View Full Version : Martini-Henry

Munro Williams
January 13, 2000, 08:56 PM
Back home I've got a sporterized Martini-Henry carbine that's been rechambered for a .357 magnum pistol round.
I'd like to know where to look for general information on Martini-Henries, like disassembly and repair, further customizing,
and anything else that may be of practical use.
Thanx a bunch!

Harley Nolden
January 14, 2000, 06:48 AM
I don't have much to provide, except the information provided. I would surmize that you have quite a unique Henry.

Military Pattern:
Mfg: Alexander Henry & Co.
Edinburgh 1870-75
National Arms & Ammunition
Co. Ltd. 1872-75
Sparkbrook, Birmingham,
Caliber: . 450 rimmed
Action: Dropping block
Length: 49.19"
Weight: 8.84lb
Barrel Length: 33"
Grooves: 7 RH composite
M-Velocity: 1,315ft/sec W/rolled-case ball

A sturdy and effective dropping-block action, was made in small numbers for sporting use. Henry patented the first of a series of improved rifles with internal hammers in 1870, however
they were too delicate to have widespread appeal.

1865: A prototype was presented to the British breech-loading rifle trials. its dropping block was controlled by a lever under the breech, and a conventional external hammer was fitted.

1867: A second series favored the Henry to be effective enough to be entered into the Prize Competition. Six more guns had been made by mid October. The barrels were 34" long, in
caliber .455 and rifled with seven grooves.

1868: In Feb. Henry was awarded L600 for the best breech mechanism entered in the government trials. The Peabody and Martini had been ranked sixth and seventh respectively, but a third series of trials ended with Martini, Henry and Westly Richards rifles being recommended.

1869: Westly Richards having withdrawn his rifle, the contest the Enfield-modified Martini and an improved Henry resolved in favor of the former. Concurrently, ammunition trials
approved of a .450 Henry-rifled barrel though its cartridge was considered to be too long, and the Martini Henry was created.

1870: Small scale production began for the volunteer units and officers who required rifles chambering service cartridges.

1872: Lacking suitable facilities of his won, Alexander Henry granted a License to the National Arms & Ammunition Co. Ltd., which made a few rifles in an attempt to gain military
orders. These were never forthcoming and the military rifles were abandoned in 1875.


James K
January 14, 2000, 12:52 PM
Hi folks,

Most of the M-H's that were converted to .357 were originally .310 small frame training, or "cadet" rifles. These were used in schools in the UK and Australia (and other places) but most were sold off after WWII when the Brits went anti-gun.

They make nice little rifles, and the M-H action is much stronger than the "trapdoor" type used in the U.S. in the same period.

There is a forum on the www.gunandknife.com (http://www.gunandknife.com) site devoted solely to M-H rifles and a lot of experts show up there.


Munro Williams
January 16, 2000, 11:23 PM
Thanx for the info. I'll check out the website after I submit this post.
Thanx again.