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Thread: Muscat Martini

  1. #1
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    Default Muscat Martini

    Rose
    Starting Member


    1 Posts
    Posted - 10/07/2006 : 06:05:04 AM Please can anyone help - a friend of mine has recently bought a Martini Muscat. On the side there is an engraving of a bee and the letters CL or TL. Does nayone know what the significance of any of these engravings are?DoubleD
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    South Africa
    1829 Posts
    Posted - 10/07/2006 : 3:05:59 PM Rose,

    Can you post picutures.

    The Muscat Martini are very interesting and there isn't much written about them. Most seen are pretty rough, but every once in a while a gem shows up.

    We had one show up at the WV Playday last year. Dan let me shoot it but wouldn't sell it to me.DD

    That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it an pass it on with pride. It deserves it....Malcolm Cobb The Martini-Henry Note-Book.
    duffy1
    Starting Member


    Oman
    6 Posts
    Posted - 10/09/2006 : 06:38:58 AM Hi,
    Rose asked about the Martini Muscat I have, here are some images of the marks, ideas anyone??

    Duffy1



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    21.48 KB"A thousand pictures can be drawn from one word. Only who is the artist? We have got to agree"gert10
    Gunboards Super Premium Member


    456 Posts
    Posted - 10/09/2006 : 07:55:51 AM WEll, that already explains a lot - the original rifle was Belgian-made and proofed, probably directly for export to the middle east. So it is a commerical model made in Belgium, not english-made.duffy1
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    Oman
    6 Posts
    Posted - 10/09/2006 : 12:13:43 PM WELL, that was a lot of use - I knew it was Belgian from the cypher below the stock. Anyone else care to comment on the rest of the markings??"A thousand pictures can be drawn from one word. Only who is the artist? We have got to agree"DoubleD
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    South Africa
    1829 Posts

    Posted - 10/09/2006 : 12:55:31 PM
    quote: Originally posted by duffy1



    WELL, that was a lot of use - I knew it was Belgian from the cypher below the stock. Anyone else care to comment on the rest of the markings??


    Your response comes across as a bit abrupt, I'm sure you didn't mean it that way.

    I would haveput my money on Gert having the best possibility of coming up with answer for you. Now I would say your only hope is John Wallace might have some insight, he is in the same part of the world and might know something...all yours John.
    DD

    That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it an pass it on with pride. It deserves it....Malcolm Cobb The Martini-Henry Note-Book.
    gert10
    Gunboards Super Premium Member


    456 Posts
    Posted - 10/09/2006 : 1:19:20 PM Duffy,

    If you knew that one, you should be able to guess the rest - which is easy. It has a name "DESSART", which obviously is the maker, and his logo which has his initials D and L - obviously Dessart - Liege. Not much more to tell, I'm afraid... For the rest - caliber marks, ispection marks, proof marks, etc - nothing special.duffy1
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    Oman
    6 Posts
    Posted - 10/10/2006 : 12:56:51 AM Thanks Gert, sorry about the last post I made, looking at it again it did seem a bit abrupt, wasn't meant to be.

    The info re the logo was illuminating, I didn't think about connecting the D L as you did , should have been obvious. About the smaller marks, any idea what they are for, in fact any ideas about the maker Dessart?

    Duffy1 "A thousand pictures can be drawn from one word. Only who is the artist? We have got to agree"John Wallace
    Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member


    3488 Posts
    Posted - 10/10/2006 : 10:35:28 AM The crowned ELG proofmark means that it was proved after 1893, which is late for other Martini-Henrys, but quite normal for the Third World trade. The starred A is the inspector's mark, but the crowned R is a smokeless proofmark. Not that that means very much, for any Martini of reasonable quality can be used with some sort of smokeless load, but it all depends on how Liège thought the user would go about it, which isn't altogether related to power. This has been posted on quite a bit. The intertwined script EL is a provisional proofmark, standing for "épreuvé à Liège". This often isn't found, and argues that it was made or finished by someone who was investing quite a bit of work. The little candlestick thing is the perron, a monument in Liège, and tells us almost nothing, since it has been used since approximately forever.

    The mark I find most interesting is the "11.3". The ordinary Martini-Henry round was sometimes called 11,43mm. on the continent, and the smaller dimension would be .445in. If that really is a land diameter, rather than just a number picked out of the air, you might have one of the minority of Martini-Henrys with bore diameters small enough to shoot well with standard modern .45 rifle bullets.

    I can't make out the name Dessart. But if it could be Dessard, there is a family on the following website, better known for revolvers at an earlier period. I've given the link to the French version, because the translations on that website are often abominably bad. But if you need one, you just have to cut back the URL to www.littlegun.be , then choose Belgium, English and known manufacturers.

    http://www.littlegun.be/arme%20belge/artisans%20identifies%20d/a%20dessart%20fr.htm

    Martinis built or engraved for the Muscat market are always Belgian so far as I know, although surplus British Martinis were imported as well, and they are usually well-made. In fact Martinis seem to be one of the firearms which fared quite well in the Belgian trade - as compared with such firearms as their notorious "Belgian bridge" Navy Colt copies, or copies of the break-open .44 Smith and Wessons, which depended on more delicate parts than the European military revolvers. "Mascate", sometimes used, is just the French form of "Muscat". They were made in similar numbers for countries such as Persia too, and seem too numerous to have all emanated from a firm as little known as Dessart/Dessard.

    The wiggly lines to break up barrel reflection is a common factor on most of these guns, which are mostly carbine length. A small minority have a hexagonal barrel, and the ladder rear sight is often removed and replaced with a little brass fixed peepsight, soldered to the barrel immediately in front of the action. When the forend was long, the wood was often slimmed down, and the bands replaced with lighter embossed brass or silver. Watch out for mismatched major parts, since they aren't necessarily interchangeable. I've seen a fired case with the head so badly skewed that the firer must have been lucky to get away with it.

    These are from the Alfa catalogue of Adolf Frank of Hamburg. The top one has an Arabic religious inscription, mash'allah I believe, which I have seen on Muscat ones. The two with lions bearing swords in their hands are Persian, and the one with a plain tiger I don't know about.

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    They were probably about as good for mounted action as single-shot firearms get, but that, since the introduction of firearms, had been far from the pinnacle of Omani military technology. This picture was taken during a visit to friends there in February.
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    'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

    John ReedEdited by - John Wallace on 10/12/2006 03:47:21 AMduffy1
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    Oman
    6 Posts
    Posted - 10/10/2006 : 2:18:25 PM John,

    Thank you, what a veritable mine of information you are, not forgetting, of course Gert's contribution, especially about the logo .

    I was going to attempt a restoration myself, but as there is a competent (sic) tradesperson in Salalah where I am based, I will let him do it.

    As a matter of interest John, I have now visited the actual "Mirbat Castle" mentioned in Rafe Feinnes "The Feather Men", did you know that one of the pictures actually shows the Wali's Fort and not the one at which the battle took place?

    It was quite a sobering moment to look down at the remains of the 25Pdr gun emplacemnt and think about what went on there and other places around that area.

    Like a lot of Omani establishments, such as the one you portrayed, not a lot of the recent (post '70's) history remains. It would seem that in an effort to wipe out the pre SQB reign, nothing of of importance, unless for the "history trails" that bring in foreign currency, are considered relevant.

    Whinge over, Are you in in country John?

    Duffy1 "A thousand pictures can be drawn from one word. Only who is the artist? We have got to agree"John Wallace
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    3488 Posts
    Posted - 10/12/2006 : 05:19:06 AM Thank you for those kind words. I am in NE Saudi Arabia. Actually I get the impression that the Omanis have quite a bit of concern for preserving the past.

    There is a very good small museum in Muscat, where I saw just as many Omanis as anyone else, and plenty of the exhibits mention the anti-modernisation attitude of Sultan Qaboos's father. They tend to gloss over the facts that Qaboos deposed him, and that Muscat was Arabia's main slaving port. But they're only human, and there are people closer to home who will do the like.

    In fact peninsular Arabs in general are getting a lot more nostalgic about the past, but they have mostly gone through a period of modernisation while Oman didn't, in which a lot was destroyed. I know Dr. Roads of the Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association, spend quite a bit of time there, by invitation, restoring old guns.'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

    John Reedduffy1
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    Oman
    6 Posts
    Posted - 11/09/2006 : 1:57:58 PM Hi Folks,

    Well, the old timer has been refurbed, check attached pix.

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    Trubble is, when I queried about the gap between the breech etc. I was told "No Problem - we have fired this gun and there is nothing wrong with it!

    Advice please, It is such a nice looking weapon"!

    ["A thousand pictures can be drawn from one word. Only who is the artist? We have got to agree"DoubleD
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    South Africa
    1829 Posts
    Posted - 11/09/2006 : 10:32:22 PM I wouldn't worry about the gap, When ever you buy a gun through the "mail" you should always agree to a examination and return period.DD

    That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it an pass it on with pride. It deserves it....Malcolm Cobb The Martini-Henry Note-Book.
    Edited by - DoubleD on 11/10/2006 02:22:34 AMduffy1
    Starting Member


    Oman
    6 Posts
    Posted - 11/10/2006 : 01:30:34 AM Hi DoubleD,

    I am in Oman and bought the gun direct from an Omani (he's going bring "long gun with silver pieces" next week, I think he means a musket, should be interesting.

    Anyway the local workshop that restored the gun did say the gap was normal, I have ammunition but do not want to try and fire the thing until I am absolutely sure that it is safe!!

    Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.

    This is of-topic I know, but a month ago I bought a Mk4 Lee-Enfield in superb condition, only it has stamped on the breech, "US Property" have you any ideas how it might have arrived here, and - do you think that the US want it back?? :-))


    Duffy1 "A thousand pictures can be drawn from one word. Only who is the artist? We have got to agree"KevinP In UK
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    United Kingdom
    191 Posts
    Posted - 12/07/2006 : 3:49:42 PM Ahhh Gentlemen,

    I present to you another Martini Muscat for your perusal . Comments and any information welcome :-
















    All the parts have these chisel strikes to identify them, the sear is a Omani replacement I would think.













    The only thing I have done to this is clean the wood and clean out the chequering then apply some BLO to the wood. The chambers neck is a little strange and the bore appears to have rachet style rifling being deeper on side of the land than the other. As you can see from the photos it's a .303 bore. Oh bore is tight and with normal MkV11 and reloands copper fouling is severe so I have switched to cast lead Gas Checked at 205 grn (Custom Bullets) and a light load for play time with it even shooting indoors on the local 25 Yard range .

    Oh and the parts are metric British parts will not fit. I tried just out of interest Come visit me at British Rifles..http://p223.ezboard.com/fcurioandrelicfirearmsforumfrm4adrian
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    Australia
    25 Posts
    Posted - 12/14/2006 : 03:33:27 AM "In fact peninsular Arabs in general are getting a lot more nostalgic about the past, but they have mostly gone through a period of modernisation while Oman didn't, in which a lot was destroyed. I know Dr. Roads of the Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association, spend quite a bit of time there, by invitation, restoring old guns."

    Dr. Roads is actually still in Oman - his workshops have restored about 800 small arms, mainly "Sommas" - Martinis. He is now nearly 12 months into fitting out an absolutely amazing new small arms museum in the fort at Birkat Al Mauz and has also constructed about 40 carriages for a wide variety of original cannon barrels, mostly for a new SB ML artillery museum planned for the castle at Al Hazm. There are also quite a few other similar but smaller projects that he is involved with here at the same time, so the Omani's are, happily, putting a quite an effort into their heritage & see it as a boon for tourism. A. Roads.A. RoadsEdited by - adrian on 12/14/2006 03:36:08 AMDoubleD
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    South Africa
    1829 Posts
    Posted - 12/14/2006 : 1:04:40 PM Did the Good Dr. Roads collect enough information on the Muscat Martini's to write a book or article, or at least a good long post here on Gunboards about them and their history.DD

    That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it an pass it on with pride. It deserves it....Malcolm Cobb The Martini-Henry Note-Book.
    Edited by - DoubleD on 12/14/2006 1:06:13 PMJohn Wallace
    Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member


    3488 Posts
    Posted - 12/15/2006 : 04:28:13 AM It is good to know that Dr. Roads's work is bearing fruit, in a way which is very much what I would expect of the Omanis. I'm sure he already knows his work is appreciated outside Oman too.

    Kevin's looks like a particularly choice specimen. The wood is better than most, a pale yellowish walnut being more common, the rear sight hasn't been removed, and it doesn't appear to suffer from splitting away of the wood behind the top of the action, as so many Martinis do. If I ever restock another Martini, that is a place I will impregnate with superglue - and assemble after it dries, of course.

    It would be worth trying whether reloading with .308 bullets cures the metallic fouling problem. Molycoating the bullets, though probably inadmissable for classic arms competition in the UK, might also help.'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

    John Reedadrian
    Gunboards Member


    Australia
    25 Posts
    Posted - 12/15/2006 : 05:03:38 AM "Did the Good Dr. Roads collect enough information on the Muscat Martini's to write a book or article, or at least a good long post here on Gunboards about them and their history."

    He stripped all the restored guns & fully documented all the markings & features etc. This info is all currently being imputed into a data base, a job that has been going on daily for some months with a part time employee. The data base will then direct research which will be fully written up, most probably in book form. It all obviously takes some time though. A. RoadsA. RoadsDoubleD
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    South Africa
    1829 Posts
    Posted - 12/15/2006 : 1:01:09 PM Sso thenthe "Good Dr.Roads" will send me as free Autographed #1 numbered leather bound gold gilt volume that says thanks for the inspiration???

    When restocking a Martini to stop the chipping out simply glass bede in place steel buttstock tube for the stock bolt to seat on. Then over the years the stock bolt won't compress the wood end fibers of the and the stock won't move and chip.

    DD

    That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it an pass it on with pride. It deserves it....Malcolm Cobb The Martini-Henry Note-Book.
    John Sukey
    Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member


    USA
    9613 Posts
    Posted - 12/16/2006 : 02:34:52 AM U.S. Property No4 Mk1. No we don't want it back, since they were all made for the British! We never used them. U.S. Property mark just a convient political fiction.KevinP In UK
    Gunboards Premium Member


    United Kingdom
    191 Posts
    Posted - 12/18/2006 : 07:25:33 AM Hi All,

    quote: Originally posted by John Wallace



    It is good to know that Dr. Roads's work is bearing fruit, in a way which is very much what I would expect of the Omanis. I'm sure he already knows his work is appreciated outside Oman too.


    Kevin's looks like a particularly choice specimen. The wood is better than most, a pale yellowish walnut being more common, the rear sight hasn't been removed, and it doesn't appear to suffer from splitting away of the wood behind the top of the action, as so many Martinis do. If I ever restock another Martini, that is a place I will impregnate with superglue - and assemble after it dries, of course.


    It would be worth trying whether reloading with .308 bullets cures the metallic fouling problem. Molycoating the bullets, though probably inadmissable for classic arms competition in the UK, might also help.


    Why thankyou John I was rather pleased with the Muscat especially after a little cleaning. Had thought about .308 Bullets but not gotten any further with it after playing with the Gas Checked lead. This is the only one of these I have seen and I found it on Norman Clarks stall at one of the Bisley shows. However I nearly missed it as when I went back another dealer had taken it. Fortuneatly it was a dealer I had brought from before so a deal was struck over the phone as he had left and it was shipped to a friends RFD.

    Last year I had considered selling it to help replace the car after the accident in March but I managed to sell the two Boer DWM M93's by DWM for a fair price so managed to keep this Muscat. It hurt enough selling the Boers one OVS marked rifle and a carbine all matching I might add including rods as it was . Of course I retained the Plezier .
    Come visit me at British Rifles..http://p223.ezboard.com/fcurioandrelicfirearmsforumfrm4John Wallace
    Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member


    3488 Posts
    Posted - 12/18/2006 : 07:43:55 AM The only thing about loading a .303 case with .308 bullets, is that you might have some trouble getting the case neck to grip them. I think most .303 dies will reduce the neck enough, but you might have to buy a .308 expander button. It is easy to order things like that from Huntingtons in the US. Or you could spin the existing expander button in a lathe or electric drill, and reduce it with successive grades of abrasive paper.'I know what war means. I have been with the armies of all the belligerents except one, and I have seen men die, and go mad, and lie in hospitals suffering hell; but there is a worse thing than that. War means an ugly mob madness, crucifying the truth tellers, choking the artists, sidetracking reforms, revolutions and the working of social forces'.

    John ReedKevinP In UK
    Gunboards Premium Member


    United Kingdom
    191 Posts
    Posted - 12/21/2006 : 5:13:48 PM Hi John,

    Ahhh that's not a problem I simply utilise a 7.62x54R die to size the neck enough to hold the bullet . Hmm well I ave done it beofre ad I think that's what I used anyhow one of my dies sets can be used. Now I will ahve toget them out over Christmas and see just how I did it last time, which was quite a few years ago now.Come visit me at British Rifles..http://p223.ezboard.com/fcurioandrelicfirearmsforumfrm4oldmill
    Starting Member


    1 Posts
    Posted - 06/28/2007 : 08:07:04 AM Hi,
    I also have a Martini Muscat which I have been trying to find out about for years.Thanks to John Wallace,DoubleD,Gert10 and KevinP I now know a lot more than I did.
    I have identified the following marks.Liege provisional proofmark,Inspectors marks,Smokeless proofmark,Liege post 1893 proofmak,lots of perrons and Bore 11.4 but can anyone help with the following.
    On top of the knoxform just behind the stamping Martini Muscat;a crown within a diamand which is surrounded by letters,see pics 5 and 6 of Kevin's post,except that where Kevin's has the number 1411 within the diamond mine has the crown.The letters clockwise from top left are M,what looks like a lower case h,M,C.As these are the only stampings visible when the weapon is fully assembled they must have had some importance.
    On the front of the frame where the fore stock attaches the letters LB and the number 525,obviously the serial no, the letters LB also appear on the barrel and the number 525 is repeated on the top side of the metal tang that holds the forestock to the frame where it can't normally be seen.
    On the bottom left of the knoxform the letters TT&C within a rectangle,only lightly struck in to the metal.
    I have tried looking at the Liege website but can't come up with an LBs or TT&Cs that fit.Cany anyone throw any light?
    Finally on top of the barrrel just in front of the rear sight is engraved."Specially manufactured by finest cast steel.Warranted best workmanship"Has any one seen this before?
    The whole weapon is very well finishd and every part except springs and locking screws is chisel marked with a Roman VII.
    Sorry no pics as I have not yet got a digital camera and no scanner.
    NH
    Douglas

    "And don't forget. That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it." Malcolm Cobb, The Martini Henry Note-book
    *********
    To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com

  2. #2

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    Let's start this again, I just bought the one pictured here (I think???) or one just like it. What can you tell me about the 303 tight bores? and where can I obtain a striker and striker spring for one of these? Any help would be greatly appreciated. cordell

  3. #3
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    IMA has the spring. You need to know if the striker hole is for a large diameter striker nose or small. Or you can buy a large striker and turn it down to fit. Again IMA.

    Or you can take your chance with SARCO or Gunparts company for cheaper. You might get a MH part or you mighte get a Greener part.

    That thread came from the old board just before we changed soft ware.
    Douglas

    "And don't forget. That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it." Malcolm Cobb, The Martini Henry Note-book
    *********
    To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com

  4. #4

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    Douglas,
    Again thank you for the help, IMA has both strikers and the spring so I am ready to go. The rifle arrives Monday and I will take a peek at the diameter and go from there. Is there any way to date the Muscat Martini, and have you had trouble with standard .303 (311) dia bullets causing excessive copper build up on the one you have?? Take care, thanks again, and Happy New Year!!! cordell

  5. #5
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    The pictured Muscat rifle belongs to KevinP. The only .303 ME I had shot just fine and I had no probloems with fouling. Traded the gun for MLE.

    You have to read the that old post very carefully to see who talking about what.

    The Muscat guns were probably made some where between 1900-1930's.
    Douglas

    "And don't forget. That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it." Malcolm Cobb, The Martini Henry Note-book
    *********
    To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com

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