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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Queensland Governemt Martini Henry Carbine

    G'day there, I've been hanging around the Lee Enfield section trying to cure my Enfield addiction which has alas only worsened, but the other day I had a look at an old MH IC1 carbine that my family has had for a while. And with some of my Enfield knowledge I believe it may be something of an interesting rifle.

    Its an 1886 Enfield IC1 with 'SY' marked forward of the breech (I have read this is for an upgraded extractor), some sold out of service marks, yet most interestingly a "Q/|\G" which from what I know is a Queensland Government marking. This same mark appears on the butt-stock along with the Enfield Roundel, a "1" which I believe to mean "First class", the serial which matches the action body, a '6' (Tasmanian military district is the only thing I can link this to atm but that contradicts the qld marks), a sold out of service mark, and finally "R7/97" which I assume to be either a repair or a store date of July 1997.

    Another interesting thing is that both under the butt-plate on the butt itself and on the inside surface of the butt-plate is what looks like a set of tallies, with one being only 3 vertical and 1 across (Which seems odd). Now I am not rash enough to think this is some Kill count but I am not sure what else it could be. Is this common to MH rifles?

    The rifle itself is very rusted as it sat in a shed, from what I am told, for a very long time, but its otherwise complete but partially disassembled and soaked in oil to halt the rust for now. The rifling is horrendous but with cleaning it'd probably be shootable.

    I have looked at Skennertonicon's SAIS book on the MH rifles but found nothing relating to QLD rifles, nor could I find anything about them mentioned on here. The serial on this rifle is 281 (The '3' is from an amnesty as law recquires a 4 digit serial, real shame), and when I think about it a state like qld back in the 1880's can't have had a use for a massive amount of firearms (For police or whatever else. It doesn't have a 'P' or anything anywhere but it would make sense as a mounted police rifle), so does anyone know anything about rifles like this? Serial number range? What they did? How long they served? Etc.

    So yeah wondering if anyone has any info or has a rifle similar. I'm gonna clean it up one day when I stop finding Lee-Enfields to repair. Maybe even make up some loads with bertram brass for it too. Very cool rifle.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nijalninja View Post
    a sold out of service mark, and finally "R7/97" which I assume to be either a repair or a store date of July 1997.
    Should that be July 1897?
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 10-07-2018 at 10:58 AM.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nijalninja View Post
    ...Another interesting thing is that both under the butt-plate on the butt itself and on the inside surface of the butt-plate is what looks like a set of tallies, with one being only 3 vertical and 1 across (Which seems odd). Now I am not rash enough to think this is some Kill count but I am not sure what else it could be. Is this common to MH rifles?
    Those "tally marks" are typical batch assembly marks. Often found on old blackpowder rifles from the days before industrial mass production. Probably there was a workshop doing a lot of refurbushment, and so the parts of the dismantled rifles were marked in a place that would not be visible after reassembly, so that the bits did not become mixed up.

    Quote Originally Posted by nijalninja View Post
    ...The rifling is horrendous but with cleaning it'd probably be shootable.
    Clean...shoot...clean...shoot...

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Chadwick View Post
    Clean...shoot...clean...shoot...
    Yes, it could use a lot. That wood could use some TLC so as to not remove all the character but lift some of the grime out of the stampings. Very attractive buttstock. The metal needs more.

    Quote Originally Posted by nijalninja View Post
    The rifle itself is very rusted as it sat in a shed
    There are several threads about electrolysis here and the process can be accomplished with little experience and minimum set up or outlay. It would be an excellent candidate for that process.
    Regards, Jim

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    There is no know cure for Enfield addiction ...

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Chadwick View Post
    Should that be July 1897?
    Goodness me how did I get that wrong? Thanks.



    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Chadwick View Post
    Those "tally marks" are typical batch assembly marks. Often found on old blackpowder rifles from the days before industrial mass production. Probably there was a workshop doing a lot of refurbushment, and so the parts of the dismantled rifles were marked in a place that would not be visible after reassembly, so that the bits did not become mixed up.
    Now that makes quite a lot of sense.

    BAR, I will be cleaning the stock up as like you say it looks quite nice. Towards the wrist area it has a very distinctive almost layered pattern. I have also heard of this electrolysis technique and wanted to try, but up until now I have just used a wire brush and oil and a lot of time. I don't feel like spending 5 hours scraping all the rust down so yeah I might give it a go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daan Kemp View Post
    There is no know cure for Enfield addiction ...
    Truer words have never been spoken.

    Thanks everyone, but I must ask specifically if anyone has seen another MH rifle like this before? To me it makes sense that a rifle like this would be excellent in paddy wagons.

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    A "QG" marked Martini Henry is a bit of a rarity.

    Queensland-marked MH carbines are pretty thin on the ground, even the "cadet" variant with its peculiar fore-end which lacked the usual carbine nose-cap and that left a few inches of barrel clear. No bayonet was apparently to be fitted. These conversions were done about 1900. Most examples of these are found "rendered innocuous" by having the muzzle squashed and / or the mechanism "neutered". It also seems that many of the MH rifles were "traded in" for Martini Enfields or, later, along with a lot of other interesting goodies, stripped and the metal bits used as reinforcing bars in some of the footings of a bridge, by popular legend, the Storey Bridge, across the Brisbane river.

    A long time back, I had a Victorian-marked MH rifle and a "QG" Martini Enfield but off-loaded both for what seemed at the time to be a good sum. I saw another "QG" marked Martini-Enfield with a surprisingly good bore in Toowoomba about four years ago, but had to pass as these rifles seem to have appreciated in price somewhat in the intervening years.
    Last edited by Bruce_in_Oz; 10-16-2018 at 07:36 AM.

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    Mix some tups and linseed oilicon together and use to clean the woodwork, takes a bit of elbow grease but a lot of the dirt and grime will be removed.

    Electrolysis is the answer for rust, safe and very effective, am sure Patrick will agree....... you may loose the bluing/browning though...... you could just boil it in de ironised water, the rust will break down, it how original bluing/ browning was produced, the item was rusted then boiled and then carded.
    Last edited by bigduke6; 10-16-2018 at 02:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigduke6 View Post
    the woodwork
    I'm looking but can't see too well, is that English Walnut we can guess? Considering where it came from? Should clean and leave a finish you can reach right into.
    Regards, Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    I'm looking but can't see too well, is that English Walnut we can guess? Considering where it came from? Should clean and leave a finish you can reach right into.
    I would say without a doubt Jim its English walnut, they clean up really well over time, I had a MH that was jet black, after initial detox of the crud etc, I had to leave it a sunny room and let it sweat the old oil out etc, then used the turps and linseed, sold it for funds for my Matchless G3L........ and the bayonet..........

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