Remington M1867 Navy Rolling Block Cadet Rifle
- Product Code: FLA-3500-SOLD
- Availability: Out Of Stock
The Remington Model 1867 Rolling Block Navy Cadet Rifle is one of the rarest of the 19th century US martial arms from the post-Civil War era, with only 498 produced. The guns were the third in a series of Remington Rolling Block arms acquired by the Navy, an action system that the navy would continue to flirt with through the end of the 1870s.
The first Rolling Block firearms acquired by the Navy were the Model 1865 Pistol in .50RF, which was quickly superseded by the Model 1867 in .50CF. In fact, there is substantial evidence that the Model 1867 pistols are primarily altered Model 1865s. The next order was for the Model 1867 Naval Carbine, chambered for the .50-45 centerfire carbine cartridge. These guns were produced circa 1868-1869 with 5,000 being delivered to the Navy and an over run of 95 carbines being sold commercially. The M1867 Carbine utilized a 23 ““ round barrel, with a short forend, secured by a single barrel band with a sling swivel. The guns utilized Remington’s two-leaf L-shaped rear sight, a fixed front sight and were finished with color casehardened receivers and blued barrels, bands and buttplates. The butt and forend were smooth walnut. These were some of the first, made from scratch, newly acquired long arms for the US military in the post-Civil War period, as most of the breechloading cartridge long arms being placed in service were alterations of Civil War era muzzleloading percussion muskets. The next Rolling Block design to be acquired by the Navy was the Model 1867 Cadet Rifle.
The M1867 Navy Cadet Rifle showed a brief return to the old system of trying to utilize parts on hand at the Springfield Arsenal in an attempt to keep costs down. Springfield assembled the Cadet Rifles during 1868 using Remington supplied Navy Rolling Block carbine actions combined with surplus musket parts. This same system was used at Springfield during the same year to assemble some army rifles as well. The M1867 Navy Cadet Rifle was chambered for the same .50-45 CF cartridge as the Navy carbine, as that was what the action was designed for. However, the army rifles were chambered for .50-70. 504 of the Army Rifles were produced at Springfield using the Remington supplied rifle actions and 498 of the Navy Cadet Rifles were manufactured that same year. The new Cadet Rifles used surplus musket barrels with a brazed in liner as was done with the US M1866 Allin Conversions and were rifled with the standard Springfield 3-groove rifling. The navy rifles also shared many of the US Model 1867 “Allin Conversion” Cadet Rifle components, including the barrel bands, nose cap and buttplate. Both models used surplus M1864 rifle musket rear sights and both used the same pattern jag-head “ramrods’ (cleaning rods), though of different lengths, which screwed into the stocks to secure them. They also both shared a scaled down variant of the M1855 socket bayonet with a shorter blade and socket, designated as the M1867 Cadet Bayonet. Interestingly, although the US M1867 Navy Carbine was produced with a single sling swivel, neither of the M1867 Cadet Rifles, army or navy, was produced with sling swivels or provisions for them.
The Rolling Block Cadet Navy Rifle had a color casehardened receiver that was marked on the right side with the mark of civilian US Navy inspector Frank C. Warner and on the left side with an anchor. The receiver tang bore the standard two-line Remington address and patent information found on the tang of the navy carbines as well. The buttplates were marked with a single letter over a number, in addition to the usual “US’ marking. It is believed that the number may be the actual serial number of the guns with the letter being a reference to the training squadron to which the rifle was issued. The naval cadet rifles were apparently not cartouched. The Navy only retained their M1867 carbines for about a decade, selling off the bulk of their inventory in 1879. These guns were purchased by commercial entities and many were modified for civilian sale, resulting in the scarcity of original configuration US M1867 Navy Carbines today. It is not as clear how long the Cadet Rifles remained in use, but it can be logically assumed that by the mid-1880s, as the various bolt action rifles were coming into use with the Navy, the utility of the M1867 Cadet Rifle became questionable, as the gun was not of the current action pattern. It seems reasonable that by the end of the 1880s the Cadet Rifles were likely sold as surplus on the commercial market. The combination of the very low production numbers (under 500) and their use in a post-military civilian role probably contribute to the overall scarcity of these rifles in their original and unaltered configuration; particularly with any level of condition.
The Remington Model 1867 Rolling Block Navy Cadet Rifle offered here remains in about FINE overall condition. The rifle is clearly marked on the receiver tang in two lines:
REMINGTON’s ILION, NY U.S.A.
PAT. MAY 3D NOV. 15TH 1864 APRIL 17TH 1866
The buttplate is clearly stamped U.S. on the tang, along with a large C over the number 365. The right side of the receiver is marked with Frank C/. Warner’s P / F.C.W inspection and the left side is marked with an (ANCHOR). The barrel bands have the usual U mark for up. No cartouches are present. The rifle retains its correct US M1864 pattern musket rear sight, it’s musket pattern combination front sight & bayonet lug and the original cleaning rod. The gun remains mechanically excellent with a crisp action and a fine bore that is mostly bright, showing only some lightly scattered oxidation and very light pitting and some frosting towards the chamber. The rifle retains about 85%+ of its original mottled case hardened finish on the receiver, with most of the thinning and fading on the tang and the triggerguard. The color remains mostly vivid on the sides of the receiver, although it has dulled and darkened slightly with age. All of the markings on the receiver remain crisp and clear and show no indication of polishing or refinishing. The screws retain much of their blue as well and relatively crisp with only some minor slot wear. The barrel retains about 30% of a period applied blue finish that was either done by the navy after receipt from Springfield, or possibly by a commercial reseller when the gun was sold as surplus. The quality of the work suggests arsenal blue and the wear patterns, particularly at the muzzle, where a bayonet has clearly been regularly fixed and unfixed, all indicate period of use finish. The barrel bands, buttplate and cleaning rod all retain about 60%-80% of this blue, with the bands in particular having the coloring that suggests US arsenal work. The barrel has a streaky appearance with fading, wear and loss of finish. The thinned and worn areas have a grayish-brown patina with a bluish tone. The metal is mostly smooth, with only some lightly scattered surface oxidation, freckling and very lightly scattered pinpricking. The stock and forend are both fine as well. They are solid and complete and are free of any breaks or repairs. The wood shows the usual scattered assortment of bumps, dings mars and handling marks, but shows no abuse or indications of sanding. The only minor wood condition issues that could even be mentioned are a tiny chip out of the top edge of the forend on the reverse where it meets the receiver, an even tinier chip out on the obverse where the top of the butt meets the receiver and a very tiny and tight surface grain crack about ““ long on the obverse at the rear of the tang. None of these are really worthy of mention, but the rifle is so nice that the smallest blemishes are noted for the exactness of the description.
Overall this an extremely nice example of a very scarce US Model 1867 Rolling Block Navy Cadet Rifle that is 100% complete, correct and original. These are very rare guns, with less than 500 produced and are nearly impossible to find with any degree of condition and finish. A few years ago, I saw a rather rough example that was sanded, gray, with no finish sell for $3,500 at the Show of Shows and was stunned. It did not seem the condition warranted the price, despite the rarity of the rifle. This one is a rifle that you will be extremely proud to own and display and is priced very reasonably considering its overall rarity. For an advanced US Navy collector this is one of those guns that you probably don’t have in your collection and you will not likely have a chance to buy again in this condition any time soon.SOLD