Original Nepalese Gahendra .577/.450 Martini Improved Model Rifle with Side Script
Original Item: One of a kind. This particular Late Model of Nepalese Gahendra Martini Rifle is known as the IMPROVED MODEL with SIDE SCRIPT. These were last made in the mid 1890s, when Great Britain started supplying Short Lever Mark 2 Martini Rifles in 1894. This was followed by Long Lever Mark 4 Martini Henry Rifle in 1904 and 1908. There were very few "Improved " Gahendra rifles made and they have always commanded an absolute premium, especially ones with the improved leaf spring. This example is not that type, as it still has the original placement of the lower right receiver screw, however the side script indicates that it has some of the improvements introduced late in production. This particular example was recently found and restored in house.
The rifle cycles correctly and dry fires. The barrel shows clear rifling, though there is some wear, and oxidation near the muzzle. There is also a lot of woodline rust, which is ubiquitous among rifles from the Nepal Cache.
A really nice example of this rare rifle, ready to display!
More on the "Improved" Gahendra Rifle:
Fewer than 1% of the many thousands of Gahendra rifles that we imported from Nepal are the "improved model". This term coined by collectors refers to the changes seen during late production. The original models had a rather weak leaf shaped main spring and a barrel made from U-shaped stock, which was then forged around a barrel. The later models introduced spiral forged barrels, as well as monotube barrels. Some also had an improved "V-shaped" leaf spring, which was much more resilient.
Based on an 1869 Westley Richards patented design, this unique and extremely rare early breechloading Military Rifle .450/.577 Martini Henry calibre was produced under the direction of General Gahendra Rana in the 1880's to provide Ghurka regiments with what appeared to be the latest British Military Rifle. An ingenious design, it really surpassed the standard Martini in that its entire action was removable as one unit for ease of servicing or exchange.
Production however caused massive logistic problems and by 1894 the Ghurkas were dangerously short of viable .450 cal. breechloaders to face evergrowing threats from the east. Finally the British came to the rescue with a delivery of several thousand Martini short lever rifles in late 1894 and even more long lever Martini Rifles in 1908. The over complicated Gahendra Rifle was thereafter basically shelved, the void in up-to-date arms having been met. Always considered the rarest Martini variety of all, the Gahendra Rifle has a characteristic loading lever but in other respects closely resembles the standard Martini externally. A chance to obtain an extremely rare historical antique rifle that was a close relative of one of the most successful rifle systems of all time.
Years of Manufacture: 1890s
Caliber: .577/450 Martini–Henry
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 33 Inches
Overall Length: 49 1/2 Inches
Action type: Lever Action Falling Block
Feed System: Single Shot
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