i want a Martini


September 7, 2009, 06:21 PM

I am beginning to have a serious single shot fetish and the martini henry is right up there at the top of the list for me. Not sure why.

I know they are available in 450, .577, and some in .22LR as well in both carbine and full length versions; however, I havent heard any first hand comments about this interesting action. Any recommendations as to the caliber I should hope for, any good/bad experiences with these?

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September 7, 2009, 06:24 PM
This makes two of us.

For a shooter grade gun in my opinion the 303 version would be your best bet. Myself, I'd trip over myself to buy a reproduction in 30/30

September 7, 2009, 07:56 PM
For a shooter I agree with the .303 if you can find one. The 577-450 is a fun round but it's a handloading proposition and stout loads aren't that much fun to shoot. All of mine are 1/2 action Martini's, calibers include .450 x 1 1/2", .380 centerfire and .300 Sherwood.

Close up of one of the .380's.


The rest of the brood.


The top one with the cadet style stock is in .300 Sherwood by the way.

September 7, 2009, 08:16 PM
I have one for sale... for what it's worth, anyway. :)

September 7, 2009, 08:26 PM
Shaken or stirred? Oh, THAT Martini, the kind the British kill peolpe with, not what they drink before kiilling poeple. :)

Dr. Fresh
September 8, 2009, 02:45 AM
I've rarely seen these for sale. Is there a place that sells them?

September 8, 2009, 03:40 AM
Yes indeed! Places like Simpson Ltd. and Joe Salter get them in now and then. :)

September 8, 2009, 04:16 AM
Get a small action in 22. Handloading for 577/450 is an expensive proposition. 22 Martinis are available, accurate, fun to shoot and ammo is dirt cheap (relatively).

September 8, 2009, 09:21 AM
If, IF, I were going to get a Martini Henry I would go for the 577/ .450. Yeah reloading costs mean you only get to shoot it once or twice a year but how much fun would that be? The only problem is finding a Martini Henry that is not shot out or a Khyber Pass knock off. I know that some were made in Nepal by the Gov't but I would steer clear of anything that I could not prove was not built by some goat herder in a cave. Once you are sure that the rifle you have will not blow up in your face the other problem becomes finding one that is not totally shot out for less than $2000. Yeah I know that Martinis are out there for a lot less, but look at the condition of these rifles and where they were built. Have you given thought to a Sharps or a Snyder Enfield? The Shapes can be had in just about any chambering under the sun and the ammo for the Snyder (577 Snyder) is a bit easier to come by than 577/ .450.

September 8, 2009, 12:06 PM
Here you go:

Hehe. Since I saw the Snider-Enfield on one of those Outdoor channel shows, I started looking into it and of course that led me to the Martini rifles. It seems that the .577 is the more abundant rifle - the .303 looks pretty rare. Either way, I see some deals every now and then, minus the "great" deals at ~$200 that have a bad bore, but some that are in good condition for less than $500.

Vern Humphrey
September 8, 2009, 12:27 PM
Try www.gunsamerica.com :

Martini Rifle From Nepal (GA Number: 947032954) Classified Ad
Martini Rifles
This is the so called "Napolese Martini" British military rifle. Extremely rare. This one was brought to the USA from Wales and bears no import mark. ...(read more)

Seller: MCELHINEYS (FFL Dealer) $600.00

The next one has me salavating:
BSA Cadet Martini Custom .22 K Hornet (GA Number: 958034406) Classified Ad
Martini Rifles
Nice little BSA Cadet Martini Rifle rebarreled in .22 K Hornet with 26" heavy barrel. Equipped with barrel mounted weaver scope base (both .22 groove ...(read more)

Seller: SW Guns (FFL Dealer) $695.00

MARTINI BIG GAME .577/450 SPORTER RIFLE (GA Number: 971628506) Classified Ad
Martini Rifles
Big game sporter Martini made long ago. this is not a cut down militaYt rifle! Barrel is 24 1/2" long with very strong rifling, and fine pits down in ...(read more)

Seller: Twin Oak Arms (FFL Dealer) $795.00

KHYBER MARTINI NO. 4 RIFLE (GA Number: 979862142) Classified Ad
Martini Rifles
Fascinating Martini,with only one marking, On the barrel is a small oval with the letters JB3. No other markings found, however the finish and fit is ...(read more)

Seller: Twin Oak Arms (FFL Dealer) $450.00
BSA Martini Cadet Model 15 Single Shot Rifle .22 S,L,LR (GA Number: 961973284) Classified Ad
BSA Rifles
BSA Martini Cadet Model 15 Single Shot Rifle, .22 S,L,LR with 29" barrel, blue steel, comes with new Cimarron 17" Malcom 3X riflescope, wood stock and ...(read more)

Seller: Two Wright Arms Co (FFL Dealer) $925.00

September 8, 2009, 01:13 PM
Aren't the Khyber Pass Martini's pretty poor quality and much less valuable than $450?? Not to mention, didn't they use scraps to make them, making them possibly unsafe?

-edit- Here's an example, an Enfield copy:


Look at the price for one, and the seller even states that it'll probably "blow up" if you try to shoot it.

Vern Humphrey
September 8, 2009, 01:27 PM
First of all, that's not a Martini, it's a Lee-Enfield.

Secondly, a thing is worth what a willing buyer will offer and a willing seller will accept -- it someone buys a locally-made Martini for $450, then that's what it's worth.

Personally, my desire for Martinis is limited to non-military guns, .22s, varmit calibers or "rook rifles."

September 8, 2009, 01:43 PM
I have a Martini Henry that is in 45/70. It was made into a rifle from just a bare action.

Let me recommend 45/70. Lots of components, dies, bullets, etc. Probably was a better round than the British round.

The Martini action is extremely well designed. Easy to pop out the breech block and wipe out the interior. The shooter is well protected from any escaping gas from blown case heads or pierced primers. Simple, I don't think there are any "weak" parts.

I don't recall if there are any modern reproductions. Shame as the action is excellent. Just the trigger is heavy.


September 8, 2009, 02:11 PM
That is one fine rifle Slamfire1. And yes Chris Khyber Pass rifles can be dangerous at best. I would hang one on the wall but that is about it. The front sight on that Khyber Enfield looks like the sight and barrel from a K98 to me...

September 8, 2009, 02:52 PM
Are you guys aware that IMA and Atlanta Cutlery are selling M-H's from the Nepalse Royal Armory? This has been discussed here quite a bit so do a search for more info.

I have one of the IMA rifles and it's in pretty good shape. I haven't fired it yet, but I'm confident that it's safe to fire.

Ten-X and another company are making loaded 450-577 ammo. It's pricey, but if nothing else it gives you the cases to reload.

The M-H forum over at www.gunboards.com is a must view if you are interested in getting a M-H. Lot's of great info there.

September 8, 2009, 07:23 PM
Very nice rifle, Slamfire.

If you're interested in single shots a very good forum is located at the American Single Shot Rifle Association's website - http://www.assra.com.

A gentleman there by the screen name of 38_Cal is an experienced Martini gunsmith. He's currently building me one in 38-55. I'm going with a Peabody Martini Creedmore style stock. When it's all done it will look something like this:


Or you could just go to Cherry's and buy that one :D

September 8, 2009, 10:36 PM
I'd hate to deviate from the original subject but the Khyber pass copy pirked my interest.
I thought it was a K-98 Enfield hybrid too but I found this tonight and it made me scratch my head even more:

September 8, 2009, 10:37 PM
And I suppose to actually contribute to the subject:

.303 MH's

September 8, 2009, 11:25 PM
Wow, that's one of the better prices I've seen for those.

and Vern, I know that's an Enfield. I mentioned it in reference to the ad you posted advertising a Khyber Martini - specifically, that people selling Khyber copies still mention how unsafe they can be, even if they are the seller. I was a bit surprised someone was selling a Khyber Martini rifle actually advertised with the word "Khyber" in it.

September 9, 2009, 12:00 AM
So, a quick question for all the MH fans.
Is it safe to shoot something along the lines of Mk 7 ball through a .303 MH?

September 9, 2009, 12:58 PM
Do NOT buy a Martini from Southern Ohio Gun. They are well known among Martini collectors to be Khyber Pass copies and are probably unsafe to shoot.

September 9, 2009, 06:06 PM
Hrm, this is news.
Are there any reputable dealers in MH's?

September 9, 2009, 06:55 PM
I don't recall if there are any modern reproductions

A few years back (1970/80s?) Navy arms were selling a repro Martini in .444 & .45/70. In the 1975 Gun Digest they are listed at $195, which included a half round/half octagon barrel, schnabel forend, pistol grip, & color-case hardened receiver!

September 9, 2009, 07:24 PM
Are there any reputable dealers in MH's

Here you go...knock yourself out.


September 9, 2009, 09:16 PM
The suggestion to look at Cherry's Guns was a good one.

I'm still kicking myself for passing on a W.W. Greener converted 12 gauge martini action that I found at a local gunshop for $120 last year. The forestock had been bubba'd, so I passed. Stupid stupid stupid! :banghead:

September 10, 2009, 01:50 PM
That would have been a smokin' deal. I bought a bare Braendlin action for $150, no wood or barrel. It ended up needing quite a bit of work done to the breech block but otherwise it should work out ok.

September 10, 2009, 07:21 PM
You can get them here at IMA. Fixer uppers for cheap!!


I got a Snider untouched form them:

Pics on this thread:


September 17, 2009, 04:57 PM
Here are a few:


September 17, 2009, 08:53 PM
My first Martini was an Australian Cadet training rifle that I bought for $9.95 in 1961 when they were pleantiful and cheap. My highschool auto shop teacher and I rebarrelled and chambered it to 218 Bee. I used a weaver K-4 scope with a mount that we made in auto shop after school. I cut down and refinished the original stocks. We made a single shot cap and ball pistol out of a piece of the original .310 Cadet barrel with cast side plates patterened from a cap pistol. After highschool, I sold the rifle to have money to travel to Europe. I never got to Europe until 2002 but I wish I still had the rifle, it was nice and fun to shoot. I recentely purchase another BSA Martini Cadet Rifle for $400. It has been rechambered to .32 Win Special which was a common conversion in the 1960's. It is fun to shoot and retains the original barrel. My plans are to rebarrel it and rechamber it to 5.6X50R Mag. My how things change and prices change over the years.

The Martini action is quite strong and when cleaned, polished and made modern they are great rifles. Good luck on your project. My first rifle was in a garbage can at the local hardware store along with many others, my current rifle I found on Gunbroker.com.

Jefferson Herb
September 18, 2009, 02:17 AM
I have an 1882 short lever,and yes it gets shot once in a while.Dies are expensive for 577-450,as well as brass;[buffalo arms].Cast your own,w/sharps style bullet,use black,I know it's bottle neck but 70 gr ffg and filler is not too bad. Also once you have brass you don't have to size,just use stiff lube dip several times and slide into case neck;[wad underneath].

September 18, 2009, 03:40 AM
shaken, not stirred I presume?....

September 18, 2009, 12:34 PM
most definitely rangerruck....most definitely....(you'll have to imagine the accent)

September 18, 2009, 07:19 PM
Here's my latest Martini addition:


Cal .32-40, built on a W.W. Greener 12G action.

September 18, 2009, 07:55 PM
I am far more than jealous of you Planter... jealous does not even begin to describe it.

September 18, 2009, 10:57 PM
What a jewel Planter :D

September 18, 2009, 11:03 PM
If I were a Zulu I would be frightened and infuriated by this thread.

May 1, 2010, 05:46 PM

May 8, 2010, 09:45 PM
"Ten-X and another company are making loaded 450-577 ammo. It's pricey, but if nothing else it gives you the cases to reload."

I agree, if you decide on the 450-577 ammo it is expensive, I've also purchased bullets from buffallo, those seemed more accurate. Also remember it's not a rifle you want to shoot on a regular basis, there is a reason they named a drink after it. If you own a .303 Enfield you know the brass plate and wood stock do little to absorb the kick.

I ordered a BSA 450-577 from IMA, the gun was in pretty good shape, the action worked, the stock showed signs of repair but the bore was good. I did have problems with ejecting shells, but after I took the stock bolt out and used a spring washer from my enfield parts collection since then I have had no problems with ejecting shells.

May 9, 2010, 03:24 PM
I'll take a Martini, on the rocks. Shaken.

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