Original Nepalese Gahendra .577/.450 Martini Improved Model Rifle from Private Collection

Item Description

Original Item: One of a kind. This comes to us from the Estate of an extremely enthusiastic Collector, who dived in at the onset after our importation from Nepal in 2003. He selected the very best and kept them carefully cleaned and stored in his collection since then until now.

This particular Late Model known as the IMPROVED GEHENDRA was 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. This particular example having been purchased as soon as the shipments arrived, is one of the very nicest condition we ever had.

In near perfect condition and 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 change of a "V" leaf main spring and a monotube barrel.  The "V" leaf mainspring is far stronger than the spring in the standard Gahendra which is prone to breaking. Furthermore, the standard Gahendras have barrels formed on a mandrel by twisting straps of iron around the mandrel and lap welding them together. The improved Gahendra has a monotube barrel, but is still made from iron, not steel.

Visually the easiest way to tell the a Gahendra from an Improved Gahendra is the position of the rear receiver screw. The improved Gahendra screw is much further back than the standard Gahendra: it is located above the curve of the lever. The standard Gahendra screw is located above the trigger. There are more subtle differences as well in the receiver hump and how the trigger rests in its housing, but the location of the rear receiver screw is the one most easily spotted.

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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