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Thread: Newcomer to the rifle safe - Do you know of this riflemaker ?

  1. #1

    Newcomer to the rifle safe - Do you know of this riflemaker ?

    Hello all,
    Maybe someone here can advise me. I have just received a little-used .270 which was made by Alex Martin Ltd., 18/20 Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow.

    Does anyone know of this firm ?

    I'm told that the stock is steel bedded and although a bit of plain wood - is very hard and the grain runs with the contour - which is good. The 20" barrel is free-floating, and the action appears to be an early P/Hale or Mauser. It has a magazine charging recess for use with clips - on the left side.
    The drop plate on the magazine is activated by pressing and sliding a semi-pointed object in the floorplate recess - just like the old Rigby's.

    This rifle has been fitted with a Timney trigger and has a good old refurbished peccar sight with a new and very fine crosshair.

    I look forward to trying it out as I've been informed that it gives minute of angle groups with limited range trials.

    Now I've got to hope that the rain stops as we have good old W.Highland weather back again for the stalking season.
    Opinions often differ according to unknown circumstances.

  2. #2
    Alex martin did customise a lot of the P-h rifles, I saw a nice looking one at the last Bisley show which was obviously a customised 1200 Super with an inflated price tag. however he also built some on old Mauser actions. Whether he sourced a barrel from P-H or somewhere else? or if it was an early P-H safari which were built on German Mauser actions snatched from German factories at the end of WW2 as repatriations???

    You best hope of telling it's age is if it's Birmingham proofed as the "Private view marks" from the Birmingham proof house are readily dated London is not so.

    Alex Martin has a fairly long and established history and i would not be surprised if an enquirey to them could tell you a lot more. They might have their old records still . Now it's really bad form to tantilise us by telling us of a fine rifle but providing no photos .

  3. #3
    Thanks Brithunter. I've not got as far on this forum of copying images to it - I'll investigate. I'm fine once I've been instructed - as I tend to be a bit 'neolithic' in such matters and I'm not into the technology of the PC world. I'll have to get one of my grandchildren to sort it.

    I was told that initially the rifle was an irritation because the rear scope mount screw holes had been drilled off-centre, so the previous owner had a new set of mounts drilled to offset the problem. I seem to recall that with some of the earlier models of 'scope, the reticule moved to one side across the aim picture if too much adjustment was required and you ended up with a rather offset crosshair.

    The left side of the barrel has a stamp - 'Made in England'

    On the bolt handle side, the receiver has a crown and what looks like a chalice under it.
    The right side of the barrel has an upside-down 'V' shaped stamp which incorporates what looks like a rifle butt on one side and a key off a ring on the other. The ring being the apex of the V. THe letters NP are stamped under this.

    Then there's figures, and the reflected light at the moment makes it hard to use a magnifying glass - but - -

    .270" 2.54" 44 GRS N.C - 130 GRS

    The bolt handle has been changed to give a fairly close profile although the knob appears to be a little larger than normal on a P/H or Mauser.
    The knob also has the crown and chalice ? stamp on it. The rifle was constructed with iron sights.

    The Mauser-type swing-over safety leaf has been added-to by a front-rear sliding lever on the right; just behind the bolt handle.
    There is no P/H stamp mark on the leaf safety which is a thing I have noticed on some Parker Hales.

  4. #4
    A brief update :-

    Martin and Dicksons merged so the best source now might be to contact Dicksons - unless they too have moved !
    Opinions often differ according to unknown circumstances.

  5. #5
    Ok the proof marks are pretty standard for the period of the late 1950's and early 1960's. The proof marks on a 1967 vintage rifle do not have thos markings but the later ones so they changed before 1967. Does the safety look like this:-

    That's an earlier style of P-H safety.

    The later ones tended to be like this. The Parker-Hale trigger is adjustable in three ways and it's the same as the Timmney one which it might be fitted with. Early ones had a very curved trigger blade later ones the trigger is gently curved.

    Early rifle scopes were of the moving reticle type and yes the cross hairs moved in the view unlike the later moving image type so until some time in the 1960's at least P-H made windage adjustable rings. Of course mounts like Apel still have windage adjustment as of course does the Redfield Junior design of which the Leupold std rings and bases are a copy of.

    Interestingly I just checked the Birmingham proofs of a 59 vintage BSA .270 win rifle and it used 50 grs of NC with a 150 grain bullet.

  6. #6
    Hello Brithunter - do you ever sleep ?

    The safety looks like one half of the first one you depict - just the one knob on it. I've taken some pictures and will have to sort them out, but I doubt if I'll have time to do so before the second week of October as I'm being hauled away on a touristy holiday to the 'Lakes'.

    On the load advice stamped on the barrel - 'sounds like 40 grains NC would get the 130 grain bullet moving OK. whilst 50 behind a 150 bullet sounds a bit drastic by comparison, but I hardly suppose that the proof house would give dangerous advice stamped on the barrels.

    Now I'm getting itchy fingers to give that rifle a try. I once had a Sako which stabilised all bullet weights and I could simply change from 100 grain vermin loads to 130 grain deer loads without having to adjust.
    It will be interesting to see if this rifle behaves the same.

    Thanks for now,
    Opinions often differ according to unknown circumstances.

  7. #7
    On second thoughts - I'll have a go :-

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Martin rifle 001.jpg 
Views:	33 
Size:	68.2 KB 
ID:	2735 Self explanatory I expect.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Martin rifle 007.jpg 
Views:	29 
Size:	48.3 KB 
ID:	2736 If this is not enough, I can sort out another image or two.

    'Hope they get through all right.

  8. #8
    These images look very small. What resolution do you find works best for this site ? I sized my images at 20.5cm and 72 pixels for e-mails.
    Opinions often differ according to unknown circumstances.

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Oh dear..................Oh deary me:-

    On the load advice stamped on the barrel - 'sounds like 40 grains NC would get the 130 grain bullet moving OK. whilst 50 behind a 150 bullet sounds a bit drastic by comparison, but I hardly suppose that the proof house would give dangerous advice stamped on the barrels.
    That's the proof load and not a load recomendation which is why I suppose they changed the format. Wish I had a tenner for every time I have heard it being read as a load recommendation, normally by Americans I might add. The proof house tested the strength of the powder lots then worked out the proof loads from that. Not sure what they do now but some of the things I hear makes the skin crawl on the back of my neck. Oh that reminds me I have to find out about the proofing on the .280AI .

    That looks like they customised a normal Parker-Hale Safari standard. The stock profile looks the same as it the chequering patterns. Just like the Alex martin one I saw at one of the Bisley shows. The vendor who had it on his stand was asking over 3x what it was worth to my mind. he was not impressed when i pointed out it was only a lightly customised P-H 1200 super in that case.. Hopefully they can shed some light on it and what they did. The rear sight looks different..............ahh I am guessing it's from the early 1960's as P-H started the safari line in 63 and they had a square block body tot eh rear sight then and yours looks similar. The early ones also had the std Mauser floor plate which yours has. I have a BSA made .303 that has the Wm Powell and sons name on it so this was always a done thing in the British gun trade.

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