After the Civil War, Remington Arms (E. Remington and Sons) introduced its accurate, long-distance Rolling Block rifle chambered in .45-70 (amongst others), made famous for its use as a buffalo slayer. The Remington .44-90 buffalo gun, using a 400-grain bullet, was admittedly the most proficient buffalo rifle ever made-accurate to distances of one-half mile. Grazing bison didn't have a chance.
Feeding in large herds that blanketed the Great Plains, the buffalo were no match for buffalo hunters, hidden out of sight using long-distance rifles like the Remington Rolling Block or the Sharps.
The period of arms making before and after the Civil War was marked by significant advances in revolving-chamber, 5- and 6-round, fast-shooting pistols, notably those of Samuel Colt and Smith & Wesson. The transition from blackpowder cap and ball to metallic case ammunition ushered in the era of the Great American West and larger-than-life heroes and gunslingers-on both sides of the law.
Despite the trend in six-shooters, E. Remington and Sons produced a line of single-shot Remington Rolling Block pistols. There were several models and a pair of target Remington Rolling Block pistols developed: the 1865 and 1867 Navy, the 1869 Target, the 1871 Army (a.k.a., the Army and Navy Model), the 1879 Army, the 1891 Target, and the 1901 Target pistol.
The .50 caliber rimfire, single-shot, blued 1865 Navy has a sheath (spur) trigger, an 8.5-inch, round barrel and walnut furniture (forend and grips). It also has a front bead sight.
The 1867 Navy is an 1865 Navy with a 7-inch barrel and a trigger guard. It comes in .50 caliber rimfire and .22 rimfire. The 1869 Target is very rare. Basically, it is an 1867 Navy receiver fitted to a 17-inch octagonal barrel with a shoulder stock (affixed to the buttstock) and an adjustable rear sight.
The 1871 Army (Army-Navy Model) represents the crowning achievement of Remington's Rolling Block design. This single-shot pistol was chambered in .50 caliber centerfire and .22 rimfire.
The 1879 Army is an 1871 Army receiver fitted with a 16-inch half-octagon barrel and detachable shoulder stock.
The 1891 Target is an 1871 chambered in .22R, .25 Stevens rimfire, etc., with target sights and a 10-inch, half-octagon barrel. The 1901 Target is the premier rolling block-an 1891 Target with fancy furniture, ivory bead and adjustable rear sight. The 1901 Target is chambered for .44 S&W and .22R.
At a time when volume shooting, using 5- or 6-round revolving cylinder pistols was all the rage, Remington introduced its Rolling Block pistols, if for no other reason than the gun was extremely accurate, as or more powerful than most of the competition's, and able to be reloaded and fired quickly.
Consider yourself very fortunate if you own one of the original Remington rolling block pistols.