Original British 1872 Dated .450/577 Martini-Henry Converted to .303
Original Item: Only One Available. Well this Rifle has certainly been around. It started life in 1872, the very first year of production of the Martini Henry Mark I series when only 1,400 were produced. After 1876 it was updated to the Mark II configuration and saw service perhaps throughout the Empire even maybe in British South Africa during the Zulu Wars in the original .450/577 caliber.
The right side of the receiver is marked with Crown over V.R. over Enfield over 1872 under which is over the offset II indicating it was upgraded from the Mark I pattern to the Mark II Pattern.
In 1900 it was taken out of service and re-barreled to .303 caliber with a new lighter fore end fitted, this new fore end came with no provision for a ramrod. The receiver was then marked on the left side Crown over V.R. over B.E.Co. (Government contractor who made the conversion). It was then stamped M.E. .303 over II indicating that the Rifle was now a Martini-Enfield in .303 caliber.
Interestingly there is an E stamped over the chamber of the barrel together with some Arabic lettering indicating that this was one of the .303 cal. Rifles that saw service in Egypt.
The weapon is in a matured used good condition showing plenty of issue wear but it appears complete and is a very collectable example of a rare conversion of an early service rifle.
The Rifle comes complete with an original P-1876 long Socket Bayonet also converted from .450 cal to .303 cal known as the P-76/95 model. The bayonet shows faded British Acceptance markings and Egyptian numerals confirming service in Egypt as well.
Just to complete the offering we have the bayonet's original brass mounted leather scabbard which bears no markings of any kind, the leather it somewhat deteriorated and the stitching slightly deficient but is ideal for display.
This is a truly rare British Service Martini that lasted the entire course of the Martini's tenure of service, well marked and with a great Empire pedigree. Pre 1898 (1872) so considered an Antique by Federal Law.
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