MkV ammunition boxes
MkV ammunition boxes

MkV ammunition boxes

Weapon Specification
Date of Approval 1878
Weight 60lbs when full
Weapon Overview

There has been so much controversial anecdotes that surround the MkV ammunition box,particularly its supposed difficulty to open its worth a few notes. Introduced in LOC 2848,as the standard small arm ammunition box, it was to remain a constant design throughout the period of the .450" calibre martini Arm, although at the time of introduction some MkII boxes (conversions of Mki Snider) could have been around (these were declared obsolete by 1882). Construction of the box was mahogany,with sides dovetail jointed. The base nailed on with copper nails and two copper bands secured the sides. The top was three pieces, two mahogany side cheeks, screwed into place; and central sliding mahogangy lid, held by a single brass woodscrew. The lid was opened by sliding inside two tongue and grove channels in the side cheeks, the opening was slightly tapered with the screw on the broad side. To open the box, the screw was undone and the lid slid open, however in emergency it could be opened by a blow on narrower side of the lid. Inside the box a tin lining kept the contents environmentally sealed, with a separate tin panel, soldered into place with a lead solder. A metal handle was fixed to this panel which allowed the lid to be tore away like a sardine can. The boxes were designed to be re-used, with new sealed lid being applied after re-filling. The boxes were marked with date of manufacture and mark was of box was likewise stamped across the corner dovetail : thus "V" "R^L" (Royal Laboratories) "1877", they were varnished with shellac, the tops by 1878 started to note the contents in stencil and, but by 1880, the lid was colour coded, black for rifle, red for carbine. were the boxes hard to open? and the cause of disasters in Zululand, I beg not, Close inspection of The bend in the screws found on the battlefield shows they have been bent with side impact, bursting through the side of the lid as it slid over the screw. (I have held around 30 of these, in the collection of the late David Rattray, at Mtonjanene and those at Brecon) the bend in nearly always in the same spot. The hard fact is that in 1880, these boxes were altered by having a steel lining put into the screw housing of the lid proves 100% that this was a noted weak point, the List of change states such.lack of screwdrivers? no, The Martini Henry Implement Action in the hands of NCO's and armourers had there screw drivers on it.