View Full Version : 577-450 1886 Martini Enfield long lever.

June 2, 2009, 09:30 PM
Any one here shooting these? I spent the winter restoring one and as soon as the Dies come in so I can correctly load some ammo I'm going to give it a go. Might use a vise and a long string for the first few rounds.

I found some loaded ammo, but it is .450 lead and this rifle like many of it contemporaries takes .458 paper patched rounds. And while I have the bullets pulled I was thinking of replacing the ffg with Pyrodex. Any opinions on this?

June 3, 2009, 12:30 AM
I have had some experience loading paper patched bullets for BP (mine was a 1871 Mauser in 11mm Mauser). I tried Pyrodex and then quit using it due to inconsistent ignition, and the fouling being harder to clean than BP. With the newer BP substitutes like Pioneer Gold powder, I bet you could successfully make the switch from BP. I have also heard it is easier to clean up and less fouling.

Paper patching cast bullets was not a major issue, it just takes time and patience. You just need to make sure you are not shooting in an area where the smoldering paper can start a grass fire. If it were me, I would just use lube-sized cast bullets.

June 3, 2009, 01:10 AM
The riffling is very fine almost like it was made for copper jackets. So the paper is mostly to keep it clean. I assume the wax in the wad stack fills the groves as the bullet passes. I thought about just using .458 bullets but I think the breach pressure would go up as opposed to using cotton paper patching. And It's a large round, 45-90 in American lingo so I have no idea of how much spare strength is built into the action. I do know that the 1886's had forged blocks, but they still pivot on the same 1/4 inch split pin. With my trapdoor Springfield's I use 45-60 carbine loads and patched bullets are more accurate than lead pressed to .457 which is what the barrels slugged out at.

June 3, 2009, 05:30 PM
the martini is a wonderful rifle, mine is more accurate/consistent with ffg. The martini action is a modified 1862 peabody action, plenty strong, much stronger than the trapdoor, and in some opinions, stronger than the sharps. I slugged my barrel and found it to actually be .459 this made a difference with solid base lead bullets, but not so much with paper patch.

June 4, 2009, 05:23 PM
I found an old English reloading manual printed in 1950 and it has smokeless powder loads for mkIV and V rifles. Mine is a MkIV rebuilt to MkV at some point.