.43 Spanish - shoot or save?

I bought a .43 Spanish Remington Rolling Block Rifle a few weeks ago and got a plastic box with 20 rounds of ammo that was tagged " Remington Blackpowder". My question …Is this collectable or should I just shoot it? Also could this be Berdan primed? Thanks

The Remington/UMC ammunition is not in the least rare in this caliber. It is Berdan primed and, more than likely, not going to go off as the priming compound in most of it is dead. New brass is available and can be loaded with modern components . M D Rea

Thanks, kinda what I expected.

There was an article in Gun Digest some years back about antique .43 Spanish ammo from SPAM War era. One story therein related that the author had one round fire on him when he closed the Remington rolling block rifle’s breech. Unexplainable how that could have happened. As I remember, most of the rounds he tried fired.

If the firing pin was jammed in its forward position, protruding from the face of the breech, it could happen, but it would take one hell of a strong thumb to push the block forward at a pace accelerated enough to fire the primer. The case would then likely auto-eject, since the locking block is part of the hammer, and the Rolling Block Rifle is unlocked until the trigger is pulled and the hammer begins its descent. I don’t see any other way it could happen. Even a high primer should not cause it to fire. If the breech was closed with that much thrust, it might seat the primer, but until punched in the center, the anvil in the case would still not crush the priming compound and ignite it.

I’d have to look up the actual story, but I seem to remember the assessment was that the firing pin was not stuck forward in the rolling block, thus the mystery. Again, I have far too many books, and most of my older GDs (I have all of them) are packed away in boxes.

I note that if one wants to do research through all of the GDs published since its 1944 inception, there is a GD website where one can go and pay $5.95 for one day’s access to a searchable database, or somewhat more (I don’t remember how much) for a month’s access. If all of them were available as electronic copies on a CD or DVD, I’d be tempted to buy it and dump all of my hard copies.

Gun Digest 3 dvd set 1944-2009
on sale now @ $49.99



Thanks - I just put in my order. Looks like I’ll need to find new homes for my old hard copies.

Bannerman had millions of rounds of this ammo in several types. Let me know if you need more. It looks like the “REFORMADO” or “POISON BULLET” ammo would not chamber in a typical rifle. I have not studied this much. Will it?

My mistake - the story was NOT in Gun Digest, but rather the 12th Edition of Handloader’s Digest, Page 104, and involved cartridges dated from 1877 to 1889. Interesting reading if you can find a copy. It did involve cartridges thought to have come from Bannerman’s hoard, and were identified as coming from two Spanish arsenals (TA and SA) and one Cuban arsenal (PMH). All had the brass-jacketed bullets.

I saw alot of these rounds at SLICS in brown cardboard packets with a chequered pattern. Were they the original boxes or were the rounds put into these boxes by Bannerman’s?