Khyber Pass Martini Pistol

The Khyber Pass is a well known center of arms production, with gunmaking there going back at least 100 years. The quality of craftsmanship varies greatly, from excellent and safe weapons to thoroughly unsafe guns made with little more than hand files and drills. In the last decade or so, much of the production has centered around making guns for sale to Western soldiers to take home as souvenirs. Since antique guns can generally be imported to places like the US and UK with minimal paperwork, gunsmiths build copies of the arms used by the British in their last occupation of Afghanistan – Martini Henrys. This particular one is a .303 caliber pistol, adorned extensively with decorations and with a laughably crude copy of British service markings.

Theme music by Dylan Benson –

Hi guys, thanks for tuning in to another video on I’m Ian, I am here at the Rock Island Auction Company Taking a look at some of the guns in their Upcoming February of 2015 Regional Auction. As you may know if you watch this channel a fair amount, I like kind of unusual and not necessarily High-quality firearms from time to time. And I have a very interesting example of just that sort of thing here. This is a Khyber Pass copy of a Martini-
Henry action that has been built as a pistol. Chambered for .303 British, and with all manner of interesting and nonsensical markings on it. So I thought it’d be fun to take a look at. Let’s bring the camera in right off the bat and give you a closer look at The weird stuff that’s actually on this pistol. So the Khyber Pass that a lot of people are familiar with is actually it’s like a 33 mile pass In the Hindu Kush mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan. And it’s really developed itself a reputation for gunsmithing and manufacturing over the last over 100 years. Some of the guns that come out of there are actually remarkably high quality, some of them are utter junk. Some of the guns are actually intended to be used, and some are built more for what you might call the tourist trade. This pistol is almost certainly a tourist sort of gun. With the last 10 years plus of American and western military activity in the area A lot of the gunsmiths in places like the Khyber Pass have discovered that antique guns Are interesting to US and Coalition soldiers. And anything that’s an antique can be legally sent back into the US, So they make these guns from scratch to sell often to US servicemen. Some of them are, like I said, made very well and can actually be quite difficult to distinguish from legitimate guns. Some, like this one, are ridiculously easy to identify as fakes. The Martini-Henry action here, which is what they’ve copied, was a single [shot] breech-loading action. These were adopted by the British military. This was more or less their equivalent to the Trapdoor Springfield. … This sort of … action was what was used in places like the Zulu Wars. It’s a lever, pull the lever down you drop the breech block, load a cartridge in, pop the lever up. That locks the breech block, and then you can fire. This of course has absolutely no provenance to any original British manufacturer. But what’s interesting is that the gunsmiths who made it Looked at some elements of British markings in particular and copied them.

So what they’ve done here, for example, is create a copy of a British broad arrow proof. This would have originally signified British military inspection. What’s interesting in this case is that they have actually made that broad arrow out of the word ”Enfield” Stamped several times. They’ve done the same thing up here over the chamber, another broad arrow made out of the word Enfield. And then they’ve gone on and stamped Enfield in a number of other places as well. … The sides of the octagonal barrel here have some decorative stamping, Threes in this case. We have some threes on the front of the chamber. We have Enfield again, right back here. On this side, typical to a Martini-Henry you’d have a royal crest, this one is obviously fairly crude. And then all of the markings here are stamped backwards. This in theory should have been ”VR” for Victoria Regina, Queen Victoria. Enfield theoretically is where it would have been made, obviously this one wasn’t. It would have a date down here. 1561 is not an appropriate date for a Martini-Henry, obviously. And then a few more British markings that have legitimate meaning on British guns and no meaning on these. There is, interestingly, actually a serial number over here. This lever on the side is a cocking indicator. When the gun’s cocked it’s back, when you fire this will move to a vertical position. This one’s a little stiff, there are some traces of rifling in it. The bore is almost centred in the barrel, which is a nice touch. So this was almost certainly made for sale to some US or British or other Coalition soldier. Or tourists in the area who thought it was interesting. This sort of thing probably wouldn’t actually be passed off as any sort of original gun. Certainly not by any craftsman who really knew what they were doing. I would definitely recommend not firing this piece. … The original Martini-Henrys were all black powder cartridges. The ones that were rebuilt by the British In .303 were done professionally and with a lot of scientific care. Something like this in .303 is liable as not to blow the breech block out. However, it still makes for an interesting piece of crude craftsmanship firearms. Thanks for watching guys, I hope you enjoyed the video. If you would like to own this pistol for yourself, it is of course for sale at Rock Island here. You can click the link right below to take a look at their catalogue page. This is in a lot with a couple of other revolvers, so you want to take a look at those as well.

And yeah, if you’re interested place a bid and make it yours. Thanks for watching. [ sub by sk cn2 ]

Learn More →