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Thread: My NZ deer rifle

  1. #1

    My NZ deer rifle

    I've hatched a plan that is on it's way to fruition (to mix my metaphors). I've had a hankering to hunt in NZ for a long while and got over there this year, fantastic place, loved it. So rather than beg borrow or steal a rifle while there I have refurbished and nearly completed an old project.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Its a Martin Enfield in .35 Whelen Rimmed. Ill have more time to put some details in tomorrow.
    The cases are Rt to Lt .243 Win, 35 Whelen R, 6.5 x 55R

  2. #2
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    Yorkshireman in Darkest Cornwall
    I bloody love that!

  3. #3
    Seriously good use for an old Martini action. Fore-end's not to my taste, but it's not my rifle.
    What's the reloading/case forming prcedure?
    You can't say muntjac without saying, Mmmmmm.

  4. #4
    I would advise caution in loading. When I was in gunsmithing school the large Martini's were only allowed to be rebarreled to cartridges developing an operating pressure in the 45K psi level -or roughly that of a 303 British. Otherwise... Neat project. Have fun with it.~Muir

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    I would advise caution in loading. When I was in gunsmithing school the large Martini's were only allowed to be rebarreled to cartridges developing an operating pressure in the 45K psi level -or roughly that of a 303 British. Otherwise... Neat project. Have fun with it.~Muir
    Correct it is a pressure tested armory converted .303 action, hence the Martini Enfield.
    I calculated the force exerted on a Martini bolt by the venerable 450-577 and found that the force of a .35 WhelenR was lower if pressures were kept within SAAMI standards which are pretty 'Big Girl's Blouse'. Force = Pressure x surface area.
    It extracts perfectly which is a good sign and there are no pressure signs on the case or primer. So far no issues with case stretching. I've only reloaded them 3 times so far and have a lot of cases in reserve.

    The action was given to me by a another gunsmith 30 years ago and I put a new Douglas xxx 0.358 barrel (26") on it after they sent me the wrong profile for a job and I had to order another. This one is a light sporter so the weight of the whole shabang is only 7lb". Not a 'nice' gun to shoot but more later. The stock I whipped up about 20 years ago and never finished so I'm inspired to get it completed. Narrow the forearm and make it a Schnabel tip and thin the rear hand grip inline with a Purdy rifle I handled years ago, (beautiful rifle and well balanced). The scope is a Zeiss Jena ZF6 6x42 in very good condition and with it's No 1 reticle perfect for NZ hunting. Side plate mounting. I have 3 of these scopes including a NOS ZF6 6x32 that went on my .22 BLR. My daughter's favourite.
    The Zeiss scopes have been my 'Gold Standard' for judging all other scopes for 18 years. No medium priced scope (and only a few High end) could shine a light on them till very recently. Even now they represent the best in image clarity, colour and field of view.
    The cartridges are made from 9.3x74 RWS cases cut down to 65mm, necked down and outside neck turned. The base diameter of the 9.3x74 is a fraction less but some careful lapping of the reamer sorted that out. The chronographed results from last weekend are: 200gn Hornady FTX in front of 52gn of ADI2206 gives 2600fps. No signs of pressure and clean easy ejection. Average 3 shot group 24mm at 100m.
    Number of times shooters clouted in forehead or nose by scope = 6 (me x 1, daughter x 3, her boyfriend x 2, he gave up but she kept shooting though 10 rounds, that's my girl!).
    For New Zealand, (too hard, too expensive to do the licencing here) it will have a 6.5 x 54R Swedish barrel as well. It delivers (at the moment) 120gn BTS Nosler in front of 44gn ADI 2209 = 2700fps, no sign of pressure easy ejection. The cases are 7.62x54 Russian sized down to 6.5, neck turned and fire formed.
    So there it is. A very economical answer to my problem. New Zealand will welcome it, Australia don't care as long as it doesn't come back.

  6. #6
    Just to add, the .35 W is the main barrel, the 6.5 an afterthought (came off an M38 conversion). The 6.5 is for small game, fox Roe, Sika etc. Reason for the .35W? Well I probably only have one shot, gotta make it count. Not many animals could get up again again after being hit by one of these. Plus I don't fancy tracking a wounded a deer up and down dale in NZ, have you seen their hills!?

  7. #7
    You can pick up a 6.5 x 55 swede for $500 NZ any day of the week here mate.
    Pocket change to you Perth siders

  8. #8
    Not nearly as much fun as making your own and getting it for nothing

  9. #9
    What's the hunting like your neck of the woods. My Bro in Law is in Whakatane and I'm going over again in April.

  10. #10
    I thought I should clarify the below:
    "Narrow the forearm and make it a Schnabel tip"
    as per the Pic here
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Much nicer feel when shooting and looks the goods.

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