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FOR SALE - Martini Henry .577/450 MkIV grade I [REF 2040]
A very nice example of a MkIV Martini from the Nepalese find. The markings on the Butt show that after the rifle had finished service it was sold to the Nepalese Government in 1909 where they mostly stayed in storage. Marked on the stock are the original British marking showing MkIV with a ‘I’ underneath for condition 1. The rifle has all the British markings from when it was in British military service.
The rifle works perfectly, there is no rust under the barrel, as was common on some of the Martinis left in long term storage. The wood is in a fantastic condition. Fitted with an aged reproduction sling. This is the best you will find.
More information about the IMA find...
What was not generally known until the year 2002, was that unlike other countries, Nepal had stored all its old weaponry. In the 1890s the King ordered that all of the older weapons should be greased, then placed in one of the old palaces.
In 2002 Nepal's King and Queen were assassinated at dinner by their son who died in the fighting that ensued. The country’s Prime Minister then announced he should be the new King. This plunged the country into Civil War. During a lull in the fighting an American antiquity dealer from a company called IMA heard a rumour of an old arsenal which was purported to hold antique weapons. He asked around and eventually was given permission to explore the old palace. IMA negotiated and purchased the entire contents of the castle.
Information taken from the IMA website. Approximate Mk IV Production numbers:
Pattern A- 22,000
Pattern B- 40,000
Pattern C- 100,000
Every MkIV Martini-Henry rifle bears a date within the 1880's and often comes complete with a fabulous original British manufactured MkIII Sword Bayonet with Scabbard.
Martini Henry Pattern B was a New Rifle (not a conversion of Enfield Martini). Unique Features:
1) Ramp style front sight
2) Long knocks-form
3) One row of proof marks under barrel
Below is an extract courtesy of www.martinihenry.org -
"With the decision to make general issue of the Martini Henry MkII & MkIII to the Militia and Volunteers in January 1885 and the impending new .303 calibre and the suspension and ultimate cancellation of the .402 bore Enfield Martini in June 1887, it was decided as a short term measure to convert those 65000 .402 Enfield Martinis already made into a useable .577/450 arm. The new rifle was to be designated the Martini Henry MkIV at a cost to convert those arms was expected to be 6s 6d per piece.
The success of enhanced extraction of the longer lever of the Enfield Martini Pattern B rifle was readily adopted for all MkIV patterns, those existing Enfield Martini A pattern walnut stocks required the brass stock cup re-sitting to correspond with the long levers’ tip. The process required a fresh recess hole to be drilled and the cup re-set. A purpose made wooden plug was glued into the hole completing the process. As the stocks were all removed there is no consistency as which stock was fitted to A or B pattern, so they will be found on any pattern. Wherever possible the old components were re-used, and the E-M designation originally marked on many of the parts betrays today its original pedigree often scored through thus: E-M . The A pattern trigger assembly, designed to accept the E-M’s safety was reamed to remove the original configuration, whilst receivers and butt stocks of the old pattern had an extra Roman numeral V stamped alongside the original I, whilst newly made but un-used components have a distinctive IV classification. A new pattern clearing rod, designed to spring into place and to be suitable with use of the new steel jag was installed and the nose cap was redesigned, however it was decided to retain to old pattern Barleycorn on Block foresight on the pattern A.
Martini Henry MkIV pattern B & C
The Enfields’ records throw into confusion as to what happened to the 49,902 Pattern B .402 arms manufactured, these rifles required less conversion, the obvious re-bore to .577/450 calibre. Apart from sighting alteration and re-tooling of the extractor it was a far easier task to convert. These existing Pattern B rifles after barrel conversion to the new .577/450 were designated as the Martini Henry MkIV Pattern C, or conversions, whilst those rifles made as new pieces, from new components which were rifled to .577/.450 were known as Martini Henry Pattern B.
The author begs to be controversial and also doubts conventional thinking on the issue.
In my collection I have a Martini Henry pattern B, with a B designation to the serial number, several B markings on the knocks form, and B on the receiver. I have inspected 15 other examples and found the same, all proof marks are single line, not a twin line of proofs - clearly a discrepancy, or maybe proof indeed of the original nomenclature. However to confuse matters, the official List of Change No 5603, announcing the issue of the MH MkIV clearly states the knocks form of pattern A & B are 1/8th inch shorter than the pattern C. Whichever, the new sealed patterns were offered for adoption and accepted on the same date 15th Sept 1887. In 1895 BSA & M Co was contracted to refurbish 5000 Martini Henry MkIV, it is to be noted these rifles carry the BSA & M Co logo, however these rifles have Enfield made barrels, and therefore are not BSA original pieces.
Years of Manufacture: 1884-1889
Calibre: .577/450 Martini-Henry
Overall Length: 49 Inches
Action type: Lever Action Falling Block
Feed System: Single Shot"
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