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“We Sloshed you with Martini’s.. But - page 6 / 9





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upgrading the various flaws, which were found during service. The cleaning rod was re-designed, the rear sight ladder had a deeper notch fitted to allow better sighting, also the internal trigger mechanism was re-designed, a new breech block was designed to allow the escape of gases, plus, the extractor claw was strengthened. A final cosmetic change was that the chequering of the Mk1 butt-plate was smoothed as it transferred dirt to the tunic. Most Mk1 rifles in service were upgraded to the Mk2, a simple extra  Arabic “1” added to the existing mark classification.

Most of the service Martini rifles of the Anglo Zulu wars were the Mk1 3rd pattern, despite a heavy programme of conversion to the Mk2 variant, by March 1879 only 175,000 of the 420,000 manufactured Mk1’s had been returned to Enfield for conversion, with a further 225,000 being programmed for 1879 (actually 1.3.79-1.3.80 as Enfields’ production year was not calender). Regiments issued with Mk1 and on active service were not to be upgraded until their return to depot.

In 1877 saw the introduction of the IC1 Carbine (Below), in two designations, the Cavalry and the Artillery.  The gun utilised the same breech action of the MHR but had a shorter barrel. The ammunition was a reduced sized bullet and a smaller powder load, 70 grains. The example below is a cavalry carbine, notice the screw under the sight ladder, this was for a leather sight protector, also is the lack of a bayonet bar on the front band.

The IC1 carbine saw no service in the first phases of the Anglo Zulu was, as it was not until late 1878 that it was issued in a large scale to home based forces, until that time the British mounted infantry and the colonial forces utilised the Swinburn Henry Carbine, from the exterior the Swinburn resembled a standard Martini action, however the internal workings were completely different, its main design variant was the rifle was cocked via a large thumb-piece on the cocking indicator, not the underlever (which simply ejected the case). This was a huge benefit to mounted men as it meant a round could be left in the breech, whilst being stored in the saddle of on its sling, it could be cocked and fired rapidly.

Below: The Swinburn Henry .450/577 Carbine

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