Created on September 23rd 2011
An Interesting Martini Henry Artillery Carbine in .303
This interesting Artillery carbine looks well used on the outside but the .303 caliber bore and chamber are good.
Low three digit serial number “290″ clearly stamped into the breech. Plain blued action with cocking indicator, but very interestingly, a faint inscription on the RHS above the cocking indicator of “ROARING MEG”. Time and care have been taken to neatly, by hand, incribe the letters, and little pressure applied so it is now very difficult to read, but if one tips the gun correctly in the light it can be seen. Being an artillery carbine it is believed that that this is probably the nick name give to the gun tended by the artillery men, it is certainly a very contemporary name to attribute to that sort of piece of artillery around the time of the Boer War. Couple this with the stampings on the brass identification disk the case starts to build quite strongly for an Artillery Carbine. The stampings are “7 / 1898″ (month and date of issue) over “102″ “R.G.A / 164″ The last letters probably denoting “Royal Garrison Artillery”, the G could be a C but has been damaged and it is impossible to discern. The 164 being the rack number.
Barrel length 21″, overall length 37.1/4″. 5″, long underlever stamped with a “4″ under and showing hints of case colour hardening. In general the metal work of the weapon has turned a nice grey-blue to plumb brown and has not been spoiled by any attempts at refinishing. The butt stock also shows other stampings hinting at the carbines origins. The cartouch is that of RSAF Enfield circa 1871, over “III, over I” Adjacent to this mark is a bold mark consisting of two opposing arrows with a ” C” on either side. Moving back along the stock towards the trigger, the stock has suffered a heavy knock, the most serious on the weapon which has broken the surface of the wood and left a dent.
The barrel shows Birmingham proof and view marks, caliber, and nitro marks behind the ladder sights. The sights are graduated on the side ramp 200 to 500 yard and the ladder face from 500 to 1800 yards, otherwise the sight lays flat to provide an open “V” notch sight. The fore-end is 15.3/4″ long. The front barrel band incorporates side mounted bayonet lug and front sling swivel. There is a rear sling swivel 2″ from the steel butt plate.
Good action, strong rifling though dark in the grooves. An excellent piece for a collection.
This is a solid example of British Rifle-craft at its best and that has definately been places – if only they could talk !