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» ISANDLWANA SURVIVIORS
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» Zulu War to Boer war. Those who served in both.
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» Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies
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» (Lieut: R. F. Westmacott. 77th. Foot.)
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» 90th foot sgt T. Collins 214
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 A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated?

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tasker224
littlehand
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littlehand

littlehand

Posts : 7077
Join date : 2009-04-24
Age : 52
Location : Down South.

A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated? Empty
PostSubject: A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated?   A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated? EmptyMon Oct 10, 2011 3:38 pm

E-Mailed to me by a friend.

Neil. your be the best person for this.

Quote :
On the Matini-Henry, a mate of mine owned one & I can attest to its impact if not handled 'perfectly'. Bluntly once fouling realy starts - 30 to 50 rounds it dosen't matter its going to thump bloody hard. We did a 'test' & I put 80 rounds though it at quick rates while prone, by the end I was a good 6" back from where I started - at that stage I weighed almost 90Kg stark naked! I ALL Ways used an additional shoulder pad foring the bloody thing. The thing was perfectly capable of fracturing a collar bone if handled badly - I was present when despite advice etc one of my mates light weight friends (he was only 60 to 70 Kg's & we had put close to 120 rounds through it in the last couple of hours) fired it without it realy jammed into his shoulder & he did end up with hairline fractures in his collar bone.

The issue with boxer rolled / wound cartridges was if the rifle over heated or was not kept really clean. Bluntly in significant air temperatures & even moderate rates of fire the @#$%^& always over heated - I used a glove on my left hand if firing a significant number of rounds, especialy if doing so quickly. Historical records cite long service 'old sweats' regularly shrinking a rawhide leather cover over the barrel & forstock to protect their hands!

For all its "downsides" I was always keen to have it along if we were pig hunting or in a pig area. Saw the bitching thing literally bowl a 100+kg pig head over heels when hit from the front! Admitadly at about 20 yards, but it was the Martini-Henry or a 12 gauge with Pig Shot as far as I was concerned if we were hunting pigs. The only thing I saw that was better at taking the big pigs down was a lunatic who used 0.303 API aircraft ammo & I stayed yards away from him always half expecting a breech failure!
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tasker224

tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated?   A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated? EmptyMon Oct 10, 2011 7:03 pm

In 1879, the vast majority of soldiers would be considered "light-weights" by today's standards. I have a number of Zulu medals in my collection and the men who earned them are typically 5'4" in height, 32" chest, etc etc.
I pretty am sure they would have been proficient in the use of a MH, so obviously technique would have been very important to avoid the damaged shoulder/ collar bone issue, but also, they wouldn't under normal circumstances be putting 120 rounds down in quick succession.
I am also sure that I have read that some of the RD defenders ended up with broken collar bones and dislocated shoulders and other injuries from the sustained use of the MH.
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Dave

Dave

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PostSubject: Re: A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated?   A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated? EmptyMon Oct 10, 2011 8:16 pm

So the more rounds fired, the harder the recoil. Not to sure about being moved back 6 " when used during the prone position.
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated?   A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated? EmptyMon Oct 10, 2011 9:44 pm

Tasker you are right i remember reading that 2 soldiers of the 24th showed their shoulders to some men from Chelmsfords Column and both where purple with bruises and the men had been forced to fire their rifles held in front of them during the night.

I also watched a documentrey that said when repeatedly fired the barrel became fouled with black powder residue and caused severe recoil.


Regards DB14









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littlehand

littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated?   A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated? EmptyThu Oct 13, 2011 9:09 pm

Neil. Not sure if you missed this. Would like to know you comments
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ciscokid



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PostSubject: Re: A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated?   A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated? EmptyThu Oct 13, 2011 9:16 pm

Rob Caskie also said that the men were done in from firing all night. Burn hands etc from the hot barrels.
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Neil Aspinshaw

Neil Aspinshaw

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Location : Loughborough

A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated? Empty
PostSubject: Re: A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated?   A MH Story. Is this true or just over exaggerated? EmptyFri Oct 14, 2011 8:53 am

The recoil becomes exaggerated, not due to the fouling but because the constant action on the shoulder will in time cause a bruise to develop. It will get progressively worse, especially if the rifle is not held properly. If you pick up a rifle that has fired say 30 rounds, but you haven't fired any, it is just the same as it is firing from cold, but the previous shooter will comment on its recoil.

Firing prone, if you are not fully supported on your elbows will cause the butt plate to sit on the top of your shoulder, not the fleshy part at the front, it does exaggerate the recoil, as the impact has to be absorbed throughout your body, rather than firing from the knee or standing where you can follow through with the recoil and move back with it, similar to the arrester springs do on an artillery piece.


You are more accurate though firing prone.

The Martini Mk2 bullet was wrapped in cotton fibre paper, dipped in beeswax and pushed through a heated die. A wax concave plug was fitted behind it, the idea is three fold: to scrub the bore, leaving a lubricant behind it after each round, to prevent Metal/lead contact in the bore, So hypothetically the only fouling is that from the last shot. As it gets hot, (its not that bad,even after 40 rounds, in less than an hour, my normal Sunday) the wax plug atomises and lubricates. In Zululand, where the atmosphere is very damp indeed, it will help in turning the foul to a liquid, the old soldiers would blow down the barrel to keep it topped up from the moisture in the breath.

In the Mk3 Martini cartridge, the beeswax plug had a hollow concave to the top, it was found in earlier rounds, in cold conditions, the wax simply followed the bullet down the barrel, and did not do anything. So, the air gap forced open the wax outwards so it ensured lubrication. (take a tomato, halve it, scoop out the middle, lie it flat on a chopping block an splat it flat.it spreads out,).

In conclusion: is the recoil worse, physically no. mentally yes.
Does the barrel get hot, yes, depending on the firing rate, but with the average expenditure of 33 rounds per man over an engagement, not that bad. The men did fashion cowhide wraps, so it stopped any discomfort. it became a standard item on kit in 1883.

here is a report from 1875, I have just bullet pointed it

Col H.C Fletcher 2nd Bttn Scots Fusilier Guards
Rifle No 87 & 647 fired over four days without cleaning.
400 Rounds fired, Two handfuls’ of dry sand poured in action & three rounds fire with no problems.
2 rifles buried in Snow, sand and earth, again 10 rounds fired and worked perfectly.
50 rounds fired with great rapidity, had become extremely hot “some extraction difficulties”, but on cooling the rifles worked well.
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http://www.martinihenry.org
 
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