaced beginning in 1879 with a ladder sight (pictured) graded in meters and adjustable from 150 to 700 m. The carbine didn't carry no bayonet or cleaning rod. The issued cleaning rod was a combo affair, intended for use both with the carbine and the m/1871 revolver. A saddle ring was fitted to the left side of the action.
The carbine was carried in a leather scabbard on the right side of the saddle.

Four variations of this carbine can be found, most only differs through variations in front band shape;

The first has the original type barrel band. On this the sight protection ears are pointed and very similar in shape and size to the front sight itself.
The second version is by far the most commonly seen and it is indeed one of those that is pictured here. The previously mentioned protective ears were flattened on this model. According to some sources the reason for this was that they were in fact to similar to the sight bead. So much that the poor soldiers experienced difficulties separating the ears from the sight bead when shooting in low light and low visibility conditions.
The third version has three sling swivels (barrel band, trigger guard and rear end of the stock) and no saddle ring. The only documented delivery of these was made in 1881, with 740 pieces delivered to the fortification corps.
There is little known about the very rare fourth version. This one had no sight ears at all. The reasons behind this are not clear at the moment, neither is how many were made. Some sources claim it might have been a trial version.

Approximately 7000 carbines were built between 1871 and 1878. Known manufacturers are Husqvarna (crown/H), Carl Gustaf (crown/C) and Stockholms Gevärsverkstad, later known as Stockholms Tygstation (crown/S).
Husqvarna delivered the first batch of about 1000 pieces in 1871, followed by another one of ca. 2000 in 1877. The rest were, as mentioned above, made by CG and SG with the latter being the rarer. For a short while between 1877 and ca. 1879 Husqvarna also offered the carbine to the civilian public as the "Remington rifle No. 9. Few were actually made. It is easily distinguishable from the military version by the absence of inspection and year markings.

The carbines are, when you add their sleek looks to the relative few made and still remaining, the most desirable among the Swede Army rolling blocks. The most difficult one to find would of course be one with the first type of sight and/or the barrel band still intact. Most carbines were brought in for upgrading at Carl Gustaf about 1880 -82. Speaking of scarcity, this might be a good time to present some numbers;
When Husqvarna made those 1000 carbines in 1871 they also built a little over 12000 rifles of the m/1867 model. Add to this the civilian production and the military rifles produced by other manufacturers and you'll begin to grasp how rare a bird it is.

Some more numbers while we're at it;
Husqvarna's military production peaked one year later (1872) with a little over 18000 rifles made for the crown. By 1875 the number was down to 2600 rifles, before finally ending in 1879. No more military rifles would be made at Husqvarna until production of the m/96 and m/38 rifles started in the early 1940's.

Close-up of the carbine's action.

The sight folded back into its 150 m. "battle sight" mode.
When folded forward it provides steps for 250, 300 and 350 m.
When the ladder is raised to the upright position range settings from 400 to 750 m (perhaps a bit optimistic!) are available.

The nose cap of the m/1870. Note the similar appearance to the m/1894 carbine. This is the common "second variation" nose band, as mentioned in the text above.

m/1864-68-85 artillery carbine,
Commonly referred to as the m/1885, 12,7x44R rimfire. No bayonet.

The carbine sight.

Starting perhaps in the mid 1870's, the competitors in the voluntary shooting organizations began using commercially made German centerfire ammunition. This way they achieved better performance from the rifles, and they could also reload the expensive cases. However, when competing in service type matches, or in matches with prizes set up by the Army or the crown, they had to use standard issue (rimfire) ammo. So the serious marksman kept two interchangeable breech blocks for his rifle, one rimfire and one centerfire.

No centrefire 12,7 mm cartridge was ever adopted by the Swedish Army. The only centrefire rolling block to see service was the m/1867-89 (and it's variations) in 8x58RD. Picture courtesy of Dutchman's House of Karlina. The m/1867-89 rifle was built on the older gun, with new barrel, stock, sights and extractor. The hammer and breech blocks were replaced too, with surface hardened items of better steel to better resist the increased pressures.
Another new detail was the firing pin regulator. This device was designed to reduce firing pin travel and also to some degree to ventilate escaping gasses. One problem with the older rifles had been penetrated primers, more due to poor primers than poor guns... This sometimes resulted in the escaping gasses actually blowing back the hammer just enough for the breech block to open. Not a good thing, as you understand... A secondary effect that may or may not have been an advantage with this new device was that it could also act as both a loaded chamber indicator and a firing pin retractor. None of these were real issues on it's creation though. Husqvarna further addressed this problem in the civilian guns when the safety hammer was introduced (see the singles/doubles page).
The m/1867-89 bayonets were altered along with the rifles. This version was secured to the rifle with a spring loaded button. Again, visit Per's excellent site for bayonet details, and Mats' for rifle ditto...

One interesting feature about the sights that were fitted to the `89... There were two front sights, one in the usual position (Duh!) and also one fitted to the right side, on the lower barrel band. For the latter, there was a matching notch in the rear sight. These sights could be used with the ladder in the upright position. Standard adjustment ranges went from 200- to 600 meters with the ladder down, and from 700- to 1600 meters with the ladder upright, using the center sights. In those days the idea of ranged mass fire (platoon or company sized) were still very popular with the generals, that's why the side mounted "extreme range" sight was added. Instead of mounting a tremendously long sight ladder, a lower front sight (as already mentioned above, just repeating myself a bit here...) was added to the lower band, together with the right hand rear notch. On top of the sight ladder (or on the front side as viewed when in upright position...) was an additional range scale for these sights, with indication marks going from 1700- to 2400 meters. Hopefully, with some 100 soldiers blasting away, they would be able to take out that artillery crew barely visible in the commanders binoculars, some one and a half mile away in the distance...

As Husqvarna wasn't much involved in making the m/1867-89 rifles I was kind of hoping to keep a rather low profile on the subject... Still I couldn't resist bringing you the following interesting(?) m/1867-89 variations...

m/1867-89 & skolskjutningsgevär (school rifle) m/1867-89

The rare m/1867-89 school rifle was basically identical to the standard m/1867-89, except for a shorter barrel, shorter reach stock and the lack of a bayonet lug. The chambering was also the same, 8x58RD. It was, as the name indicates, used for the then mandatory marksmanship training in various schools and institutions.

The lower muzzle belongs to the school rifle. Note the lack of a bayonet lug.

A typical sporterized m/67-89 in 8x58RD

It was fitted with a half length forend (often achieved by simply cutting down the original),
new sights and sling swivels.

These rifles are still quite common, and most also seem to be in good condition. Once Sweden's primary moose hunting rifle, it would serve as a very nice rifle/cartridge combo today as well. The action is strong, the barrel is accurate (the m/67-89 was quite successful, even if not very popular, as a competition rifle) and the cartridge is capable of taking any game encountered on the northern hemisphere. Just cut the unnecessarily long barrel with about 4-6 ", fit a decent (peep?) sight, load up some ammo and you will be all set to go!

Husqvarna was of course the main supplier of true civilian rolling blocks. CG tried for a while to venture into the civilian market but only a few hundred hunting rifles were ever made by them. Some were also made from leftovers by CG employees, in their free time. These are often marked with the smith's name. In the 1900´s several gun wholesalers/suppliers offered various sporterized military rifles, like the one pictured here. The most notorious of them, Vapendepoten, had several version in their catalogue until the late 1950's. Click here to see what they had to offer in 1954.

Below are some evidence of the above pictured rifles military heritage;

Screw hole for the original military sight filled in and a new sight fitted. There are also inspectors markings on the barrel next to the action. Barely visible in this photo, sorry. But they are there!

Hole for unit disc blanked out with a circular piece of wood. Rifles with the disc still in place have also been encountered, as have rifles with new stocks all together. The replacement rear sling swivel is also visible.

Inspector markings on the receiver. This, in addition to the manufacturer's markings usually (but not always!) present on the right side of the receiver, is something that all the military rifles have in common. the true civilian guns, as made by Husqvarna, normally has only the factory logo on the barrels. Also note the hole in the forward end of the trigger guard. That's where the original sling swivel used to go.

Action and business end of an m/1867-68, made by Husqvarna in 1872.

16 Ga;
35-3/4'' barrel,s/n 0