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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
6 Dec. 2008

At long last, here are the pics of the 1895 BSA&M mk. IV Martini-Henry rebuild that I pipped Martinirick to the post on a few weeks ago (sorry!). It was not in particularly good shape when I got it, but after a thorough cleaning it turned out okay. It has no Nepali marks on it and, when I took it apart, I found that every nook and cranny was packed with baked, hard mud -- a sure sign of a spell in Afghanistan, in my experience. Still, in common with my two other Afghan-found Martinis, the action is tight, the bore perfect and the metal rust free (I presume because of the dry climate).

Here is the gun’s “bio,” as near as I can tell, followed by some pics. Please note that my notation on the photo of the “RE” rack number contains a typo: the rack number is 542, not 524.

Martini-Henry rifle, mk. IV, BSA&M, 1895, C Pattern, type 1 (type 3 of 4): new made, not a conversion.
Notes: this rifle is a type 1 C Pattern mk. IV, having a ramped front sight instead of the block front sight exhibited by the type 2 C Pattern. The rifle is unusual in that it is one of 1,237 MHR mk. IVs rebuilt in 1895 using purpose-made BSA&M receivers. The BSA&M mk. IVs appear to come in two varieties: (a) those mated with surplus, rebored Enfield-Martini barrels with late 1880s dates and (b) those with Enfield-marked, purpose-made 1895 barrels. This is one of the latter, with a barrel stamped “’95.” The BSA&M receiver has no serial number. The barrel has two. The number “440” appears next to the date on the underside. This is probably a barrel-manufacturer’s sequential number. The number “374” appears both below the woodline and above it. Presumably, this is what passes for the rifle’s serial number. The backsight is numbered “671.” The barrel and receiver are mounted on woodwork from an old Enfield-made A Pattern mk. IV. The original Enfield roundel has been obliterated by a later Madras roundel, this possibly being the place where the rebuild occurred. There is a second roundel (Ft. William), but it has been partially overstamped by “RE” (Royal Engineers) over “542.” Other marks on the wood are a “B” on the butt, a small “920” rack number and a large “198” rack number, in addition to a “1” over “09” refurbishment date. Unlike the vast majority of Indian mk. IVs on the market, this one exhibits no Nepalese stamps at all. A small number of BSA&M mk. IVs have turned up in Afghanistan, and this rifle is probably from that source also. The rifle exhibits no official sale stamps.

Photos below.

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