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This new book from Mowbray is an English translation of a work originally written in Spanish by Fernando de Aguinaga and Jose Luis de Aguinaga, which clearly involved a tremendous amount of original research. The full title is “Spanish Rolling Block: The Basque Made Rifles of the Third Carlist War”, and it is a very specifically focussed book. The main production of small arms for the Spanish military during this period (the 1870s) was the Oviedo Arsenal. However, the Carlist Wars and the fighting in Cuba and Puerto Rico involved substantial numbers of locally organized volunteers, who could not source their arms form the military. Instead, they purchased gun made by private companies, most substantially La Escalduna in Placencia and La Azpeitiana in Azpeitia.
The military also contracted for rifle production from these factories, and this led to several different classes of arms: commercial contracts, military contracts, and Carlist occupation production. Most of the guns made were versions of the Remington Rolling block, but they also included pinfire swivel breech guns, Snider conversions, and more.
This book does an excellent job of documenting the variations in these arms and the history surrounding their production. Many original documents are reproduced and cited to explain different production orders, and the subtle variations between the different models are well documented photographically. It is a very well done book on a very specific and narrowly focused subject.
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