Martini-Henry Mk II Rifle: What's it worth?

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by Bubbles_Barker, Jul 16, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. A question for any of you Arrsers out there who know something about 19th century firearms. Strolling around Abergavenny market the other day, I came across what looked like a very nice example of a Martini-Henry Mk II rifle, complete with bayonet and scabbard. Marked up as 1876, with a Royal Garrison Artillery 1902 Regimental butt marker. The stall holder wanted £795.00 for it which seems a bit steep, even if I knocked him down a wee bit. I also understand they aren't deactivated and that an FAC is not required as "ammunition is not available".

    I'm considering buying it as a birthday present for myself so that I can hold the Zulus at bay here in my Welsh border fastness. It looks like it's the real thing - is it worth it?
  2. When you consider de-activated 303's go for about £300('tinternet search) seems about right.
  3. It's about right.
    Top end of the price range perhaps.
  4. SE/ Bisley price would be even higher - especially with the bayonet. Maybe £900+
  5. sounds about right if it in good money, was looking in to it for a mate last year who was going to bring one back from afghan.

  6. OK, so it seems the price is pretty fair - what's the score on deactivation/legality? Is it classed as an antique firearm that I would have to get put on an FAC if I wanted to shoot it? How would I get it checked to see if it was serviceable? Apologies for all the bone questions but I wouldn't want to buy it and then find it was pointless even trying to shoot it.
  7. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Reminded me of this article:

    Soldiers in Helmand unearth British rifles lost in 1880 massacre - Asia, World - The Independent

  8. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    Pull the blunt wooden bit into your right shoulder. Pull the trigger. If you can read a car number plate from 50mtrs, or indeed, see anything at all after you have pulled the trigger, it is probably OK. Till the next time.

    For any children reading this, a word from Wise Owl? Dont go firing off old guns unless your Uncle is an armourer. And if he is, dont go down into the woods with him. Armourers are not to be trusted in my experience.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  9. If rifle is in good nick, price is stiff but not unreasonable...

    Frankly, as long as the gun has no visible damage or corrosion or wear it should be good to go! Remember you are only shooting Black powder so your chamber pressures are not nearly as high as smokeless. The Martini action is also one of the strongest ever made. Don't fall into the trap laid by some gunsmiths .. oh you need to have it proved before you shoot it... No you f'in don't! A barrel needs to be proofed once before it is sold or after major repair, otherwise no. Unless you have hot work done, a gun should never need reproving.

    Legally you need to put the gun on ticket before you can shoot it. When you write to plod informing them that you have entered it on your FAC, add that you "retain the right to revert the weapon to a curio and remove it from your licence" otherwise they will sometimes try the "once on ticket it has to be deactivated" line - which is utter tosh..

    Since NDFS has closed down, getting hold of ammunition components had not been that easy, however Bertram Bullets of Australia make cases and both RCBS and CHD make dies. You can use standard Lee .45/70 bullets, but if you want some real swaged paper patch bullets PM me..

    Best of luck - BEST rifle the british ever had (even better than the EM2 or the SLR..) - Mine has won me lots of tin (nearly as much as my Ross!)

  10. Nice story - but almost all drivel.. particularly anything from that tw@t in the Brighton Lanes...

    The guns that appeared in Afghan of late are mostly either ex Indian Army surplus, sold on over the years (and showing the double arrow "sold out of service" mark) or built in and around Peshawar and the Khyber Pass. Some MAY have been "taken from the bodies of dead soldiers" but I would think this very unlikely....

    No longer allowed to export them apparantly, which is probably a good thing as nearly all the originals have long gone...
  11. Remind's me of a fella I work with, he does house clearance's on the side, he went through some old boy's suit case and found a Lugger with ammunition. Now being a bit of a Rum lad he nip's off down the wood's to 'Appraise' the find, pulls the trigger and after a flash bang and a lot of nervous shouting later realised he had split the barrel.
    I still have the Mills bomb he was too shit scared to play with afterwards, luckily it was a training aid with holes drilled into it. It sits in my living room.
  12. Sage advice or what?
  13. With all due respect... What?
  14. What?

    Just thanking ID for his useful contribution. I think I shall be returning to market on Wednesday with some cash in my pocket...............
  15. It doesn't need to be deactivated due to the Obsolete Caliber Rule.

    Home Office