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Early Martini Henry Rifle Mfd in 1872

This is a very early production Martini Rifle built by Enfield in 1872.  It started out its life as a Mark I (1871-1876) and like most Martinis was upgraded and rebuilt into a Mark II by the late 1870's.  This one is in exceptionally nice condition with the frame still retaining 85-90% of its original arsenal blue.  The barrel has about 70% thinning blue remaining. It also has great proofmarks on the left side of the frame and the barrel. Most early 1872's and 73's I've seen appear to have had light markings to begin with and the arsenal upgrades tended to leave these guns with very little of their original identification marks intact...many are barely legible.  Fortunately, this one still has great markings with a sharp crown over "V.R" followed by "Enfield", over "1872", a crown/arrow cypher, "II"  (for Mark II) followed by "2" which was the serviceability grade rating. The serviceability grade are almost always a "1" or a "2"  All guns started out as "1" and were intended for front line service. The latter grade 2 rifles might have had slightly more bore wear so they were held in reserve.  Personally, after 100 years have passed, I can't tell the difference between a grade 1 and 2 although I will say this: Many rifles with a grade "2" tend to have less wear.  Perhaps this is because they were shelved part-way through their service life while Grade 1 guns were in the field being dragged through the mud. 

That appears to be the case here....this rifle is far nicer than most Martini rifles you'll see with a grading of "1".  Correct early style large cocking indicator with broad arrow. Rear sight has the Mark II style ladder upgrade with standard front post sight and smooth buttplate.  Correct Mark II style ramrod with cupped end.  Bayonet lug and original sling swivels are both intact.  The wood is in Fine+ condition, still fairly light in color with visible Mark II cartouche and a large "2" stamed to the left of the "1" grading.  Nice action with impressive light trigger pull.  The bore is near perfect...excellent overall, still bright and shiny with perfect lands and grooves...shows only a few light pits. Of course, no rings or bulges either.  A very strong example of a true British Military Mark I/II Martini Henry but in the kind of condition you only seem to find in a Civilian issued Martini.

Item# 0471




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