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DateOriginal Topic
22nd May 2003Martini-Henry rifel
In the film zulu dawn the 24th are using martini-henry carbiens in stead of the standed infantery rifel which is a good foot longer, was this just for the film or is it fact.
as carbiens where only carried by cavelry
23rd May 2003Justin
Hi Kevin

I often wondered this myself. But I believe the answer is simply that the film company just couldn't get enough rifles that fired a calibre of blank ammunition that was attainable and had to settle for carbines. After the Martini Henry was taken out of service alot more carbines were converted to fire 303's and other calibres - I'm pretty sure I read they were in service with the SA police until not that long ago, making them alot easier to get hold of.
In the film Zulu, they did use the rifle but then they only needed a pretty small number.
Infantry were issued with the rifle, cavalry and volunteers had the Martini Henry carbine, Swinburn Henry or the Snider Enfield.
Just my thoughts on the matter but I don't think I'm too far off the mark.

23rd May 2003neil aspinshaw
If you watch the film zulu, not all the characters have m-h's, some have bolt action lee metfords, you can see this when the action is chard and Bourne push the zulus back over the collapsed barricade with twin ranks firing volleys.
just a quick note too... even modern films seem to have a similar problem with props, look a , they are selling RUBBER! replica martinis from the latest film the four feathers., do these fire rubber bullets!!!!. (joke).

23rd May 2003Joseph
Actually all war movies make prop rubber rifles. This way they only buy a minimum number of more expensive real weapons. The rubber rifles are used for "not so close" camera shots and are actually quite good in appearance as they were molded from a real rifle. These come in handy if ever you are doing a bit of living history impression/ reenactment in a place that won't allow real weapons.
24th May 2003Barry Iacoppi
The one thing that got to me about the Martinis in “Zulu” was the total lack of recoil.
ANYONE who had fired a live round through a Martini Henry will tell you that that it gives a firm visible punch to the shoulder. Now unless one was to construct large numbers of rubber Zulus I appreciate that actors have to use blanks but it would have been no great acting feat to have feigned recoil. A minor point but one that brings me back to reality with a thump every time I view this fine film.