Homemade .303 pistols

James found this photos of a pair of homemade pistols that appear to be chambered in .303 British! Apparently they, along with the cartridges, were confiscated from some students. Can you imagine the blast of burning power that must shoot out of these!

Home Made Pistols

I found the following photos of a Martini-Henry .303 1870 rifle which has been converted into a pistol. It was captured by Marines in Afghanistan.


The pistol has an original Martini-Henry barrel which was cut down to 2.5″ and sights carved out of it. Other than the addition of the pistol grip and sling swivels, the pistol is made entirely from original parts.



These pistols, converted from rifles in the Khyber Pass, are said to be common in that part of the world. It is designed to for one purpose: to kill an enemy in order to take his weapons … that is of course if the death-trap of a gun does not kill the operator first!

More information about this pistol is at gunboards.com.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Sanjay Mortimer

    I’d posit that pistol was converted from a copy of a ‘tini-henry not a real British made one. I was at the national shooting centre in Bisley, Surrey, England yesterday and have some photo’s from their museum. The bit that makes me really suspicious is the engraving, it just looks all wrong, uneven, and not at all like that on those I saw yesterday.

  • cornelius

    Where there’s a will there’s a way!

    It reminds me of a mother and her five year-old boy. She didn’t want her son to be “exposed” to guns; so no gun toys for him. One morning over breakfast she finds that he has eaten his toast into the shape of a gun – and he’s shooting it! Boys will be boys.

  • Mortimer,

    That’s correct. Those fellows make passable copies of all sorts of firearms, and as you said, that is a copy of a Martini. The embellishments give it away as does the fit and finish.

    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.
    The Range Reviews: Tactical.

  • B Woodman

    Wasn’t that the idea of the WW II stamped-metal Victory pistol? A cheap one-shot that allows one to kill the enemy & take HIS weapon & ammo.

    • Woodman, same with the CIA 9mm pistol (“deer gun”) during Vietnam. Though I suspect they had less chance of killing the operator 😉

  • Thank you kindly for the link!


  • Matt Groom

    I met a US Marine who was originally from Moldova, which was in the Soviet Union. He and I got to talking about guns and the futility of gun laws one day. He said in Moldova, it was easy to get rifles and shotguns, but hard to get handguns. He said they would convert rifles to pistols. I said “I bet that kills on both ends!” and he said “Don’t be stupid, we don’t use all powder. You take out bullet and dump out powder. Then you make four piles. Then you used powder four times.” I thought that was very cleaver, and it occurred to me that that would mean he’d need three more primers, and three more bullets. “Yes. Primer is metal, like rust and acid. Easy to make. Bullet is copy. You take bullet, mold in clay. Cook mold. Pour in Lead, you have bullet.” He was an interesting guy. Necessity is the mother of invention.

    • Matt, very clever. I had not thought of using clay moulds to make bullets. Did you see the recent post on resuing primers? Not hard to do.

  • Matt Groom

    I hadn’t thought of that either, Steve. Now that I’ve gotten into bullet casting, I wonder how wrinkled the bullets would look, since you can pre-heat clay like you do metal molds, but I assume that they weren’t going for accuracy.
    After Tzaklowski told me about how they made primers, I decided to figure out how it was done, and it is painstakingly difficult to do correctly, but not impossible. I’d make my own Lead Styphnate if I wanted to make primers, scraping match heads is for the birds.

  • i have one this pice “Martini-Henry .303” with orignal parts………..

  • i want to make home made guns but how to make bullets and guns