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I have a Rolling block carbine that is currently chambered in .43 Spanish Reformal (sp). Brass and dies are both difficult to find, and very expensive. I don't think anyone makes commercial ammo for these anymore.

My carbine is solid mechanically but well worn cosmetically. It is light and thin and would make a very handy saddle gun. I would love to have it rechambered, barrel lined or exchanged to .45 Colt, sometimes called .45 Long Colt. Has anyone done a conversion like that, or can recommend someone who could?

thank you for any assistance.
 

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The only re barrel of a .43 I.ve seen was in .38-55, a real nice job but he wanted way more than my budget would allow at the time.
 

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it sounds like a good idea to change to a more common caliber, for some fun shooting. just need to find a reasonably priced barrel or liner to make the switch. good luck!
 

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I have no experience with converting a rolling block, but just looking at the difference in size between the two cartridges, reworking the extractor for the smaller 45 Colt rim would probably be the biggest issue to address.
 

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I have no experience with converting a rolling block, but just looking at the difference in size between the two cartridges, reworking the extractor for the smaller 45 Colt rim would probably be the biggest issue to address.
My Father bought Rolling Block (43 cal) from Hunters Lodge around 1958 (cost $9.98) really bad condition, it sat in his basement until
about twenty years ago. I converted it to 22 rim fire (sleeved barrel) milled the receiver square, bent the lower tang and made a better
trigger with a sear. Also made the stock and fore-end. Really shoots well with a scope, Had it cased in So Dak.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't want to go the rimfire route, but your work on that RB is very impressive, way beyond my skills.
 

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I don't want to go the rimfire route, but your work on that RB is very impressive, way beyond my skills.
I don't like the 45 Colt idea, that small diameter rim is not the best, I would do 44-40 myself or
something like 45-75 or 40-60 (Winchester Model 1876 calibers)

The problem that I have had with rolling blocks is the really heavy trigger pull which is not
good for accurate shooting. You can thin the mainspring but then poor ignition is often
the result. The old Remington set trigger or double set triggers were the best for target
shooters, but very difficult to find or build
 

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I did build a Remington rolling block heavy barrel 45-70 rifle a few years ago. I found a 1902 barreled action
which had been sporterized (not a good job) and found a new Numrich 45-70 oct barrel. I also found some
repro wood at a gun show. The barrel required some work to fit. I made a rear tang sight with windage and
elevation, while crude looking, it worked. My range had five inch diameter steel plates at 100 yards and using
45-70 black powder loads, I was able to zero-in using the 500 gr lead bullets. I then marked the sight leaf.
I sometimes used 6 grains of 4759 smokeless powder in the bottom of the 45-70 case before loading the black
powder, this would shoot the bore clean. This rolling block was 11.3 lbs and recoil was not bad
 

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You would likely have extraction problems.....the rim is too small ,and a rolling block cant use the undercut put in 45 cases ,to make the case work in lever guns.
 

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I have a Rolling block carbine that is currently chambered in .43 Spanish Reformal (sp). Brass and dies are both difficult to find, and very expensive.
Do you plan to reload for it?

Is your rifle modified for the Reformado cartridge? Or is it still .43 Spanish? A look at the chamber should tell you. The .43 Spanish has a slight bottleneck. The Reformado is a straight taper. They are pictured in the link below.

I have a number of Rolling Blocks and have rebarreled a number of them as well. I have not had one converted to the Reformado cartridge though. I can tell you that a number of shooters looked hard for them with decent bores as they were cheap and easy to get to shoot. I have heard of some Reformado rifles that would accept a .45-70 case as chambered. I've also heard of some that ran a .45-70 reamer in to clean up the Reformado chamber. Groove diameter was supposed to be .454 but I suspect they varied a (good) bit. A very simple job of rechambering could allow you to use standard .45-70 cases, dies and cast bullets. I would be very happy with a cast .457 in a .454 bore.

Were that rifle mine, I believe I would slug the bore and make a chamber cast ( or at least try a .45-70 case that is new or at least resized). You might find that you can get that rifle up and running inexpensively, if the bore suits you. It's an extremely versatile cartridge. I have loads that are so mild and quiet, all you hear is the hammer drop, a bit of noise and the bullet hit the paper. Others that would be fine for bison. And others yet for everything in between. Google .45-70 in Reformado. Also, an interesting link:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Do you plan to reload for it?

Is your rifle modified for the Reformado cartridge? Or is it still .43 Spanish? A look at the chamber should tell you. The .43 Spanish has a slight bottleneck. The Reformado is a straight taper. They are pictured in the link below.

I have a number of Rolling Blocks and have rebarreled a number of them as well. I have not had one converted to the Reformado cartridge though. I can tell you that a number of shooters looked hard for them with decent bores as they were cheap and easy to get to shoot. I have heard of some Reformado rifles that would accept a .45-70 case as chambered. I've also heard of some that ran a .45-70 reamer in to clean up the Reformado chamber. Groove diameter was supposed to be .454 but I suspect they varied a (good) bit. A very simple job of rechambering could allow you to use standard .45-70 cases, dies and cast bullets. I would be very happy with a cast .457 in a .454 bore.

Were that rifle mine, I believe I would slug the bore and make a chamber cast ( or at least try a .45-70 case that is new or at least resized). You might find that you can get that rifle up and running inexpensively, if the bore suits you. It's an extremely versatile cartridge. I have loads that are so mild and quiet, all you hear is the hammer drop, a bit of noise and the bullet hit the paper. Others that would be fine for bison. And others yet for everything in between. Google .45-70 in Reformado. Also, an interesting link:

It is chambered for the Reformado cartridge. I asked the gunsmith who did the chamber cast for me if it was practical to rechamber to 45/70, He said no pressures would be to great as the original bore is to small, suggested drilling out the barrel and installing a 45/70 liner, but that is more than the rifle is worth.
 

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not trying to be a smart-alec, but perhaps your gunsmith is short of work?? as the previous poster commented, depending upon the size and condition of your rifle's bore, it "may" be suitable to shoot with lead bullets from a 45-70 case. would really simplify your process to get the thing shooting. as with doctors, perhaps a 'second opinion' is warranted.
 

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not trying to be a smart-alec, but perhaps your gunsmith is short of work?? as the previous poster commented, depending upon the size and condition of your rifle's bore, it "may" be suitable to shoot with lead bullets from a 45-70 case. would really simplify your process to get the thing shooting. as with doctors, perhaps a 'second opinion' is warranted.
I think it may be the opposite, he is about the only gunsmith around that does anything other than assemble ARs, he gets so much work he gets picky about what he wants to do. But as you and Antietam have made obvious to me, a simple rechambering may be all that would be needed, especially as I can reload with a bullet that could minimize any excessive pressure issues. I think I will slug the bore and see what it actually measures, I sure there was some variation.
 
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