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The Mill's Brothers Rock-Ola

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jackp1028 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Nov 02 2018 at 7:36pm
The Mills Brother’s Rock-Ola

Brothers Richard and Mike Mills were kind enough to allow me to “Adopt” their dad’s Rock-Ola carbine for the weekend.

In the small New Mexico mountain community where we live, everyone knows everyone else and it didn’t take long for me to learn that they had inherited a Rock-Ola carbine that their dad acquired from the Army sometime shortly after World War II.

His oldest son, Richard, tells me that his dad bought this Rock-Ola carbine from the Army along with a 1903 Springfield in 1947 for which they still have the receipt. Richard was ten years old at the time. Richard’s younger brother, Mike, recounts how his dad later “improved” it by varnishing the stock and replacing the flip sight with the “better” Springfield Armory milled adjustable sight.

When I first saw the Rock-Ola, I knew it was special. Maybe it wasn’t a “Bring Back”, but knowing the story, I knew it had been the Mills family possession a long time and suspected it was very close to original. Over the weekend I broke it down and confirmed that it was original except for the adjustable rear sight and the varnished coating on the stock and handguard, just as Mike had said.

Here are a few pictures:

Lt. Avery Mills at Arlington Cemetery in 1947

Avery G. Mills joined the Army in 1928. Soon thereafter he graduated from the U. S. Army’s Cavalry Training School at Fort Riley, Kansas. The certificate below shows that he completed the “Advanced Equitation Course for Non-commissioned Officers”. That’s Army talk for horseback cavalry training. Corporal Mills served our country during World War II in the Philippines and again during the Korean Conflict. He retired from the Army as a Major in 1958 after 30 years of service.

 

Cpl Mills Cavalry School Equitation Certificate in 1935



The rest of the pictures speak for themselves.

 
 
 
Here you can make out the SA on the rear sight.

 
High Wood Stock

 
 
 
RMC in Slingwell

 
SA rear sights often had a Crossed Cannon Cartouche 

 
 
Type one barrel band.

 
 

If you look closely you can make out the M and R
This was made by Maid-O-Mist for Rockola
 
 
 
 
 
The replacement rear sight was not staked in place

 
 
Type two trigger housing. Rock-ola had a narrow wall which is seen quite late into production.

 
 
 
Rock-ola butt plate with missing dots at 6, 9, and 12 O'clock

 
RMC Ordnance acceptance marks

 

 

 

I prepared and submitted a Carbine Data Sheet that shows, with the exception of the rear sight, that this carbine is original as it left the Rockola factory in February or March of 1944.  

I mentioned to the brothers that if they have an occasion to look through their father's belongings again, check and see if there might be a Type 1 rear sight among all the junk that maybe can be returned to its proper place.

 

JackP
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tenOCEE View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tenOCEE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 02 2018 at 8:36pm
Really nicely documented pics of a valuable item. Nice job.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rcycles45 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 03 2018 at 6:43am
Nice presentation of a good looking Carbine …….. Love those Rock-Ola's
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m1a1fan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m1a1fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 03 2018 at 6:54am
Excellent article! Thanks for sharing. Gotta love a Rock!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LMTmonoMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 03 2018 at 10:00am
What an awesome opportunity you had. Thanks for documenting it for the community.

How come everybody else finds, and sees all the super cool carbines

I've been just hunting a nice mixmaster Rockola, I couldn't imagine getting my grubby little mitts on one like that. Rockola carbines are just too cool, and I'm not gonna stop still I acquire one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 03 2018 at 11:55am
Thanks for posting Jack. Great looking carbine and great article!
Wayne
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LMTmonoMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 03 2018 at 12:38pm
Another thing I'm noticing as I study this great example for later reference....the matching patina on all the parts.

I would think it would take a master forger to take correcting parts and match them up to the type of patina exhibited on this Rockola.

Am I wrong in thinking that this is a great clue to why this is an authentic original rifle minus the sight and varnish? I'm not familiar with how long it takes a rifle to develop that type of uniform patina.

These are just excellent threads for newbs like myself.

ETA:


Jack, is the trigger blued? Also did Rockola always blue their triggers?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Why Carbines? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 03 2018 at 12:52pm
Oh, there are fakers out there that can replicate matching patina on them, maybe even easily.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LMTmonoMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 03 2018 at 1:40pm
Yeah I've heard about folks faking patina, and there are even companies that offer products and services to do so. However, several knowledgeable folks I've talk with say that you can spot them pretty easily.

I've never seen a carbine that had artificial patina applied to it so I have no clue what to look for.
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jackp1028 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 03 2018 at 1:42pm
LMTmonoMan, yes this trigger is blued. I don't know if Rock-Ola ever parkerized triggers. Perhaps others may chime in here.
JackP
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BER911 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BER911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 03 2018 at 2:54pm
Jack,
 
Thanks for posting the story and photos of that fantastic Rock-Ola.  That is one sweet looking carbine.
 
Semper Fi, Bruce
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul1262 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 03 2018 at 4:54pm
Thanks for taking the time to write and present this article.
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hunterman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hunterman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 03 2018 at 5:25pm
Great article and pics!  Thanks!
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papahound View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote papahound Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 04 2018 at 12:15am
Really enjoyed this article - nice pics , thanks for sharing !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2018 at 7:40am
jackp1028, what a fascinating story complete with excellent photos and documentation. Thank you for your sleuthing work and for sharing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote watchdog49 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 05 2018 at 10:46am
Great history in text and pictures. Very cool, thanks!
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