Item:
ONSV23CWC218

Original Indian Contract British Martini-Henry I.C.1. Carbine by Henry Rifled Barrel Co. - dated 1894

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Well this is definitely an interesting Martini-Henry Carbine, made 6 years AFTER the adoption of the Lee-Metford Rifle in 1888. In 1892, Henry Rifled Barrel Co. was awarded the contract for 30,000 Martini-Henry I.C.1 Cavalry carbines from the Indian Government. These examples were manufactured over a two-year period under full Governmental Viewing in the now mostly obsolete .577/.450 chambering. They can be found dated 1893 & 1894 with an H.R.B_Co marked receiver. For further reference please see martinihenry.org or pages 398-399 of Ian Skennerton's A TREATISE ON THE BRITISH MILITARY MARTINI, 1880-1920.

This very interesting example has the exactly correct receiver markings for one of these carbines:

(CROWN)
V.R.
H.R.B_Co.
1894
(Viewed Mark)
I.C.1.

Overall this is a very nice example, and it is covered with acceptance and proof marks, as well as multiple regimental marks, some of which were later stamped over. Definitely tons of research potential in the markings alone! The 21 inch barrel still has the correct front sight, as well as the early pattern "fluted" nose cap, which retains the original cleaning rod. The blued finish on the metalwork is well retained, and the stock has a lovely broken in look, with a great color and no major damage

The original British proofs on the left side of the stock are still mostly clear, and the H.R.B.Co. stock rondel is visible as well, though faded. The bore is worn and somewhat dark and oxidized, but the Henry pattern rifling is definitely still visible. The action cycles correctly, with a crisp dry fire.

A wonderful piece of British and Firearms history! Ready to display!

Specifications:-

Year of Manufacture: 1894
Caliber: .577/.450
Ammunition Type: .577/.450 Martini-Henry
Barrel Length: 21 inches
Overall Length: 37 1/2 inches
Action: Falling Block Lever Action
Feed System: Single Shot

Martini Henry Cavalry Carbines

The Pattern was sealed and introduced on the 24th Sept 1877. LOC 3215 as "As Arms Interchangeable, Carbine Breech loading Rifled, with clearing rod Martini Henry Mk1." "Interchangeable" was to be used in the description, and the actions were marked I.C.1. Not only did it simplify production, the carbine could be made as basic arm, with uniformed manufacturing techniques, sharing common rifle and carbine component parts, but providing an arm which simply required a change of furniture to convert from Artillery to cavalry. The new stocking arrangement required a re-think as to how the fore-end was to be fixed, the new slim barrel design did not facilitate a traditional lug hole and cross pin method of fixing used on the Mk1 & MkII rifle, so as a result a new steel hook was screwed into the bottom of the fore-stock, this in turn located into a slot in the front of the receiver.

The design carried a 21.3" lightweight barrel, and the carbines' weight was reduced to 7lb 8oz. Developments with the new single part tumbler for the proposed MKII rifle gave the new arm a positive cocking action, the original pattern arm had a combined half cock thumb catch on the right of the action body. To eliminate the "catch points" the front of action was rounded off to allow the carbine to slide into saddle bucket, and two rigid "Wings" protected the foresight. Most obvious external change was a new smaller cocking indicator providing too less external projection. In 1876, the safety thumb-piece catch was discontinued and not adopted.

Production costs of the new carbine per arm was £2.10s 7d.

Complaints were reported of the rear sight leaf becoming entangled or damaged by the saddlery, on the 18.4.1879, the IC1 Cavalry carbines were supplied with a folding leather back sight protector held by two screws, the screw edges were sharp and it caught clothing. A List of change No 3566 3.7.1879 gave simple instructions that the screw heads were to be softened and rounded.

Between the years 1878 and 1889 the RSAF Enfield made 130,000 IC1 carbines, but with the adoption of the .303" calibre in the regular army, production ceased, with most of the component parts being utilized in the conversion to .303 Martini Metford and Martini Enfield carbines. IC1 Carbines emanating from the Birmingham Small Arms factory have never been seen by the author, their factory returns report that they had made over 1600 pieces in the 1890s, however, it is believed that these were made under contract by the Henry Rifled Barrel company, with parts supplied from Enfield.

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