Original British Martini-Enfield .303 ACII Artillery Carbine - Dated 1896

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Martini-Enfield Mk I was effectively a Martini-Henry Mk III rebarrelled to .303 and with a new extractor installed, whilst the Martini-Enfield Mk II rifles were generally of new manufacture- although there are examples of converted Mk II rifles.

Originally (from 1889) Martini-Henry conversions used Metford rifled barrels (and were known as Martini-Metford rifles), which were more than suitable for the first .303 cartridges, which used black powder as a propellant, but they wore out very quickly when fired with cordite/nitrocellulose cartridges (introduced in 1895) and so in 1895 the Enfield rifled barrel was introduced, which was much more satisfactory and suitable for use with "modern" (smokeless) ammunition.

The Martini-Enfield was in service from 1895-1918 (Lawrence of Arabia's Arab Irregulars were known to have used them during the Arab Revolt of 1916-1918, along with any other firearms they could acquire), and it remained a Reserve Arm in places like India and New Zealand until well into World War II.

Martini-Enfield rifles were manufactured/converted by:

- RSAF (Royal Small Arms Factory), Enfield Lock
- LSA Co (London Small Arms Co)
- BSA & M Co (Birmingham Small Arms & Metals Co, later simply BSA)
- HRB Co (Henry Rifle Barrel Co, later went out of business and taken over by Blenheim Engineering)
- NA&A Co (National Arms & Ammunition Co)

Martini-Enfield rifles were very well made and are more than capable of handling modern commercial .303 British ammunition, but as with all second hand firearms, they should always be checked by a competent gunsmith before attempting to fire them.

This example is marked on the action:





ME 303


In very nice condition this model saw service in throughout the British colonies, it is fitted to accept the P-1888 Lee Metford knife bayonet to attach directly under the barrel.

Note- There is some suspicion among our staff that this might be a Khyber pass copy. We completely broken the gun down for cleaning and restoration and it is composed of a majority of British made parts, but there are some in consistencies, such as the lack of proof markings, that make us wonder. Regardless, we have priced it accordingly, and it is still a wonderful look example. However, do not attempt to fire the weapon until having it verified by a certified gunsmith.


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