Watch: Khyber Pass Martini Henry Single Shot Pistol

   06.23.16

Watch: Khyber Pass Martini Henry Single Shot Pistol

Gunsmiths in the Khyber Pass (in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan) have been making firearms for more than a century, and sometimes they make fake antiques. This is one of those.

After learning that American soldiers are often interested by old guns and will purchase them to send back home, gunsmiths began making “new old guns” and aging them to make them appear authentic. Sometimes, the work is good. Other times, not so much.

As Ian says in the video, “Some of the guns that come out of there are actually remarkably high quality; some of them are utter junk.”

He adds that some are intended to be used, while others are intended “for what you might call ‘the tourist trade.'”

This one, a pistol built from a Martini Henry action and chambered for the 303 British military rifle round, “is almost certainly a tourist sort of gun.”

(Image property of Rock Island Auction Company)
(Image property of Rock Island Auction Company)

Ian takes us on a tour of this old iron, which someone went to a lot of trouble to build and to fake. In addition to the many “laughably crude” copies of traditional British stampings, I especially enjoyed this comment:

The bore is almost centered in the barrel, which is a nice touch.

Indeed it is!

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