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Military Rifles in the Age of Transition
(Non-U.S.) Black Powder, Metallic Cartidge, Military Rifles
1865 to 1890
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M1868 Egyptian Remington Rolling Block
GENERALLY: In 1868 a large order was placed with Remington by the Egyptian Government for the No. 1 Remington Military Rifle to be chambered in the ".43 Egyptian" cartridge, governments at that time considering it a matter of national prestige to field arms with proprietary cartridges. Before the order could be delivered, Egypt (which had had close ties with the French since the Napoleonic excursions and the building of the Suez canal), "defaulted" so that a large part of the order could be sold to France as she was greatly underarmed during the Franco-Prussion War of 1870-71. It is estimated that some 13,000 such rifles were delivered to France at that time. However, the original order was again placed and by 1876 the last of some 60,000 rifles were delivered.
PHOTO: The rifle shown is a M1868 Egyptian Remington Rolling Block, showing the very typical near century of hard use in the sands of North Africa.
DISTINGUISHING CHARECTERISTICS: Most Egyptian Remingtons that one is likely to come across (except for French marked specimins) show very substantial wear, especially rounded edges throughout, most noticable at the muzzle, bayonet lug and buttplates which often have holes in them or are missing altogether! The left side of the receiver is marked with a Crescent Moon and the initials E.P. within and are usually profusely marked in Egyptian with unit markings and serial number across the top of the receiver and top of the breech end of the barrel. If visible and not worn off, the upper tang bears Remington patent markings.
MISC NOTES: Occationally will be seen Egyptian model and Egyptian marked rolling blocks without Remington markings but with the additional marks of E&L Nagant and that of other members of the Liege arms manufacturing syndicate. The syndicate had been granted a license to manufacture Remingtons and did so on conract to Egypt, as well as having built the Papal States' Remington Ponteficio Remingtons for various South American countries including at least the M1866/75 Argentine Remington, Rolling Blocks for Uruguay, and I believe the Luxemburg Remington model as well.
Three Egyptian Remingtons .... different sights, vastly different markings.
M1868 Liege built Egyptian Remington Rolling Block:
Some Egyptian marked rolling blocks carry no Remington markings but are proofed with the additional marks of E&L Nagant and other syndicate manufacturers of Liege. It appears that the "petit syndicate (Ancion & Co., Dresse-Laloux & Co., Auguste Francotte and Pirlot-Fresart & Co., and possibly also Glivet) had been granted a license to manufacture Remingtons and did so on conract to Egypt, as well as having built the Papal States' Remington Ponteficio and I believe the Luxemburg Remington model as well. The Liege syndicate also built Remington Rolling Block pattern rifles for other countries including South America. See for example the M1870 Uruguayan Remington Rolling Block and the M1866/75 Argentine Rolling Block.
For a wonderful photo-notation explaination of these Liege proof marks, see
Argentine Remington Rolling Block Photos & Notations
I have been told that the markings on Egyptian Remington Rolling Block
receivers and barrels are Egyptian unit marking.
Older style screw retained firing pin (screw in the breech block) and screw retained slide extractor (upper left screw).
Bottom of this Liege made Egyptian Rolling block. Note calibre at left: 11.1mm.
Proof of Glivet of Liege, apparently the manufacturer of this particular Liege
Page built June 8, 1997
Revised February 5-6, 1999
Revised September 26, 1999
Updated: Oct 29, 2021