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Australian Martini-Henry Mk.III .450 Rifle (NSW Engineers)

Availability: In stock

$2,950.00

Quick Overview

This original BSA 1886 Martini-Henry Mk.III rifle is in very good condition. The rifle retains much of its original blued finish. There is some light pitting in small areas of the rifle. The woodwork is in good condition, although there are a numerous small dings and other marks. The rifle is marked to the NSW Engineers.

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Details

During the development of the Martini Henry IC1 carbine, the RSAF decided to utilize the same component parts to produce a new mark of rifle, the intention being to make parts interchangeable. On 22nd August 1879, the MkIII rifle was accepted into service (LOC 3998 'Rifle Breech Loading, with Cleaning Rod Martini Henry Interchangeable MKIII'). The first orders for 30,000 MkIII rifles was placed on the RSAF in 1879, at a cost per rifle of £2.13s.10d, with combined orders for the trade BSA, LSA & NAA for 10,000 arms at a cost of £2.18S.9d. The MkIII rifle was designed primarily as an arm for Volunteer, Militia and Dominion governments.

The MkIII barrel had a new double hump knocks form, primarily to give an enhanced grip when the barrel was held in the breeching vice. Because of this re-design, the lug hole brazed on the underside of the barrel to hold the fore-end and cross pin, common to MkI and II rifles, was discontinued. As a result, the MkIII had the “Fore-end Hook” method of fixing. A screw fixed metal plate let into the underside of the forestock, hooked into a keeper slot grooved into the front of the action, a feature copied from the carbine development. As the walnut fore stock blank no longer needed to be located into the receiver mortice slot, it extend .312” longer along the barrel than the MkII rifle.

During sighting tests, it was found that the Henry rifled barrel affected a natural deflection at ranges beyond 600 yards. The MkIII sight bed was soldered onto the barrel with a 1 degree 6 minutes left hand of centre bias. When the back sight ladder was lifted, this adjustment corrected the deflection. The MkIII back sight bed was lengthened by 1/8” (3mm), to give the lowered sight leaf more support.

A new pattern breech block had been approved under order No.68, 22nd March 1878, and designated Pattern III. This new block was made wider to eliminate play in the action when opened and closed. It also utilized a new design of firing pin, .002” narrower at the point to increase clearance. The most obvious change was the firing pin itself. The MkIII design was now fully cylindrical with a diameter of .056”, and made to be a sliding fit into the spring chamber of the block. The breech block was purposely designed to interchange with all previous marks of rifles and carbines. To make it readily identified, the block was marked with the Roman numeral III, under the WD mark and the Maltese Cross on the opposite side. The stop nut and the rear of the firing pin were similarly marked.

This original BSA 1886 Martini-Henry Mk.III rifle is in very good condition. The rifle retains much of its original blued finish. There is some light pitting in small areas of the rifle. The woodwork is in good condition, although there are a numerous small dings and other marks. The rifle is marked to the NSW Engineers.

Specifications

SPECIFICATION METRIC IMPERIAL
Manufacturer BSA
Overall Length 1257mm 49.5"
Barrel Length
Weight 4.1 Kg 9 lbs
Cartridge .450
Magazine Capacity None