Trapdoor vs. Martini: Rate of fire?


June 20, 2008, 01:14 PM
I've owned a Nepal Cache Mk.II Martini Henry rifle for a couple of years now. Just got my hands on a solid shooter grade Trapdoor rifle. This ones mechanicaly solid, just suffers a few corrosion issues from improper cleaning, and neglect.

Just hypotheticaly, looks as if the BSA Martini would have a firepower advantage over the manualy cocked Springfield Trapdoor.

I mean, you have to draw the hammer back a couple clicks just to open the breech on a Trapdoor. The Martini Henry opens and cocks with a flick of the wrist.

So how many RPM could Trapdoor armed riflemen crank off vs. "stiff upper lipped Martini marksman?

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June 20, 2008, 01:52 PM
A few things...

The Brits had their own version of the Trapdoor:

The Martini replaced it.

Presumably, it was superior.

I've never shot a Martini-Henry. However, the big bore BPC rifles I have messed with tend to be difficult to eject and reload when fouled. That would probably be the more significant challenge when you are trying for a high rate of fire. The rifle that allows reloading without a mallet after 2 or 3 rounds wins the game.:)

June 20, 2008, 04:12 PM
I've never fired the Martini but it looks simpler and faster with fewer moves required, I do prefer a Rolling block over the trapdoor for ease of operation and cleaning.

June 20, 2008, 08:18 PM
I just dug around online and found one reference only to Trapdoor's being able to fire 12-13 shots per minute.

Estimates seem to vary, but I found one reference to the Martini being able to fire 20 shots in 48 seconds

June 20, 2008, 09:49 PM
This whole internal hammer thing is just a passing fad. Just like smokeless powder and optical sights. Give me my Sharps and a peep sight any day


June 20, 2008, 09:59 PM
The Martini Henry is a superior design. Very few parts, easy to get the breech block out, and quick to load.

It is in my opinion, a far better action than the trapdoor.

You pull the trigger.

You can lower the lever with your right hand while the rifle is on your shoulder, or you can pull it open as you lower the muzzle.

Cartridge will automatically eject.

Holding the rifle muzzle down with the loading port about waist high, you can grab a cartridge from your pocket and drop it in the loading port. The port is sloped and gravity will feed the shell into the chamber.

Close the lever on the way up.

The rifle is ready to fire.

It simple and fast.

Rook rifle
June 20, 2008, 10:03 PM
I shoot Martinis in Enfields - Greeners and Henrys plus two BSA three Rolling blocks all in wildcat loads very fast too load and fire but 20 rounds in 48sec.:what:

June 20, 2008, 10:28 PM
I saw online references on the Martini ranging from 10 shots a minute to 20 shots per minute. The very best quoted the 20 shots in 48 seconds!

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