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1878 nepali francotte martini henry

Article about: just taken delivery of my winter project - a 1878 Francotte Martini Henry short lever - from IMA. This is one of their "untouched" firearms from the Nepal cache. With the "unt

  1. #21

    Default Re: 1878 nepali francotte martini henry

    Trying to remove a stuck butt is fraught with dangers. The rust builds up along the length of the retaining bolt. This jams up solid against the walls of the butt, making it almost impossible to turn the bolt. In the most severe of cases the pressure of the rust against the wood of the butt can end up in splits to the timber. whatever you try you could end up with a destroyed butt. I have heard of people taking the drastic action of actually delliberately splitting the butt to remove it and gain access to the retaining bolt. The butt was then glued together and the split made good.

    I restored a 1910 SMLE last year, and I had exactly the same problem. Only in my case the butt had already started to split in the area of the bolt. In the end the damage proved to be so great that I had to source a new (old) butt. Such are the pleasures of gun restoration!
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  2. #22

    Default Re: 1878 nepali francotte martini henry

    Thanks Harry

    it is looking like I may have to cut the stock around the bolt where it butts up against the receiver so I can then twist the whole stock off, with the bolt still stuck in situ (bolt is free and turning in the receiver but obviously with very limited movement due to the inset stock in the back of the receiver). This should make it easier to remove the bolt and then glue the inset section of the stock back on and reassemble. That's the current plan, for what it's worth - knew it was all going too smoothly

  3. #23

    Default Re: 1878 nepali francotte martini henry

    Want me to lend you my hammer, chisel, router, electric drill, hacksaw and 'big book of swearwords' ?


  4. #24

    Default Re: 1878 nepali francotte martini henry

    Quote by Steve T View Post
    Want me to lend you my hammer, chisel, router, electric drill, hacksaw and 'big book of swearwords' ?

    think I've already got swearwords bit covered

    all part of the challenge I suppose of dealing with a firearm that was covered in yak fat and chucked in a shed for 120 years

  5. #25

    Default Re: 1878 nepali francotte martini henry

    You can do it, Harry!

  6. #26

    Default Re: 1878 nepali francotte martini henry

    Hi Harry,

    Whatever you do - DON'T cut the wood at the wrist of the butt where it slots in the receiver! The butt will still not come off. All it will do is rotate around the bolt. If you have to do that you will need to cut through the bolt as well, and then drill out the remains of the bolt from the receiver.

    Try applying heat to the end of the bolt through the receiver using an old screwdriver with the end cut off. Heat it up cherry-red and apply to the bolt. The heating up and cooling down wil help to free the bolt. or you could try modifying a long-bladed screwdriver by removing the handle and welding a bar across the top to give you more leverage on the bolt.

    If all else fails, pick the rifle up at the muzzle end, raise the butt above your head and scream out a few profanities as you bring the butt crashing down on to the floor. Although a bit drastic, it should shift it.

    Harry (Steve)
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  7. #27

    Default Re: 1878 nepali francotte martini henry

    Thanks Steve. The only reason I was going to cut at the wrist is that the bolt does turn in the receiver thread and is only being held by the rust/expansion in the stock. I was thinking that if cut at the wrist, I could unscrew the stock and bolt as one seized bit. I am hoping that it will be much easier to free the short length of the bolt in the remains of the stock inset in the receiver and that the rust etc in the main section of the stock will hold the bolt enough to allow me to twist the bolt out of the small section left in the receiver. Not sure if I have explained that very well....

    I any event I am going to allow the pentrating oil to have a good soak for a week or so and have another go at getting it out the conventional way before resorting to anything more destructive.

    Smacking the stock into something solid does sound appealing but think I'll leave that as the last resort

    cheers
    Matt

  8. #28

    Default Re: 1878 nepali francotte martini henry

    woohoo the stock bolt is off

    after leaving it to soak in silkolene penetrating oil, buying a monster long reach screw driver, and after much grunting and swearing (didn't need your book Steve ) it slowly, slowly came undone. Wasn't sure if the head of the bolt was going to strip before I had managed to get it fully unscrewed from the receiver, but it just about held out...

    so that's it fully stripped (not even going to think about getting the barrel off the receiver) so can get started on the woodwork now
    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #29

    Default Re: 1878 nepali francotte martini henry

    GREAT SUCCESS!

    Congrats, Harry! This is coming along nicely!!

  10. #30

    Default Re: 1878 nepali francotte martini henry

    Excellent!
    I look forward to seeing the (re)finished rifle!

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