Ray Garner on a very special gun

The Uberti Remington 1871 Rolling Block Air Cartridge Rifle may have a rather long name, but Ray Garner doesn’t care – because it’s beautiful!

Only sometimes do ideas, separated by time and topography, converge to make something new and remarkable. The 1871 Rolling Block Air Cartridge Rifle is one such device, involving three nations, plus a century-and-a-half of thought, development and adaptation.

The original Remington, sometimes called the Rider Remington, after its American inventor, was a single-shot, breech-loading firearm, built around a black powder metallic cartridge.

Rolling Block describes the rifle’s operating mechanism. With this type, the block is simply rolled into position to close the breech and support the cartridge base.

The hammer is in the full cock position, and the block is rolled back to accept the cartridge

Long after Rider had passed into history, a new history began. British company Brocock perfected and put into manufacture a fully self-contained air cartridge, having a miniature air reservoir, fill and exhaust valves and a pellet holder.

In time, Italian gunmaker Uberti became interested, and commenced making guns chambered for what became known as the Tandem Air Cartridge.

Uberti was already well established in the manufacture of high-quality reproduction historic firearms, but, due to the often unfathomable eccentricity of English firearms law, was not allowed to convert these for air cartridge use.

The breech has been rolled back, just like the name implies, to accept a cartridge

In compliance, the Remington was made entirely from scratch as an air rifle! The 1871 Rolling Block .38/22 air variant which emerged is arguably the most elegant air rifle ever made.

This humdinger of a rifle is a delight to handle and shoot for those fortunate enough to hold one on a Firearm Certificate. Sadly, it is no longer legal to buy or sell any air cartridge gun in the UK; they were prohibited in 2004.

Was this an example of the law-abiding being punished in advance of committing any crime?

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