Original Austrian Made 1883 Boer Peabody-Martini Rifle by ŒWG Steyr in 11.43×59mmR Romanian - serial 5681

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Martini-Henry falling block system was arguably one of the most popular designs of the late 19th Century, being the primary weapon of the British Military for almost 20 years. Refit and surplus British rifles continued to serve for decades after the introduction of the Lee-Metford in 1888. However, the British were not the only country to use the system, and the design was adopted by many other countries. They were also made commercially in England, Germany, Belgium, and elsewhere.

One prominent company that became engaged in Military and Commercial production was the famous Austrian arms company, Österreichische Waffenfabriksgesellschaft, (ŒWG, Austrian Arms-Manufacturing Company). Also commonly referred to as Steyr Werke, they were located in Steyr, just outside Vienna, and at the time was the home of the entire Austrian arms production. Romania had seen the Turkish M1874 Peabody-Martini Rifle produced by Providence Tool Co. in the United States, and decided to order these from& ŒWG Steyr, chambered in 11.43×59mmR Romanian, a necked down cartridge somewhat like the ones used by the British and Turkish Martini-Henry Rifles. From the exterior, the British, Turkish, and Romanian Martini-Henry rifles look for the most part identical, except for small details like the sight and markings.

Our example has the large OE WG monogram on the left side of the receiver, with STEYR * 1883 in the center. The right side of the receiver is just marked with serial number 5681, which matches the faded number on the barrel. However, there are NO Romanian markings on this rifle, which would normally be on the right side of the receiver.

This is a commercial version of the M1879 Romanian Peabody-Martini, usally called the "1883 Boer Steyr Peabody Martini Henry Rifle." In 1883 following the First Boer War, the the Transvaal / South African Republic required additional arms for defense and the possibility of the British deciding to reclaim the territory. Already familiar with the British Martini-Henry, they went to Steyr, who supplied them with the commercial version of the Romanian rifles in 1883.

Condition of the rifle is quite good, showing a lovely worn patina on most of the metalwork. The stock is also in good shape, though the forestock is a bit loose. The Steyr design did not use the same cross pin hardware that the British did close to the receiver. The action works well, cycling correctly with a crisp dry fire. The bore shows clear lands and grooves, but also some wear and oxidation. Both sling swivels are present, and the rear sight is intact and fully functional.

A very nice example of a hard to find Martini-Henry Variant! Ready to research and display!


Years of Manufacture: 1883
Caliber: 11.43×59mmR Romanian Peabody
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 33 Inches
Overall Length: 49 1/2 Inches
Action type: Lever Action Falling Block
Feed System: Single Shot

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