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MkI & MkII Solid Drawn Rifle Cartridge
MkI & MkII Solid Drawn Rifle Cartridge

MkI & MkII Solid Drawn Rifle Cartridge

Weapon Specification
Date of Approval 9th June 1885
Length 3.15"
Weight 825 grains
Weapon Overview

On the 27th March 1885, Production at Woolwich of the .577/450” cartridge in the solid drawn method began, after bad experience with the Boxer cartridge in the Sudan. The new solid cartridge was introduced in LOC 4756 on the 9th June 1885, with supplies being “immediate issue to Egypt”. Primer chosen was Berdan, as opposed to Boxer.On September 25th 1885, a new drawing had been issued from the Royal laboratories Number RL5019. For the new MkII solid cartridge. The design was introduced formally in §4911 in March 1886, and the Mk1 cartridge was declared obsolete. The main difference was a .02”thick paper lining to the case, and a heavier form of construction. The high demand for the new MkII cartridge forced the War department to begin outsourcing supply, trade contractors Kynoch and Eley began to produce cartridges, however Kynock chose to stab crimp the bullet instead of the old style annular cannelure. In 1891, with the introduction of cordite ammunition for the .303” arm, experiments with the solid drawn Martini Henry cartridge was attempted, however it was wasn’t until the 18th Decemeber 1902 that the new design had been approved and introduced in §11752. Finally Cordite ammunition for the Martini Henry Rifle was adopted, the solid drawn case was filled with 35.8 grains of No3 Cordite, and this round continued in use well into the 20th century, the paper bullet wrapping was initially blue, however it was later changed to orange to readily identify its contents. With the introduction of the solid drawn round, the description of the MkIII cartridge was altered to Cartridge, Small Arms, Ball Martini Henry Rifle Rolled case MkIII, subsequently altered the List of Change No 4985 of the 1st June 1886, the description to be added to all forms of Boxer Martini ammunition.