The military strategist Maurice of Orange was born. He was stadtholder of all the provinces of the Dutch Republic except for Friesland from 1585 at earliest until his death in 1625. Before he became Prince of Orange upon the death of his eldest... Read more ...
Maurice of Orange was born
The military strategist Maurice of Orange was born. He was stadtholder of all the provinces of the Dutch Republic except for Friesland from 1585 at earliest until his death in 1625. Before he became Prince of Orange upon the death of his eldest half-brother Philip William in 1618, he was known as Maurice of Nassau.
Maurice spent his youth in Dillenburg in Nassau, and studied in Heidelberg and Leiden. He succeeded his father William the Silent as stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland in 1585, and became stadtholder of Utrecht, Guelders and Overijssel in 1590, and of Groningen in 1620. As Captain-General and Admiral of the Union, Maurice organised the Dutch rebellion against Spain into a coherent, successful revolt and won fame as a military strategist. Under his leadership and in cooperation with the Land's Advocate of Holland Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, the Dutch States Army achieved many victories and drove the Spaniards out of the north and east of the Republic. Maurice set out to revive and revise the classical doctrines of Vegetius and pioneered the new European forms of armament and drill. During the Twelve Years' Truce, a religious dispute broke out in the Republic, and a conflict erupted between Maurice and Van Oldenbarnevelt, which ended with the latter's decapitation. After the Truce, Maurice failed to achieve more military victories. He died without legitimate children in The Hague in 1625, and was succeeded by his younger half-brother Frederick Henry.
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It may be discussed whether cast or swaged bullets are best. Of course, both have its advantages, but the disadvantage with swaged bullets is that they are harder to make for the average shooter. However, it is not impossible. This article shows you the simple way to swage bullets using a homemade hammer swage.
Published: 24 November 2007 by Øyvind Flatnes.
Edited: 25 November 2007.
Seven Martini-Henry cartridges and a .22 LR cartridge for comparison.
Loading black powder in metallic cartridges seems to be more and more popular here in Norway. The black powder cartridges are for many shooters the gate that leads to a membership in the Norwegian Black powder Union. The following article has its focus on the practical use of the old British infantry rifle, the .577/.450 Martini-Henry.
Find out more!
You can read more about the British Martini-Henry and Snider rifles, as well as other early breech-loading single-shot rifles in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.
My Martini-Henry rifle was bough very cheap at an internet auction not long ago. It is a Mk. IV with the long lever, which means it was probably not used by the British Army, but by some of their native troops in one of the colonies. It was made by the RSAF in Enfield in 1887, which indicates that it was one of the many .402" calibre Enfield-Martini rifles that was later converted to .577/.450 Martini-Henry rifles. The Mk. IV was not being made before 1888, but quite a lot of the Mk. IV's are stamped with both 1886 and 1887 on the right side of the receiver. All of these are converted .402" Enfield-Martinis. I soon discovered markings on my rifle pointing me in the direction of Nepal. On the rear sights I found the markings that revealed were the rifle had been used: N.E.P. and N.S. The latter initials means 'Native Service' and N.E.P. indicates 'Nepal'.
Thousands of Martini-Henry rifles were sold from Britain to Nepal during the last part of the 1800's. Nepal was never a British colony, but came under British influence after 1815. The background for this was that Nepalese Ghurkha soldiers invaded Northern India in 1814 and the British counterattacked with five armies shortly after. Four of the armies were annihilated, but the fifth managed to force themselves into Nepal, marched through the Katmandu Valley which brought them near to the Nepalese capital. The king of Nepal chose to negotiate for peace and shortly after a peace treaty was signed. The British were now allowed to cross Nepal to trade with Tibet. They were also allowed to enlist Ghurkha soldiers for the British Army. After having wiped out four of the five British armies, these soldiers had gained themselves enormous respect. Even today the British Army enlist Ghurkha troops.
Bullets and brass
If you are to shoot your Martini-Henry you have to be ready to do some preparations. You have to get hold of bullets and brass, and that's not the simplest thing in the world. I got brass directly from Bertram Bullets in Australia. They are high quality drawn cases and the cost was 4.40 AUD a piece. You can also get them from the British firm Kynamco.
Home swaged Martini-Henry bullet and bullet for
.45-70 Gvt.To the right: A .577/.450 Martini-Henry
cartridge and a .22 LR cartridge for comparison.
The first shots
Movie Clips (.wmv files)