.577/.450 Martini-Henry cartridge cases.

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by OldAdam, Sep 9, 2010.

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  1. Having just got my hands on a very minty-bored Martini-Henry, on a Sect 58(2) purchase, I'd like to explore the availability and costs of drawn or turned cases and a set of dies. Any info would be appreciated.

    I'm well aware that I will have to vary my FAC - but not quite yet.

    At the moment I'm still in the post-purchase drooling phase of examining marks and admiring it: - an 1889 LSA Co, II-I, marked C-G (Cape Garrison) on the Knox-form, and C T H (Cape Town Horse) on the r/h side of the butt.

    The timber is nicely grained and coloured walnut, with only the usual small usage dings and the wood has remained in situ - the fore-end retaining pins show no sign of having been driven out and the butt-plate (the only part with any rust) has not been removed. Clearing rod is still in situ.

    The metal overall retains a good 95% original finish. The bore is bright and sharp with just one or two small areas of pitting and the ejectors seem to work quite sharply. The trigger is crisp and, surprisingly, not too much like a barn-door. It appears to have had a relatively 'easy' service life and has been well looked after, ie: the screws have not been butchered.

    Again, info on cases and dies would be appreciated and tips and advice later as the plan progresses. Cheers OA
  2. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Where is the icon "this thread is useless without pics"?
    Anyway HNDFS in Newport usually sells brass at about a £1 a throw, I bought 50, dies with Shell holder included and it came to about £125 with HBSA membership discount!

    Oh and please post some pics
  3. Not sure if it helps but here are some in the US:

    577/450 Martini Henry Cases Obsolete Cases - Obsolete Brass

    Reloading - Shop Reloading Tools & Supplies at MidwayUSA cases

    Lee Large Series 3-Die Set 577-450 Martini-Henry 1-1/4"-12 Thread - MidwayUSA die set
  4. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Their brass is pricey.
  5. All brass (and lead, antimony, copper etc.) is now--thanks to the Chinese strategic metals buying frenzy in recent years.
  6. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    We were told the wars in the Middle east had pushed up prices and surplus ammo was getting harder to find!
  7. All my pals who are in the ammo business here in the US attribute it to the Chicoms and our current masters making it pretty clear they want to do all they can to inhibit our shooting that caused a run on existing ammo stocks.
  8. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Sad thing is at the moment that only former commy types like Serbia are really gearing up to the European market. Privi is as cheap as handloads with premium bullets. Still a lot cheaper than £4 a bang for top brand 7mm Mauser for my .275 Rigby. Its funny what you panic buy when you cant get dies and a cull trip to Scotland starts in the morning.

    Thankfully my dies arrived.
  9. Many thanks for the info - Ugly, apologies, when I get around to borrowing a half-way decent camera I'll post some pics; currently all my spare cash goes on essentials, like shooters and shooting kit!
  10. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    When you are ready,. I could ask around in case anyone is selling dies second hand?
  11. My name is Charles and I am a black powder addict.

    I shoot and reload for .577/450 Martini and .577 Snider.

    My dies came from NDFS about 15 years ago, as did a batch of 200 of their turned-from-solid cases, about 45 of which survive.

    Recently, I have been re-forming CBC 24 gauge cases for both calibres. The cases were mail order direct imports from the US, which kept the price within reason.

    So far, I have reloaded the first batch of 20 Martini Henry cases 4 times and have lost only 3 to neck splitting.

    The Lee dies are good value. I have seen and used a set and they are far more accurate than anything that was available to our 19th century forebears - and they made the MH sing!
  12. The modern .577/450 in my collection are from NDFS, but were made by Bertram in Australia (as shown by the kangaroos on the headstamp), these days i would guess you could buy direct
  13. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Bertram are stocked by Henry Krank!
  14. Here at last are some pics of the piece in question - the images are a bit hugeous but I'm not as digitally savvy as my grandchildren, and Cutaway has just spent a frustrating half-hour coaching me through Image Shack!


    A long beast, so difficult to get the whole thing in shot.


    The "C ^ G" (Cape Garrison) is actually stamped on the breech-ring and not the Knox-Form, as I said before. I'm told that "S-X" stands for 'Special Steel'


    There are two struck-out letters above "CTH" (Cape Town Horse) - Any ideas what they might be?


    Not a very clear shot but the stamping is shallow to start with - "Crown - VR - LSA Co -1889 - Small crown and inverted broad-arrow - II -I"

    Sorry it took so long but I've had a hip-joint replaced in the interval!