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DateOriginal Topic
30th October 2003Martinin Henry Mk2 Fittings
By Graeme
After searching for a year I finally purchased a WD Mk2 MH (1878). Can anyone tell me if (a)the muzzle band should have a bayonet lug as mine hasn't? (b) Where can I purchase a genuine socket bayonet with scabbard in the UK? (c)Should there be a rear sling swivel on the front of the trigger guard as I have a rear sling attachment on the stock only. (d) This weapon as well as copious WD stamps has stamps for South Australia & Victoria can anyone give me any history concerning their usuage in Australia and as the rifle is double arrowed 'out of service stamped' would this be when sold on from the WD or when sold on by the Australians? Your advice would be appreciated.
30th October 2003Paul

Can I suggest that you visit -

Peter should put you right.

I have a MKIV, 1887. This has a fitting for a sword bayonet at the muzzle band, although the 'lunger' or socket bayonet was used by other ranks. I think I'm right in saying that in some regiments NCO's carried a sword bayonet, but worth checking further on that.

As far as I am aware , your rifle would have had the fitting, but check it with Peter.

The rear sling swivel was located on the front of the trigger guard. These rifles were sold on and used for many purposes after WD service.

Many were used in police service, particularly in India, bored out for shotgun use and many fell into private ownership with modifications made.

A quality original 'lunger' could cost you dearly. I purchased mine 10 yrs ago and I paid £60 then! There are repro's available.

Hope this info helps you.
30th October 2003Adrian Whiting

To try and help with your questions;

a) Almost certainly. A british MH MkII service rifle would be equipped with a bayonet bar on the upper band. Whilst line infantry privates and junior ncos were issued the socket bayonet, a Yataghan type sword bayonet was issued to sergeants and to Rifle regiments. The rifles themselves were thus constructed to accept either.

b) Dealers frequently have examples, or take a look at e-bay.

c) The butt swivel was done away with for all corps in 1875, so originally your rifle, dated 1878, would not have had one. Even where they had been previuosly issued the swivel was removed and the hole plugged. Most likely is that the butt swivel was fitted in Australian service, or in private hands after sell on. MH carbines were fitted with a butt swivel in some circumstances, so there is an outside chance you have a carbine butt fitted, but really I favour the previous explanations.

d) The reversed arrows were most likely applied when the rifle was sold from British service. If you would like to contact me separatley regarding the Australian markings I would be very happy to try and help decipher them !

I hope this assists

31st October 2003Barry Iacoppi N.Z.
I have to agree with Adrian. I have a MKIII that saw service in Australia and it too had a butt swivel but no swivel on the trigger guard. My butt had never been plugged and I assumed that Australia was not as strict about technical updates as Britain was. However I removed the butt swivel and replaced it with a trigger guard one.
A word of caution. I have dealt with the Peter Dyson company and found them friendly and efficient if a little on the expensive side. However at the time of my dealings they knew little about Martinis and confused Martini Enfields with Martini Henrys. The barrel band with bayonet lug that you need is at the moment out of stock at Peter Dysons. They were asking 30 U.K. pounds for it. They do however do a repro casting for half that (still expensive in my humble opinion).
My advice would be to advertise on all the Martini boards you can find. You never know your luck. Iíll also keep an eye open for you.
31st October 2003Steven Sass

Glad to know your butt's never been plugged! Let's just say we've all had our doubts about you. Sorry, it was just too tempting to resist.

With the humblest of apologies,

1st November 2003Barry Iacoppi N.Z.
You know Steven when I wrote that I thought I was the only person here who would see a double meaning. I was convinced that I would get away with it. You proved me wrong. Good one.

15th November 2003Adrian Whiting

Since the butt question seems to have attracted inordinate interest I should perhaps add that the Rifle Brigade and 60th Rifles successfully appealed against the removal of butt swivels, again in 1875, and instead removed the guard swivel. Thus there is always a small possibility that your rifle saw service with the them.