This is a good example of a seldom seen military issue Martini Henry rifle in .450-577 manufactured by the London Small Arms Co. in 1875. We have seen far more Enfields and BSA's than these LSA's. The company formed by former gunsmiths of the London Armory factory after it went out of business in 1866. This was partially due to the collapse of the Confederacy...one of their best customers. The new reformed London Small Arms factory maintained the same high standards as its former self building high-quality rifles in limited quantities both for military and commercial markets until 1935. Unfortunately, their dedication to quality kept their production limited volume limited and they could never fully compete against the larger and more productive armories. However, high quality and limited production forms the bedrock for which collectors thrive and this LSA Martini is no exception.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Very Good with approximately 50% old original arsenal blue finish remaining that is starting to fade over to a more plum patina. This rifle started off its life as a Mark I and like nearly all of them, it was upgraded to the Mark II during the latter part of the 1870's. Chances are it was rebuilt at least one more time during its service life before going into mothballs at the turn of the 20th century. LSA was notorious for their very light ID stampings on the right side of the frame...and this one is no exception...however, its all there which is about as good of one as you'll find on an LSA...most we've seen are all but completely worn away. The various markings and proofmarks are all present and legible but are a little on the worn side due to more than one military rebuild. This is the same thing we find with US Military items...the older the weapon, the more chance it was upgraded and refurbished. For example, how many US M1 Carbines do you find still in their early WW2 configuration? Nearly all of them were rebuilt during the Korean Conflict. One item it has retained from its Mark I configuration is the desirable checkered buttplate. Complete with original military sights, sling swivels and ramrod. Action works nicely. Bore is Excellent...bright and shiny with strong rifling and no pitting anywhere. The outside of the barrel looks good too with no pitting along the wood-line. Good+ wood.