Martini Henry carbine mark 2

#1
After a session in the local pub on Saturday, one of my neighbours mentioned that he had heard that I had some involvement with the army and could I help him. Some 2 hours later in his garage I was confronted in his garage with a Martini Henry carbine ( 0.455) circa 1895 Mak 2 ( upgraded to a mark 3). Having never seen one before and given it a quick clean it appears to be in good order and could be put into working order by the addition of a few simple bits.
Question 1 --- what is worth?
Question 2 --- how do we make it legal ? current owner only wants it as a wall trophy.
Question 3 --- web site 'google' suggests it was issued to Devonshire Regt in Dec 1895 and has a V Volunteers on the brass circular butt plate. However there is also an ' A' after the Dvn stamp --hardly artillery but what?
 
#2
Don't do anything to it, it's legal as it is!

It's calibre is classed as being obselete, and it is therefore license free!

Post a photo or two, I'd love to see it.

T_T
 
#3
My post above was a hurried one, as I was on my way out of the door. From what I hear not all police officers are aware of the law on obselete calibre weapons, and may try and force you to give it up or have it deactivated. Do not do this!!

It's difficult to judge the value, from your description. In decent order 600-800 pounds could be a ball park figure judging by the prices I've seen them selling for.

Photo's of the rifle and it's markings could help a lot, both with a price estimate and identifying the unit etc.
 
#4
Thanks for the reply Tartan, I attach some photos of the carbine which should give you an idea of its history etc. Bearing in mind that it is some 115 years old it is in god condition and is very nice to handle. Whilst a bit on the heavy side, it is a handy, well made weapon and certainly one that instills a sense of reliability and confidence. Some websites suggest that it was still a killer at 1000 yards + but I have my doubts.
 

Attachments

#5
Very nice piece indeed. Any idea what the bore is like - still shiny? Value somewhere £450-650.

I reiterate what TT says: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DE-ACTIVATE IT!!!!

Martini-Henrys are sect 58 "obsolete calibres" and can therefore be legally bought, sold & displayed by anyone without any sort of licence.

(Due to the ridiculous way the firearms laws work, if you come into possession of a single round of ammunition for the M-H, it instantly becomes a section 1 firearm that requires and FAC and secure storage......)
 
#6
The brass butt plate suggests that it was issued in DEC 1893 to volunteer unit (V) possibly the Devonshire Regt but what does the letter A to the right of DVN stamp indicate ? Equally the number 2 on the reverse side of the butt indicates a weapon used for second line use. Do I presume then that since it is a carbine not a rifle and used in an infantry battalion then it would have been used by drivers, cooks etc ?. Does anyone know where the Devons were in 1893 onwards?
Bore is 'grubby' but non rusty. Will try some 4x2 and oil tomorrow.
 
#7
A couple or three years ago I was visiting a local person back home and over our cuppa, he produced the Martini Henry Carbine he had made from plans in a 'Engineering Modelers' Magazine.
The gent was a long retired Engineer and he had just knocked it up as a skills exercise.
It was not proof tested but he maintained that it was to the correct Spec.
john
 
#8
Just as an aside, I had the pleasure of firing one of these lovely weapons...A RE WOII had one and some other nice examples. It kicks like a mule and gives the nicest sound I've ever heard from a firearm.

Great bit of kit.

S_R
 
#9
#10
jonwilly said:
A couple or three years ago I was visiting a local person back home and over our cuppa, he produced the Martini Henry Carbine he had made from plans in a 'Engineering Modelers' Magazine.
The gent was a long retired Engineer and he had just knocked it up as a skills exercise.
It was not proof tested but he maintained that it was to the correct Spec.
john
If you were in UK, that, my friend, would be wholly illegal :x

The "licence free" status only applies to original weapons and not to reproductions..

UK engineering modelling mags have NEVER published weapon designs, so I would suggest he has got this from a US source (and if so I very much doubt if it was an M-H design - more likely a HiWall)
 
#11
4(T) said:
Very nice piece indeed. Any idea what the bore is like - still shiny? Value somewhere £450-650.

I reiterate what TT says: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DE-ACTIVATE IT!!!!

Martini-Henrys are sect 58 "obsolete calibres" and can therefore be legally bought, sold & displayed by anyone without any sort of licence.

(Due to the ridiculous way the firearms laws work, if you come into possession of a single round of ammunition for the M-H, it instantly becomes a section 1 firearm that requires and FAC and secure storage......)
At the risk of appearing pedantic, Section 58(2) provides an exemption from the requirement to hold a Firearm Certificate for an "antique held as a curiosity or ornament". Calibre, obsolete or otherwise doesn't come into it in law although plod and the Home Office would like it to. See the Mick Shepherd case.

Doubt anyone would argue much over the M-H 577-450 though.

DO NOT HAVE IT DEACTIVATED!
 
#12
Softcentre said:
The brass butt plate suggests that it was issued in DEC 1893 to volunteer unit (V) possibly the Devonshire Regt but what does the letter A to the right of DVN stamp indicate ? Equally the number 2 on the reverse side of the butt indicates a weapon used for second line use. Do I presume then that since it is a carbine not a rifle and used in an infantry battalion then it would have been used by drivers, cooks etc ?. Does anyone know where the Devons were in 1893 onwards?
Bore is 'grubby' but non rusty. Will try some 4x2 and oil tomorrow.
The 2 on the butt stamp indicated that the weapon had been inspected and downgraded to class two rather than "used for second line". The "double arrow" mark on the Knoxform which you illustrate in the third photo indicates that the rifle has been sold out of service use.

MH rifles are good to 800 - 1000 yards (provided you can get the sight setting right!) Carbines on the other hand start to lose the plot over 300. They used a reduced power round with a smaller bullet.

I have actually shot an APWT with my Martini rifle - the double snaps are hard, but otherwise not a problem... :D
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#13
Ah yes a lighter bullet, I recognise the RE WO2! Good rifles and I kick myself for turning them down at £250 each only 1994 I think, mind you I probably wouldnt be selling them on, I'm a reluctant dealer!
 
#14
HE117 said:
jonwilly said:
A couple or three years ago I was visiting a local person back home and over our cuppa, he produced the Martini Henry Carbine he had made from plans in a 'Engineering Modelers' Magazine.
The gent was a long retired Engineer and he had just knocked it up as a skills exercise.
It was not proof tested but he maintained that it was to the correct Spec.
john
If you were in UK, that, my friend, would be wholly illegal :x

The "licence free" status only applies to original weapons and not to reproductions..

UK engineering modelling mags have NEVER published weapon designs, so I would suggest he has got this from a US source (and if so I very much doubt if it was an M-H design - more likely a HiWall)
:bore on:

Between 1929 -1949 Model Engineer magazine had 35 articles on "armaments." Most dealt with models but included rifling of barrels and two articles:
*Improving the Mark 2 Sten (Vol 88 Iss 2175)
*The Sten Carbine. A Description of Britain's new Machine Carbine (Vol 88 Issue 2195)

Vol 27 Isssue 601 includes a "practical letter" on the topic of "Rifle Barrels and Converted Martinis."

Full index here:
http://www.colinusher.info/Indexes/meindex.htm

:bore off: ;)
 
#15
EX_STAB said:
HE117 said:
jonwilly said:
A couple or three years ago I was visiting a local person back home and over our cuppa, he produced the Martini Henry Carbine he had made from plans in a 'Engineering Modelers' Magazine.
The gent was a long retired Engineer and he had just knocked it up as a skills exercise.
It was not proof tested but he maintained that it was to the correct Spec.
john
If you were in UK, that, my friend, would be wholly illegal :x

The "licence free" status only applies to original weapons and not to reproductions..

UK engineering modelling mags have NEVER published weapon designs, so I would suggest he has got this from a US source (and if so I very much doubt if it was an M-H design - more likely a HiWall)
:bore on:

Between 1929 -1949 Model Engineer magazine had 35 articles on "armaments." Most dealt with models but included rifling of barrels and two articles:
*Improving the Mark 2 Sten (Vol 88 Iss 2175)
*The Sten Carbine. A Description of Britain's new Machine Carbine (Vol 88 Issue 2195)

Vol 27 Isssue 601 includes a "practical letter" on the topic of "Rifle Barrels and Converted Martinis."

Full index here:
http://www.colinusher.info/Indexes/meindex.htm

:bore off: ;)
Yes, but this was in wartime - a different world my friend, and even then however no UK "build your own gun" plans were published..

My point was that knocking up homebuilds in the garage is a serious no no these days, even if they are reproductions of antiques...

When a mate of mine has to licence and lock up a length of plastic cable conduit as it is used for darting animals, the application of logic vis a vis the firearms acts is a non starter...
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#16
When a mate of mine has to licence and lock up a length of plastic cable conduit as it is used for darting animals, the application of logic vis a vis the firearms acts is a non starter...


That would make a great signature, do you mind?
 
#17
ugly said:
When a mate of mine has to licence and lock up a length of plastic cable conduit as it is used for darting animals, the application of logic vis a vis the firearms acts is a non starter...


That would make a great signature, do you mind?
.. Fill your boots Uggs... :D
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#18
Cheers its on my email signature!
 
#20
This weapon looks to be a Martini Enfield.

Brass Stock Disc:
2nd Bn Devonshire Regiment (2 DVN)
Issued Dec 1893 (12 1893)
Weapon Rack Number: 387

MkIII upgraded from MKII (as mentioned)
2nd line weapon (indicatedby the '2', older pattern, more wear and tear etc)
Manufacturers' Roundel is the pattern seen on late pattern ME's and indicates manufacture at Enfield. This should match markings on the RHS of the receiver.
There are two London proof marks visible on the LHS of the barrel proximal to the receiver. There is also an 'S...' that I cannot make out, but may be SX (A Mark III extractor was added (sometimes evidenced by an "S.X." marking atop the action body. Weapons made after 1886 incorporated the strengthened Mark III extractor, but the "S.X." marking was often applied by unit armourers to maintain consistent markings with the unit's other weapons as well as the 'sold out of service' double crow's foot already mentioned, and a couple of inspectors' view marks.

2 Devons were in in Burma in 1890 and Devonport in 1894.


I do not know what the 'A' stands for but I suspect that the 'V' stands for 'Volunteer'.

Hope this helps!

BTW - NOTHING needs to be done with this rifle, it is totally legal to own in it's present state!
 

Similar threads


Latest Threads

Top