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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A very nice gentleman gifted this Martini Carbine to me and I am extremely honoured to of taken possession of it. The Martini-Henry is my favourite rifle of any era so this was a huge thing for me to receive.

She is a Martini Carbine of some sort, chambered for .303 British.
No markings on ether side plate of the action, there is however a "BW" on the upper action itself. She is fitted with what appear to be Mauser sites both front and rear but has what looks to be a lug on the side for some sort of Bayonet.

Wood underneath the muzzle where the cleaning rod would usually be housed and two sling rings underneath. The Carbine is in excellent condition and doesn't like smokeless powder loads but rather Black Powder loads (leading me to believe she may have Metford Rifling?).

My Advance apologies for the quality of the pic, I only have my cell phone camera. I will try to get better pics with better light with a different camera later.



Any opinions on what she is, or where she may have came from?
 

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MH

Hello, from what you have posted, it sounds like a commercial carbine of some sort. Better pictures of the receiver and barrel would help alot. If it is military issue, it will of course have WD & Inspection marks. With the rifle having a bayo lug, It looks like an Artillery Carbine. Any markings on the buttstock and metal work will give a better idea of what you have. Regards, Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well there are no imperial markings on ether side of the action.
There is a "BW" on the slide where the bullet is guided into the breech.
There are two Crowns on the rear site. I believe the side mounted lug on the upper band is for a bayonet most likely a sword bayonet. The area where the cleaning rod would be housed is replaced with wood. She seems to have been fitted with modified sights and has had the upper woodwork forward of the action modified to accommodate the new sight.

I'll post what pics I got but bare with me, my camera is not the greatest.

Pics



Buttstock


Bayonet Lug on upper band?


Action





Sight

*note crowns on site
 

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At best you have a Bubba Bitsa at worse a counterfeit. I'm leaning towards a Bubba.

Can you post pictures of the marks.
 

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Its a rifle put together by Bubba with bits of this rifle and bits of that rifle
 

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It has nothing to do with collecting, it has to do with identifing what you have and being sure its safe to shoot, before you shoot it.

You say its .303 and I say how do you know, how can you be sure. Before you shoot this one you need a chamber cast and the bore slugged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It has nothing to do with collecting, it has to do with identifing what you have and being sure its safe to shoot, before you shoot it.

You say its .303 and I say how do you know, how can you be sure. Before you shoot this one you need a chamber cast and the bore slugged.
Absolutely, I couldn't agree more.
This has come down the line from 2 previous well experienced collectors so I gather I wouldn't have been given it if it werent safe to shoot.I will however have a qualified Gunsmith have a look at it before even attempting to use it. I've heard horror stories of Indian made Schniders blowing up in peoples faces.
 

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lets not be too hard on this carbine. One thing did get my attention.
It has been taken to bits at one time.
The cocking indicator should be vertical when it is uncocked, instead of where it is now.
The rear sight has been installed backwards.
Both are correctable.
Yes, it is an artillery carbine as cavalry cartbines do not have bayonets. Oddly enough www.ima-usa has a replica of the sword bayonet in their latest catalog. AND it is a Bloody sword!
Is there a hole in the buttstock where a sling swivel might have been?

Carrying this further, This was the time period of the "Volunteer" units which were replaced by the Territorials in 1911. Volunteers often bought their own equipment and arms from manufacturers that were the same as issue weapons, but which would obviously not have government acceptance marks, with the exception that all had to pass proof. Or for that matter it could have been a private purchase.
For takedown and reassembly, go to www.martinihenry.com
The process is well illustrated with pics on how to do it.

A bit more. Take a .303 round, insert the bullet in the muzzle. It should go in until just a skosh before the case mouth reaches the muzzle.
Also try gently inserting the round in the chamber. Don't force it. It probably is a .303.
If nothing else I would field strip the action to make sure there is no dried grease or crud inside. (it's been around a Loooong time.)
A caveat here. That tiny screw that holds the cocking indicator MUST BE POSITIONED so that the cutout allows the cocking indicator to be removed That is ONLY as far as you have to turn it. Same goes for reassembly, The screw is EASILY SNAPPED OFF if it is not positioned correctly and replacements are on the shelf between the boxes of rocking horse crap and budgies teeth.

If you remove the forend, there should be a load of proof and inspection marks on the underside of the barrel.

Even more; Describe or post any barrel markings.
And it could be a "trade pattern" commercial rifle. Even Webley did them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for the replies.
There are some markings which didn't show up in the pictures above because my camera is crap. A Crown with "BV" underneath on the slide which guides the breech. There is a number on the rear sling ring. Three Crowns on the rear site.There is a piece of wood just forward of the action on the top which maybe obsuring proof marks on the barrel or manufacturer information.

I am a beginner with this stuff so I will arrange a day I can meet with the fellow who passed her on to me and maybe we can take it apart, have a look at fixing that cocking indicator and rearranging that rear site.
 

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"BV" ==Commerical Proof

BV is Birmingham View, or Inspection at Birmingham Proof Houise...somewhere there should also be a BP (Birmingham Proof). A sign that the Rifle has been "In trade" ( commercially sold)

So most probably it is an Ex-military or a commercially assembled copy, and the Barrel cut down from a Long Rifle (the rear sights are Long rifle).

Very much like the Artillery pattern, or Gaols pattern (for colonial prisons).

Firstly, as correctly stated, it has to be re-assembled correctly and carefully. Then one can procede to test fire etc.

Regards,
Doc AV
 

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I have been looking at these picture pretty close and I am getting a different felling about what this is.

I do not believe the action is British. The trigger and trigger guard are shaped wrong. The rear sight is Swedish as is the sling swivel. The front of the stock is not fitted out or shaped like a Martini Henry or Martini Enfield Carbine.

There is a number 4 is on the left side of the receiver. I can't see anything on the right side.

The hinge pin is it a split pin or a screw. The lower action cross pin is it a screw or a split pin.

I wonder, could this rifle be a Swedish Martini, say a Husquvarna? If so it's caliber may very well be 8 mm Krag. A .303 cartridge will easily fit in the chamber and a .303 bullet will easily fit down the bore. If fired in the 8 mm Krag the .303 case will expand to fit the chamber and may just split. I wouldn't take the chance. I wouldn't recommend firing a 303 in this chamber until you verify what the chamber is.

Is there any other markings on the action or any of its internal parts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I haven't taken it apart, however the guy who gave it to me identified the sights as Swedish Mauser sites. So that makes perfect sense and also coincides with what I was already told about the piece.

I love it, its like a mystery finding out just what this little rifle is or was.
 

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Here's some larger pictures.









 

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Er..I hate to be the one to say this, but here goes:
The rear sight does not belong to a Martini of any type. In fact it is not a British sight at all. The front sight is also not correct for any Martini. The lack of proof or other markings on the receiver and barrel worries me a lot. Whilst a carbine with a bayonet mount would be an artillery carbine, the woodwork is not correct for a MMAC which is the only type which would have this type of bayonet mount. The trigger guard looks hand made. The file marks on the block and receiver worry me, and the breechblock split pin is wrong. In fact there is just so much wrong with it that I humbly suggest it is made largely by hand somewhere East of Suez. Not safe to shoot, IMHO.
Rob
 

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Rob,

I don't often disagree with you, but I disagree with you on this one. I don't think this is gun came from east of Suez.

The parts are all European. The hinge pin and trigger guard screws look new made. If this gun had an export label it would probably say assembled in North America with European parts.

How was SA, did you make it down to Durbs?
 

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After another look at the latest pics, the hinge pin should be a split pin and the trigger guard pin (should be a screw)are certainly replacements. Yes, the rear sight is a swede. and the stock has certainly been cut since there is no nosecap. The front sight insert is from a Lee Enfield as you can see the height mark on the base. and the sight base also appears to be from a Lee enfield
I have NO idea what the rear sling swivel is off of. certainly not a swede.
I would guess the reciever has been scrubbed as I can just make out a 4 on the left side. Possibly there was a crown over the 4 at one time. That would make it a conversion to .303 by the
Henry Rifled Barrel Engineering and Small Arms Company Ltd.
48 Eagle Wharf Road Hoxton
London
Or they might have made it as a .303
Certainly it was a rifle at one time and not a carbine.

I get the feeling this is british manufacture and has had some VERY extensive mods done much later in life.

You really need to get the forend off and let us know what is stamped underneath on the barrel
 
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