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6th March 2005Dummy/Inert .45/.577 Boxer-Henry Cartridges
By George hulmes

I've recently come into the ownership of a fully-working Martini Henry Mk.II, and I was wondering if any of you chaps knew of anywhere which would sell dummy or inert Boxer-Henry Cartridges? (Preferably someone who deals online and though a website.)

I'm looking to to start a collection of British firearms, and perhaps get into military re-enactment, and to tell you the truth, I've always wanted to see the Martini-system in action.

Anyway, thanks for your time! (My email is [email protected])

Best Regards,
George Hulmes
7th March 2005Drerk C
Hi George,

One of my Spring projects is to turn some dummy rounds on my lathe, probaly out of brass. At Rorke's Drift I was amazed by the sheer size of them! If I'm successful, I'll give you a shout, they should be fine for just cycling the action.
7th March 2005Bill Cainan

Go on to EBay under "Martini-Henry" - there are frequent sales of dummy/inert rounds.

7th March 2005George Hulmes
Drerk, that's fantastic, but just out of interest, would you be making the base of the cartridge hollow or indented? (I'm a bit concerned whether the firing pin striking sold brass after 130 years would damage it.)

Bill, no such luck on or, I'll check up another time.

Best Regards
7th March 2005Neil Aspinshaw

If you get the chance try and get to the Brimingham militaria Fair on June 12th at the motocycle museum.
I deal with a spepcialist in inert rounds called "bullet munitions", a chap called Steve MCGregor who frequently stands there. He has original inert foil Martini Henry MK111 rounds for both rifle and carbine in stock ,(he also has Snider) expect to pay around £15 each but they are top quality inerts, and contemporary to your Mk11,he even treats the primer, just in case someone accidentally pulls the trigger!. His phone/fax number is 01926 812972 , (highly recommended) Otherwise Henry Krank & co sell brass cases for the assembly of live rounds, they are around £2.80 each but are just the job.
Don't forget, if you buy the dummy rounds that fit a 9mm blank with the intention to make it go BANG you will need to licence.
Not teaching you to suck eggs, but never dry fire your martini, the firing pins are not up to alot of it, always de-cock the rifle by 2/3 depressing the lever and squeezing the trigger and returning the lever to its cup.

7th March 2005tom
Hi Neil
Why not ask your friend Steve to advertise on the
He might get some good business.
8th March 2005Derek C
George, I would be very hesitant to actually pull the trigger (dry fire) on such an old beauty. I remember in my shooting days, there were cases available for dry firing. They appeared to have a hard plastic insert where the primer would normally be, supposedly to absorb the shock/harmonics involved. I suppose one could remove the fring pin, but I'm not familiar with the MH.

One thought occured to me though, I'm a little hesitant to send look-alike rounds in the mail, especially to the U.S. (I'm in Canada!)?
8th March 2005Adrisn Whiting

Try for a Martini-based Victorian drill display team. We are always keen to recruit, and for that matter help with inert cartridges etc for members.


8th March 2005Neil Aspinshaw
I know Derek doesn't know his Martini, if you remove the firing pin the lever will flop open. What makes the Martini such a work of art is the fact the whole mechanism is so perfectly interlinked. And, for its time you can see why it was pretty state of the art.
I did see a Martini "snap cap" on ebay recently. There is a detail of one in Skennerton for those anoracs like me who like everything Martini.
8th March 2005George Hulmes
Okay, so the consensus is, that unless the firing pin has something to strike in the breach (such as a custom inert cartridge), dry firing the weapon can cause damage to the action.

Basically, I'm just looking for a safe way to cock and fire my Martini, which won't damage it in any way.


Brass cases (if they have a primer for the pin to strike) sound perfect. Does Henry Krank & co. have a website, contact number etc?

If not, will the inert foil Martini Henry MK111 rounds you mentioned beforehand prevent damage to the mechanism/firing pin?

BTW: Thanks also for the advice on de-cocking the weapon.


It's frankly one of my greatest ambitions to get into Victorian military re-enactment, and for me, owining a Martini Henry is crucial first step. However, at present, I'm a 20 year-old student (studying History at Bristol), and unfortionately do not have the time or the money to fully commit myself. (Yet, at least.)

Best Regards,

8th March 2005David Colbourne
I saw a post recently on one of the Martini Henry forums where someone suggested using an empty case with a piece of pencil eraser in the primer socket. Easily replaced when worn too. Another post said that the Kynock Cartridge Company produce 577/450 snap caps but no details of price etc known.

9th March 2005Neil Aspinshaw
Dave's advice is good, although the rubber would not last very long.
The key is really to not dry fire, you can load, de-cock and depress the lever, therefore ejecting the round as though it had been fired. My advice would be to get used to doing that, it'll come as second nature.

The cases from Krank will have a primer hole in the base, you could try something like PVA wood adhesive as a filler which can be deposited into the primer hole, once this sets it remains elastic if in droplet form, this will cushion the firing pin.
I have been thinking about getting a shedload off him, my website should be up finally in the near future, Alan has told me he'll put a link on the site, watch this space.
9th March 2005George Hulmes
Thanks very much Neil, if you can provide a handful of those shells at a reasonable price, please don't hesitate to drop me an email.

Best Regards,