Correct Sling for Martini-Henry MKIV

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by EX_STAB, Apr 7, 2009.

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  1. I have a 577/450 Martini-Henry Mk IVa, dated 1886.

    (Just like this one)
    [​IMG]

    For those not in the know, these were built as Enfield-Martini rifles in .402 but later converted to the older 577/450 cartridge. (Not to be confused with the Martini Metford or Martini-Enfield.).

    Anyway, by the time these were on issue they were second rate anyway, the Lee-Metford was in service from 1888, so presumably would have been issued to reserve units, militias and native forces.

    Mine was sold out of service at Kirkee Arsenal in India in November 1908 and gifted to Nepal. I doubt very much whether it ever left teh armoury from then until the time it was sold off a few years ago.

    Anyway, question is: What sling should it have?

    The options seem to be:
    1) Buff leather.
    2) Buff leather blancoed white.
    3) Brown leather.
    4) Black Leather.
    5) White leather.

    Now I'm pretty sure that white leather is wrong and is just a reproduction attempt at buff leather blancoed white.

    Beyond that, I think Black should only be for "Rifles" regiments although I doubt any had this model issued by the time it came into service. Some suggestions are that Artillery carbines for Sergeants had black slings (?) but again I think this would predate this model and in any case it's a rifle not a carbine.

    It would seem that options 1 - 3 seem most likely and all were used at some time but which would be correct for mine, particularly if in service in India?

    All help gratefully appreciated.
     
  2. At the same time as these rifles were sold, the Nepalese also released many original slings - they're black leather, as wide as the sling loops, and often have Nepalese characters stamped on them.

    There are usually a couple of blokes selling original slings on eBay.


    [​IMG]
     
  3. Oh getting one isn't a problem it's just a question of which one to have. I'd like it to be a it was in British/Empire service. I doubt the Nepalese made new slings so perhaps the black ones were issued in India?
     
  4. Any more ideas?
     
  5. I suspect all are right ES..

    It would depend on regimental idiosyncracies and orders of dress...

    White pipeclay with scarlet, buff with Khaki, black for Rifles etc - same as today

    The only original MH sling I have is brown leather, but I have black ones on the ones I shoot as it is easier to clean...
     
  6. So what dress would the brown ones be issued with? The buff ones I've seen are very pale.
     
  7. Dunno mate - cocktail perhaps? :D