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A Martini family portrait.

 Alcohol-free martinis...  per a request from yesterday.

A Martini family portrait.

From top to bottom - a long-lever, a short lever, a Gahendra, a Khyber Special (though well made, I believe the receiver may be original, the barrel is not, and swallows standard Martini cartridges), a Greener police shotgun, and a Kabul Arsenal (*not* a Khyber Pass rifle) .303 carbine.

The pic embiggens.


I have always loved the Martinis and always wanted one in 303, especially a nice honking long one. I have seen them at gunshows and they were always very spendy and pretty but had no bore, or ragged and looked like they would explode- and no bore. If I could find one in shootable condition I would buy it in a new york minute.

I am assuming that qq's very enlightening post will soon disappear, so I will continue as if it doesn't exist.

The Supreme Commander of Flying Pig Farm recently returned from a weekend retreat for women interested in learning/engaging in outdoor sports activities. Fly fishiing, Turkey hunting, skeet, and target shooting were among many activities on the agenda.  How'd it go, I asked. Terrific, she says, I really enjoyed the target shooting.  Great, I say, what'd you shoot? Oh, the instructors had a large variety of firearms, but I really liked the Martini. Not, a Martini Henry, I say. Oh, I think that's what is was, the instructor said it was used at Roark's Drift.  What caliber, I say? She doesn't know and the rest of the conversation goes nowhere. I am intrigued by all of this as I can't imagine that anyone in their right mind would let a bunch of women adventure campers shoot an original Martini Henry in the original caliber. .303 perhaps, but then my concern wandered off to the possibility of a Kybher Pass rifle.  Safe? Not sure.

So I mention that John has several Martinis and she gets really excited about the possibility of repeating her very enjoyable experience.  I ask her if she has the targets, She does, and her instructor has been kind enough to write the weapon on each target sheet.  Not a Martini Henry, but a BSA Martini target rifle in .22 LR. Now it all makes sense. I'm sort of coveting one myself, as they are very fine riles, but, they too have become somewhat spendy. Perhaps the current ammo nonsense will drive down the prices.


"I am intrigued by all of this as I can't imagine that anyone in their right mind would let a bunch of women adventure campers shoot an original Martini Henry in the original caliber."

Why on earth not? I brought back a Snider in .577 and a Martini Artillery carbine in .450/577 and the ladies love shooting them! I have a former sister in law who bagged her husband by loving a .500 black powder Express double rifle. She looked like a reed in a high wind when she shot it, but her only comment was, "I want more bullets!"

They ain't as fragile as you may think.

Continuing my Kipling-rifle theme from the other day....

“When ‘arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
Don’t call your Martini a cross-eyed bitch;
She’s human as you are - yoo treat her as sich,
An’ she’ll fight for the young British soldier.”

I saw the insides of my friends gun safe Sat.  He had a schutzen rifle from his Austrian father-in-law.  it was some obscure schutzen chambering in the 8mm range, but built on a Martini action.  It was quite the piece of art with a new barrel, cresent butt plate and case hardened receiver.

In my experience, big bore black powder doesn't kick anything like small bore smokeless powder, but then I am, and always have been, a large fellow.

I overlooked a Martini target rifle I have, though it's in an odd caliber.  But I do have a SMLE .22LR trainer, if the SCFPF would like to shoot WWI rifles comfortably.

And Dennis - his name isn't Ivan, he's abbreviated Leavenworth Centurion to lvncenturion.  He's lazy that way.

Well, I do tend to be myspeelling aggravated...

Not a comment on their fragility, a statement of the value and scarcity of the ammunition. As it turned out, they were firing .22LR, .223, .240 etc., all excellent choices for beginners.
Aha. Valid point. I was using new manufacture ammo, but at $5 per round; it is a touch spendy. I can reload the 577/.450 but the .577 is going to need dies.

Nevertheless, the grins after the shootings are worth the price of admission.