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i want a Martini

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by PT1911, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. PT1911

    PT1911 Well-Known Member


    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?
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    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
  3. browningguy

    browningguy Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. PTK

    PTK Well-Known Member

    I have one for sale... for what it's worth, anyway. :)
  5. Mandolin

    Mandolin Well-Known Member

    Shaken or stirred? Oh, THAT Martini, the kind the British kill peolpe with, not what they drink before kiilling poeple. :)
  6. Dr. Fresh

    Dr. Fresh Well-Known Member

    I've rarely seen these for sale. Is there a place that sells them?
  7. PTK

    PTK Well-Known Member

    Yes indeed! Places like Simpson Ltd. and Joe Salter get them in now and then. :)
  8. natman

    natman Well-Known Member

    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).
  9. Robert

    Robert Moderator

    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.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  10. cchris

    cchris Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    Try www.gunsamerica.com :

    The next one has me salavating:

  12. cchris

    cchris Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    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."
  14. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    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.

  15. Robert

    Robert Moderator

    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...
  16. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. alemonkey

    alemonkey Well-Known Member

    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
  18. cleardiddion

    cleardiddion Well-Known Member

  19. cleardiddion

    cleardiddion Well-Known Member

  20. cchris

    cchris Well-Known Member

    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.

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