Created on April 12th 2012
A good example of the single-shot 577/450 Martini-Henry Mk II Service Rifle
Overall length 49.1/4″ Round blued barrel 33.1/4″ Standard length under-lever. Trigger pull 14.1/2″ Full length regulation walnut stocks. Original .577/450 caliber. Correct cleaning rod in place in grove in for-end.
Flat steel butt plate retained by two screws, one still clearly marked with “broad arrow.” The stock is heavily marked with inspectors stamps the main one being the ” Broad arrow /W.D.” Surrounded by double circle with the word “BIRMINGHAM” within the lines and the date; ” 1891″ beneath that a large “1.1″ Adjacent to that mark is another circular type mark which could contain the words “FORT WILLIAM ABS” and underneath a large “2″ (This is my best Guess) There are also some foreign characters and a date “11 over the cancellation mark over 94″ then the cancellation mark is repeated two more times. Under the loading lever are more crowned inspectors marks and a plugged sling swivel attachment hole – with wood.
On the rear top of the action is the chequered thumb dip. On top of the breech is the stamping “S.X” for strengthened extractor. The RHS of the action is clearly marked with a Tudor Crown under which is a “V.R.” Under that is “B.S.A. & M.Co” / “1888″ / Crown over arrow / II.” At the bottom on the same side a separate “2″ and further forward on the same side an Enfield inspectors mark. This side has the cocking indicator which is still fully functioning. The other side of the action has a clear crossed flags Crowned VR inspectors mark plus two others.
The lever underneath is “WD” inspector marked as is the trigger block and the serrated trigger. The trigger guard carries the rear sling swivel. There are numerous inspectors marks at the breech end of the barrel, and nothing on top of the knox form. In general about 45% of the blueing remains with high edge wear, the rest has greyed or turned a pleasing plumb-brown. The action is mechanically fine and performs well.
The folding ladder rear sight is clearly marked with Enfield inspectors marks and graduated on the side of the ramp to 400 yards. The ladder is graduated from 500 to 1200 yards. On folding the rear sight over completely the only number on the rifle is revealed “7987″ and a clear “WD” acceptance stamp. The barrel bands are clearly stamped with “WD” and Enfield stamps; the forward one also having the side mounted bayonet lug and forward sling swivel attached. Inverted V front sight.
The most amazing part about this well used looking rifle is the condition of the bore. Apart from slugging this bore I would judge it as being in perfect condition with excellent rifling, no pitting or frosting. One of the best I have ever seen. The main cross pin forward of the action feels a little loose but so as not to spoil the originality of the piece I have done nothing about it. If this weapon is to be shot then I would quote to replace the timber around the main pin to improve performance – otherwise leave it!
An interesting rifle from a turbulent time in very usable condition.