Original British Colonial Remington Rolling Block M1867 Egyptian Contract Rifle made in Belgium

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Remington Rolling Block rifle was a breech-loading rifle produced from the mid-1860s into the early 20th century by E. Remington and Sons (later Remington Arms Company). The action was extremely strong, and could easily withstand the increased pressure of the new smokeless powders coming into use by the late 1880s.

The British Empire purchased rolling blocks to arm the Egyptian army during the 1870s. These were made in Liege, Belgium in .43 Egyptian calibre and were issued with a sword bayonet. Rolling block rifles were used against Muhammad Ahmad's Ansar Dervishes during the Mahdist War, including at the Battle of Khartoum where General Gordon met his end.

This rifle would appear to be one of those rifles made in Belgium for the British, and sent to Egypt. It has the Remington patent information on the receiver tang, with patents up to 1866, and the sides of the receiver are unmarked. The left side of the barrel is marked with both the "Tower of Liège" and the E / L G / * in an oval proof marks from Liège, the gunmaking center of Belgium. The barrel is marked with Egyptian numbers and Arabic writing, which is somewhat faded.

However, it interestingly does not have any bayonet stand, which the Egyptian contract rifles should have. We checked under the stock, and there is no evidence of it having ever had a bayonet stand, so we believe it was purposely made this way. The Barrel is 1/2 inch shorter than they usually are, but it appears to have been made that way. Definitely worth further research.

The Rifle itself has a lovely worn bright patina, often acquired as the guns are in sandy conditions, and were often cleaned with sand as well. There is definitely wear, but nothing out of the ordinary for a long service used rifle. Both sling swivels are present, as is the original cleaning rod. The rear sight is present, but missing the slider, as these are often found. The bore is clear and clean, with visible rifling, however it is definitely worn. The action cycles correctly, and dry fires, with a strong mainspring.

An Antique British Colonial Remington Rolling Block Infantry Rifle, made under contract in Belgium and supplied to Egypt, cleaned and ready to display!

History of the Remington Egyptian Contract Rolling Block Rifle:
The Remington Rolling Block (In this case the "Remington No. 1 Military Rifle"), was a single shot black powder cartridge firearm featuring a "rolling" breach block. It was too late for the American Civil War, but it made a huge hit at the 1867 Paris Exhibition, resulting in numerous orders from governments around the world. At the exhibition, Sam Remington was invited by emissaries of the Khedive, Ismael Pasha of Cairo, to come to Egypt to show his new rifle. The Khedive was so impressed that he not only ordered the rifle for his army, but gave Remington a plot of land in Cairo where he built a small palace. The first shipments were diverted for the Franco-Prussian war, but by 1875 the Egyptians were receiving large quantities of the rolling block.

Egyptian rolling blocks saw quite a bit of action, but the most well-known may be in the Sudan, where a retired British Colonel named Hicks lead an Egyptian Army of about 11,000 soldiers against the rebel forces of Mohammed Ahmed, the self-proclaimed "Mahdi" (prophesied redeemer of Islam). Colonel Hicks would have done better spending his retirement growing roses. Instead, he and almost his entire command got wiped out, and now the Mahdi's rebels had a whole bunch of these Remingtons. This made matters even worse for Charles Gordon, Aka "Chinese Gordon" Aka"Gordon of Khartoum", when he was besieged by the Mahdi's Forces some time later. Reluctantly, the British sent a relief force that arrived two days too late to keep Gordon's head from being hung in a tree.

General Kitchener would eventually defeat the successor to the Madi, Abdullah al-Taashi, in the battle of Omdurman in 1898. Among the British troops was a young Winston Churchill. At this stage of his career Kitchener actively courted the press to build his reputation, and his relationship with G. W. Steevens of the "Daily Mail" resulted in the book "With Kitchener to Khartoum".

The Egyptian Rolling Block is chambered for the .43 Egyptian cartridge. It seems that proprietary cartridges were all the rage among the trendier nations back then. It fired a 400 grain bullet backed up by 75 grains of black powder with a muzzle velocity of 1330 feet per second.


Year of Manufacture: c.1870
Caliber: .43 Egyptian
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 34 1/2 Inches
Overall Length: 59 1/2 Inches

Action type: Rolling Block with Rear Hammer
Feed System: Single Shot

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