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  1. #1
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    Default What conditon was your Gahendra in?

    Hi...Im new to the board. Been a longtime gun lover raised by the same. I purchased an IMA Gahendra last week 8/23/11. Im interested in the condition other buyers rifles were recieved. Ill share mine. I dont regret taking the chance. Ive been working up to this for a very long time. Probably to long in retrospect. The rifle I recieved was alot worse than most if not all Ive read about. Honestly I may have faired better to order a "parts" gun to begin with.


    Th rifle was complete minus a sling. I never expected a sling so that didnt matter. The Wood fell apart on touch, barrel was swiss cheese outside horrbile inside, hammer and firing pin were broken, reciever pitted, lever pitted, barrel bands trashed. Thats the bad aspects. The "good"...The block, hammer spring, extractor, and trigger were nice. The sights are nice and I have a cast iron buttplate that is decent ( backside pitted bad) . One funny thing the Cleaning rod looks absolutely brand new. Shiney black finish, not one spot of rust, perfect threads on the end. Its has to be a reproduction. In comparasion to the gun...night and day.

    Im not flaming IMA...I read the description. I took the gamble. I think if I order again it will be a Parts gun. I figure I cant get much worse so why pay double. I would like a good trigger so I can use the action for a project rifle. I removed the Barrel to find nice threads in the reciever. I quickly measure them at first glance I think they are 1" 12 pitch..When the time comes to mount a bull barrel Ill verify the thread. As for now...I sure would like to know if I just got "lucky" with a very bad gun or if the supply is getting low and all the rest are as bad as this one?. It will help determine my choice between a parts gun or another "untouched".

    One last question...is the Parts classified still open for gahendra parts?
    Thank you Steve

  2. #2
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    bull barrel on a gahendra what do you have in mind

  3. #3
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    Sounds like you ordered an untoched and got as an as described gun. Basically its luck of the draw...what is wrong with the bore? I haven't seen a bad bore in these rifle yet?
    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
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  4. #4
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    Default Barrels

    Thanks...Yes I got a described rifle. Like I said Im not flaming IMA. It was just in worse shape then most I have read about. That lead me to think the supply may be coming to an end. Which makes me wonder if a Parts gun wouldnt be a better second order. The bore in my gun was good after about 2 inched past the chamber. From the chamber out a couple inches was heavily pitted almost as bad the the outside of the barrel.

  5. #5
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    Ive just begun to look at replacement barrels. The Green Mountain 25-27" 1.20 O.D blanks in .223 have got my attention. However, Ill look at several before buying. Ill machine a new extractor of course. I may chamber it to .221 fireball. Being one of my favorites. Im also considering .223. I have some nice wood to make a buttstock and wide target style forearm. I know alot of gun lovers may cringe when they see the Gahendra action on a "varmit" style rifle. Im thinking by using "parts" guns and one that is so far away from restoration. Im not Killing the spirit of the rifle. The markings will remain on the reciever. I like to think Im giving the Gahendra a new role in the modern age. The Martini action has always been my favorite lever action. The Gahendra's lever is just fantastic and so unique. It will blend into the semi pistol grip stock like it was born there. Im not sure about pushing the reciever and block into larger calibers then those I mentioned. What do you think?...Is the block able to handle larger calibers in you opinion?.

  6. #6
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    Surprised about the pitting in the bore. Not seen that myself.

    Have you consider going to IMA picking one your self? They in PA and NJ, so if you are in CA it's not the same as driving across town to Wally world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skennard View Post
    Ive just begun to look at replacement barrels. The Green Mountain 25-27" 1.20 O.D blanks in .223 have got my attention. However, Ill look at several before buying. Ill machine a new extractor of course. I may chamber it to .221 fireball. Being one of my favorites. Im also considering .223. I have some nice wood to make a buttstock and wide target style forearm. I know alot of gun lovers may cringe when they see the Gahendra action on a "varmit" style rifle. Im thinking by using "parts" guns and one that is so far away from restoration. Im not Killing the spirit of the rifle. The markings will remain on the reciever. I like to think Im giving the Gahendra a new role in the modern age. The Martini action has always been my favorite lever action. The Gahendra's lever is just fantastic and so unique. It will blend into the semi pistol grip stock like it was born there. Im not sure about pushing the reciever and block into larger calibers then those I mentioned. What do you think?...Is the block able to handle larger calibers in you opinion?.
    You have picked the wrong rifle for a rimless high pressure cartridge. The Gahendra is just not suitable for this conversion...Metallurgy is just not up to it.
    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
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  7. #7
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    I have one that the rifling is almost non-existant and I have considered having it rebarelled and chambered for .44-40. It would require having the extractor redone for the smaller rim, but would make a neat gun once finished, I would probably build a new stock in a sporter design, something with wedges holding the forarm on and a different butt plate. Right now it's all in the dream stage, I still have another one that I need to get put back together, it has a decent bore and the wood is "ok", all solid just well worn in places.

  8. #8
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    I let go of my Gahendra. Once I had it cleaned and ready to test fire, closer inspection revealed small inclusions in not-so-good places. I was made an offer of what I had paid and it has since been retired as a wallhanger. Pays to let the novelty wear off a little before putting a live round in one of these.

    If..and I mean IF the Gahendra was a candidate for another modern cartridge I might have built something of it. Most have not been given a chance to age gracefully. As Douglas said the metallurgy is lacking in quality. These are not prime candidates for a custom build. They are what they are. Third world production without strict tolerances. They're either cleaned up, found safe, and used with tailored loads, or they're condemned to be ornaments.

    If a custom rifle is desired there are enough British and Continental made actions out there which can be converted for the same money.

  9. #9
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    Default I have Gahendra fever...the need to do anything to bring them alive.

    Thanks Double D.

    Ive yet to do any indepth presure comparisons on the 450/577 versus any modern cartiridge. I do agree the Gahendra's manufacturing standards were highly variable and poor by the standards of the day. Do you think the block would be to weak or the reciever itself as well?. Ive considered case hardening the block. Tho I think that may be a deficit and could very much make it brittle prone to crack or break outright.


    I have no problem backing down my plans to a .17 HMR .22 mag or .22 long rifle chamber if the pressures of high pressure calibers is to great. I notice a poster is considering the .44-40 using the Gahendra. Whats your input on "pistol" cartridges as an alternative. I could enjoy a .357 easily. Still Im just dipping my toe in the water so to speak on possible cionversions for the Gahendra. Im of the mind doing anything to breath life into the rifle would be a good thing for any gun lover. As well as bringing the rifles history to generations that otherwise would never know these ever existed.

    Thanks for any input. Im enjoying the forum very much. Ive mentioned my ideas on the Gahendra to some that instantly hammered me into the dirt with insults I wont even mention. Personnaly Id rather have a piece of a historic relic to pass though my family then nothing at all. I get the feeling folks on this forum "get" that as well.

    Ive gained full access to a very well equip machine shop in the last year. After being out of the trade due to an injury for almost 20 years. Im feeling like a kid at disney world. Im wanting to do it all again.. You know its a sickness...one that never heals.

  10. #10
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    Good points Jb White.

    Im thinking Ill keep my sights on .22 cal Long rifle with a possible .17 HMR consideration. I have seen and had rifles blow up two many times to really push my luck past a rimfire cartridge. After reading the opinions here I think anything over a rimfire would be unwise. Modifing the hammer/firing pin and block to use rimfiring rounds wont be a huge task. The extractor will be less work than a centerfire as well. And I may just survive shooting the gun...That would be a plus.


    Thanks.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skennard View Post
    Thanks Double D.

    Ive yet to do any indepth presure comparisons on the 450/577 versus any modern cartiridge. I do agree the Gahendra's manufacturing standards were highly variable and poor by the standards of the day. Do you think the block would be to weak or the reciever itself as well?. Ive considered case hardening the block. Tho I think that may be a deficit and could very much make it brittle prone to crack or break outright.


    I have no problem backing down my plans to a .17 HMR .22 mag or .22 long rifle chamber if the pressures of high pressure calibers is to great. I notice a poster is considering the .44-40 using the Gahendra. Whats your input on "pistol" cartridges as an alternative. I could enjoy a .357 easily. Still Im just dipping my toe in the water so to speak on possible cionversions for the Gahendra. Im of the mind doing anything to breath life into the rifle would be a good thing for any gun lover. As well as bringing the rifles history to generations that otherwise would never know these ever existed.

    Thanks for any input. Im enjoying the forum very much. Ive mentioned my ideas on the Gahendra to some that instantly hammered me into the dirt with insults I wont even mention. Personnaly Id rather have a piece of a historic relic to pass though my family then nothing at all. I get the feeling folks on this forum "get" that as well.

    Ive gained full access to a very well equip machine shop in the last year. After being out of the trade due to an injury for almost 20 years. Im feeling like a kid at disney world. Im wanting to do it all again.. You know its a sickness...one that never heals.
    The gun is unsuitable for conversion to any rim fire. You have to change the impact point position of the hammer nose for rim fire. Hammer type actions are not conducive to such modifications. It would require some reengineering of how the hammer would hit the cartridge rim. If you had the skill it would be an interesting project, at least in .22 LR. It higher pressure 17HMR and .22 Mag , no not in this gun.

    I Don't think the Gahendra is suitable for sporterizing. If you must, then stick with the larger old black powder cartridges. modern high pressure cartridges even pistol cartridges might be a strain to these old guns. Remeber the Nepalese had problems with these guns even with 577/450 cartridge pressures.

    Quite frankly, a Gahendra action is way down the list for making sporters...the issue about metallurgy is of course a concern, but the real problem is the engineering and fitting of parts.

    Case hardening simply makes the surface of the metal part a bit harder. It does not impart hardness to the total part.

    The Gahendra incorrectly has the firing load on the hinge pin instead of in the block knuckle seat. You could ream the breech block hinge hole out to get the knuckle seat. Even then the knuckle in most Gahendra's I have seen does not seat properly. I have made some effort to adjust and seat the knuckle properly but it set everything down stream out of adjustment-headspace for instance. Installing a new barrel would be the time to readjust the knuckle sear. Still you have to deal with issue of the thin knuckle seat wall.

    Then there is the problem of the mainspring. Some have come up with jury rigged fixes but none seem "fix" the problem satisfactorily.

    I am working on a couple of Gahendra actions and I am experienced gunsmith and to make them work satisfactorily is frustrating...

    From what you said so far what you really want is to find a small martini- like a BSA1215 and build on that. The Gahendra is not waht you want.
    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
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    To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com

  12. #12
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    Default pressures

    I looked up some SAAMI and CIP pressures to get an idea of a possible "somewhat" safe conversion if I continue with a Gahendra project. One comment mentioned a possible 30-30. Im very leary with that personnaly. At 42k it seems way out of reach for the project. I did however find a few interesting options. Ill list lowest pressure to highest.

    .45 colt @ 14k
    44 spl @ 16k
    .38 spl @ 17k
    + P @ 19k
    .22 short @ 21k
    .45 acp @ 21k
    .22 long, .22 LR, .22 WMRF @ 24k
    .45-70 @ 28k

    Dont want to ruffle anyone up. But if the 45-70 is a workable conversion why wouldnt any of the lower pressure rounds also be doable? Its seems anything over 28k is getting into dangerous territory Im not going to venture into. I understand the modifacations required to go to a rimfire round. I have the skills and machinery to handle the job. My thought from the beginning was a varmit style rifle in a 22 caliber arena. I do realize the center fire 22 rounds are out of the question. The .22 WMRF does have an appeal. Honestly the .45 acp kinda has my attention as well. Its another "favorite" round. However for varmits any .22 cal RF could be the ticket.

    Maybe a second Gahendra in .45 acp?... I know you guys are rolling over at this. Im just having alittle fun before I croak. And I want to be conservatively safe if I do this conversion. My buddie tells me...At our ages the window for having fun is getting smaller by the day. Im starting to listen to the 30 year old in me alittle more.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skennard View Post
    I looked up some SAAMI and CIP pressures to get an idea of a possible "somewhat" safe conversion if I continue with a Gahendra project. One comment mentioned a possible 30-30. Im very leary with that personnaly. At 42k it seems way out of reach for the project. I did however find a few interesting options. Ill list lowest pressure to highest.

    .45 colt @ 14k
    44 spl @ 16k
    .38 spl @ 17k
    + P @ 19k
    .22 short @ 21k
    .45 acp @ 21k
    .22 long, .22 LR, .22 WMRF @ 24k
    .45-70 @ 28k

    Dont want to ruffle anyone up. But if the 45-70 is a workable conversion why wouldnt any of the lower pressure rounds also be doable? Its seems anything over 28k is getting into dangerous territory Im not going to venture into. I understand the modifacations required to go to a rimfire round. I have the skills and machinery to handle the job. My thought from the beginning was a varmit style rifle in a 22 caliber arena. I do realize the center fire 22 rounds are out of the question. The .22 WMRF does have an appeal. Honestly the .45 acp kinda has my attention as well. Its another "favorite" round. However for varmits any .22 cal RF could be the ticket.

    Maybe a second Gahendra in .45 acp?... I know you guys are rolling over at this. Im just having alittle fun before I croak. And I want to be conservatively safe if I do this conversion. My buddie tells me...At our ages the window for having fun is getting smaller by the day. Im starting to listen to the 30 year old in me alittle more.
    There is a good deal more to it than just the pressure - a smaller cartridge (in terms of case volume, head size - which has a lot to do with bolt thrust - and such) is a better idea. IF I was gonna rework a Gahendra, I would NOT be looking at 45-70. I would give some serious consideration to .45 Colt, .44 Special, .38 Long Colt, maybe .41 Long Colt (slighty problematic for reasons that have little to do with pressures and such), 38-40 or similar - and then load them with BP. Maybe even 38-55 and load (as in the original 38-55 round) with BP. I would not be very comfortable with nitro loads even in the pistol calibers. I would NOT go with a rimfire conversion on a Gahendra.
    Last edited by Clyde; 08-30-2011 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Typo, add content
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  14. #14
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    So tell us what would you do to convert this rifle to rimfire?
    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
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    Default thanks Clyde

    Im agreeing about the 45-70. I also understand the smaller contact point of smaller cartridges adding elevated force on less block face surface area. That would have to be addressed. Ill make one thing clear. At this point this is all just consideration. Im "picking" brains until Im comfortible to go foward or shelve this idea. The only measurement I took has been a caliper across the Barrel threads and counting thread pitch quickly. Im not going to build a pipebomb for the fun of doing so. The calibers mentioned by Clyde make very good sence. The labor intensive conversion to rimfire would add more time then I may want to invest in this project.


    To answer Double D. On the surface. Calculating the arc of the hammer to work in relation with, Fabricating a firing pin striking a location intersecting the rim of the cartridge. This would require in my case making a new trigger assembly as mine is broken. The "head of the trigger" would be completely different to relocate the firing pin. No point in trying to ressurect the dead trigger. The block would need to be modified. I would probably fill in the area behind the original firing pin hole for to increase the strenght of the block face. Of course filling the original pin hole. Relocate a firing pin hole on the block face. Im sure that would be a very time consuming tedious process. Fabricating an extractor using the base design of the original then inletting the barrel to accept it at the proper position after a tenative headspace was established. Fit the parts to operated. Im sure that will not be a quick process either. Im sure I have not thought of every detail in just these few moments. I wont call this project simple. Ive designed fabricated and machined many aerospace and military componets that would simplify this. I dont think this would take the months of work those required. However, it wouldnt be a weekend project either. Like everything scratch built alot of this would have to be backed into with a few swings at the plate. Im sure I would need at least a couple donor actions on hand before diving into this. Still at this point Im undecided, yet to gather enough info to go either way . My shop buddy keeps whispering "gatling gun" in my ear everytime we take his full auto American 180 out. 275 rds in under 15 seconds....WOW. That has a way of changing plans for single shot projects..


    I would urge anyone. If you ever get a chance to fire a American 180 full auto...DO IT. I can die knowing I fired the ultimate .22 rifle...its almost a sin they look like a toy.

  16. #16
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    So get busy and get it done, show us what you can do.
    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

  17. #17
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    Default oh no

    I wont except the "guantlet" quite yet...Alittle more research, barrel supply, choice of centerfire/rimfire, and of course time, cost, not to mention needing to finish a Gem Faceting machine Ive been working on three months...After the Facet Machine my slate is clean...by then Ill either have enough recievers and barrels to do this....OR...Ill be talked into a Gatling gun by my shop partner. Thanks for all the input. If you have any thoughts. Ill gladly listen. Considering the dangerous aspects Ive been made aware of, they will definately be a factor in my final decision on any Gahendra Modifacations. Ill for sure keep listening and posting. I appreciate everyones experiences.

  18. #18
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    As much as I enjoy these types of mind challenging posts, I keep telling myself that this is a Nepal-made weapon. As I was thinking about overcoming some of the obtacles in converting to a 38 special I keep reminding myself we're talking Gahendra.

    A Gahendra carbine in 38 special would be a really fun thing to play with but, I keep telling myself this is a Nepalese Gahendra. There are so many what-ifs and liabilities involved I'm hesitant to offer any thoughts towards any type of conversion. There are simply too few people out there with the actual skills to pull it off safely. If these ideas were put into the open, there would be too many pipe bombs surfacing in the future.
    Have to remember that these boards are read by many many more than actually post. Did I mention that Gahendra thing keeps coming to mind? LOL

    All I can say is a straight walled, lower pressure, center fire pistol cartridge would solve that hammer arc problem much more easily than working up a rimfire.

  19. #19
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    wink2 leaning that way

    Thanks Jb,

    I drawn out many concepts concerning a Rimfire conversion. Of course everything looks great on paper. Then clairity arrives when working the "real" math. A rimfire would be possible. IF the block was redesigned, Trigger, and of course a firing pin mechanisum. I dont think original designed through hole in the block would be a wise choice. Especially in Rimfire. I toyed with the idea of a spring loaded "contained" pin within the block. Using a flat faced hammer striking the Butt end of a plunger type pin. Not alot of room to pull that off.


    Im really leaning toward the 38 special center fire loaded with Bp. After all the input about the Gahendra action I have to agree. Trusting over a hundred year old action built with primative methods and variable materials. Would indeed be a foolish nightmare redesigining something that was nominal by the standards of the day when built. Double D and well...Everyone is correct. Pushing and Gahendra action beyond anything black powder is insane. I have always enjoyed the 38 special cartridge. I agree it would be alot of fun in a Gahendra.

    My intentions from the beginning were to do "something" with a Gahendra. I really needed to bounce every kookie idea I had with fellow gun guys. Im comfortible now with going ahead with this. .38 Special Bp loads are just fine with me. It definately solves the trigger issue. Now I just need to buy a Parts gun or a trigger. Maybe Ill swap some of my good parts for a trigger. Ill post what I have on in the classified.

    Time to shop for a barrel and design an extractor. You made a good point about other readers maybe without machine skills doing this and things going very wrong for them. Thanks.

    Ok...I guess I have a secondary project to start ( parts to buy) while I finish the facet machine.

  20. #20
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    Boring the tube and using a 38 cal. liner might solve the issue of matching up barrel threads. The original extractor could be blanked over and recut for a smaller rim as has been done on some converted British actions.
    Converting it to a 16 to 18 inch carbine is what I would do if I were to make such an attempt. Some longer barrels don't handle the shorter .358 bullets very well.
    Then I would install a slotted front sight base to be able to change front sight heights via a drift pin for sighting in. Only to maintain the nostalgic appearance that most contemporary sights can't offer.

    That's what I would do...if I thought it could be done safely

  21. #21
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    I have no problem with a building a 45/70 on one of these actions...i have a couple three or four hanging around. But why 45/70, every body has one. I think two of these actions belong to RichardWV. Although one of his actions is off to the spring maker for use in building new springs. One I will set up as a .577/450. But I really seriously considering doing in .450 Musket No. 2 on the other.

    I like building guns, just can't do much of it any more because of the arthritis in my hands. I am going to to build a sporter on a commercial Martini for my self and it will be in the Musket chambering.

    Something we haven't touched on in discussion of the chambers is the difference in pressures between black powder and smokeless. The way the pressures develop is much different. The pressure curve accelerates much faster in smokeless powder and is responsible for breaking more than on Trapdoor action.

    If you have the skills to do the work that is one thing, but it sure seems waste to use the Gahendra action.
    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
    *********
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    Default Interesting DD

    Maybe Ive been overthinking this all together. It's fun to let the mind run wild. I could stay traditional and also get the modern look I like by taking the path your walking. I like the idea of the original 577/450 caliber. I also like the .450 #2 musket idea your going with. One big advantage I've discovered by going with a .458 x 1.20 x 27" barrel. My Shop buddy. He's a guy that constantly surprises me. He mentioned he once had a 577/450 Martini. As an avid reloader. He never sells or throws anything away.

    He dug around his massive supply of "gun stuff". Before I knew it there was a bag with a few dozen cartridges and Brass from his old Martini. He also thinks he has forming Dies and alot of 14 ( I think) guage brass to make a few dozen more cases still to be found.

    So...I could go a very easy route and have a combo of old and new. Sure would save a ton of time and probably alot of headache and scrap. Now Im thinking...What was I thinking? I bet he didnt tell me what he had just to see me run mind circles for a week. Just that kinda guy.
    Last edited by Skennard; 09-01-2011 at 08:10 AM. Reason: typo

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skennard View Post
    Maybe Ive been overthinking this all together. It's fun to let the mind run wild. I could stay traditional and also get the modern look I like by taking the path your walking. I like the idea of the original 577/450 caliber. I also like the .450 #2 musket idea your going with. One big advantage I've discovered by going with a .458 x 1.20 x 27" barrel. My Shop buddy. He's a guy that constantly surprises me. He mentioned he once had a 577/450 Martini. As an avid reloader. He never sells or throws anything away.

    He dug around his massive supply of "gun stuff". Before I knew it there was a bag with a few dozen cartridges and Brass from his old Martini. He also thinks he has forming Dies and alot of 14 ( I think) guage brass to make a few dozen more cases still to be found.

    So...I could go a very easy route and have a combo of old and new. Sure would save a ton of time and probably alot of headache and scrap. Now Im thinking...What was I thinking? I bet he didnt tell me what he had just to see me run mind circles for a week. Just that kinda guy.
    577/450 cases can be made from 24-ga brass shells, not 14s.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

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    Default sounds right

    Thanks Clyde.

    I knew there was a 4 in there somewhere....14 popped in my mind. then again I never heard of a 14 guage. it just didnt register at the wee morning hours when I posted. Insommnia...gotta love it.

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