Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a cool old sporting gun. this is the Remington Model 1901 Rolling Block Pistol. Companies like Remington were designing specialized pistols just for target competitions all the way back as early as the 1870s. One such pistol was the Remington Model 1901 Rolling Block Pistol, an upgraded version of Remington’s 1891 design. This pistol featured a lustrous blue finish and ornate checkered wood grip, really playing up its role as a presentation-grade firearm. The 1901 Rolling Block Pistol had some key improvements over earlier Remington target guns. The rear sight was now mounted on the receiver rather than the barrel, allowing for more precise aiming. The front sight was an easy-to-see ivory bead. These sights, along with the pistol’s 10-inch half-octagon barrel, enabled extreme accuracy. The 1901 Rolling Block Pistol was offered in both .22 and .44 caliber to appeal to a wide range of marksmen. About 700 of these pistols were produced before they were discontinued in 1910. Even when new, the 1901 probably seemed a little old-fashioned to some shooters.
“The case lid is inscribed “PRESENTED TO/LE CERCLE DE CARABINIERES [sic] DE PARIS/FROM THE/MANHATTAN RIFLE AND REVOLVER ASSOCIATION/IN COMMEMORATION OF THE MATCH/APRIL 1911” clearly indicating an expression of sportsmanship between the organizations at a marksmanship match back when the top shooters of the day were considered star athletes. The match is recorded in Forest & Stream as occurring in late May 1911. The article indicates the French team won for the third year in a row and that the two teams had annual matches against one another shot in Greenville, New Jersey, and in Paris. Among the members of the French team was “Comte du Castelbajac” which is likely Arnaud de Castelbajac, a known member of the Cercle de Carabiniers de Paris who won multiple championships and also fought in WWI shortly after this match. Among the Manhattan team was famed marksman and gunsmith Harry M. Pope who may well have been involved in the modifications of this fine pistol which itself is a gorgeous re-worked Remington rolling block pistol in Model 1901 type configuration with a beaded blade front sight with slip on hood, adjustable notch rear sight on the frame ring, “Remington/Trade Mark” marked barrel re-lined to .22 caliber from .44 S&W Russian (one of the Model 1901 calibers), “2684” on the bottom of the barrel under the multi-point checkered forearm, extensive traditional scrollwork engraving on virtually all of the action as well as flourishes and borders on the barrel, “4973” on the left side of both tangs as well as “4483” on the upper tang, and multi-point checkered grip.”]
Lot 203: Remington Model 1901 Rolling Block Target Pistol – Historic Cased and Engraved Remington Model 1901 Rolling Block Target Pistol Presented to Le Cercle de Carabiniers de Paris by the Manhattan Rifle and Revolver Association. (n.d.-h). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved July 27, 2023, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/77/203/remington-model-1901-rolling-block-target-pistol.