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Thread: Rifles that span two centuries

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    Rifles that span two centuries

    Part of collecting old rifles must surely be the pleasure of shooting those that are over 100 years since manufacture. My oldest "working rifle" is an 1870 - .577 Snider, a Swedish rolling block 12.7x44mm, 1876 Alex Henry 577/450 and even the old 1900 BSA 303 gets a lot of use with cast boolits.



    Pristine bore on my 1874 Swedish Rolling block


    1896 Martini Enfield and 1900 BSA LE with 1904 vintage folding range sight
    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    JBinMN's Avatar
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    Nice!


    Thanks for sharing the pictures!!
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "A man ought ta do what he thinks is best" - "Hondo" Lane.(John Wayne)

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    Enforce the Immigration laws & deport the illegal immigrants. Quit fooling around.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    You've got some oldies, but goodies as they say. I think my oldest is an 1894 Krag. I have 2 replicas of 1873 Winchesters, but that's not the same thing as shooting the real deal.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    leebuilder's Avatar
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    Very nice. Drool worthy. Thanks for sharing.
    Got a sporterized 1896 MLE and LEC, always wanted a Martini in 303.
    Be well
    When you read the fine print you get an education
    when you ignore the fine print you get experience

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Those are some nice vintage rifles to go and shoot from time to time.

    My oldest is probably my .43 Egyptian Rolling block rifle. But I need to fix the buttstock before I think about shooting it. My other oldie is a 1888 Gewehr rifle made in 1893. It has the S stamp mark so it would work with standard low power 8x57mm Mauser ammunition. Then I have a 8x60R Kropatschek rifle which was made in 1886. It is shootable, but I haven't made any ammo for it yet. My Japanese Type 30 Training rifle was converted from a regular one, so it might count as a oldie now too, since they were made before 1900 too.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    You just have to love them 12.7x44's, I've got a Remington finished by Carl Gustav in 1868, that is as new, but 150yrs. old, still unfired by me as it is still a rimfire. My shooter is a Husky made in 1870, and it WILL SHOOT! Thanks for the pics,Jim

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    B.A.W....do you know if a NSW Henry has the same barrel thread as a Martini-Henry?I was thinking of sleeving the chamber,as I dont like the exposed case base with CBC cases.,but it would be better to sleeve a spare barrel,rather than the original....which has been shortened and rechambered anyway.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    John,

    I suspect they are the same V14 profile, but the shank on the Martini .0.700 long while the Alex Henry is only 0.617 long. Your in Brisbane, I have both 577 Snider and 577/450 reamers and headspace gauges.
    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    What is astounding is that some designs are still worthy of being replicated today. My slickest lever action is an Uberti 1873.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    nekshot's Avatar
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    very nice. I love that falling block rifle!
    Look twice, shoot once.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I was in my mid-late sixties when I "discovered" these fine guns. Wished I'd have found them sooner. Thanks for sharing BAW

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    Alex-Henry 1876 made by Brendalin Arms Co



    Here is another couple, 1892 Winchesters (made in 1892) in 38/40. While not strictly military rifles, these were special order for the state prison service and to my suprise 126 y/o rifles with conseqetive 4 digit serial numbers!

    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    My SMLE MkIII (no bloody *) is a 1915 Enfield made. Guess its in the Century club now.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I've had the opportunity to shoot .50-70 out of both trapdoors and rolling blocks, which I regarded a highly cool because it's one of those "Dawn of the Metallic Cartridge" rounds that's worthy of black space monoliths, thighbone-weilding chimpanzees, and a playing of Also Sprach Zarathustra.

    Paul Freeman's line from Raiders of the Lost Ark - "We are simply passing through history. THIS IS HISTORY" - is in my mind a lot when I play with this stuff. What I DON'T get is why the Italian firms aren't replicating the Martini Henry, which has every bit the storied past as anything that every came out of Winchester.
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    My oldest working rifle is an 1861 Snider Enfield. I also have an 1874 Martini-Henry, 1886 Lebel and 1899 Krag Jorgensen. The MH requires a complete cleaning after a shooting session so that does not get shot too much. The Snider is fun to shoot. 62.5 grains FFFG is a pleasant round. Not sure when my SMLE was made but it is fun to shoot too. Have a .30-06 M1903 made in 1910 that gets fired every so often. I just love the old wood and steel.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    GOPHER SLAYER's Avatar
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    My oldest rifle is a very nice Trapdoor. I like everything about it except the horrendous trigger pull.
    A GUN THAT'S COCKED AND UNLOADED AIN'T GOOD FOR NUTHIN'........... ROOSTER COGBURN

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I love that Snider and have wanted one ever since I read an article about hunting in Africa where the hunter borrowed a Snider for use on some of the bigger game. I must have read that article about 50 years ago and still want a commercial sporter version of a Snider. If the Italians would make a Snider or Martini I would buy either.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIMPINGJ View Post
    I love that Snider and have wanted one ever since I read an article about hunting in Africa where the hunter borrowed a Snider for use on some of the bigger game. I must have read that article about 50 years ago and still want a commercial sporter version of a Snider. If the Italians would make a Snider or Martini I would buy either.
    I probably read that same article. The author's sporting rifle was damaged somehow so he borrowed the Snider. The Snider had been re-chambered for a much longer and more powerful sporting cartridge of the same bore diameter.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    A couple of my favorites that are nearly 150 years old. A very early Remington rolling block Transformed rifle chambered in .58 Roberts. The other a US model 1871 Springfield Spencer. Both shoot surprisingly well.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by ndnchf; 04-16-2018 at 08:30 PM. Reason: Correct spelling

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
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    Seeing the guns that have been posted have made my finger itch! All are very fine rifles that look to bring a smile with every trigger pull.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check