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Old June 17, 2013, 07:56 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Finally got to shoot my "fake" Martini yesterday...

my retired builder buddy ( who did the rifle work for me ) wanted to come over & shoot a couple of rifles he built from scratch over the winter, yesterday, & since we had 2 sunny days in a row, & we could drive across the short stretch of field to my range, I was glad for the break...I have what we thought was a Martini carbine, when I bought it, which turned out to be a really nicely counterfeited Enfield, once we opened it up, that became glaringly apparent... ( barrel threads were custom hand made, & the guts were ( let's be nice, ) & just say crude... I didn't pay much for the carbine ( which was chambered in 303 when I bought it ) because it had obvious issues in the action... the gun had most of the pits polished out & was re-blued, & the wood was very nice, before I bought it & it may have even been actual Enfield wood... ( BTW... this was a gun show buy, where the seller told me it had been authenticated at "the North Dakota State Gun Auction... so always be wary when you are buying these old "milsurps" )

my buddy likes working on old Enfields, & has a lot of parts on hand... so when we discovered that it was "fake" we had to 1st decide what to do with it... we decided to rebarrel / rechamber in 30-30 to get the pressures down, after the barrel was on, a minimum of work was done, so we could re-proof the action, once that was successfully proofed, & no stretching or damage was noted, we stamped "not Brit" prominently on the receiver, as well as the metric designation for the 30-30 cartridge ( we had decided before that, that I could probably get a long life out of the carbine, with light to medium pressure 30-30 loads, so we stamped this stuff on the gun, to keep it from getting a life of hot 30-30 loads after I'm gone, as a "real" Enfield could likely handle )... anyway, my buddy went & refit as much "real" Enfield parts as possible ( including the rear sight ) but had to leave & re-fit / repair some of the internals, because the pin holes were not exactly true ( larger custom tool steel pins were fabbed & fit to the gun )

anyway, I really love the old Enfield Martini's & this would have been my 3rd ( if it had not turned out to be a "fake" ) but it really has a nice look in the carbine form... shooting it for the 1st time yesterday was quite impressive, how he was able to get the trigger & action that smooth ??? it actually has a better trigger than my other 2 custom Martini's... 1st 3 shots were 11" low & about 5" to the left... I brought the rear sight up to the 1st little step, & the next 3 were level with the bulls eye & that same 5" to the left... the front sight is custom, & was designed from the beginning to be filed to suite so I'll take about 1/16" off & bring the rear sight back down, as well as drift it over a little in the dovetail next time I have it out, I should be able to bring it in nicely... the barrel was a 300 Win Mag take off barrel, that looked new, we were able to trim off the chamber, & still end up with a contour that fit the barrel bands & match the barrel length that was on the carbine when I bought it...

I was not shooting well yesterday, as I had jumped off the tractor, out in the pasture, & landed with my foot 1/2 in a hole, I heard a loud crack, & went down like a sack of potatoes... this was most evident with my 257 Single "8" I also shot yesterday... groups were so bad, I put it away, as I was just wasting ammo ( something I don't like to do, when I'm developing loads ) ... so, I was not unhappy with both 1.5" groups yesterday out of the carbine at 50 yards... even though I think I just ended up with a sprain, I really enjoyed shooting my new forgery & honestly, can't wait to take it out again...

This is what the carbine looked like when I bought it... nice on the outside... not so nice on the inside...

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Old June 17, 2013, 08:35 PM   #2
therifleman556
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I've always loved the look of the Martinis. I remember reading an article in Rifle Mag years ago about two Martinis set up for long range but using light calibers. I believe one was a .300 Sherwood and the other a .310 Greener.... classy little rifles. I hope to own one someday.
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Old June 18, 2013, 05:46 AM   #3
Magnum Wheel Man
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I also have 2 "real" Enfield Martinis... one in 50-70 & one in 45-70... always wanted to add a cadet in something smaller like 22 Hornet or ??? this 30-30 has nice lines, I found I like the carbine set up... wish this was actually an Enfield... I even thought about getting the sabre bayonette for hanging on the wall
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Old June 18, 2013, 06:04 AM   #4
therifleman556
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I think the .577 or the .577-450 would be a fun round to handload for

Just how long are those actions? I thought the .45-70 was a hair too long...
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Old June 18, 2013, 06:55 AM   #5
Magnum Wheel Man
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by design, you can stuff as long a cartridge into the chamber as you desire... they are single shot rifles, so once the breach block has been lowered, you can pretty much stuff what you'd like to in them...
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Old June 18, 2013, 08:20 AM   #6
therifleman556
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I wasn't sure what that limit was. I thought Martinis were a little like rolling blocks where the cartridge couldn't be too long or it wouldn't "make it around the corner"
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Old June 18, 2013, 08:36 AM   #7
Magnum Wheel Man
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kinda goes down at an angle from the back... I don't think there is a current cartridge ( maybe 50 Browning or bigger... case wise ) that couldn't fit... I think all the really long straight case black powder cartridges will go in anyway...

I still have a bunch of stuff for the 577 Snider... almost built a rifle for it a while back, but all the chamber dimensions, loading dies, & brass had too much variances, & case life would have been pretty short, or cases needed annealing too often, so I shelved that project for a while... might want to pick it up again later...

talk about tossing big stones
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Old June 18, 2013, 03:18 PM   #8
kilimanjaro
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Anything an auctioneer says is highly suspect.

Be nice to see these in modern steel and Calibers, like the Ruger No. 1 is doing.
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Old June 19, 2013, 05:33 AM   #9
Geezerbiker
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I've always wanted a large action Martini to go with my BSA model 15 target rifle but you have me wondering about this one... Was it a Khyber Pass copy or something else? Any idea who made it?

Tony
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Old June 19, 2013, 06:00 AM   #10
Magnum Wheel Man
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best guess it's a "well made" Khyber pass copy ( did I really just say that ??? ) had all the Enfield stamps, even the crown looked pretty good, however looking at it closer, the letter stamps were just that, individual letters... spaces weren't perfect... insides were the biggest tell, much cruder looking parts, stock bolt was obviously hand made, & the threads on the stock bolt & barrel / receiver were all something in of their own size... like 1/2 way between metric & standard... the stock bolt unscrewed with a large "orbit" since the threads were unique, my buddy re-used that, but put it in his lathe & trued the bolt, so it didn't screw in turning a 6" orbit like it came out... as I said, the wood was either quite well made, or actual Enfield wood was fit... it actually looked very much like a "real" Enfield on the outside...

we proofed the rifle with warm 30-30 loads, with lightly greased brass ( so the brass wouldn't grip the chamber sidewalls, & put full thrust on the breech, precise measurement of the receiver & breech block were done before & after firing 3 greased cartridges & everything mic'd out the same, so we figured it safe for normal 30-30 loads, with the recommendation, of only loading mid range loads, which was fine for me...

... as mentioned in the 1st post, I can't believe how nice & smooth the action & trigger are after my buddy finished with it... & I actually can't wait to get it out & get the front sight drifted a little & get it filed, so it's shooting to aim
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