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Martini Henry

MkIV
Date 1886
Calibre 577/450
Price: £725

Very Good Condition - Obsolete Calibre

The vast majority of Mark IV Martini-Henry Rifles started life as Enfield-Martini .402 caliber rifles. The British came to the realization in the mid 1880s that a higher velocity, smaller caliber projectile had many advantages over a slow moving, but massive .450" bullet. The ROF Enfield developed a cartridge with a .402" bullet, and the engineers and armorers at RSAF Enfield designed a new Martini to fire this new cartridge. These rifles were known as the Enfield-Martini Mark I.

Unfortunately, at about the time production of the new Enfield-Martini .402 Rifle peaked, the vastly superior .303 caliber Magazine Lee-Metford Rifle was coming onto the scene. The British had already instituted a logistics nightmare by introducing in the .402 E-M yet another caliber of ammunition which must be supplied to troops In view of the forthcoming widespread acceptance of the new MLM Rifle, a decision was made to convert all .402" arms back to .450 Martini-Henry for issuance to non frontline troops,

The 64,634 .402" arms manufactured up to that point were then converted to Martini-Henry Mark IVs.

The converted E-M Mark Is are referred to as "A" and "B" pattern Martini-Henry Mark IVs. The "C" pattern Mark IV was made from mostly new parts, and some interchangeable parts from the Enfield-Martini .402. When converted to "A" and "B" pattern Mark IVs, the short lever was removed, the operating lever retaining cup hole was plugged with wood, and a long lever was installed. Thus, "A" and "B" pattern Mark IVs are easily identifiable by a wood plug on the underside of the buttstock (assuming the stock is original to the weapon).

Also, "A" and "B" patterns will typically have the "V" character stamped off center, to the right of the "I" character on the Sovereign's Cypher (as E-M Mark I's, they bore a single "I" designating the Mark. When converted to Mark IV, the "V" was added to the existing "I").

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This example is one of the original MKI Enfield-Martini .402 caliber rifles later converted to the MkIV 577/450

The butt has a 1908 Rawalpindi Arsenal Mark, which would have been the British Arsenal in India at the time. plus an earler mark of 1897.

On The Whole; A good Useable Martini Henry with a Very Good Bore

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