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Hi first post in this sub forum.

I am slowly looking to collect representative examples of british main battle rifles through the ages, starting at the Brown Bess to the No 4.

I am a shooter collector so i want something that can be fired so refinished is not a deal breaker and probably prefered to keep prices lower.

I dont currently plan to get one of every variation or manufacturer.

So far I have a Pedersoli Brown Bess, IMA P1853 (on the way), 1918 No1 Mk3* BSA, 1928 No1 Mk3 BSA, and a Maltby Mo4 mk1.

I am obviously here to learn enough to buy a martini henry. I was very close to ordering a 1880's marked MkII from IMA the other day, but research on the available ammo has put me off.

I dont currently reload, but plan to in the future, but $120 for 20rds of 10x, I just cant deal with. I have some guns that shoot some pretty odd ball stuff that is pretty expensive, but I just cant justify anything that is over $3 a round.

Under that thought process I was thinking a .22lr conversion would be fun and I could shoot it for penny's on the dollar. I have also heard that many were converted to shoot 45.70. Since that round is much more pleniful and I understand very easy to reload, that is also on the short list. Whatever the chambering I would like it to be fully stocked in military dress as it were.

Can anyone offer any insights? What should I look for and what should I avoid? What is a fair price for a gun like I described?

I am not a 100% opposed to the original chambering, but I want to weigh the "shooter" options.

I do understand this is a collectors forum, and I have no intention of "bubba'ing" a rifle to achieve my goal, I would search for one that has already been messed with.

Thank you in advace for you help.
 

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Some of the full sized military rifles were indeed converted to .22LR for Brit rifle clubs. They are around and show up from time to time on the major auction sites. Some are still in full military dress and others have been progressively "personalized". I got mine pretty cheap from an on-line ad....but I'd count on paying as much as a good MK II for one if the owner knows what they have.

As to 45-70 conversions. I've seen sporters but no conversions in miliary dress. Since the MH has a larger bore, a 45-70 conversion would mean relining the barrel as well as well as the other aspects of a conversion. Money not well spent in my book....and certainly more than the cost of setting yourself up to reload. The same goes for the various inserts sold over the years. They shoot an undersized bullet that rattles down the bore and are prone to increasing gunsmith profits from removing stuck inserts.

New ammo is expensive because the cases are expensive, which you have to figure into your costs whether reloading or not. Of course if you take care of the brass it will last a long time. Even once you have the brass loading these aren't cheap.

Personally while the period conversions to .22 LR are interesting, shooting MH rifles so converted is like kissing your sister. It looks like the real thing, but doesn't do much for you.
 

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I just checked out the Gad website and unless I misread, it looks like they sell 20 loaded cartridges for about half of the ten-x price. I'm going to call them tomorrow and confirm that. If that's the case, it'll make my "new" MH that much more fun to shoot. Ten-x charges $55.00 just to reload 20 rounds. I didn't know about Gad and recently ordered a box of Ten-x from IMA ($115.00). Two weeks later and I still don't have them. I understand they are shipped directly from Ten-x's warehouse in California. I'll post the outcome of my phone call to Gad on the forum.
 

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A Martini Henry with a .297-230 Morris tube would be representative of British military rifle with small caliber training insert. That's when the British Military used for taining, not the .22.
 
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