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9th February 2005firing the martini
By jim
Hi there
I have a martini in good condition and a licence.
I would really like to have a go at live firing.
Can anybody tell me where i can do this.Where I can get cartriges and how much it might cost.I live near london.
many thanks.
9th February 2005John Harbeck
You may well have to make your own ammunition, which is not particularly hard with the M-H load. The old Kynoch loadings are collector's items by now. Empty cartridges can be bought here in the States made by the Australian firm Bertram Brass. I imagine they are available in the UK, somewhere. They take the Boxer primer used in standard rifle cartridges. 85 grains of black powder or a black powder substitute behind a lubricated lead bullet of about 400-450 grains with a diameter of .468-.469 inch is what I use. I do not in anyway certify that this is usable in anybody else's gun, but it works fine in mine.
Have a competent gunsmith check your rifle over before firing it. A Martini is a strong, well made rifle, but nobody can usually tell where they have been for the past 100 years or what has happened to them. Wear ear and eye protection, as well.
As to where you could shoot over there, I have no idea, but good luck.
9th February 2005Chris Tapster
Hi Jim
Assuming that your M-H is on your Part 1 FAC you should approach your nearest shooting club and ask if you may use their range. M-H ammunition cannot be obtained ready-made and has to be loaded and assembled by the shooter. To do this you must have a Black Powder Acquire and Keep Licence. You will also need a loading press and reloading dies, plus cases, heads, primers and black powder. Loading dies and cases are available from PWM, tel 01405-862688. Primers can be obtained from good gunshops. I don't have a supplier for heads, so you may have to cast these yourself using a bullet mould. Check the ads in Gun Mart for suppliers.

Hope this is useful.

9th February 2005Michael Boyle

The cheapest price I've found in the States for a box of twenty Bertram 577/450 brass is USD 102.99(just to give you an idea), with no joy toward bullet suppliers.(There is an outfit that produces rounds for @ USD 20 a piece.) I also seem to recall a caveat on replacing black powder with the various modern powders (they burn hotter). I'll look it up when I get home this weekend. (If you do manage to shoot your MH be sure to get a good recoil pad and shooting jacket and by no means loose your first round while sitting in a folding chair!)


10th February 2005Dave Colbourne
Hi Jim,

You can get MH cases from Peter Dyson of Honley in Yorkshire. They also list a MH bullet mould. Catalogue says the mould is out of stock but it may be work finding out if they're getting any more. They also do various spare parts, original and repro for Martinis. Well worth a look at their website


10th February 2005jim
many thanks for your replies
All information duly noted.
If I end up looking like Al Jolson, i'll let you know.
16th February 2005Paul Mercer
I think there are a variety of places to get MH cases, bullet heads,dies etc. One used to be North Devon Firearms in Braunton but I'm not sure if they are still going. Another is on the website @ Alternativly, look in some of the gun mags for shops specialising in Black Powder weapons, One that is very good is called 'Classic Arms'published by Peterson Publishing in Droitwich, Worcester. One way to get some shooting (and get expert advice) is to join the HBSA (Historical Breachloading Smallarms Association) who regularly shoot at Bisley and have a huge amount of experience. Remember that the MH round operates under quite a high pressure, so follow the loading guides to the letter-you can experiment later on and when firing, keep your thumb on the little cut out at the back of the action, wrap it around the stock and you risk getting a bloody nose because it is so short! anyway, good luck, perhaps you will let us all know how you get on, I think joining the HBSA is your best bet for regular shooting.