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View Full Version : Martini-Henry .577/400 Rifles?


leitung
09-08-2009, 1:21 PM
Anyone have one of these? I was watching Zulu last night and it gave me an itch for one, but the ones i have found dont look like they are in shooting condition. Also, where is the cheapest ammo you have found for one? I found 20 rounds for $113 somewhere. Sounds about right considering how obsecure they are.

Nodda Duma
09-08-2009, 1:31 PM
Anyone have one of these? I was watching Zulu last night and it gave me an itch for one, but the ones i have found dont look like they are in shooting condition. Also, where is the cheapest ammo you have found for one? I found 20 rounds for $113 somewhere. Sounds about right considering how obsecure they are.

www.ima-usa.com IMA brought in a (relatively) huge cache from Nepal. Folks over on surplusrifleforum.com have bought examples and shot them successfully. Keep in mind it would not be a "plug and play" purchase.

-Jason

Argonaut
09-08-2009, 1:36 PM
Atlanta Cutlery had a bunch of them in various grades. They will ship direct as pre 1898..............They are very cool....Have you seen a shell for one? Original paper patch..It looks like an artillery round. Check with Buffalo Arms in Northern Idaho for ammo. The Martini was probably a superior design to our Trapdoors and Rolling blocks. It is very strong by design.

Professor Frink
09-08-2009, 1:45 PM
You might try Jansa Arms in Australia.

http://www.jansa.com.au/rifle2.php

I bought one from them some time back that had been rebarreled in .303 Brit. Because they are pre 1898, the pass through customs and show up on your door.

Was really dumb of me to sell it, but I needed the cash at the time. Was so much fun to shoot, quite accurate. I don't think the origional 450/577 variety enjoyed a reputation for accuracy.

trautert
09-08-2009, 4:03 PM
.577/.450 Boxer, actually.

I have one that has a Buchanaland Police Protectorate serial number, next door to Zululand.

TOm

smle-man
09-08-2009, 6:11 PM
I have a Mk4 577/450 and a Martini Enfield in .303. I shoot both and reload for both. The 577/450 costs a lot to get set up for reloading but once you do it is well worth it. I can get 3" groups at 100yds with the Mk4, at least until the barrel starts fouling. It does have some kick! 85 gr of FFg powder has some authority to it.

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff237/smle-man/MartiniHenrypics001.jpg

Mk4 577/450

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff237/smle-man/MartiniHenrypics005.jpg

Martini Enfield .303

I also have a BSA cadet .310 which is a minature Martini action made for training teen cadets in Australia. Wonderfully accurate with .32SW long rounds!

singleshotman
09-08-2009, 7:15 PM
I owned one about thirty years ago, but gave up shooting it for the following reasons:I. Lousy Sights, worst i've ever seen on a military rifle, ok if you're 18 i suppose.2.Too much recoil, this case holds more BP than any other case except an 45-120 Sharps.The modern cases really hold MORE than the originals, because the original used a cast iron base with sheet brass wrapped around it. 3. Impossable to use any kind of smokeless powder due to the HUGE case.I tried some 3031(load data from COTHW), pulled the trigger, heard a "pop" and bullet fell out of the muzzle. Powder Did not iginite.4. see above, you MUST USE BP.

blackfalcon
09-08-2009, 9:34 PM
A Martini-Enfield might be the way to go. The ammo is a lot easier and cheaper to find than the black powder .577 round. Also, cleaning is a lot easier with the .303 round. The Martini-Enfield really doesn't kick much and I still imagine the Zulu warriors coming at me each time I fire a volley.

martinihenry
09-09-2009, 7:08 PM
I have a couple dozen of them. They're really fantastic rifles, but of course, I'm just a little biased :). Ammo is indeed hideously expensive, this is very true. Go shoot a friend's .450 Martini-Henry, and if you get hooked, setting up to reload is the only way to go. The British military never referred to it as the ".577/.450". This was a moniker that grew onto the cartridge in civilian circles. The British LoC refers to as "Cartridge, Small Arm, Boxer-Henry .45 inch, Martini-Henry Rifle". A bit wordy, wouldn't you say? I've also seen in referred to as ".450 Martini-Henry", or the "Short-Chamber Boxer-Henry .45".

smle-man
09-09-2009, 8:29 PM
...or the "Short-Chamber Boxer-Henry .45".

I think I heard Stanley Baker call it that in a movie once.

leitung
09-10-2009, 1:00 PM
Thanks for all the info guys!!

I just picked up a 1895 Steyr, so I think this is next on the C&R list..

5hundo
09-10-2009, 1:54 PM
Anyone have one of these? I was watching Zulu last night and it gave me an itch for one, but the ones i have found dont look like they are in shooting condition. Also, where is the cheapest ammo you have found for one? I found 20 rounds for $113 somewhere. Sounds about right considering how obsecure they are.

If you plan on shooting a Martini-Henry regularly, you better get some reloading dies and a press (if you don't already have one). As you've mentioned, ammo is expensive.

Surplus rifle has a good article on making .577/400 cartridges out of Brass 24 Gauge shotgun shells from Magtech (http://www.magtechammunition.com/sitepages/pid103.php?productId=553&ltemplate=details&templateId=14&pageId=103&search=details):

http://www.surplusrifle.com/articles2008/loadingforthemartinihenry/index.asp

sigfan91
10-14-2009, 3:15 PM
A Martini-Enfield might be the way to go. The ammo is a lot easier and cheaper to find than the black powder .577 round. Also, cleaning is a lot easier with the .303 round. The Martini-Enfield really doesn't kick much and I still imagine the Zulu warriors coming at me each time I fire a volley.

Can these rifles take modern 303 British loads? I'm thinking about picking up a Martini Enfield carbine made before 1898.

Rogerbutthead
10-14-2009, 3:35 PM
Jeez, I was just satisfied waving mine around with its bayonet whenever I watch Zulu or Zulu Dawn.

Maybe in a few minutes I'll forget about reloading for it.

Nodda Duma
10-14-2009, 5:02 PM
Can these rifles take modern 303 British loads? I'm thinking about picking up a Martini Enfield carbine made before 1898.

The .303 British is an entirely different cartridge.

BTW for a modern smokeless powder load, try ~18 gr Alliant 2400

-Jason

Beelzy
10-14-2009, 5:54 PM
Yo!

I have one that my Dad had re-barreled for .243win. What a mistake!

Anyone know where to obtain or how to make a firing pin spring??

smle-man
10-14-2009, 6:27 PM
Can these rifles take modern 303 British loads? I'm thinking about picking up a Martini Enfield carbine made before 1898.

Yes as long as it is a genuine ME and not a Khyber pass special. Watch out for the Martinis being sold by SOG; they are made in the tribal areas of Pakistan and are not safe to shoot. I have a Martini Enfield in .303 and shoot Mk7 ball in it. I corresponded with a couple of Martini Enfield owners in Australia who told me that the ME in .303 is commonly used with standard Mk7 ball in Australia with no problems. Mine is pretty accurate although the trigger pull feels like about 10 lbs!

sigfan91
10-15-2009, 10:13 AM
Yes as long as it is a genuine ME and not a Khyber pass special. Watch out for the Martinis being sold by SOG; they are made in the tribal areas of Pakistan and are not safe to shoot. I have a Martini Enfield in .303 and shoot Mk7 ball in it. I corresponded with a couple of Martini Enfield owners in Australia who told me that the ME in .303 is commonly used with standard Mk7 ball in Australia with no problems. Mine is pretty accurate although the trigger pull feels like about 10 lbs!

Those are the Khyber specials? That just might deter my plan.

I guess I'll stick with a VZ Mauser or a Mosin Nagant.

smle-man
10-19-2009, 2:09 PM
Anyone have one of these? I was watching Zulu last night and it gave me an itch for one, but the ones i have found dont look like they are in shooting condition. Also, where is the cheapest ammo you have found for one? I found 20 rounds for $113 somewhere. Sounds about right considering how obsecure they are.

Next time you watch Zulu note that the rear rank in some of the scenes are using Long Lee Enfields sans magazines - guess there weren't enough Martini Henry's to go around!

The Custard Pirate
10-21-2009, 10:51 PM
Yo!

I have one that my Dad had re-barreled for .243win. What a mistake!

Anyone know where to obtain or how to make a firing pin spring??

Go to Ace Hardware and buy one of the same diameter and cut to length. They aren't particular about springs, as long as the replacement is the same diameter and length and the internal diameter large enough to fit around the striker, it will work. It should have 8 to 10 lbs of compression. Spares are available over the internet if you are willing to spend some time searching but be prepared to pay $15 or $20 vs. 20 cents at ace.

The Custard Pirate
10-21-2009, 10:57 PM
The .303 British is an entirely different cartridge.

BTW for a modern smokeless powder load, try ~18 gr Alliant 2400

-Jason

The British simply rebarreled existing Martini's to .303. In fact a No.1 Mk3 Enfield barrel has the same threads and many have been converted by using an Enfield barrel. They are referred to as, (wait for it...) Smellytini's; from SMLE and Martini.

Nodda Duma
10-22-2009, 5:28 AM
The British simply rebarreled existing Martini's to .303. In fact a No.1 Mk3 Enfield barrel has the same threads and many have been converted by using an Enfield barrel. They are referred to as, (wait for it...) Smellytini's; from SMLE and Martini.

Thanks for the info, I didn't know they did.

Smellytinis! hah!

-Jason

Springfield45
10-22-2009, 6:11 PM
Go to Ace Hardware and buy one of the same diameter and cut to length. They aren't particular about springs, as long as the replacement is the same diameter and length and the internal diameter large enough to fit around the striker, it will work. It should have 8 to 10 lbs of compression. Spares are available over the internet if you are willing to spend some time searching but be prepared to pay $15 or $20 vs. 20 cents at ace.

That is exactly what I did on my Nepalese Martini.