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Posts : 552 Join date : 2009-10-14 Location : Loughborough
Subject: Re: martini - henry Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:56 pm
Looks a bit odd, it is a Mk4 later pattern that appears to have been cut down a bit. The base is not right. The Mk4 had longer base, with the slot longer to clear the trigger assembly. This is one but has been converted, probably to suit a Mk1-3 rifle. Otherwise you have to grind a radius on the front of the block to make it fit. So, OK as emergency spare, but a bit botched. There are four .450 cal extractor patterns bottom up. Mk1 shallow base, slot cutout for safety 1872-74 Mk1/2 shallow base 1873-1885 Mk3 1885 (LOC 3998) "strenghtened extractor) Mk4 (longer base for Mk4) Martini Enfield/Metford .303
I will publish images from my collection[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Posts : 552 Join date : 2009-10-14 Location : Loughborough
Subject: Re: martini - henry Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:43 am
90th I know Graham well from WD. He often has slings of me. Unmarked examples are usually Indian Arsenal made copies, as he notes they should have the VR and cypher to be 100% ordnance. they are circa 1880.
The jag is not Zulu wars, it is a martini jag, however that exampe is the pattern 1886, introduced on the 17.4.1886. for the Enfield Martini Rifle photo to follow of the correct tools etc for the period. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
These are the correct parts with approx value Jag Mk1 LOC 2659 17.7.74, this screws on the clearing rod, it rotates on its axis and is wrapped with flannel. I do have a Mk2 but it is somewhere in my arsenal! £30-40 Muzzle cover & foresight protector Mk2 LOC 2928 28.2.76. It slots on the muzzle to protect the foresight. When cleaning the rod is centred on the hole to prevent metal-metal contact in the barrel, where wear to the crown will affect accuracy. The Mk1 pattern had no hole, I have not tracked one of these down yet. £25 Implement Action 26.8.1874. It does everything on the gun. This is an Enfield made pattern, you do see C1890's indian arsenal copies. 2 x screwdriver, 1 punch for barrel lugs and split pin. 1 x breech block driver, a pricker and finally a clamp for squeezing split pin prior to re-insertion. , £90+ British, £40 colonial.
Last edited by Neil Aspinshaw on Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:53 pm; edited 2 times in total
Posts : 10353 Join date : 2009-04-07 Age : 65 Location : Melbourne, Australia
Subject: martini - henry Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:56 am
hi Neil. Thanks once again , your quick responses are well and truly appreciated. cheers 90th.
Posts : 7077 Join date : 2009-04-24 Age : 53 Location : Down South.
Subject: Re: martini - henry Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:54 pm
Here’s a nice diagram of the working parts of a M/H [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Unfortunally the print is to small to read with the naked eye.
Posts : 1604 Join date : 2009-09-21
Subject: Re: martini - henry Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:14 pm
The Martini-Henry rifle was developed from 1866 to 1871. This antique rifle was a mixture of the Henry rifles and the Martini falling-block action. Frederich Martini (1832-1897) was a Swiss gunsmith, who improved the American Peabody falling-block action. Alexander Henry (1817-1895) was the owner of gunmaking company in Scotland.
These two antique gunsmiths displayed their prototypes to the British Army firearms probes(1867-1869) to find a substitute for the Snider Rifle. This antique rifle was used in the Zulu War and the Second Afghan War in 1878; and in the African Boer War of 1881.
The best models of the Martini Henry production are:
-Mark I (1871-1876): Length of 124.5 cm, with a lanyard eye at the butt of the rifle.
-Mark I Cavalry Carbine: Length of 95.8 cm.
-Mark I Artillery Carbine: Length of 95.8 cm.
-Mark II (1877-1881): Length of 125.7 cm.
-Mark III (1881-1888): Length of 125.7 cm.
Today many Martini-Henrys are used as sporting rifles.
-Calibre : .450-577″
-Catridge capacity: single shot
-Operation : single-action
-Firing system : centre-fire
-Breach-loading: falling block action
-Length : 121.9 cm (48â€³)
-Barrel length : 85.1 cm (33.5â€³)
-Weight : 3.9 kg (8.6 lb)
-Sight : graduated sight
-Safety : loading indicator on right hand side of frame
-Stock : walnut
Posts : 2557 Join date : 2009-04-06 Age : 59 Location : UK
Subject: So what happen to Henry Peabody. Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:03 pm
The Martini-Henry has an interesting pedigree. What do you think of when you think about a Martini? A streamlined, graceful, slab-sided, single-shot receiver? An underlever that pivots a centrally located breechblock up-and-down? A deeply grooved breechblock to guide a fresh cartridge directly into the chamber? A simple mechanical extractor/ejector activated by the descending breechblock?
Well, thank you, Mr. Henry O. Peabody of Boston, Mass., who patented these details and principles in 1862 and licensed the Providence Tool Co. to build them. But whatever happened to your name?
During the closing days of the U.S. Civil War, the Secretary of War convened a Board of Officers "for the purpose of examining, testing, and recommending for adoption, a suitable breech-loader for muskets and carbines." The recommendation of that Board and a subsequent Board was the Peabody be adopted as a metallic cartridge firing replacement for the muzzleloading musket. Unfortunately, the Chief of Ordnance, sitting on a million or so perfectly good Springfield muskets and challenged with a limited budget, finally followed the recommendations of another Board to convert the existing muskets to "trapdoors" using the Allin breech-loading system.
Lose To Win
Disappointing as the decision was, it didn't stop the Providence Tool Co. from successfully marketing its military Peabodys. In 1866, Canada ordered 3,000. In 1867, Switzerland ordered 15,000, followed by Romania, 25,000, Spain, 10,000 and France. 39,000. In the 1870s the National Guards of Connecticut, Massachusetts and South Carolina adopted the Peabody. But the killer contract was that of the Ottoman Turks, who in 1872, ordered 600,000 of the improved Peabody-Martini model. And this is where the nomenclature and design of the Peabody gets interesting.
Friedrich yon Martini, a Swiss, took the Peabody action, probably a Swiss contract rifle, and eliminated Peabody's external back-action lock by incorporating the complete firing mechanism within the breechblock itself. While freely admitting that his design was derived from the Peabody patent, he patented the improved design in his own name.
The British took the Martini patented action, added a barrel featuring Alexander Henry's rifling form, and labeled it the Martini-Henry.
Henry Peabody, who had experimented with internal tiring mechanisms, sued the British government for patent infringement and lost. The British took the position that Peabody should be suing Martini, not them.
Meanwhile, under their contract with the Providence Tool Co., the Turks wanted the improved Martini-Henry design, so Providence Tool arranged a royalty agreement with yon Martini to pay him 2 shillings per gun. The resulting model was called the Peabody-Martini, even though Providence Tool would be rifling its barrels using the Henry rifling form.
So what happened to Alexander Henry, his rifling patent, and the Martini-Henry name? Alexander Henry went ahead and sued Providence Tool Co., but Alexander Henry's rifling patent expired, and the Providence Tool Co. told him to go take a toot. The Peabody-Martini name would stick.
The end of the Peabody-Martini story along with that of the Providence Tool Co. comes with the Turkish contract for 600,000 guns. While Providence Tool upheld its end of the contract, the Ottoman Turks gradually ran the company into bankruptcy by not paying according to the agreed upon financing schedule. In 1885, the company shut its doors forever.
In collecting circles, military or sporting Peabody-Martinis are relatively rare and when found, very expensive. The earlier 1862 patent Peabody rifles and carbines are more common. Swiss, French and Spanish contract pieces appear from time-to-time as do state militia rifles. The most common calibers are .43 Spanish, .45-70 and various early rimfires.
Peabodys are interesting in-and-of themselves as well as representing a step along the evolutionary trail of a classic action. For reference purposes, beautiful renditions of original Peabody catalogs have been reprinted recently by Cornell Publications, and Edward Hull's book, Providence Tool Co. Military Arms is available in limited supply from Ray Riling Arms Books.
Amusingly enough, back on the British side of the story, the Martini-Henry undergoes some name changes of its own. The Henry rifling form was the product of the black powder and lead bullet era. When the Brits adopt the .303 cartridge in January of 1889, they also adopt the Metford form of rifling featuring seven shallow, elliptical grooves, so the Martini-Henrys converted to .303 now become Martini-Metfords.
Shortly thereafter, the .303 black powder loading is superceded by a smokeless cordite load. The cordite load generates high temperatures that quickly erode the shallow Metford rifling form at the throat. To rectify the problem, the Enfield form of rifling based on five grooves and lands is introduced, so the last of the British military Martinis are called Martini-Enfields.
Posts : 20 Join date : 2019-11-17 Location : Sydney, Australia
Subject: Re: martini - henry Sat Aug 28, 2021 8:40 am
Can I clarify your description of the Implement Action 26.8.1874 in the second post above, please?
Reading them clockwise, the third implement (after the “2 x screwdriver”) is the breech block driver with pricker mounted on slider?
….. and the fourth (/ left most) is the punch for barrel lugs and split pin?
The tool was discussed in a subsequent thread: Original Combo Tool For Martini Henry. (1879zuluwar.com) :
DundeeBoer wrote “I’ve also heard it referred to un-officially as the “Armourer Sergeants Stripping Tool”.” I inferred at the time that it, in fact, was an Armourer Sergeants Stripping Tool.
Having just reread that thread, I’m puzzled by your “There was one supplied per five rifles”.
In my abject ignorance, the implement’s functions seem a bit sophisticated for a line soldier to be permitted to perform. Proceeding on that assumption, did an Armourer Sergeant carry (Where? Armourer’s Chest? Seems unlikely) scores (hundreds?) of the implements into the field? And, if so, why one per five rifles? Did they really wear out that quickly?