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Molten Brass Flowing into Action?

waipapa13waipapa13 Senior MemberPosts: 838 Senior Member
A while back I picked up an old Martini-Enfield in rough shape with a completely toasted barrel.

I stripped the action down and tossed it in an ice cream container with a goodly amount of CRC, and then forgot about it for 6 months, I couldn't get the firing pin out of the block and figured a soak would it out.

Fast forward and I pulled it out, the firing pin remains stuck in the block, "guts" says I.
Then I noticed some verdigris on the side of the block and on the bolt face, plus goldey coloured tinges all over it and a little on the other small parts.

My thought is that a catastrophic case failure or series of such led to brass in a non solid form entering into the action, which would explain my stuck firing pin.

BUT, but, but, this seems somewhat extreme to me, is such a thing possible? or is there another explanation for the streaking. 


  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    I think it's more likely that corrosive gas from ruptured cases or primers blew back into the action and crudded things up.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,397 Senior Member
    What Fishead said. The Martini has a HUGE firing pin, and that thing can easily deform primers to the point that they will blow out with heavy loads. Corrosive primer blowback into the firing pin channel would make it want to stick in place if not cleaned regularly. If you haven't gotten the firing pin out already, I'd suggest a brass punch to coax it out of its hole.

    And if you plan to make a shooter of it, I'd recommend a new thinner firing pin tip profile and shimming the firing pin hole to the new sized firing pin. That will make it both safer and more reliable.
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  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,262 Senior Member
    Take a HARD look at your barrel and all the mechanicals.

    The Brits did a lot of different things to either deactivate or de-escalate Martinis when they were becoming obsolescent and getting handed down to their second tier colonial possessions.  At various points in the process, it was varying degrees of reluctance to hand down a serviceable, close-to-frontline weapon to what might become a rebel force.

    I've seen them officially drilled out to make smoothbore shotguns.  I've also seen a firing pin with the tip ground off and the hole plugged, as well as a saw cut applied halfway through the top of the barrel at the chamber neck then filled in with some kind of solder blob to make a wall hangar or drill rifle that won't chamber a round - and have heard this was a fairly common practice.  

    Could be you've got some of that going on.

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Posts: 838 Senior Member
    Sorry for the slow reply guys, been busy, thanks for the responses. 

    I'll try to get photos, I might have to get the old man to turn down some brass rod for a punch as the firing pin channel is pretty tight, being bushed for .303.
    My other thought was to burn a rod onto the back of the pin and get into it with a slide hammer gently (I guess gentle is relative in this case)

    Bigslug, that's something I had not considered.
    I think a reasonable possibility is that my action could have been hit with something like a brazing rod.
    It would have been in the post WW2 era, as my rifle and all NZ issued Martinis were sold as surplus domestically, mine bears our service marks (broad arrow and "NZ") and sold marks, and has Home Guard stamps of rack number and district of service. 

    I'll try and get some pics tomorrow, thanks.

  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,262 Senior Member
    Would suggest you pull the retaining cap and spring out of the rear of the firing pin channel, then vise up the breech block & attempt to use the slot in the firing pin as your striking point for a punch or screwdriver to see if it will move rearward.

    Is your firing pin stuck in the fired or cocked position?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Posts: 838 Senior Member
    It travels freely within the block but will not come out fully, it refuses to come loose and I can see no burr or anything that would obstruct it, I'll have a bash at it at work tomorrow. 
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