GENERALLY: This early Remington Rolling Block is a copy of Remingtonís M1867 which was built under license by both Wesley Richards in Birmingham, England and by Emile & Leon Nagant in Liege, Belgium. It is very close in both dimentions and cartridge to the M1867 Swedish Remington and M1867 Norwegian Remington Rolling blocks. It was made in small quantities for the Papal States (the Vatican, which was autonomous at the time) prior to their absorption into Italy and Italian unification in 1870 after the defeat of the Vatican forces in the battle at Porta Pia in Rome. Many of the captured rifles were re-issued to the Italian Army and later, after the widespread fielding of the M1870 Vetterli, most were issued to Italian allies in North Africa, accounting for the scarcity of these rifles.
PHOTO: The pictured rifle above is the M1868 Papal States Remington Infantry Rifle.
DISTINGUISHING CHARECTERISTICS: The M1868 Papal States Remington rifle is chambered in a cartridge unique to the Vatican, the 12.7 x 45, but which is very nearly the American .50-70 caliber. The butt plate is flat rather than curved as American Remingtons of the period were. Markings are distinctive to this rifle including, on the left side of the receiver, "Brevet Remington" (Remingtonís Patent) Liege proof marks on the barrel, and stamped into the ,left side and, on the top of the knoxform, the wholly dispositive Papal States proofs of consisting of St. Peterís two "crossed keys" under the Papal tiara. No other rifle carries these markings.
MISC NOTES: The rifles are 51 inches in length but this
model was also built as an Artillary Mousqueton and Gendarmerie Mousqueton.
"Brevet Remington" (Remington Patent)
(Please follow the link below to the Gendarmerie model for excellent pics of the "E.M. & L Nagant A Liege" markings)
The famed "Crossed Keys" of St. Peter.
Totally dispositive of the identity of this Rifle.
More M1868 Papal States Remington (Pontificio) Infantry Rifle pics:
MORE Excellent photos of M1868 M1868 Papal States (Pontificio) Gendarmerie Model:
Page built May 29, 1997
Revised September 16, 1999
Revised May 7, 2000
Fully Revised, August 28, 2003