Custom Martini-Henry .218 Bee


I know you been waiting on this one. Above is the Custom Martini single shot rifle chambered in my beloved .218 Bee. I first got my hands on this gun back int he 90s when It was loaned to me from Brady. Brady had put it together for his wife to use to varmint hunt with him. That didn’t turn out so it set in the safe for decades until it was loaned to me to play with. I wanted it ever since. Last weekend my friend sold it to me and now I can die complete.

Brady took a Martini Henry Cadet and used the action only. The gun has a Douglas match air gauged barrel chambered in .218 Bee. He made the stock and mounted a Unertl 8X

You may notice a hole in the rear of the receiver. This was done so cleaning from the chamber end can be accomplished.

The Martini Cadet had no safety, so Brady made a simple trigger blocking safety on the trigger guard.

A box of brass from back in the day. Remember when it used to come that way?

The gun with my pet load produces 3/4 MOA groups at 100 yards. Hitting clap pigeons at 300 yards was one of my favorite targets. I have went on at length in the past about why I prefer the 218 over the lame and over rated .22 hornet. The handicap for the 218 has always been that it is found in factory guns that are lever actions and factory ammo uses rounded nosed lighter weight bullets. I use bullets up to 55 grains in weight using ballistic tips and hollow point match bullets.

I would love to show you some fresh groups. Believe me. It’s gonna have to wait a few days. As I got home and got all settled in to shoot, the horizontal cross hair in the 8X finally went tits up after 40 years. So, the Unertl will be sent off to repair along with a few other Unertls of Brady’s that have succumbed to the cruelty of age ( Don’t we all?). Hopefully another friend will loan me his 20X Unertl for a few days so I can show you guys how great this little custom gun does.


  1. That, is a very nice rifle.

    I’ve never played with or shot a .218 Bee. I’ve always been curious about the cartridge, but never seem to be able to make it rise near the top of my “to do” list. Maybe I should move it up the priority list…

    Sorry to hear about the scope giving you problems. That had to be disappointing, especially at that moment.

    • Yea it was a bummer. the problem is already on its way to being fixed. and I borrowed another Unertl from a friend so I will have some stuff up on the website about the gun and shooting it tomorrow

  2. Exquisite details. The safety, the cleaning rod hole, the grip cap, crown, inletting for the butt plate, etc., etc., etc. I’m extremely envious, busted crosshair and all.

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