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    Member mauser98nut's Avatar
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    Martini enfield options?

    I bought a Martini Enfield that appeared to be in very good condition.No marking other then "Superior quality english manufacture" on the left side and 99B on varied parts.Barrel marked Nitro Proofed.Upon firing it the bad news came out ,the first case was badly bulged,the second a complete headcase separation.POFicon ammo which has not given me any other trouble other then click wait bang.Pointing the rifle in a safe downward direction a .010 feeler gauge will go between the firing block and a loaded round.So where to now?I don't feel passing it on would be a good thing the way it is.Cast bullet loads?Turn the barrel down one turn and re head space?Go completely custom though I'd rather keep it original?

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauser98nut View Post
    No marking other then "Superior quality english manufacture" on the left side and 99B on varied parts.
    I think it would be a good idea to post some detail pics of this text, the knox-form and both sides of the receiver. It took me 4 years to find a Martini-Henry for an acceptable price that was that was not a product of Ali Bubba & Sons, Khyber Pass Road, Kabul. A genuine Britishicon civilian Martini (whether -Henry or -Enfield, it doesn't matter) would have British civilian proof marks. The exaggerated text + no proof marks = very dodgy.

    I fear you may well have a dud. One can usually tell from detailed pics. It gets tricky when the fudgers have combined genuine bits with lumps of iron filed up in the back yard.

    Patrick

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    I'll have to work on the camera thing as I've never done it.This rifle does have proof marks and I do think it is english made,it's just too good to be a khyber pass.I think I'll remove the fore arm and see if I find out more info there.

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    Okay no more info after removing the fore arm.Barrel is also marked 99B,then the number 286.The markings on the chamber area of the barrel are "NITRO PROVED",303,there are four crowns with letters under them,those being BP,BV,NP and what looks to be jp in cursive lettering.The receiver also has the crown with the BV marking.Fore arm is stamped 99B in the barrel channel and numbered 51 on the outside.Buttstock is stamped 58.I may brave commercial ammo as I originally thought this to be an ammo problem.I reassembled the action last night and managed to make the trigger stiffer so will have to check that also.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauser98nut View Post
    The markings on the chamber area of the barrel are "NITRO PROVED",303,there are four crowns with letters under them,those being BP,BV,NP and what looks to be jp in cursive lettering.The receiver also has the crown with the BV marking.
    Crown over BP (cursive lettering) = preliminary Brimingham BP proof
    Crown over BP = black powder Birmingham proof
    Crown over BV = Birmingham inspection
    Crown over NP = Birmingham nitro proof
    Text "nitro proved" added as per proof rules of 1904.

    Sounds all correct for a trade gun made in Birmingham post 1904.

    Patrick

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    Senior Member TheDoubleD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauser98nut View Post
    I bought a Martini Enfield that appeared to be in very good condition.No marking other then "Superior quality english manufacture" on the left side and 99B on varied parts.Barrel marked Nitro Proofed.
    Superior Quality English Manufacture is a phrase that appears on rifles that were exported to the Middle east. It appears on real and counterfeit rifles.

    If you can post pictures of the right , left and top of the action and all markings we may be able to shed some light on your rifle.

    The rifle, if a good one can be repair by a gunsmith, by setting the barrel back one thread.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauser98nut View Post
    Pointing the rifle in a safe downward direction a .010 feeler gauge will go between the firing block and a loaded round. So where to now?I don't feel passing it on would be a good thing the way it is.Cast bullet loads?Turn the barrel down one turn and re head space?
    Don't jump the gun! ***

    The first thing is to establish whether or not it is original. Although I wrote that it "sounds all correct for a trade gun made in Birmingham post 1904." the key word is "sounds". Ali Bubba & Sons also faked proof marks (and still do!).
    When it is reasonably sure that it is genuine, and the final responsibility for that rests with you, then one can think about firing it.

    Not before.

    I must emphasize that, at least over here, I have seen more fake Martinis than genuine ones!

    Patrick

    *** This is not a post WWII rifle made to CIP/SAAMI standards. Don't get too bothered by 0.010" headspace. What you measured was head clearance (real value with real cases), not headspace (gauge value using headspace gauges). Do you know the manufacturing tolerance of the rim thickness on the cartridge cases? No, I don't either. Try cases from a different manufacturer, and you well may get a different answer. If you want to use such an oldie, the only real way to go is fire-forming with a mild load, and then neck-sizing.
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 12-14-2010 at 01:21 PM.

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    Just in case someone gets the wrong impression from the previous posting:
    The real worrier is not 10 thou. more-or-less head clearance, which should not cause separation on the first-time firing of a new case, but the fact that the cases were bulged. For that reason, if the rifle is genuine, the advice of The DoubleD is correct. If it proves not to be genuine, scrap it or hang it on the wall.

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    Thank you both!I saw else where that 30-40 krag headspace gauges will work for the 303 as well so I'll look it to that and getting my camera fired up.Again thank you.

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    Senior Member TheDoubleD's Avatar
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    30/40 and standard .303 Brit head space gauges will not work in in original .303 Martini chamber unless they have a reduced rim diameter. The standard .30/40 and .303 Brit dies have a CIP/SAAMI spec diameter rim that won't fit the Martini rim recess.

    I have only found one tool maker so far that understands this and that is Pacific Tool and Die. You can order the go gauge from them by asking for the .303 gauge for Martini. Welcome To Pacific Tool and Gauge Inc. -- Reamers, Gauges, Bushings, and more.

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