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Original British P-1871 MkII Martini-Henry Rifle Converted .22 Caliber

Regular price $1,495.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. At the end of the 19th Century the British Army’s former service rifle, the Martini-Henry, was being replaced by the magazine-fed, bolt-action Lee-Metford Rifle. While a significant number of the old Martini-Henry Rifles were rebarreled to fire the new .303 round, becoming Martini-Metford or Martini-Enfield rifles, a large number were used for military training and sold off for conversion for civilian competition shooters.

The late 1860s had seen the rise of rifle clubs and the formation of the British National Rifle Association following several invasion scares that had also led to the rise of new volunteer rifle units. By 1900, miniature target rifle clubs had become popular across the country and were widely encouraged in the wake of the Boer War when the basic marksmanship of new recruits to the British Army was found lacking. Both Rudyard Kipling and Arthur Conan Doyle both experienced firsthand the effect of accurate Boer rifle fire during the Second Boer War and on their return became staunch advocates of miniature rifle clubs with both men forming their own. The industrialization of the 19th century an increasing number of British men of service age who lived and worked in Britain’s industrial towns and cities had no experience of shooting or firearms. These rifle clubs provided a convenient way for them to learn to shoot.

The British Government encouraged civilian marksmanship training back then (unlike nowadays, where they're actively hostile towards private gun ownership), as it made basic military training easier, since the recruit already knew how to shoot. This proved very valuable during the First World War, when England's troublesome neighbor in Europe (Germany) got out of line. Precious days were shaved off the time it took to train recruits as a result of civilian marksmanship training.

A number of Birmingham gunsmiths including Birmingham Small Arms (BSA), Parker-Hale and W.W. Greener began to convert and later manufacture new Martini-Henry rifles in both .310 and .22LR. The Martini-Henry action dominated for target shooting in Britain for over 45 years with the rifles being used in national and international competitions including Queen Alexandra’s Cup and the Olympics. Many of the rifles had both the standard service leaf sight mounted on the barrel in front of the receiver while tang sights such as the Vernier became increasingly popular.

This particular example, in really wonderful condition, was originally manufactured as a Mk II by the British Small Arms and Manufacturing Company in .450/.577 caliber in 1889 but was later converted .22 caliber by C.G. Bonehill of Birmingham for military training and civilian marksmanship purposes.

Antique military training martini rifles are hard to find, especially in such great condition and with a truly excellent bore.

Shipping Restrictions

    This product is not available for shipping in US state(s)
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Legal Information

  • IMA considers all of our antique guns as non-firing, inoperable and/or inert. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 921(a)(16) defines antique firearms as all guns made prior to 1899. This law exempts antique firearms from any form of gun control or special engineering because they are not legally considered firearms. No FFL, C&R or any license is required to posses, transport, sell or trade Antique guns. All rifles and muskets sold by IMA that were manufactured prior to 1899 are considered Antiques by the US BATF (United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms). Therefore, all of IMA's Antique guns may be shipped to all US States and most nations around the world.

    These antique guns are not sold in live condition. They are sold as collector’s items or as wall hangers. Any attempt at restoring an antique gun to be operational is strongly discouraged and is done so at the risk of the customer. By purchasing an antique gun from IMA you thereby release IMA, its employees and corporate officers from any and all liability associated with use of our Antique guns.

    Pre-1899 Manufacture, no licenses required, allowed to ship to almost any deliverable address across the globe.

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