Martini Henry 1881 Rifle

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by CH512O, Sep 26, 2009.

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  1. Mate of mine has been given one of these...working condition etc.
    How much could it be worth?
    And ref Firearm licence, what would be needed to own it?

    Before anyone points it out, my mate is not in UK at moment but will be in 6 months time!! :wink:
  2. Assuming it is in it's original calibre of 577/450 it would be classified Section 58(2) in the UK and no certificate (licence) is required as long as he doesn't have a serious criminal record.

    If it has been rebarrelled as .303, whilst it could (in theory) come under the same classification in practice it would be necessary to have a firearm certificate. There are a number of threads about how to get one.
  3. Cheers for that. Ill ask him about it ref calibre. There is talk of putting it up deactivated as a display item at work. I'll try and persuade him to bring it back to shoot.
  4. Tell him NOT to deactivate it. There is no need as it can be kept and put on the wall under Section 58 as is. Deactivation will seriously damage its value.

    However under Section 58 you are no allowed to shoot the rifle. In order to do that it will need to be put on a Firearms Certificate as a Section One.

    The may sound silly but it is the law. Keep it as a Relic or Curio (section 58) - no license required. Keep it to shoot - Firearms Certificate required.
  5. Cheers. emailed him so hopefully it will come back intact!
  6. If he's bringing it back from Afghanistan (there used to be a lot for sale there), then I'd advise him to do his homework. A few people have dropped themselves in the poo trying to get historic weapons out - moving weapons (historic or not) between countries is not easy.
  7. Plus there is a lot of sh!t coming out of Afghan, notably the so called Khyber-pass copies. Most fakes are easy to spot but if you don't know what to look for you can get a nasty surprise.
  8. Especially if you try to fire them.

    Though it may not necessarily be Afghanistan.
  10. Good link, thanks.

    Out of academic interest, can one get cartridges and bullets for reloading in MH calibre? I've seen some old rounds and they are fcuking mahoosive.
  11. There are a fair few in our club and it's surprisingly easy to keep the old boys running. Bertram Bullet Company makes lathe turned cases at about £4-5 each - Henry Kranks lists them for sale and I believe that Peter Dyson Gunsmith sells them too. Most people seem to cast their own bullets, although I think that there is still a UK company that will sell you them ready cast. Use a proper blackpowder lube or lard/beeswax to fill the grease grooves. Many don't even bother to resize the cases as pressures are low and they are usually only used in one firearm. Load is I think 80 grains of Fg - it certainly makes a satisfying boom!
  12. Just to correct G-N, the Bertram cases are drawn, and are more expensive. A compny called NDFS in Devon used to make turned cases and dies etc, but have hone out of business. Various folk such as Kranks have stock of NDFS from time to time...

    The Henry barrel was designed to use a paper patched bullet, but it is pretty tolerant and any cast .45 bullet will usually perform well, provided it is not too soft. The pressures are low, but generally you still need to resize to get the case to chamber properly. The breech does not have a good camming action and you need the cases to go in easily.

    I have to say my M-H is probably my favourite rifle; accurate, and fun to shoot!
  13. If anyone sees any Martini Metford rifles or carbines around, I will have them. Any condition considered.
  14. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    I've fired one of these beasts...we were lucky enough to have a RE WO2 in the unit whose brother (also RE I think) had one..along with a nice selection of other older weapons.

    The cases were huge, the kick was bigger and at 25m I was over 2 inch above the aim point purely because of the kick (I'm wasn't that bad a shot back then)

    Good luck with it, would look great over my fireplace.....would offset the crap modern art thing the wife has on the mantle.

  15. In 1976 I bought a nice carbine in Daragha in Pakistan, looked great but the some of the serial numbers were upside down, paid $15 for it, looked new because it was, it used to shoot prettygood too

    I used to have the cartridge case dimensions from an American "Shooters bible" type book and we rigged up a CNC lathe in the University of Glamorgan to bang out a few hundred with Boxer primers. But that all went tits up when the ban started and I sold it on. You are right about the recoil though I think the carbine was even worse than the rifle, a real donky