Beautiful old target rifle ( based on a Martini?)


March 22, 2010, 01:15 PM
Just saw this on my local auction site.

Old, rare ... and an asking price of 9.000Euros.

Weird caliber, too: 8,15x46,5mm

The rest is just visual awesomeness
i thought i´d share :)

heres the link, in order to not make it
too pic heavy.


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March 22, 2010, 02:05 PM
From the look of the rifle it is a Stahl Martini, which is one of the most common actions found on German Target Arms of the era.

The Stahl Martini differs from the English Martini in the mainspring is a hooped flat spring in place of the Martini coil mainspring and the lever is offset from the centerline of the receiver.

8.15X46.5 rimmed is not a wierd caliber to the Germans.
Very common target cartridge in Germany.

It would be comparable to the .32/30 and .32/40 tapered target cartridges found on American target ranges of that era.

9000 euro or 11,500 US is a bit rich but the condition of the rifle and included accessories probably warrants the price.

March 22, 2010, 02:06 PM
The 8.15 was a very popular (maybe the most popular) European target round in it's day, and that is a spectacularly carved and engraved rifle from the photos. Is it worth 9k euros? Only finding a buyer will tell, but for someone collecting these it is a pretty special rifle.

March 22, 2010, 02:06 PM
The rest is just visual awesomenessYou got that right! That is one beautiful rifle, the carving is outstanding, the engraving exquisite...Wow. Sure looks like a Martini to me. Thanks for sharing.

8.15X46.5 rimmed is not a wierd caliber to the Germans.LOL, Mp7 is German. :p

March 22, 2010, 02:46 PM
I went and looked at the auction site.
I am sure it is a Stahl Martini.

If Mp7 talks to the old timers at the sportsman club I am sure there are two or five that could school him on the 8.15 rimmed target cartridge.
It was a very common cartridge for target shooting in Germany from 1860-1940 era.

March 22, 2010, 03:03 PM
I have no idea of the price (I wasn't terribly interested), but I know where one of these can be found (chambering was the same IIRC). The example that I saw was nowhere nearly as ornate, but if someone is interested in one that is stateside, shoot me a PM and I'll send you in the right direction.


March 23, 2010, 11:00 AM
All the prior comments seem correct, but no-one has mentioned what this rifle really is.
It is a great example of a "schutzen" target rifle.
It was designed to be fired in the offhand (standing) position, at targets at 200 or 300 yards. The target was a 25 ring target with the center only 1 1/2" in diameter, and a 12" bull.
The firing was done in a relatively leisurely fashion, since it was common to reuse the same reprimed cartridge case, for each shot. When using this method, the bullet was inserted into the rifling by a bullet seating rod, then the case, with a load of black, smokeless or a mix of the two powders, with a wad over the mouth, was inserted into the chamber immediately before firing.
Some shooters chose to load paper patched bullets directly into the cases, thus eliminating the seating process, but many would argue that this produced accuracy that did not quite reach that of the seperate bullet/case method.
The 8.15X46r cartridge dates back to sometime between 1890 and 1900, and was still offered by RWS as late as 2000, though I haven't checked lately.
Everything on the rifle was intended to improve accuracy by the standing shooter. The double set trigger, hooked buttplate, contoured and high mounted cheek rest, carved thumb rest, finger contoured trigger guard/grip, long barrel, and tang mounted peep sights (some with corrective lenses in varied color glass, to match light conditions),were all standard equipment on a Schutzen rifle.
The barrels were constructed of the finest Krupp or Bohler steel, which was the finest in the world, and could have had rifling in 2, 4, 6, or 8 grooves, and one type even had grooved lands. These barrels could be expected to last from 30,000 to 40,000 rounds, since the 8.15X46r was seldom loaded past around 15,000 psi, and only lead bullets were used.
Interestingly, one common feature, missing from the pictured example, was the drooping "hogbelly" or "potbelly" at the bottom of the buttstock, which could assist in steadying the rifle by resting on the shooters chest. The absence of this feature makes me wonder if this particular example could have done double duty, with different sights, as a hunting rifle.
This form of offhand competition was a popular national sport in Germany and Austria for centuries, and in the U.S. from the late 1800s until the late 1930s.
In somewhat less grand scale, these "schutzenfests" still take place.
The competitions of old sometimes took on festival staus, over several days, before a champion was crowned(literally).
The rifle pictured seems to be a beautiful example and I drool a bit just looking at it.
I hope it gets a great home.
It's an example of shooting "art", from a time long gone.
Thanks for your time.

March 23, 2010, 11:52 AM
The word is: "SCHUTZEN"!Right...but you do realize that Schutzen rounghly translates to "gun" (actually shooter)...right? I am sure everyone here recognizes this as a gun. :rolleyes: :p

March 23, 2010, 05:51 PM
To Maverick:
Thanks for pointing that out.
Actually though, "schutze" would be a single rifle shooter, while "schutzen" is the plural form, as in a group of rifle shooters.
Early-on, this actually was the designation for a military group of rifle (specifically rifled musket)shooters, which evolved into the target shooters using the pictured form of firearm.
I'm sure many folks already knew every single word of what I have related.
I'm equally sure that many did not.
The original contributor seemed; intrigued by the firearm; somewhat unaware of what he had; and, to be seeking further information.
I've found the history of schutzen competition to be full of technically interesting information, and merely passed some of it along.
I doubt that a large percentage of Americans have ever laid eyes on an example of this type of firearm.
I hadn't either, until I was an adult, but found them possessed of all sorts of positive qualities which had been incorporated for good reasons.
Sorry if my comment offended you in any way, but it was just intended to be informational.
Thanks for your time.

March 23, 2010, 06:02 PM
Sorry if my comment offended you in any way, but it was just intended to be informational.Naw, not at all, you know a good bit more about them than myself. I was just pickin'.


March 23, 2010, 06:55 PM
:-) ... yep i knew, but was tooo lazy to write up
a historic piece.


It´s called "Scheibenbüchse" and the shooter is the "Schuetze"
and the festival is called "Schuetzenfest".

Hate to inform you that probably other than in niche sports
or with rich collectors .. it´s almost extinct.

Nowadays ... .22LR is commonly used ... and the gun is in
a benchrest ... fixed, .. and believe me that´s the only
way to let very drunk people shoot :)

March 23, 2010, 07:46 PM
Only in Germany do you look for ways to let drunk folks shoot guns safely. :p

March 24, 2010, 12:17 AM
Only in Germany do you look for ways to let drunk folks shoot guns safely.

LOL. No wonder they lost WW2! Too much beer. ;)

March 24, 2010, 03:09 AM

nah, i believe it had a lot to do with
that cracksmoking lunatic, who somehow
made it to the top while nobody payed attention,
and considered himself a General, just because
he had personally crapped his pants in a trench in WW1.

( ..let´s not turn this into a "historic" what if, i studied history ...
... with a strong focus on the military part )

Um. Yes it must have been the beer :-)

March 24, 2010, 03:33 AM
Actually a lot of drunk people in France shoot too. Its called the hunting season... :p

March 24, 2010, 09:38 AM
That is a work of art.

Will it shoot as good as it looks?:D

March 24, 2010, 10:47 AM
Interestingly, the Coors Beer Co. helped increase interest in schutzen matches in the U.S. a few years back.
It definitely is a "niche" of the shooting sports, and the 22lr is probably predominant, but, my 1995 Lyman Loading Guide has a small section devoted specifically to schutzen information, and lists two cartridges in common use in the U.S., at that time: the Winchester 32-40 and the 32 Miller Short.
The 32-40 was always a pretty common target cartridge in the U.S, from the later part of the 1800s (it was one of, if not, the, favorite cartridge of the great Harry Pope), but the 32 Miller is less typical in that it is much shorter, less tapered and actually looks more like a pistol cartridge.
Thanks to MP7 for the better German translations, as I most definitely am not fluent, in any way, in that language.
One thing is still true; this part of the sport puts a high demand on all aspects of marksmanship, from the rifle and cartridge quality, to the shooters ability to read conditions, control emotions and produce proper results.
It's still a good sport, just taking back seat at the moment.
Thanks for your time.

Jim Watson
March 24, 2010, 03:50 PM
A lot of these guns have gotten separated from their reciever sights. This one still has its sight, which adds to the value and interest. Carving and engraving are better than average of the ones I have seen, too. The cartridge box is a nice accessory, although as said, most scheutzen is done with the same cartridge case for a day's shooting. They used to sell little nitrated silk powder charges and pre-cast lead bullets so the shooter would not need anything but a decapping-recapping tool; no resizing was needed.

March 24, 2010, 04:24 PM
Schütze(n) - shooter(s); A military designation for German light infantry armed with light (rifled) musket employed as skirmishers (an evolution of the Jäger).



Jim Watson
March 24, 2010, 07:56 PM
Not with rifles like that they weren't.

March 24, 2010, 08:33 PM
What size targets were they shooting at?

March 25, 2010, 10:08 AM

See comment # 7.

Thanks for your time.

Cledus J. Crabb
March 25, 2010, 02:45 PM
Shuetzen is FUN!
We have several matches at our club throughout the year and there are a few Stahl Martinis that show up to shoot.

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