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M-1878 Martini Henry Short Lever Infantry Rifle Untouched

ID#: 600768

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In 1878, the Francotte patent Martini System was granted utilizing a detachable mechanism fitted without the Cocking Indicator. Revolutionary at the time by compartmentalizing the mechanism for quick disassembly, it only lasted 10 years as the latest technology. It was replaced in 1888 with the .303 caliber Lee Metford bolt action rifle’s introduction into the British Military System. Although this European improvement was never embraced by the British, these "improved system rifles” saw much service on frontiers all over the World. The Martini Short Lever Rifle saw tremendous and valiant service in the British Army worldwide.  It's most famous appearance was in the Zulu Wars of 1879, memorialized in Hollywood epic movies and countless books and articles over the years.

These particular Martini Infantry Rifles were used by the Gurkha detachments mostly in the Indian Sub Continent and are offered in AS IS condition. Each Rifle is offered totally as found, completely un-cleaned and un-refurbished. The only service performed has been to ensure none are still loaded! Totally covered and caked with dried on grease, dirt and rust, these can be displayed as found or be the subject of winter nights of TLC to restore them to their former glory. All appear to be complete but no guarantees as to what use or damage may be found after more than 100 years of neglect and storage.  There is a $10.00 additional shipping & handling charge with item, cannot be shipped USPS. Bayonet (no scabbard) available.

Each gun will feature:
The action, lever, trigger, stock (which may show signs of wear like cracks, old repairs, wood rot, etc), barrel, 2 steel barrel bands and cleaning rod.

Some guns may have additional pieces (sorry no choice) like minor parts & screws.

Condition: usually show rust & pitting and be covered in dirt as originally stored.  Otherwise they may not operate because of seizing or could be otherwise incomplete. No butt plate. Plus there may be additional cracks, missing chunks, old repairs.

Note: These guns were manufactured before 1898 and are therefore legally considered antiques. It is totally legal to own these without a U.S. Federal Firearms License (FFL) and they can be shipped to most countries around the world.

Customer Reviews

(38 reviews)
5 Star
22  (58%)
4 Star
8  (21%)
3 Star
5  (13%)
2 Star
2  (5%)
1 Star
1  (3%)
Overall Ratingstarstarstarstarstar
Well . . . . I guess I did not read the fine print. My purchase arrived promptly and was definitely untouched. It depends upon you definition of a M.H. . . . Mine is definitely an unmarked Francotte patent Martini System action. It bears all the marks of being entirely handmade. Breech Block is very soft. It is complete except for the butt plate parts. Unsafe to fire except maybe with blanks, the barrel shows good bright rifling thru its entire length, but the bore diameter in the center is aprox .020" larger than at the breech and muzzle. I'll clean it up and put it on the wall. As a 100+ year old antique it is what was advertised. But not what I expected, you might want to emphasize the Francotte part of it, as the mechanism is very different.
Reviewed by Jay  S
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Service and shipping were outstanding.The product was however disappointing.A Completely unpreserved Nepalese Gahendra Martini (from the markings on the receiver top rear).Completely rusted from barrel to butt-plate.Looks like it came out the ocean!I pulled the rifle out the bubble wrap and a cascade of rusted bits poured forth.The stock was completely split end to end twice with a half inch gaping crack so i could see the stock bolt.The fore stock was barely held on by the disintegrated barrel bands.The action was frozen but to its credit with a bit of kroil and elbow grease it functioned somewhat.the only screw that was not completely rusted and unsalvageable was the trigger pivot.The barrel was rusted and pitted deeply end to end.The rifle was complete as advertised.I'm completely dissatisfied with this turd of a rifle.Good luck on your purchase.Its a shame this comes from such a fine company.
Reviewed by James  T
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Pretty much as advertised, but the inventory must be quite low as my rifle's condition was much worse than those on the old warehouse video showing these weapons.
Reviewed by Gerald  W
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Product as described. Good value.
Reviewed by William  M
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I just received my gun it was good shape for the age. I have it cleaned and have to finish the stock. but i have dry fired it. great job guys thank you very much
Reviewed by John  E
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I bought two of these guns. Both were in fair condition. Both had a broken mainspring. One also had a broken firing pin, trigger spring and a fairly large crack in the stock of 1 inch wide. All in all very satisfied. The parts that were broken, I could order cheaply in England. The rest was repairable. Both guns turned out nicely en much better then expected. It was my third order and order number 4 is now on the way.
Reviewed by Ronald  V
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The rifle was better then described, packaged well and was not froze up. After a good cleaning up the old war horse looked pretty good considering how it was stored. The worse pitting was under the stock, which is expected.
Reviewed by Vol  W
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gun is as described. Got mine a few weeks ago. I am very impressed with the gun they sent me. missing the butt plate obviously, and a large chunk of wood in the rear of the butt stock is gone. action and trigger worked out of the box, very little pitting, no other missing parts. Looking foreword to cleaning this gun up and fixing the stock. I do not plan on firing this gun but I am happy that it will be in my collection.
Reviewed by joseph  w
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You get exactly what you paid for. A really dirty, rusty, frozen, banged up, 'never be more than a wall hanger'. Rusted inside barrel, bent and rusted cleaning rod, with no interesting crests or markings. This is a rifle that just begs to be rebuilt with plenty of TLC ever a period of a year or more. WARNING: DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT SHOOTING THESE. EVER. I bought two, one of them to 'restore' and another one to display 'as found'. Make up a good story to go with it, starting with "found in the dungeons of a lost temple in the deep Himalayas, surrounded by the bones of captured Yetis."
Reviewed by Edward  C
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Arrived absolutely filthy but cleaned up beautifully thank you
Reviewed by Kody  G
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Just what I wanted and came with all its parts. Cleaned up good some pitting under hand gared. Bore slugged .458 with nice rifling and no rust or pits. This is a Napal made rifle.
Reviewed by Ronald  J
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When I first pulled it out of the box thought maybe I was in over my head. Believe all the stories on how dirty they are , many rolls of paper towels , degreaser, and cleaners plus plenty of elbow grease. But me and my son are having a blast cleaning it up and fixing the mostly minor repairs for a rifle that's been sitting this long. For the history with this rifle its been money well spent.
Reviewed by mike  s
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it is UNTOUCHED but will be fun to rebuild.
Reviewed by dale  b
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Looks quite nice after cleanup- the only part I was not able to salvage was the middle barrel band (essentially rusted into a single unit). I had to re-tip the firing pin (MIG welder), chase a crack in the trigger frame and file down the sear catch on the trigger. Fully functional now, but I doubt I'll ever fire it- the pitting on parts of the barrel is a bit scary. They included a buttplate and a spare rear sight since the original was damaged- that was a pleasant surprise. The wood stock has a crack down the top of the grip area, but it's an old crack, I can see where they put a pin in to reinforce it.
Reviewed by David  A
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I couldn't be more pleased with the condition of my rifle. It arrived nasty as can be, caked with a century of grime. After soaking the steel in multiple cleaning baths and overnight immersion in rust dissolver it started to show me it's true condition. I made a tank out of ABS pipe by the way; works great for barrel work. I degreased and lightly scrubbed the wood clean, trying to refresh the original finish; it was pretty splotchy and water stained so I stripped it down. What I had when all the stripping was done was some significant pitting at the wood line along the barrel and receiver/wood contact face but that's it...all hidden damage when assembled. As for the action, I replaced the firing pin spring and made a new flat spring for the trigger and it all works as it should. I blued the steel and oiled the wood and for the money I spent I have an amazing looking piece of history with a cool backstory. If you're gonna display it you have to get the Nepalese bayonet that goes with it to really set it off.
Reviewed by Jeremy  M
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came in the mail today and the action worked right out of the box as well as the trigger. rifle was missing butt plate but was sent a spare along with the gun. was able to strip the whole gun down in a few hours with basic tools and a little pb blaster and heat. due to pitting under the forend i dont think this will be much more then a wall hanger however that is what i expected. will look very nice when im done with it. only wood problems are rot around the first barrel band and pin and the top of the stock has about a 1 inch chunk missing. over all better then i expected.
Reviewed by stephen  p
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While cleaning came the disappointment: This is a Nepalese made Gahendra Martini (markings on butt) and my 1876 British bayonet won't fit (as I would have known in the first place). I actally asked ACC about matching bayonets when I bought this one but unfortunately no information came back. Will have to pay for another bayonet, plus postage. Too bad! Moreover, lack of invoice in the package caused me to travel to customes office twice, though I asked to include it which was confirmed. Sorry guys you need to improve your customer service! Now for the good news: The rifle came in an amazing seven days over here to Europe (standard postage). Was cleared by customs as "collectible antiques", no problem there. Dirty and rusty, but the action working fine; took me only one day to clean. The woodwork is much darker than with restored Martini Henrys; don't expect to get yours into shining condition. Some damage to the wood at the end of butt, but a substitute buttplate came with it. All in all a nice buy but as mentioned before, note you are buying a Gahendra NOT a Martini Henry!
Reviewed by Guido  I
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Was nervous about paying $200 for an antique gun basically sight unseen. Could have used money for another purchase. Unboxed gun, and it was complete except for buttplate. No major issues except a lose buttstock. Nicely surprised. Little issue with action that probly will be fixable once I get it completely disassembled. I think I can get this one shootable. Thanks for a nice looking project gun that was worth the money.
Reviewed by kurt  h
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I was a bit reluctant at this late date, but I took the chance and I’m glade I did. I just bought my Francotte Martini Henry Infantry Rifle within the last couple of weeks, it arrived well packed and intact,. All the parts are there and in working order, the trigger guard was bent inward, I heated it up and tweaked it back into the original configuration. It has minor pitting on the underside of the barrel, a couple of minor cracked in the stock caused from the bolt rusting and swelling inside the stock, it had a small amount of wood rot on the forearm wood, easily repaired. I cleaned it with denatured alcohol tooth brush and plenty of paper towels and rags, being careful not to remove any more of the original plum brown bluing or wood finish. Thanks to Atlanta Cutlery I’m now the proud owner of a working Gurkha war relic, I couldn't be more pleased. buy one before there all gone.
Reviewed by myron  c
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Mine was better than advertised, so consider ACC's description to be a worst case. Ordered Thursday after lunch, gun arrived Monday. I received a complete rifle with rear site detached. Cleaning took about 3 hours. I am very happy with my Francotte Martini. After cleaning metal finish was a mottled silver and black with dark brown walnut stocks. I applied 6 coats of boiled linseed oil. My gun works fine.
Reviewed by Michael  B
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As advertised, can be made to function
Reviewed by Kerwyn  W
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the first one of these i bought was exactly what they say dirty nasty and some rust ,but after a few hours of useing a brass brush and brake fluid the gun cleaned up great,measured the bore 451 and its a shooter. have put 20 or so rounds through it . the second one i recieved was a little rougher took more time to clean and had to do a little stock work but it shoots as well . i don;t recomend that any shoots these guns unless you no what you are doing great guns for the price both are nepal made..
Reviewed by jim  k
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I really did not know what to expect before it arrived, but had followed the advise in another rating and paid for the hand select. Turns out I'm glad I did. When it was dirty and how! The butt plate was off, but everything was all there. I spent about 2 weeks refurbishing & repairing the old girl and it now looks great! Decided to replace a couple of small parts and made them myself in my work shop. Actually, the most frustrating part was not getting the action apart and cleaned up, but putting it back together again with no drawings or instructions. This project was indeed a treasure hunt and sometimes tried my patience, but all in all, it was fun and I definitely got my monies worth. I didn't get screwed at all.
Reviewed by Steven  B
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I received my "rifle" last July, I am just reviewing it 11 months later as I just got over the shame of having it. 40% of the wood around the barrel, forearm, was rotted and crumbling. All steel found under any wood especially the under side of the barrel was badly pitted. They sent the wrong butt plate. over all a rip-off deal. I spent some 18 hours cleaning it so it could be hidden in my closet without dirtying my clothes. This gun is worth maybe $60 as a hysterical artifact. -Todd H.
Reviewed by Todd  H
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Reviewed by Nick  B
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