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Original Nepalese P-1878 Martini Francotte Experimental Pattern with Side Lever

Regular price $1,495.00

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is perhaps the only rifle of its kind on earth. It is an experimental design built by the Gurkha master gun makers of Nepal and deviates from the standard Nepalese 1878 pattern Francotte martini rifle in that it has a side lever, as opposed to a drop down lever, mounted on the side of the action. We believe this was an attempt to improve on both the standard Francotte system and the British Martini-Henry.

Not only does this side lever make loading easier and faster the lever does not penetrate into the action like a cocking indicator does on a British Martini-Henry. The standard Francotte system allowed the entire action to drop out the receiver for cleaning and repair but it lacked a cocking indicator that made it difficult for soldiers to tell if their gun was loaded and ready to fire. As a safety precaution the British added a cocking indicator to their design but this didn’t allow for the action to withdraw from the receiver in one piece. By adding a cocking indicator, that does not penetrate the rest of the action, to this experimental Francotte the Nepalese improved on both designs, yes, they were very accomplished gun makers. This rifle is perhaps the only surviving example on earth of this unique improvement, making it extremely rare and important.

History of the Francotte rifle:

In 1878 the Francotte patent Martini System was granted utilizing a detachable mechanism fitted without the Cocking Indicator. Revolutionary at the time by compartmentalizing the mechanism for quick disassembly, it only lasted 10 years as the latest technology. It was replaced in 1888 by the .303 cal Lee Metford bolt action Rifle's introduction into the British Military System. Although the British never embraced this European improvement, these "Improved System Rifles" saw much service on frontiers all over the World.

Shipping Restrictions

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Legal Information

  • IMA considers all of our antique guns as non-firing, inoperable and/or inert. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 921(a)(16) defines antique firearms as all guns made prior to 1899. This law exempts antique firearms from any form of gun control or special engineering because they are not legally considered firearms. No FFL, C&R or any license is required to posses, transport, sell or trade Antique guns. All rifles and muskets sold by IMA that were manufactured prior to 1899 are considered Antiques by the US BATF (United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms). Therefore, all of IMA's Antique guns may be shipped to all US States and most nations around the world.

    These antique guns are not sold in live condition. They are sold as collector’s items or as wall hangers. Any attempt at restoring an antique gun to be operational is strongly discouraged and is done so at the risk of the customer. By purchasing an antique gun from IMA you thereby release IMA, its employees and corporate officers from any and all liability associated with use of our Antique guns.

    Pre-1899 Manufacture, no licenses required, allowed to ship to almost any deliverable address across the globe.

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