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    Legit, or hand-made block?

    Hello Martini enthusiasts!

    A fellow asked me to look at his Martini carbine. Was able to get this out of the frame. Leaves me wondering if it's a trustworthy part. I tested the action before taking it apart with an empty cartrige but with a new primer. The primer strike was so off-center it almost missed the primer. It was right on its edge.

    Looking at it from the front, it is obviously asymetrical. Only stamp visible is a "T.D" upside down on its right side. There is no retaining screw on the back face.

    Any opinion or advice?






    ---------- Post added at 09:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:22 PM ----------

    Found this other mark on it


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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    Looks really rough. What does the rest of the action look like/

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    i'll try to take pics of the action tonight after work. The action does look good, scrubbed of all markings though (looks refinished)

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    The depression that accepts the cartridge and guides it into the chamber looks like a proper piece of machining. Combined with the genuine-looking stamp and one could say that the top surface is "legit". But the other photos show rough surfaces that should not be present on any factory-milled block. Furthermore, they are surfaces that are not exposed to damage through rough usage. Add in the asymmetry and I wonder whether this is a block from a different Martini-style action that has been hand-carved to fit the rifle.

    ??? Thoughts, anyone???
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 07-10-2019 at 06:19 PM.

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    Thanks Patrick, appreciated

    Just to add to the fun, here's how off-center the firing pin strike is:


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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Lou, you need to know in which direction the off-centre lies. Hard to tell when the case has been extracted!

    Up/down direction can be a result of an error in the block closing position. Left/right is the block itself. Both of these possibilities could result from the use of a non-original block.

    So I recommend that you make a test with a case that has a clear mark at 12 o'clock, so that when the case is extracted we can see in which direction the displacement lies.

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    Really Senior Member Simon P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louthepou View Post
    Hello Martini enthusiasts!

    A fellow asked me to look at his Martini carbine. Was able to get this out of the frame. Leaves me wondering if it's a trustworthy part. I tested the action before taking it apart with an empty cartrige but with a new primer. The primer strike was so off-center it almost missed the primer. It was right on its edge.

    Looking at it from the front, it is obviously asymetrical. Only stamp visible is a "T.D" upside down on its right side. There is no retaining screw on the back face.

    Any opinion or advice?

    https://www.milsurps.com/images/impo.../4h2qfHu-1.jpg
    https://www.milsurps.com/images/impo...01PCjpg1-1.jpg
    https://www.milsurps.com/images/impo...qDfCjpg1-1.jpg
    https://www.milsurps.com/images/impo.../K0s21zt-1.jpg

    ---------- Post added at 09:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:22 PM ----------

    Found this other mark on it

    https://www.milsurps.com/images/impo...m1Jrjpg1-1.jpg
    It looks like the Birmingham Definitive Proof Mark used between 1887 & 1904, probably a Birmingham Trade Rifle
    Regards Simon

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon P View Post
    It looks like the Birmingham Definitive Proof Mark used between 1887 & 1904, probably a Birmingham Trade Rifle
    Could you please explain that? What is the difference to the mark introduced in 1868? The width of the depression for the cartridge - far more than required for a .303 case - makes me rather think that the block was originally for a large-bore case (577-450 or Greener special). I do not have a .303 Martrini carbine for comparison, but are the blocks narrower than in the older large-bore systems?

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    This thread suffered from a glitch that seems to have been caused by my previous post #6, in which I posted a link to the Proof Act of 1868 that introduced the VGP (London) or VBP (Birmingham) proof mark. The logical jam in the thread has now been cleared, but part of my post is missing, thus making my post #8 a bit confusing.



    In the missing text I had already pointed out that the mark on the upper face of the block looked like that introduced in 1868, which basically continued in the same form until 1925. Hence my question to Simon P : what was the difference in marking from 1887 to 1904, as my sources show the mark as being unchanged throughout?

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    Regarding the "off-centre" primer strike:

    Firstly, remember that these beasties were originally built for a rather "loose-fitting" cartridge which had a primer of somewhat greater diameter than the .210" modern "Large Rifle" type. Thus, as long as the striker whacked the primer somewhere near the middle, the round fired.

    Since that MH in question was built, who knows what bits of the block and other parts have worn or been replaced? Has the chamber ever been "refreshed" to remove pitting? The old foil rolled cases had their problems but embedding into the chamber wall seems to have not been one of them. Around these parts, I doubt anyone has fired a brass-foil round since WW2, so, if there are any hard-core purists out there with recent experience firing genuine, vintage ammo in their Martinis, feel free to chime in. Cartridge collectors will be crying in their beers. "Modern" drawn brass is more likely to stick in a pitted chamber, especially with "proper" loads, hence the business of polishing out any pits.
    Last edited by Bruce_in_Oz; 07-29-2019 at 10:49 PM.

  13. Thank You to Bruce_in_Oz For This Useful Post:


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