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  1. #1
    Member Medalnet's Avatar
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    Martini Henry Identification

    It has taken sometime unfortunately, but I eventually was able to obtain my second Martini Henry. Slightly different to my first one, this rifle has yet again in true fashion become a puzzle to solve in regards to it's origins and history and displaying the markings as best as possible, I was hoping that the forum could assist with their usual knowledge and insightful opinions. Much appreciated.
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    Contributing Member NORTHOF60's Avatar
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    Good afternoon Richard. I've very little expertise, but I can tell you that it has been sold "out of service" : the 2 broad arrow marks facing together, and that it appears to have been rebarreled using a Stillson wrench and vise, and it doesn't look as though the barrel has been snugged up properly - there's a gap between the shoulder of the barrel and the action face. I don't suggest that you fire the rifle before its been checked by a gunsmith.
    Last edited by NORTHOF60; 10-05-2020 at 11:38 AM.
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    Fantasy piece?

    Khyber Pass special, looks to me from the markings and other things.
    But a cool piece if the price was right. I woulda bought it!
    Best wishes. Dave

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    Looks like a genuine MkIII cut down with issues listed above. South Africa U ^ stamp.

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    Really Senior Member butlersrangers's Avatar
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    "SX" on receiver is for Strengthened Extractor.

    Butt-Stock Roundel, Receiver Marking, and "X" inspector-mark on Barrel, all seem to indicate London Small Arms Company.

    It could be a real Britishicon carbine that fell into the hands of 'Bubba'.

    It would be helpful to see a picture of the barrel-breech & block-face, to see if there is a gap.

    Maybe someone removed the barrel for a proposed "re-barrel project", and years later, put things partially together to sell the parts?

    I'm assuming it is chambered for .577/.450?
    Last edited by butlersrangers; 10-05-2020 at 10:56 AM.

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    Member Medalnet's Avatar
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    Gents afternoon.....thank you for those comments and input......much appreciated. I will see if I can get those additional pics for clarity sake but I would be guessing it's chambered for .450.

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    the C^G stamp indicates property of the Cape Government and then you also have the later U with broad arrow indicating ownership by the Union of South Africa. These are all consistent with long service in the military of South Africa from before and after the Boer War. In the stock I see what looks like a unit marking ....86 RD would be the unit, 698 would be the rack number and 4-4-2 would be the date 4th April 1902, probably.

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    Senior Member Terrylee's Avatar
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    This Martini is one of the earlier shortened South African cadet rifles. There were still a few left in our school armory when I was a cadet in the late 1950s. I attach photos of a similar one in my collection. As both rifles were originally issued in the Cape, the markings are very much the same. Mine also has the name of its school stamped into the butt: Murchiston (Pietermaritzburg, Natal)
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    Last edited by Terrylee; 10-06-2020 at 04:12 AM.

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    Really Senior Member butlersrangers's Avatar
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    Terrylee - Thanks for pulling this together with your personal experience and almost identical Martini carbine.

    What cartridge is your Martini chambered for? (I presume .577/.450)?



    FWEW - It appears the O.P. just needs to have his barrel fully installed.

    BTW - The OP's Martini has an earlier fore-sight. Your Martini has the more refined later fore-sight.
    Last edited by butlersrangers; 10-06-2020 at 02:46 PM.

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    Senior Member Terrylee's Avatar
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    My shortened Martini Henry cadet rifle is in the original .577/.450 caliber, but by my time in the cadets virtually all these rifles had been replaced by shortened Long Lees and .303 Martini Metford/Enfield carbines. The Long Lees were used by the senior cadets and the Martini-actioned carbines by the juniors.

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