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buckstix
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Loc: Whitetail Country
Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action
      #315421 - 18/04/18 10:03 PM

Rare Unusual Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action by Miller & Val. Greiss

Hello All,

Although posted on another site, this one is so different that I thought to share it here also. I just acquired this Most Unusual Double Rifle at this past weekend's Rock Island Auction. This is absolutely the strangest double in my collection. Its maker is Miller and Val. Greiss, a well known German maker of some very fine and elaborate rifles and shotguns. I had never before seen a Martini style action with this type of external hammer, let-alone in a "double" Martini configuration with "double" external hammers - except, there was a similar rifle by the same maker, with the same provenance, and the same action, that appeared in Rock Island's Dec. 3, 2017 Auction. It sold for considerable more than this one, and I soon dropped out of the bidding. However, we had a blizzard here in the Central States and I think that cut-down on the auction bidders. Lucky for me because this time I was successful at about "half" the price of the one that sold last December.

Rifle's weight is 8-1/4 pounds with a LOP of 13-5/8". I'm guessing the short raised dovetail platform was for some type of early scope mounting. I'll be looking for one of those.

There are no markings on the rifle except as described in the Auction listing. I've shown them below.

Although the auction listed the caliber as 450 Short BPE, I could not find a cartridge with this name. However, a chamber cast matches "exactly" a cartridge that is called the "45 New South Wales." (dies from C-4 are already on the way) The chamber cast also showed 4-groove Henry Henry Rifling. In addition, the bores are absolutely MINT and Mirror bright. Cases for the 450 Short BPE are easily formed from 450-400 brass, shortened to 2.5" and opened-up to 45 caliber. The last picture shows the 450 Short BPE cartridge along-side a 45/70 cartridge for comparison. The 450 Short BPE case is actually much larger in diameter, and its longer. Its capacity is actually closer to that of a 45/120.

Note the tiny screw tucked under the cheek-piece. (see picture 9) I removed it, and found it did nothing. It simply pluged-into a neatly drilled hole. Could this be some kind of game counter?

The only markings: on the bottom of the right barrel are the last 4 digits of the serial number - and a number 7 on the bottom barrel rib. A "Crown V" appears on both barrels. The only place the full serial number appears is on the butt=plate.


























--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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Huvius
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Reged: 04/11/07
Posts: 2810
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: buckstix]
      #315422 - 18/04/18 11:28 PM

Very interesting rifle there Buck!
Double set triggers too.

--------------------
He who lives in the past is doomed to enjoy it.


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casper50
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Reged: 18/10/07
Posts: 794
Loc: Alaska
Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: Huvius]
      #315423 - 18/04/18 11:48 PM

Nice one. Mick Shepard has a double rifle drop action on his site. It isn't a martini based action but still interesting. It's been there a very long time.


https://imgur.com/a/kUHwl


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Daryl_S
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: casper50]
      #315424 - 19/04/18 01:18 AM

That is interesting, and certainly different.

The ctg. - very heavy, thick brass it appears, compared to the .45/70. This one might be easily turned due to it's thickness?

How long is the case and do you have any ballistics? The single sight blade, seems to indicate a light weight bullet and short range. Not sure about the non-adjustable tang mounted peep sight.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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93x64mm
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: Daryl_S]
      #315434 - 19/04/18 07:42 AM

Certainly a rare bird Buckstix!
Also the cartridge too, never heard of a .45NSW?


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buckstix
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Tip-Block Action [Re: 93x64mm]
      #315436 - 19/04/18 08:04 AM

Quote:

Very interesting rifle there Buck!
Double set triggers too.



Hello Huvius,

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, each trigger has a "set" feature. I discovered long ago, you don't set "both" triggers at once.
.

Quote:

Nice one. Mick Shepard has a double rifle drop action on his site. It isn't a martini based action but still interesting. It's been there a very long time.



Hello casper50,

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, a very nice rifle.
.

Quote:

That is interesting, and certainly different.

The ctg. - very heavy, thick brass it appears, compared to the .45/70. This one might be easily turned due to it's thickness?

How long is the case and do you have any ballistics? The single sight blade, seems to indicate a light weight bullet and short range. Not sure about the non-adjustable tang mounted peep sight.



Hello Daryl_S,

Thanks for the reply.

The brass case has the same thickness as the 45/70. Photo-Shop makes it look thicker. The case is 2-1/2" long. I've been able to find ballistic info from a Historian in Germany - 1450fps - 1700fps with a 385g bullet. The final load will depend on how the rifle regulates. This is NOT a short range rifle. The Rib mounted site is an alternative to the tang peep sight. The rib mounted site is to be used in low light conditions. The tang peep site is fully adjustable for both windage and elevation.


Quote:

Certainly a rare bird Buckstix!
Also the cartridge too, never heard of a .45NSW?



Hello 93x64mm,

Thanks for the reply.

Apparently the German designation for the cartridge is 11.6x65R. Its a brass case version of the original foil-wound 45 New South Wales cartridge that was used in a Martini-Henry rifle.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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3DogMike
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Reged: 29/01/15
Posts: 203
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: 93x64mm]
      #315437 - 19/04/18 08:07 AM

The Hoyem book “The History and Development of Small Arms Ammunition”, Volume 3, British Sporting Rifle Cartridges mentions this cartridge on page 77.

He shows 3 examples of the cartridge, with express paper patch bullet as well as a longer NSW type lead bullet.

The edited Hoyem quote follows:
“These early cartridges have the .626” rim, .....(describes rolled brass case)......etc.
Bullet is probably the 270-grain express, charge unknown but likely 70 to 75 grains.
A military version with 480-grain bullet was loaded for the Alexander Henry falling-block single shot police carbine used in New South Wales, Australia during the 1870-1880 period. A .450-2 1/2” Boxer cartridge was used in one of the Westley Richards arms submitted for the 1866-1869 Breech Loading Rifle Trials.

Rare & Interesting for sure,
Mike

--------------------
“On the Western Slope of Colorado, USA"
&
"Will Rogers never met a fighter pilot"
- Anon


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DoubleD
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Reged: 23/11/03
Posts: 1981
Loc: Retired in Montana
Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: 3DogMike]
      #315441 - 19/04/18 09:29 AM

I don't think I would call that A Martini action.

I would be more inclined because of the hammer striker set-up to call it Peabody derivation.

Martini's system has to do with the cocking action and how the lever functions the action.

I would like to see the insides and how that lever operates the action.

--------------------
DD, Ret.


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buckstix
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Reged: 07/11/12
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Tip-Block Action [Re: DoubleD]
      #315444 - 19/04/18 12:10 PM

Hello 3DogMike,

Thanks for the reply.

I appreciate the detailed info about the cartridge. I wish I could find my books so I can see the pictures. I haven't seen my books in years. BTW, I sent you a PM.


Hello DoubleD,

Thanks for the reply.

I'll stick with the description "Exposed Hammer Martini" as referenced by one of the German Gun Collector Forum members. Francotte also made a Martini Sporting Rook rifle with an external exposed "in-line" hammer, as opposed to the side-strike hammer system of the Peabody. It really makes little difference what its called, Besides, this one's side profile "looks" more like a Martini than a Peobody.

The under lever extensions engage the breech blocks similar to the Martini action, and the extractor function is also the same.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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DoubleD
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Reged: 23/11/03
Posts: 1981
Loc: Retired in Montana
Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: buckstix]
      #315450 - 19/04/18 09:07 PM

It has become traditional to refer to rear hinged rotating block guns as Martini’s. While that is a testament to Martini’s work, it is also a misnomer.

Those of us who study action type and the various ways different models operate know that a number of different people had their hands inside. It is well known that the hinge block far precedes both Peabody and Martini.

Martini’s Patent had to do with how the lever functioned the action. That is why I said I would like to see inside. How does the lever connect to the block and function.

--------------------
DD, Ret.


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buckstix
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Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 652
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Tip-Block Action [Re: DoubleD]
      #315456 - 19/04/18 11:04 PM

Hello DoubleD

Thanks for the reply.

I really don't care to get too deep into the technical aspects of the Martini Action Patent in my post. I'm just announcing the joy of my new rare acquisition. Besides, most gun people accept, and can understand the meaning (correct or not) of the description "Exposed Hammer Martini Action".

As you requested, I have shown inside the action with the right block removed. You can see the lever ear(s) that engage the breech block, and the extractor(s) pivoting at the chamber(s) and you can see the milled area of the block where the lever engages and pivots the block(s) open and closed.

As you can see, I use lots on grease on my Martini actions.

pictures below show:

1. lever down, action open
2. right block removed, lever up, action closed
3. right block removed, lever down, action open
4. right block removed






--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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lancaster
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Reged: 06/05/08
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: buckstix]
      #315462 - 20/04/18 01:23 AM

if its a german made gun and the cartridge is a 450 BPE base you have a double rifle in 11,6x60R 450
https://naboje.org/node/4233

or 11,6x65R 450, similar but 5 mm longer case



notice the german version of the british BPE cases is not conical but cylindrical and then conical over the rim









and yes, basic case is the 450 express

--------------------
Norwegian hunter misses moose, shoots man on toilet
.
bringing civilisation to the barbarians

Edited by lancaster (20/04/18 01:34 AM)


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lancaster
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: lancaster]
      #315464 - 20/04/18 01:25 AM

btw, congratulations to a nice and rare double rifle

--------------------
Norwegian hunter misses moose, shoots man on toilet
.
bringing civilisation to the barbarians


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buckstix
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Reged: 07/11/12
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Tip-Block Action [Re: lancaster]
      #315467 - 20/04/18 05:58 AM

Hello Lanchaster,

Thanks for the reply.

And thank you for all the information. I've determined that this rifle is chambered for the 11.6x65R cartridge.

It took a little effort to re-work some 450-400 cases, but I'm now ready to go to the range for a test run. That is if enough snow melts to get down range.

My starting load is 30.0g AR5744 with a 350g Speer Flat Point - expected velocity is 1400 fps. This is basically a "low pressure" duplicate of the 45-70 Trapdoor Springfield load. It should be a good starting point to fire-form cases and check velocity.



--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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DoubleD
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Reged: 23/11/03
Posts: 1981
Loc: Retired in Montana
Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: buckstix]
      #315470 - 20/04/18 07:11 AM

Thanks buckstix. That is neither Peabody nor Martini.

That is a clear example of others working with hinge block action. German and Swiss gunmakers did a lot work with this style. There are lot variations.

Absolutely beautiful.

Here is what Martini's patent looks like. The patent only applies to the method of connecting the lever to block to cycle the block and cock the mechanism.



--------------------
DD, Ret.


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Daryl_S
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: DoubleD]
      #315476 - 20/04/18 09:25 AM

Fun gun, for sure. What a cool hunting rifle!
A rifle that will make you feel good about carrying it, while out walking through the bush.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Sarg
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: Daryl_S]
      #315485 - 20/04/18 11:33 AM

That thing is so cool, I love it !

So easily it could have been made with out hammers & used strikers like a normal Martini type ?

--------------------
No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making other bastards die for their country.

- General George S. Patton


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buckstix
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Tip-Block Action [Re: Daryl_S]
      #315486 - 20/04/18 12:13 PM

Hello Daryl_S

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, and now that I've made ammo for it, I'm ready to have fun.

.
.


Hello Sarg

Thanks for the reply

Not sure why it was made with hammers. I suspect less complicated, or they used the state-of-the-art technology of the time. That being the late 1880's.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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Huvius
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: buckstix]
      #315487 - 20/04/18 01:23 PM

It is an interesting study in how to combine a movable breechblock design with a traditional hammer back action lock.
It reminds me of the very early Alexander Henry falling block rifles which literally had a bar action lock let into the side of the modern (in the day) falling block action.
Taken individually, each mechanism is quite simple.
The lever and tilting or falling block operates just the block and the extractor and houses the firing pin.
The lock/trigger arrangement performs the duty of striking the hammer upon the firing pin and can incorporate a set trigger as in this gun.
Very cool for sure.

--------------------
He who lives in the past is doomed to enjoy it.


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lancaster
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: Huvius]
      #315488 - 20/04/18 02:17 PM

most hunters than prefer hammer guns then for safety reason because you see with on view if the gun is cocked or not

--------------------
Norwegian hunter misses moose, shoots man on toilet
.
bringing civilisation to the barbarians


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Sarg
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: lancaster]
      #315489 - 20/04/18 02:59 PM

Quote:

most hunters than prefer hammer guns then for safety reason because you see with on view if the gun is cocked or not




Good point, bet that is true to !

--------------------
No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making other bastards die for their country.

- General George S. Patton


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DoubleD
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Martini Action [Re: Sarg]
      #315493 - 20/04/18 10:27 PM

Absolute simplicity of function of a strong action, executed in beautiful fashion. Should be extremely reliable.

A wonderful gun to have in your collection, nice find. I can see why it appealed to you, it certainly does me.

Let us know how it shoots.

--------------------
DD, Ret.


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buckstix
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Tip-Block Action [Re: DoubleD]
      #315497 - 20/04/18 11:20 PM

Hello Huvius.

Thanks for the reply.

The combined Tipping breech-block design with a hammer at the back of the action is what Savage did with their Lever Action 22 rifle. The one that looks like a Winchester 94.

Yes, this reminds me also, and is similar to my Alex Henry 450 BPE.
http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=308533&an=0&page=0#Post308533

The set-triggers are nice - but I've learned you DON"T set both triggers at once.

.
.

Hello lanchaster,

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I like hammer guns because as you state, its easy to see if they are on safety.

.
.

Hello sarg,

Thanks for the reply.

I see that you agree.

.
.

Hello DoubleD

Thanks for the reply,

I'm hoping to get out shooting with it this weekend. That's if the snow melts from that Blizzard we had last Sunday.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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TH44
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Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Tip-Block Action [Re: buckstix]
      #315507 - 21/04/18 07:55 AM

Late to the comments section but must agree that it is a major addition to any DR collection

I have not followed Continental DRs except for Lancaster's excellent posts but see there is another world out there

Seriously good, I look forward with the others anticipation of the range reports

Well done

TH


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buckstix
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Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 652
Loc: Whitetail Country
Re: Rare Hammer Double Rifle w/ a "Double" Tip-Block Action [Re: TH44]
      #315524 - 22/04/18 12:19 AM

Hello TH44,

Thanks for the reply.

I think some of the most interesting doubles come from Germany; like this 8x57mm. I posted this about 5 years ago.

http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat....true#Post233400

I should be shooting the Miller & Val. Greiss in about an hour. Hopefully I'll be posting favorable results later today.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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