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Martini Henry Buckshot Rounds

Martini Henry Buckshot Rounds

Weapon Specification
Date of Approval January 1886
Weapon Overview

The MkII Martini Henry buckshot cartridge was introduced in LoC  4868 on the 3rd November 1885. The boxer cartridge contained a beeswax saturated paper cylinder containing 11 No .275” diameter lead shot, separated with bone dust. The shot was separated from the charge (54 grains of RFG2 powder) by a wool tampon, with a card wad sealing the case, which was crimped over. It was designed  for use in the service Rifle, however its introduction does not stipulate its use, clues can be found in the written works of Major E. Gambier-Parry who described the steps being taken to defend the British positions around Suakin in 1885, especially when being attacked from the surrounding thorn and brush wood in darkness.; “A curious order came out at this time. But I am unable to say how far it was ever carried out.Each man was to be provided with a cartridge or two, the bullet of which had been cut into four pieces, and these were to used at night “pending the arrival of buckshot cartridges from England”, We were firmly convinced ourselves that a great deal of the firing was due to shaky nerves, and many a bush got a hot peppering because of its imaginary likeness to a Fuzzie”


In 1903  two new pattern buckshot cartridges were introduced from the Indian arsenal at Kirkee.The MkI, case was a short boxer cartridge, containing on single .476 lead ball of 14:1 lead tin alloy over 55 grains of RFG2 (as picture)

The MkII load was twenty lead shot enclosed in the  extended neck of the boxer cartdige over which a cardboard disc was placed and the case turned over in a shotgun cartridge fashion. The charge was the regulation 54 grains of RFG2 blackpowder over which were three serge tampons soaked in beeswax with a glazeboard disc at either end

The LoC §4767 states that to distinguish this cartridge from the Mark II ammunition  that the case should have ".476" impressed on the side beside the factory initials. “K”. This was introduced to Coincide with the introduction of the .476” caliber Smoothbored Martini Henry MkII riot arms being converted at Kirkee.