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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can any member identify the bucket featured in the attachment?

A Martini-Henry Cavalry carbine fits perfectly. The interior shows no evidence of bolt scuffing.

Markings: 'ASC' over '129'. Above and inverted '153'.

The Carbine Martini-Henry is a Mk I First Pattern, marked 'SA' for use in South Australia and possibly one of the first 300 batch sent. It has no stock screws for fitting rear sight cover. Date 1877, rack number in the 290s.

In anticipation,

G and L A-R-West
 

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The bucket looks identical to a light horse SMLE bucket that I have.I think the early military carbine buckets looked very simular but had a socket for a teather peg.Did the bucket come with the carbine,I can not see any reason it would not be used with a Martini or Lee carbine by a no military user
 

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Yes, I'd say that your bucket is the last version used by the British cavalry .... designed to fit Lee-Enfields, up to and including the SMLE rifle, as shown below in these images from Osprey Men-At-Arms #138 ("British Cavalry Equipments 1800-1941"). The "ASC" mark presumably denotes "Army Service Corps" .... which did not become the Royal Army Service Corps until late 1918 - so your bucket must date no later than World War One.

Detail from Plate F - "Weapons and Equipment, 1914-1918" -


Plate H - "Corporal, Regular Cavalry, India, 1927" -


Page 35 - "7th Hussars, field service marching order, 1932" -


According to this detail from Plate D, the Martini carbine bucket looked like this -
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Martini-Henry Carbine bucket

Gentlemen,

Thank you for your invaluable assistance in clarifying and resolving 'The bucket question' at last.

Roger Buckland, the carbine did not come with the bucket.

We have examined an identical bucket with a blister to accommodate the bolt.

A further question, was the bucket in question used for the Carbine Martin-Henry carbine?

From the input, we can now proceed with illustrating a period colour depiction of a Hussar armed with a Carbine Martini-Henry in a similar pose as the 7th Hussars kindly posted by Grant Rombough, and of coarse - with the correct bucket!

We shall put the finished result on this forum for any interested member.

Attachment: bench rest, evaluating the Carbine Martini-Henry.

With thanks again.

G and L A-R-West
 

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There was indeed a version of this late-pattern Lee-Enfield bucket with a blister for the bolt (and/or to facilitate grasping the wrist of the rifle) used by the RNWMP (RCMP from 1 Feb 1920) in Canada; this scan is from I]"Arms & Accoutrements of the Mounted Police, 1873 - 1973"[/I] -



Although this "blister" version is not illustrated in the Osprey Cavalry Equipments book that i have noticed, I gather it must have been used by the British military because "Arms & Accoutrements" states that the RNWMP buckets were acquired from the British War Department in early 1919. Mind you, it would appear that the Mounted Police received both types, because a photograph of a mounted constable, stated to have been taken 26 Dec 1919, shows the version without the blister .... but with a rather noticeable bulge caused by the bolt knob -



 

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Actually ..... is it too late to 'tweak' your image a bit?

I did include one image of what I understand to be the correct configuration of carbine bucket for use with the Martini-Henry - i.e. the final image in Post #6 above. Note that it has a fairly pointed top contour in front, and lacks any sort of transverse leather binding or straps, nor does it have any visible end-cap.

Here is another image from the same Osprey Men-At-Arms volume, showing this Martini-Henry carbine bucket rigged on the Universal Pattern Wood Arch saddle of 1858. According to the caption, this would be a "field rigging" circa 1879 .....

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Grant Rombough,

Thanks again, however, along with your input, sketched the bucket from the image in Skennerton's 'A Treatise on the British Military Martini', page 134. The hussar's bucket mouth is distinctly without a raised front, with a transfer strap and an end cap.

Interesting, the last image you posted was for the 17th Lancers.

There seems to be some variation with these bucket arrangements.

G and L A-R-West
 

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Yes, there were definitely several variations in carbine buckets, and which is "correct" will of course depend on what historical time-frame your illustration is intended to depict.

Upon checking further in my references - and, in particular, the War Department List of Changes (not sure why I neglected to do so previously!) - I see that the one you have depicted appears to be a variant of the Mark IV bucket adopted in mid-1890, which I gather was the only M-H bucket which had a "stay" extended to form a band around the body of the bucket. Apparently binding on the top edges of the bucket body was first introduced with the Mark IV pattern, as well -



All of the previous versions were stabilized on the saddle girth by means of a wider flap of leather which was simply attached to the back of the bucket (by riveting or sewing) such as shown in my above images and in this LoC entry relating to the Mark III bucket adopted in 1887 (which was the first pattern to add the narrower straps (at the top of the stay and toward the bottom of the bucket) used to secure a picket-pin. (Mind you, as noted in the last paragraph of this LoC entry, some Mark II buckets - as seen in my earlier images - had such straps added -



Unfortunately, none of the earlier List of Changes entries are illustrated like the above two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Carbine Martini-Henry bucket

Thank you once again Grant Rombough,

All of this has shed some light on a subject not covered in much depth before making for an interesting forum and hopefully has assisted members.

We have now had the opportunity to examine a Mk III bucket with pad added to make the rig hang vertically. The bucket conforms to the attachment List of Changes - 3275, you placed on this site. The leather is light brown with brass buckles.

Now that our colour illustration bucket question has been resolved, the next part of our Carbine Martin-Henry research includes the Witten Martin-Henry carbine in which we shall directly compare handling and ballistic qualities with a copy of the Boxer Henry Mk III cartridge. The Witten in our possession came from South Africa and overall finish is excellent. Its prominent difference to that of the service carbine is that it features an unusual sling arrangement and the front lower edge of the receiver was not rounded indicating not intended for bucket use.

Attachment:-
Carbine Martini-Henry.
Witten Martini-Henry.
Martini-Henry 310 cadet.

G and L A-R-West
 

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