M1867 & M1868 Swedish Remington Conversions

  For a complete exposition of the M1867 New-Built Swedish Remington Rifles and Swedish Carbines, including Historical Context, Development, Operation, Markings, Cartridge, Manufacturing Data and Distribution, please see:   

GENERALLY

  In addition to newly built Rolling Block rifles, the Swedes (unlike the Norwegians who adapted their chamber-loaders to the metallic cartridge and kept them in service otherwise substantially unchanged) converted their earlier muzzle-loaders and chamber-loaders completely to the Remington system by complete changes of their rifles’ receivers and actions to Remington or Remington licensed Rolling Block receivers and actions. 

 

  The first of Sweden’s conversions of its existing stands of earlier pattern percussion muzzleloaders and chamber loaders to rolling blocks were initiated almost immediately after licensing and receipt of the necessary machinery.  This involved converting m/1860 Wrede's pattern muzzleloaders directly to rolling blocks (m/1860/68), and converting new-made Hagström's chamber loading rifles to rolling blocks (m/1864/68).  As a number of chamberloaders had earlier been manufactured by converting m/1860 Wrede muzzleloaders to chamberloaders, these also were converted yet again into rolling blocks becoming the m/1860/64/68.  These are similar to the m/1860/68 but made up of m/1860's that had first been converted to the Hagström system m/1864 chamberloaders.

  The m/1860-64-68s were mainly intended as cadet rifles for use in schools and universities, although as some rifles encountered have been fitted with unit discs which suggests that at least some were utilized in military service. 

 
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M1860/67 Swedish Rolling Block (m/1860 Wrede's pattern muzzleloader converted directly to Rolling Block) [1860 års gevär, 1867 års förändringsmodell]

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M1864/68 Swedish Rolling Block (A new-made m/1864 Hagström's chamberloader converted to Rolling block) [1864 års gevär, 1868 års förändringsmodell (1864-68 års gevär)]

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M1860/64/68 Swedish Rolling Block  m/1860 Wrede muzzleloader converted to a Hagström  system m/1864 chamberloader and converted again to a Rolling Block [m/1860-64-68 [1860-64 års gevär, 1868 års förändring av 1864 års förändringsmodell (m/1860-64-68 års gevär)] - Photo used by permission of:   https://digitaltmuseum.se

  The conversions were carried by Carl Gustaf Stads, and also by the small rifleworks of Carlsborgs gevärsverkstad / tygstation (these were marked "CB"), Stockholms gevärsverkstad ( which were marked "S") and Kristianstads Tygstation (marked "Ch").

 

  

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Swedish conversion rifles and carbines were all produced with half-moon breechblock and hammer pins.

  Location of the rear sight (distance between the action and the rearward end of the rear sight):  An interesting feature to provide variation, the reasons for differing locations has to do with the history and evolution of these rifles and the means of converting the older rifles to rolling blocks.  While summarized here, these considerations are discussed in greater detail below in the sections devoted to each variation.

70 mm - Remington new-made M1867 rifle

65 mm - Swedish new-made M1867, M1867/68 & M1867/74 rifles.

92 mm - M1860-67 converted rifle

 10 mm - M1860-64-68 converted rifle.

  6 mm - M1864-68 converted rifle.

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Left - US made M1867 Remington.  Center:  One of the 1867 & 1868 Swedish Remington Conversions;   Right - M1867 or '68 or '74 Swedish-built RemingtonsCredit: http://dutchman.rebooty.com/

SPECIFICATIONS, STATISTICS & DATA of the CONVERSION INFANTRY RIFLES

 

M1860/67 Swedish Remington (års gevär, 1867 års förändringsmodell(m/1860-67):

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  Converted at Stockholms gevärsverkstad (Crowned “S”) and at Kristianstads Tygstation (Crowned “Ch”),* this rifle is the M1860 Wrede's pattern muzzleloader converted to the M1867 Rolling Block standard.  The barrel and stock are from the M1860 rifle.  The receiver and rear sight are as the gevär M1867-68 except that the top of the receiver is chamfered 3mm.  A noticeable and distinctive feature of this rifle’s receiver is that its shoulders are very prominent and slightly curved or rounded.  This is the only rolling block model shouldered receiver of which I am aware that does not have parallel shoulders.  There are conventional gas escape ports in the receiver walls.  The barrel length of the M1860/67 is unique for the Swedish 1867 series at 36.6 inches (930 mm), slightly shorter than the newly-built rifles, but longer than the two conversion rifles noted below.  The fore stock extends to within 2½ inches (65mm) of the muzzle, considerably closer than all other M1867 series Swedish rolling blocks, and is secured with three screw-retained barrel bands.  Having a shorter barrel, the rear barrel band is located 6 inches (150mm) in front of the front edge of the receiver, about half the distance between the rear band of the newly built M1867s and the conversions referenced below.  The front sight is soldered brass on a steel sight base and, while the back sight is identical to the sights on other M1867 Swede rolling blocks, it is positioned 3.6 inches (92mm) in front of the receiver.  Stocks are dark and the matching serial number stamped butt plate is brass.  This is the only Swedish M1867 series rifle without a bayonet lug of any kind, its original m/1860 Wredesgevar socket bayonet utilizing the front sight as its bayonet lug.

*Stockholms gevärsverkstad and  Kristianstads Tygstation  (old spelling: Cristianstads)  were not rifle factories so much as army workshops or armories. Hence, they converted relatively few weapons.

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M1860/67

Overall Length:  52 3/8 in (1330 mm)

Barrel Length:  925 mm (36½ in)

Weight, empty:  4.15 kg (9 lbs 2oz)

Rifling:  6-groove; RH, concentric

Sight:  Ramp-and-leaf, graduated to 1,500 alen (1,030 yards)

m1860-67 converted rifle:  This converted rifle continues to carry its parent m/1860 muzzle loading rifle rod consisting of a one inch (25mm) long cylindrical head with a single round hole perpendicularly through it all encircled by a 3/8 inch (10mm) long protective brass ring. 

Bayonets

  Swedish rifles that were converted from their previous muzzleloader and chamberloader configurations were issued as Rolling Blocks with their original bayonets - either the 1860 socket bayonet or the 1864 socket bayonet.
 

M1860 Swedish Bayonet

  Socket bayonet for use with the 12.17 mm. m/1860 percussion rifle designed by Fabian Jakob Wrede. This bayonet was also used with essentially the same rifle when it was converted to the m/1860-64 Hagström breech loading conversion and continued to be used with the subsequent conversion of the n/1860/64 into the m/1860–64–68 Remington rolling block.

Overall length:   25 13/16 in  (656 mm)

Blade length:  23 ¼   (591 mm)

Socket length:  2½ in (65 mm)

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Credit:  worldbayonets.com/Bayonet_Identification_Guide/Sweden

 

CHAMBERLOADER CONVERSIONS

   In 1864 Sweden had adopted a percussion chamberloading rifle for its army designed by A. Hagström.  Over the next few years the Swedes not only manufactured about 16,000 newly-made chamberloading rifles but also converted many of their even older M1860 Wrede-designed percussion muzzleloaders to the then new and improved chamberloading pattern, winding up with two variants of chamberloaders, the new-made M/1864 and the converted m/1860-64. 

 

   However, it appears that the new-made m/1864 chamberloaders did not even enter service before the even newer Remington rifle was adopted in the spring of 1867. And also that many of the converted m/1860-64s may not have had time to enter service either, before being overtaken by metallic cartridge technology in the form of the rolling block.  Most of the unissued m/1864 as well as the m/1860-64 rifles were converted to the new rolling block standard by salvaging everything from the parent rifles but for the action, and designating them m/1864-68 års gevär or m/1860-64-68 års gevär, depending on the parent rifle. 

 

   Beginning in 1885, most of the surviving m/64-68 rifles were altered yet again to artillery musketoons (fortress carbines) by shortening their barrels to 18 ½ inches (470 mm) yielding an overall length of just under 34 inches (860 mm) and were re-re-designated the m/1864-68-85 års karbin (see:  M1870 & M1885 Swedish Remington Carbines)

M1864/68 Swedish (1864 års gevär, 1868 års förändringsmodell m/1864-68 års gevär):

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  This is the oddest and, along with the m/1860-64-68 discussed below, at once the most distinctive of the M1867 Swedish series.  The m/1864/68  rifle combines a newly-built M1864 chamber loader combined with a locally manufactured M1867 rolling block receiver made at the Carl Gustafs (marked Crown over “C”) national armory or at Carlsborgs Tygstation (Crown over “CB”).   Its barrel and stocks are from the M1864 rifle.  The receiver and rear sight are as the Swedish M1867/68, including the half-moon pivot-pin locking screws, but with a 3mm chamfering of the top ends of the receiver as with the M1860/64/68.   Because this series conversion rifle is fitted with the parent rifle’s forestock, which is shallower at the receiver than new-built 1867 models, the lower front end of the receiver has been reshaped by having its front corners rounded off somewhat.  This too is unique to these two models.  Examples have been seen both with (a Carl Gustafs rifle) and without (a Carlsborgs Tygstation rifle) gas escape ports in the receiver walls. 

 

   Also like the M1860-64-68, the M1864-68 has the same noticeably short barrel (33 inches - 840 mm).  Its forestock is secured with the same three screw-retained barrel bands, but the rear edge of the lower band is only a scant 3½ inches (90 mm) in front of the front edge of the receiver, about one inch (27 mm) in front of the rear sight.  Oddest of all is that the rear sight is a bare ¼ inch (6 mm) from the receiver, more comparable to the rear sight placement of the British Snider and US M1865-M1868 Springfields than any other rolling block variety.  Taken in combination, this rear sight and lower band placement takes the foreshortened "scrunched‑up" look to an extreme and, if you have ever seen one, instantly identifies such a rifle as either a M1860-64-68 or a M1864-68.

 

   Additional identifying features include, at the muzzle end, a relatively small rectangular dedicated lug on the left side of the barrel on which to mount the M1864 Hagström rifle bayonet such that the blade of the bayonet rides underneath the barrel and an adjustable front sight unique among Swedish rifles in being a brass blade dovetailed into a steel base.  The sight is situated 65 mm back from the muzzle.  The forestock itself is 1¼ inches (30 mm) shorter than the fore stock of the new-built 1867 models with its foreend 3¾ (95mm) from the muzzle.  The wood of the stock is finished dark.  Like all of the conversion M1867 rolling block rifles, this model also is fitted with a matching serial numbered brass buttplate.

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M1864 Swedish Bayonet

  As best I can discover, The M1864 Swedish bayonet was used exclusively with the m/1864 Swedish chamberloading rifle and its follow-on m/1864/68 Swedish Remington pattern rolling block.  It mounts via a separate bayonet lug affixed to the left side of the muzzle such that the bayonet fits directly below the muzzle, and not to one side.

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 M1860/64/68 Swedish  (års gevär, 1868 års förändring av 1864 års förändringsmodell m/1860-64-68):

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Photo used by permission of:   https://digitaltmuseum.se

  About 20,000 m/1860 Wrede rifles were manufactured prior to adoption of the m/1864 Hagström needle-fire breech loader. And only about 4,000 Wrede rifles had been altered to the Hagström breechloading system from 1864 into 1866, before they were later converted in 1868 and thereafter to Remington system breechloaders.

 

   The M1860/64/68 is, much as its nomenclature describes, a M1860 Wrede percussion muzzle loader which was converted to the M1864 chamber loader and then converted again to the M1867 Swedish Rolling Block standard by replacing the receiver with a locally-made Remington pattern receiver and re-utilizing all other parts of the parent rifle.  This model was converted at both Stockholms gevärsverkstad (Crowned “S”) and Carlsborgs tygstation (Crowned “CB”).  The receiver is fitted with the half-moon pivot-pin locking screws.  But to better smooth and blend with the thinner original barrel, the top front and back of the receiver is chamfered about 3 mm.  There are also gas escape ports in the receiver walls.

 

   When these conversions were undertaken in order to facilitate re-chambering, the barrels were shortened from the rear forward and then re-threaded to accept the new receivers.  The forestocks were also correspondingly shortened, all without moving the rear sight, forestock, front sight or barrel bands along the barrel.  This gives the M1860/64/68, like the M1864/68, a readily apparent "compressed," foreshortened look, the rear sight after conversion ending up relatively close to the receiver.  At conversion, the barrel was shortened 4 3/8 inches (111mm) at the breech end to 33 inches (840 mm) from its original 37 3/8 inches (950 mm) length.   This leaves the back sight only a brief .40 inches (10 mm) in front of the receiver.  The forestock is secured with three screw-retained barrel bands with the lower band placement also being unusual at only 2.95 inches (75 mm) in front of the receiver, the top of the band a bare .40 inches (10 mm) in front of the rear sight. 

The front sight is soldered brass on a steel base.  This model too, like all of the conversions, has a serially numbered brass butt plate.  Like the m/1860/67, the m/1860/64/68 also had no bayonet lug as it also used the original m/1860 Wredesgevar socket bayonet.

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Photos used by permission of:   https://digitaltmuseum.se

Specifications, Statistics and Data of BOTH the M1864/68 & M1860/64/68

Overall Length:  1250 mm (49  in)

Weight, empty:  4  kg (8 lbs 13oz)

Barrel Length:  840 mm (33 in)

Rifling:  6-groove; RH, concentric

Sight:  Ramp-and-leaf, graduated to 800 m

 

Bayonet:  The m/1860 Bayonet is used with the M1860/67 Swedish Remington (års gevär, 1867 års förändringsmodell (m/1860-67) first above detailed AND with the M1860/64/68 Swedish  (års gevär, 1868 års förändring av 1864 års förändringsmodell m/1860-64-68)

        The M1864/68 Swedish (1864 års gevär, 1868 års förändringsmodell m/1864-68 års gevär) uses the M1864 bayonet pictured above.

  Distinguishing between the m/1860/68 and the m/1860/64/68 is particularly difficult, and it appears that the only ready way to distinguish between the two is to note that the m/60/64/68 is stocked very close to the muzzle, much like the m/1860/67, whereas the m/1864-68 forstock sits considerably further back along with its front sight, further back than any other rolling block conversion.

 

m/1860/67

m/1860/64/68

m/1864/68

Muzzle to Front sight

21 mm  13/16”

~ 21 mm

67 mm  2 5/8”

Muzzle to Stock

65 mm   2 ½”

~65 mm     

93 mm  3 9/16”

Bayonet

M1860

M1860

M1864

 

MARKINGS

Remington
Carl Gustafs stads gevärsfaktori
Husqvarna Vapenfabriks Aktiebolag
Carlsborgs gevärsverkstad tygstation
Stockholms gevärsverkstad.
Cristianstads Tygstation.
Kongsberg Våpenfabrik

Hovedarsenalet, Christiana

  All conversion rifles and receivers, except those with Cristianstads Tygstation (“Ch”) receivers carry armory markings on the right side of the receiver denoting the armory of manufacture.  All are similarly marked on top of their barrels, ahead of the receiver on m/1860-67 rifles, and ahead of the rear sight on the m/1864-68 and m/1860-64-68 rifles.

A crowned “C” denotes a rifle made by Carl Gustafs stads gevärsfaktori (“weapons factory”).

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Rifles stamped with only an “H”, without crown, are made by Husqvarna vapenfabriks Aktiebolag which is not a royal armory, but rather a private corporation, hence no crown.

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  Less common are rifles stamped with a crowned “S.”  The crown is the older type open crown and these are converted by Stockholms gevärsverkstad.

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  Similarly, those stamped with a crowned “CB” are converted by Carlsborgs gevärsverkstad tygstation (“army workshop” more in the nature of a small “arsenal” than a factory)

  And rifles marked “Ch”, also surmounted by the an older style of open crown, were rebuilt (converted) by Cristianstads Tygstation.  (sometimes also refered to as Carls Tygstations.)

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  If the rifle is marked with a crowned “K” then it was newly manufactured at Kongsberg Våpenfabrik or if marked with a crowned “H” then Hovedarsenalet Christiana, in which case your rifle isn’t Swedish at all, but rather it is a newly-built  Norwegian m/1867 rifle.

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M1867 Norwegian Remington rifle

Additional Markings:

The year of manufacture is commonly marked on the lower right side of the receiver, the right side of both the forestock and butt stock close to the receiver, and on the bottom side of the barrel.

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The conversions undertaken by Cristianstads Tygstation have only a date, no crown, no letter, on the right receiver flat.  They are the only Swedish-built rolling blocks without crown or initial on the receiver.

  The acceptance stamps of the various inspection officers are found stamped into the top of the barrel forward of the manufacturer’s markings.

  The serial number is stamped on the left hand side of the receiver, along the left side flat of the barrel ahead of the receiver, the front stock and the butt stock as well as on the butt plate.  Serial numbers will also be found on the left tangs of the receiver/trigger assembly, but one would have to remove the buttstock to see it.

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Numbers on the LEFT receiver flat are serial numbers.

  A very few rifles and carbines, assembled by officers attending the Armourer course, are marked with the name of that pupil in block letters - and nothing else.  These weapons became the property of the respective officer and did not enter military service.

   Swedish rolling block rifles also usually, but not always, carry buttstock carvings denoting unit assignments and rifle number, or brass buttstock unit disks similarly denoting unit assignments coupled with the rifle number, and sometimes both (the disk having been inletted directly into the stock over existing carved unit numbers partially obliterating the pre-existing numbers).  It is the conversion rifles which are most commonly seen without unit and rifle number information in the buttstocks.

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References

page built Feb 6th, 2022