Martini Henry MKII Carbine
Martini Henry MKII Carbine Martini Henry MKII Carbine Martini Henry MKII Carbine

Martini Henry MKII Carbine

Weapon Specification
Calibre 577/450”
Date of Approval 16th June 1892
Length 3' 1.5"
Weight 7lb 9oz
Weapon Overview

With the large scale introduction of the Martini Henry rifle in 1886 to the Militia and Volunteers, the next problem was the replacement of the Garrison and Volunteer Artillery small arms around the country. In 1891 a simple solution was found, it involved the conversion of many of the existing MkII and MkIII rifles that had been placed into the second class in the stores at Weedon into a serviceable carbine.

 

Firstly, the barrel length was cut down by 11.75” to 1’ 9.437”. The barleycorn sight was then brazed into place .667” from the muzzle allowing for the muzzle ring of the Pattern 58 converted sword bayonet. The rifle ladder sight was removed, and the subsequent screw hole plugged with a screw and the head filed level. The new sighting arrangement was that similar to the IC1 carbine, with a graduated 1-300 yards sight bed, this was fitted 2.85” from the receiver in the same position as the IC1 Carbine. The MkII fore end wood was reduced in size, with the middle band shoulders set back an extra 2.5”. The bands were adapted to allow for the increase in subsequent barrel diameter, likewise the nosecap had a corresponding increase in diameter. Most of the existing components were those of the MkII rifle that the carbine was derided. New component parts were installed including the pattern 1885 Strenghtened extractor, with “S.X” being stamped upon the receiver bridge, a new rod, in essence a stubby version of the MkII rod, was installed. To correspond with the new style of unit markings, a 1” diameter brass stock disc was sunk into the stock.

 

The Martini Henry MkII carbine was an economical conversion, and was to be used for many years, not only as an excellent stop gap arm for the Garrison Artilliery, but also as a drill arm in the hands of cadets and volunteers. To render the gun incapable of firing, they were frequently “de-activtated”, and condemned, with the rather blunt “NOT FOR BALL” being stamped into the action. To render the arm safe, a saw cut was made halfway across the barrel, just in front of the knocks form and the firing pin point was ground flat, to prevent a new pin being fitted, a 1” round wire nail was hammered into the pin hole of the block from the rear and then filed flat. The letters D.P (Drill Purpose) was stamped into the stock. To complete the markings the Condemned stamp was marked onto the Stock, barrel and fore end.