Last chance hunt
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  1. #1
    Deadeye
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    Last chance hunt

    Several years ago I bought a great old British Martini-Henry rifle.
    Made by BSA in or around 1879, it had a great bore, and shot well with a load of 85 grains of Swiss 1 1/2 F under a 480 grain Buffalo Arms bullet.
    While it shot pretty well at the range, and I have even hunted with it a few times, I had never had the opportunity to take an animal with it until now.
    My friend Dan's company owns a hunting preserve upstate, and he invited me to a doe hunt on their last weekend for this season.
    I had
    one last chance to make meat with the big single shot.
    We chased 'em around quite a bit, and I shot over one, but finally the stars aligned and we had a nice Sika doe at a do-able range for an antique rifle with iron sights, and a hunter with antique eyes.
    I got her lined up, touched off one of those big bottle shaped .577/450's, and when the smoke cleared she was down.
    An interesting project, a fun hunt, and meat in the freezer.
    A f
    un couple of days upstate, and a great end to the 2019 hunting season.

  2. #2
    Tinhorn
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    That is pretty cool.. Congrats on the hunt!
    airwinky and Sambane like this.
    "If I don't make it, Josey... I want ya to know, I'm prouder than a game rooster to have rid with ye."

  3. #3
    Marlin Fanatic
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    Congrats on the hunt AND the rifle!
    airwinky and Sambane like this.
    If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
    Sun Tzu, The Art of War

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  5. #4
    Gun Wizard
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    Cool gun and great job.
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  6. #5
    Tenderfoot
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    I had a martini in .303. I ended up putting about 1500 rounds through it before the headspace was too much...loved that rifle!
    airwinky and Sambane like this.

  7. #6
    Deadeye
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig H View Post
    I had a martini in .303. I ended up putting about 1500 rounds through it before the headspace was too much...loved that rifle!
    Wow !
    That's a lotta shootin' with one of these old warriors.
    Mine is chambered for the older .577/450.
    It's far from a tack driver, but I'm getting "useful" accuracy.
    The original cartridges used a paper patch bullet to help with fouling, but also to offset a problem with varying bore diameters.
    The process to duplicate them is above my skillset.
    I bought some rounds from Buffalo Arms, loaded with black and their largest diameter bullet, and later, after some success with them, reloaded with close duplicate loads.
    Best accuracy I've been able to achieve thus far is an inch and a half or so at 50 yards.
    It's been a fun project.
    Obviously at this time of year on this property it's not super hard to get on deer.
    But getting close enough to a nice meaty, mature deer to make a good shot was tougher.
    This deer was shot at 70 yards, (after I missed one at 100, lol).
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  8. #7
    Super Moderator
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    Congratulations! Making meat with an old time rifle is very special. I would love to do the same thing with my 1878 Trapdoor Springfield.
    airwinky and Sambane like this.
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  9. #8
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    OUTSTANDING!

    Never have I fired a Martini rifle. That's special.

    I think it's just terrific to use one of the old rifles & loads for hunting today. And, that doe should provide some fine eating. You and your buddy did a good job with the photos by the way. I like getting decent quality photos from my hunts.

    Congrats! Guy
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  10. #9
    Distinguished Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by airwinky View Post
    Several years ago I bought a great old British Martini-Henry rifle.
    Made by BSA in or around 1879, it had a great bore, and shot well with a load of 85 grains of Swiss 1 1/2 F under a 480 grain Buffalo Arms bullet.
    While it shot pretty well at the range, and I have even hunted with it a few times, I had never had the opportunity to take an animal with it until now.
    My friend Dan's company owns a hunting preserve upstate, and he invited me to a doe hunt on their last weekend for this season.
    I had
    one last chance to make meat with the big single shot.
    We chased 'em around quite a bit, and I shot over one, but finally the stars aligned and we had a nice Sika doe at a do-able range for an antique rifle with iron sights, and a hunter with antique eyes.
    I got her lined up, touched off one of those big bottle shaped .577/450's, and when the smoke cleared she was down.
    An interesting project, a fun hunt, and meat in the freezer.
    A f
    un couple of days upstate, and a great end to the 2019 hunting season.
    Congratulations A'winky.
    What a memorable hunt.
    We see many of those rifles still going round here and in the past many animals were hunted with those.
    Many very big animals too.
    It is still one of my all time favourites.
    Of course the Brits used them here in the Zulu wars and in the 1st and 2nd Boer Wars.
    A lot of them were left behind when they ran away ....
    Those actions are bullet proof - excuse the pun , they last forever.
    I am glad you weren't shooting with any wrapped cartridges though!

    ... I have a mate that built himself a .375Win recently, on an "only-good-to-throw-away" donor Martini. Fantastic rifle! ..... wait let me show you:

    xELBnMg.jpgU1wiaf9.jpgCQEWUIu.jpgaf63BP1.jpg

    Yup, still a lot of life left in the old warhorse.
    Nice, right?
    Other popular builds are 9.3 .303 , 35 303 , the .375Win (shown) and then of course the little Cadet in .22 Hornet.
    I fancy a 9.3 303 and a little Hornet for myself.
    Good photographs too - I like the one showing the round and the spent shell on the deer!
    I love the Martini Henry.

    Last edited by Sambane; Today at 05:18 AM.
    airwinky likes this.

    " a tired warrior aims a little higher"

  11. #10
    Marlin Marksman
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    I'm curious, did you recover the bullet or was it a pass through? If recovered, please describe it's appearance. Thank you.

    TR
    airwinky likes this.


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