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Thread: Queensland Governemt Martini Henry Carbine

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  1. #11
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigduke6 View Post
    I had a MH that was jet black
    WE had one of those here too, long lever I think it was. Black like coal and after two treatments came clean and golden brown...
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    Regarding "English' walnut.

    Early SMLE specifications refer to walnut, but not specifically "English" walnut.

    When Lithgowicon kicked off production, the specified walnut apparently came from Italyicon. That was the timber of "first-choice". This started to get tricky during WW1, not because the Italians were "on the other side", far from it, but because global demand for carefully-selected, correctly-sawn, seasoned for years, straight-grained walnut spiked spectacularly after August 1914. See also the excellent walnut previously sourced from Turkeyicon and Russiaicon.

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    And in the woodwork saga lies another "beauty" of the Lee Enfield system.

    Look at a Gewehr 98, M-91 Carcano, M-91 Moisin Nagant and just about everybody's service rifles of the era, and further look at the stocks. LONG!! and with a lump at one end. How many of those could you hack from a walnut tree? Think of the differential of drying times and rates between the fore-end bit and the butt-end of the raw flitch.

    On the Lee Enfield (and, indeed the preceding Martini Henry), you needed long-ish slivers of straight-grained timber for the fore-end, and a SEPARATE triangle of wood of "less straight" grain to make the butt stock.

    The Japaneseicon twigged to the problem, hence their clever twist on "two-piece" furniture on the Arisakas.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce_in_Oz View Post
    not specifically "English" walnut.
    Sort of misspoke myself there...was trying not to say European walnut though as we here picture it as that light colored beautiful stuff the Mausers sometimes showed up wearing.

    Yes, a diagram would be of interest showing how many stocks could come from a tree selected...
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    I'm not one to dig up things that have kind of settled but a new fountain of info has come to light regarding this rifle in the form of a book by one J.S. Robinson: "Arms in the Service of Queensland" (Arms in the service of Queensland 1859-1901 / by J.S. Robinson. - Version details - Trove). The book is also listed on Skennertonicon's website: http://www.skennerton.com/reprints.html .

    There is plenty of information dating well past the 1886 of this rifle, and plenty on Martini Henry's themselves but as to an 1886 Enfield IC ? Not a massive amount. There are reciepts and orders of guns, from QLD, before and after this time but nothing at this exact time, but a list is included on page 59 about all the consignments of MH rifles in QLD until 1895. I won't go into the whole thing comparing bits and pieces and why it confuses me, BUT at the end are totals for arms for Land Defence, Marine Defence, and the Police, which purports that in 1892 their were 345 carbines with Land Defence troops, some undisclosed amount and type with Marine Defence, and some 306 with the police. There is mention in the book of some arms being marked 'QP' as compared to 'QG' to denote their intended role but no such distinction made with MH rifles and carbines.

    One might think that as this rifle has no sling swivels and a travel ring it was intended for mounted use on horseback only. There is no mention that the Land Defence had mounted units, but they certainly had artillery. Alternatively in earlier times the book makes mention of mounted units in the police, but again nothing of the like around the time of the MH rifles except in the designation of the carbines being "cavalry" or "interchangeable" or "artillery" type.

    I think a letter to the author, if he is still around, is in order.

  8. #16
    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    Sadly, "Stan" Robinson is no longer with us.

  9. #17
    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Sad to say I suspected that, and very sad to hear it. Thanks for confirming Bruce. This rifle may just have sparked his curiousity if he were still around. Guess I will have to pay an extra careful eye on his book to learn what I can.


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