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 Just how effective was The M.H.

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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Just how effective was The M.H.   Tue May 11, 2010 10:10 pm

Just out of curiosity how long could a Martini Henry maintain fire before becoming fowled? To a point where it will no longer fire. I recently saw a documentary where after 14 continuous shot if fowled a failed to work. I have taken into account the fact that the rifles used during that demonstration were from the time of the Zulu War. So we have to allow for age. However I would have thought a few more that 14 would have passed through before fowling to place.

Which of coarse brings us to the question just how effective was the M.H. Could it be the fact that the M.H was backup with Artillery and Gatling guns that it become one of the most famous rifle in British History. Rorkes Drift had no Artillery or Gatlings but just how many Zulus Died of Gun shot wounds compared to Bayonet and other.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Tue May 11, 2010 10:20 pm

Hi Chard. Came across this information with refrence to your post. Is was quite a unique Rifle.

“A rate of fire of 20 rounds in 48 seconds has been obtained with it. Turning to the barrel, we find that the Henry defeated all the other barrels which entered against it, including the Westley-Richards, Whitworth, Rigby, Lancaster, and the .5-in. bore, as well as the Service .577-in. bore. It was superior to these in accuracy at all the four ranges of 300, 500, 800, and 1,000 yards, giving figures of .47ft., .90ft., 1.85ft., and 2.59ft., at these distances respectively. In flatness of trajectory it was "practically equal to any of the other rifles of .45-in. calibre," and superior to the larger bores. With the Henry bullet and the beeswax wad, the arm proved free from fouling in continued firing. Its penetrative power was remarkable: it pierced 14 1-2 half-inch elm plank, and iron plates up to .261in. thickness; rope mantlets, gabions, and sap rollers were penetrated by it, and when tried against a dead horse the Henry bullet produced the most severe fractures. The initial velocity was 1,362ft. per second (that of the Service Snider is 1,252ft.); and the Henry bullet was much less sensible to the effects of wind than any other bullets which were tried. As to durability, a Henry barrel fired over 2,000 rounds without any injury or deterioration whatever, and evidence was received that as many as 30,000 rounds have been fired without any indications of wear. What more need we add? Only this, that the new arm will cost in supply £2 18s. 9d. against £2 13s. 2d. for a new Snider-Enfield, - a difference of price which is wholly insignificant when measured beside the advantages which it promises to purchase.”
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Tue May 11, 2010 10:44 pm

Some information on wounds inflicted by rifles. There is some on the wounds inflicted by the M.H

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90th

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PostSubject: martini- henry   Wed May 12, 2010 2:48 am

hi chard879.
I think this has been covered on the forum by our resident expert Neil Aspinshaw .
cheers 90th.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Wed May 12, 2010 9:54 am

90th indeed I have covered all the bases on this in previous postings, however, the "jamming" issue tends to be rather over-played, as you will struggle to find that many primary sources where it is mentioned.

for example, I find very little or no reports of this at Khambula,or Ginginlovu, or even Rorkes Drift for that matter.

Discussing the matter with Mike Snook, (who I took for a session with the Martini, the Swinburn and the Snider a couple of weeks ago) there is little evidence from Maiwand, and many of the desert battles of C1884/5 of jamming. With the exception of Abu Klea, but then again just one or two troopers fumbling in to clear a jam can be blown out of all proportion when you are not firing , and it is pandemonium all around.

Its like screwdrivers, it has become interwoven in hazy facts and histograms.

The evidence of the TV show, of firing 100 year old ammo, with dubious 100 year old powder, a dried solid beeswax cookie, with a paper wrap bullet that has lost all its lubrication over time has to prove evidence for the prosecution is somewhat hazy.

In the trails of 1874, one particular rifle was fired 294 consecutive rounds, then left overnight uncleaned, the next day 200 rounds were fired, the rifle failing on the 201st shot, however this was due to a breakage in the trigger spring.


In 1871 over 300 consecutive rounjds were fired, it kept going, at one point though the barrel got that hot the solder melted from the sight ladder and it fell off!. Pity the poor soldier doing the test!.
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Dave

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Wed May 12, 2010 8:49 pm

Thanks Neil.
I heard that the "Martini Henry rifle suffered a major problem for the infantry - the barrel and wooden base became unbearably hot after less than ten rounds had been fired."

Ten rounds don’t seem that many, when you consider how many rounds were fired at R.D. Their rifles must having been cooking.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Wed May 12, 2010 9:18 pm

Here is a very indepth discussion relating to the Failure of the Martini-Henry Rifle on the Victorian War Forum. Our member Neil balances out the controversy.
Read all posts very interesting.

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24th

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Wed May 12, 2010 10:04 pm

Interesting read John.

Doe's anyone have or can point me to a link; where there are Soldiers accounts and opinions on the M.H. those that actually used them in battle conditions.
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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Wed May 12, 2010 10:36 pm

Good over-view.

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"This video series covers the initial disassembly and reassembly of the No 4 Pattern Martini Henry and variants of which. This video will show you how to safely and properly take apart and clean your investment, as well as confirm safe headspace prior to firing. As with any antique firearm, great care should be exercised if you intend on firing them. We release ourselves from any liability of what you do with your Martini Henry. Always have all firearms antique or not inspected by a professional gunsmith before making the decision to fire it or not."
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Wed May 12, 2010 10:53 pm

Dave
Don't you believe it,I do 50 rounds, in about an hour, far more than battlefield rates, its bunkum. Thats with a .464 bullet, alot more friction than the .459 paper wrap Mk2 bullet. Yes it gets hot, but nothing untoward.

24th
Apart ffom some of the issues mentioned in "up the Nile with the camel corps", there is wery few primary written anecdotes of jamming rifles.

If it was the case why isn't it reported at RD, and as I always state..who lived to tell the tale at Isandlwana. Only Hook reported Jamming, "My martini jammed several times and I had to work away with the ramrod to clear it", with an average expenditure of 200 rounds, what is several two..three?.

So what is Hook doing?, as the boxer case is fired it expands and then contracts. It can take a "fire form" which means it expands tightly in the chamber, firing residue (soot and melted wax) can act like an adhesive. To clear ir it tkes seconds.. you open the lever, butt to the floor, tap the lever with you toe and drop in the rammer, the case pops out. it does it on modern brass cases so it would on boxer, but these men knew how to clear it is seconds.

Dealmination of the base can occur too, but I find few primary sources of this being reported in action.
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Saul David 1879



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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Wed May 12, 2010 10:56 pm

Neil. Here's a few M.H s That could do with some work. Are they worth it.

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Thu May 13, 2010 2:18 pm

Saul

Not really, these are not British Issue but Nepalese copies of the Francotte action, not dissimilar to the Martini, but has a drop out action. These are probably copies of the Westlet Richards ZAR rifle, supplied in large volumes to the Boers in 1896-7. It has the same calibre as the M-H. Rumour has it W-R supplied obsolete machinery for them to utilise., these, with the Gahendra rifle, (again a copy of the westley Richard tipping block) were poor substitutes.

The filled a hole in their arsenal, however they had a tendancy to blow up when Mk111 British rounds were used, as the barrels were hammer forged, not made from solid bar. In 1894 the British supplied 8000 service mk11 rifles from the arsenals of Alahabad, Fort William and Kirkee. Most of these rifles have the ex-British regimental marks, such as the HLI, Hampshire and Royal Irish, all of which were on the Indian Sub-continent, and handed in for Lee Metfords around that time. It came to a head in 1907, the border disputes culminated in 12,000 Mk4 rifles, ex of Indian army use, being supplied from the Arsenals of Rawul Pinda, Firozpur, Kirkee, Bombay, Alalhabad and Fort William (Calcutta).

I have seen these guns on my Martini buying visit to America, literally hundreds of them on pallets. Condition is not good at all, 100 years of poor storage means they are in many cases needing major surgery.
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Thu May 13, 2010 3:23 pm

Neil. It would no doubt cost more to repair, than buying one from you. You would have to replace I should think nearly every working part in the rifle. To be honest would it really be worth trying to restore from that condition. There wouldn’t be a genuine part left from the original rifle.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Thu May 13, 2010 3:53 pm

John
its even worse, these are handmade parts and they are not readily interchangeable. If it was a British made gun, a part from an 1874 BSA made peice will fit an 1888 Enfield Made peice no problemo, testimony to the men who made these things.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Sat May 15, 2010 1:53 pm

Can't see the point in owning one of these. You might just as well hang a muddy sitck on the wall.
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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Sat May 15, 2010 7:38 pm

Littlehand
If you do not clean them they will actually stick to the wall!.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Sun May 16, 2010 4:09 pm

:lol!:

Neil what your thoughts on the video posted by Admin.
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Disassembly and reassembly of the No 4 Pattern Martini Henry
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Mon May 17, 2010 8:57 am

He makes it a bit long winded, I am going to do a full study of each mark.
Watch this space.................
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sas1

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Mon May 17, 2010 8:10 pm

Neil. If you had time it might be worth producing you own video.

Here's Part 2
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And Part 3
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sas1.
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Saul David 1879



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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Mon May 17, 2010 8:36 pm

Would be a worth while project.

S.D
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Mon May 17, 2010 8:50 pm

Changing the subject a bit. Came across this. And was wondering if it was possible for a Zulu to disengage the bayonet by simply twisting it.

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Fri May 21, 2010 12:47 am

What I would like to know is just how did the M.H Rifles end up there anyway.

Mr G.
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Fri May 21, 2010 9:17 am

Mr Graves in a nutshell.
1816 Treaty of Segauli

1820-1940 Britain supplies Nepalese army obsolete firearms to arm both Gurkha and Native forces against border incursions as ties are made and Nepal fores are integrated into East India Company ranks, Flintlocks, P30's, P53's, Sniders to name a few

1894 8,000 Martinis supplied via Fort William, Allahabad, arsenals.
1908-10 12,5000 Mk4 Martinis supplied via Rawul Pinda, Firozpur, Kirkee, Bombay arsenals

1914 firt issues of SMLE's.

Next 100 years Nepalese throw nothing away, store for a rainy day in the Royal Palace of Lagan Silekhana and Timu, Katmandu. Some kept well, others, the ravages of time.....

2003 The whole job lot purchased as a Nepalese governmnet auction by antique miltaria dealer Christian Cramner in the USA (although he is British) for $5,000,000.

There you go.
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PostSubject: Re: Just how effective was The M.H.   Fri May 21, 2010 9:03 pm

Thanks Neil. Was they really worth that.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Martini Gallery   Sat May 22, 2010 12:20 am

Martini Gallery.

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