Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

The Martini Henry Lever Gun

The historical pattern in firearms development was that the muzzleloaders came first, to be replaced by single shot cartridge guns. The new cartridge guns were game changers on the battlefield because they allowed the shooter to load and fire much faster.

The most interesting guns (to my mind) were those that started out as muzzleloaders, but got converted to cartridge guns later. Examples of that would be the Yank 'trapdoor Springfield'. Up here in Canukistan we have the wonderful Snider rifle.

For the life of me I can't think of a rifle that was designed as a single shot, and then modified to become a repeater. That's why I did a double take when I saw this Martini-Henry conversion. From what I read, it was unreliable and untrustworthy so it never went into actual production. Just looking at it, I wonder how you'd put sights on it to aim it...?

Looks like the Martini-Henry repeater will forever be a rifle only for the "steam punks", or eccentric fithie crufflers - like yours truly.


  1. Would love to know how this thing works. Ian at Forgotten Weapons has yet to review it.


  3. What about the missed opportunity for the belt fed semi or full auto Martini Henry?
    That path could fork into either the short recoil road, or the gas operated road.
    And maybe the Trapdoor Springfield could get a conversion involving a toggle like the Luger?
    I'm not yet sure how how to convert the Snider to semi automatic.

    The mind boggles, and thank you to M. Silvius for the link.

  4. I can see this being one of those Bad Ideas that waste everyone's time trying to make it work. M and Phil over at Busted Knuckles are my favourite mechanical curmudgeons and I could see both of them ripping their hair out by the roots trying to make it work... until the guys at Winchester Repeating Arms save the day for everyone, HAR HAR HAR!!

    I personally get messed right up with the springs and levers of guns... I understand them once somebody shows me or I see them work, but to design a system with them? Gah!