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Thread: pro's,con's Martini and rolling block

  1. #1
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    pro's,con's Martini and rolling block

    I am going to start looking for a single shot action for project rifle . As I know basicly zero about either can you good fellows tell me the pluses and minuses on both. As for caliber I was thinking something on the mild side strictly for cast 38-55 ,32-40 maybe 35-30/30 or 35-303 but thats still a long ways off just trying to figure out the action first.
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I own several rolling blocks both new and antique and I have owned one Martini Henry in 45-70. The rolling blocks and the Martini are both good actions. The Martini has a faster lock time but it is big and a little clunky to my way of thinking. The one I had was built as a BPCR bench rest gun but I used it for long range BPCR Matches. In my opinion the Martini is less suitable for smaller cartridges than is the Rolling block. However, Unless you get a late model rolling block or a new made one you will be limited to black powder velocities for safety reasons. The Martini is a little stronger and the Brits converted some of them to 303 british which is a 40-43,000 psi cartridge. I would not drive even a new made rolling block much over 40K psi by the way.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Look for a Model 5 Rolling Block that was the one made for smokeless powder. It was used in such cartridges as the 7x57, 8mm Lebel and the Russian 762x54.
    A gun is like a parachute: If you need one and don't have one, you won't be needing one again.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have built a number of Rolling Blocks, from Danish/Swedish actions to Rem actions, No.1, and No.5's.
    Be aware there are two models of the No.5, sliding extractor and rotary extractor, the sliding extractor has a larger barrel shank and there is not enough room to octagon the action top.
    FWIW if you do not have an action at this time and are set on building a gun form the action I would recommend a Falling Block Works action. I just purchased a model "J", and a model "S".
    Yes they are back in business,
    Falling Block Works, Inc.
    6186 Rapid city Rd. NW
    Rapid City, MI 49676
    Leo E. Fix
    231.590.7391

    here are the two I just got
    Last edited by 4060MAY; 08-16-2012 at 02:28 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    The difference in the two actions
    The Model "S" has a longer barrel thread similar to a 44 1/2 Stevens, and it can be a takedown, there is a screw on the bottom like the Stevens to remove the barrel, there is also a removable hanger for the forend. either action can be set up for rimless.

    both actions have a thru bolt for the stock.

    one small drawback, there is no tang to mount a sight, this can be fixed by attaching a tang in the manner of C Sharps on there model 1875. with a screw on the top of the action and a screw into the top of the stock.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master TCLouis's Avatar
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    I have a Martini that I like, BUT real single shot rifles have hammers.
    When one must, one can

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    In the late seventies I purchased a Fix Model J and had Dean Miller of Miller- DeHass fame barrel it to 225 Winchester in a Douglas Supreme barrel. I stocked it with a Myrtle wood stock from Herters. It was deadly on the South Dakota Prairie Dogs. There were a couple drawbacks. The trigger was horrible but a weaker main spring and some sear work probably have taken care of the problem. The 225 with it's tiny rim was a real PITA. i When chambering a round it had a tendency to slip ahead of the extractor. Getting the round back out required real patience accompanied by billows of blue smoke around the shooters head. I finally sold it and the new owner rebarreled it to 45.70 and never had another problem . I have always wanted several of the Model K actions. They should be ideal for the 25-20 series. Neil

  8. #8
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    Buckshot's Avatar
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    .............. Pros and cons on the Martini vs the Rem RB? For the pros' I'll simply say that both are excellent actions with the Martini the stronger of the 2 by design. For the con portion the biggest for the Martini is that they aren't being made any longer and haven't been for some time. Parts are all going to have to be found used or newly made by someone, and I'm not aware of anyone supplying new Martini parts. As for the Rem RB Dave Higginbotham builds new rifles, actions and can repair or replace most any part.

    Other then the above I think it's more a personal thing.

    ..............Buckshot
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master




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    I like both along with the ones 4060MAY posted. BTW what do they get for there falling block actions?

    Bob
    GUNFIRE! The sound of Freedom!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    IIRC, the Martini Cadet action is a lot smaller than the large Martini, and has been sucessfully converted from the issue .310 Cadet to both .32 Special and .32-40, although both cartridges are about the max length that the smaller action can handle, even after altering the breeckblock groove to clearance the cases for loading/extraction.

    .

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    The Martini Cadet action is a lot smaller than the large Martini; the large started out as 577-450, with a rim size larger than the .45-70 (and possibly the .50-70). The Cadet was based around the .310 Cadet cartridge, which is .32-20 sized.
    I have seen them chambered in the .32 WCF, and while it can be made to fit (and is a testament to the strength of the action), it is too large. The round can barely make it 'around the corner' of the breechblock to slide into the chamber and there is not much steel around the chamber.
    A .32-20 sized cartridge is much more reasonable.

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    Al sway- Note my

    post with picture on the "Martini Cadet at the Range" thread. Note the pic of my Cadet in 35-30/30 and comment concerning needing to turn the rims down some. Load/extracting is no problem. I have seen people grind the block down on the Cadet to load longer cases! BAD idea. I have found that shooting +200 gr bullets in mine seemed to loosen the action up a little so I limit mine to 180 gr bullets but mostly load 160ish gr bullets for plinking. In fact I took this Cadet to my hunting club yesterday and all the guys shot up all my ammo.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    I gave the FBW folks a call today. They are still in production, albeit in very small quantities. There are four actions available, L, J, K, and S.

    L through K all resemble a High Wall action, with the most noticeable difference being size, L is the largest and K the smallest. The S resembles a Stevens action, and is the only one still available for rimless cartridges. The others are all made for rimmed cartridges, although I distinctly recall that reworking these to accept rimless cartridges was quite typical back in the '70s and '80s.

    I have several projects in mind........
    Otony

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCLouis View Post
    I have a Martini that I like, BUT real single shot rifles have hammers.
    Amen, brother

    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  15. #15
    Boolit Man terryt's Avatar
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    Source for Actions

    Hi:

    Does any one know of a source for new actions other than Falling Block Works, Inc.. Are there any source for actions for lever action rifle.
    Also if known the price range would be nice.

    Thanks,

    Terryt

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