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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    508

    Default South African Carbine Martini Henry Mk I

    Gentlemen,

    We have in our possession a Service Carbine Martini Henry Mk I First Pattern marked for South Africa which we are comparing ballistically with a Witten Martini Henry carbine from South Africa also chambered for the Boxer Henry Carbine cartridge for which we have duplicated the Mk III cartridge. We intend publishing the outcome either in a journal or magazine.

    Do any members have any information on the South African marked Carbine Martini Henry?

    In anticipation.

    Guy and Leonard A-R-West

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Under the big sky, in the shadow of the Sweetgrass Hills
    Posts
    3,080

    Default

    What makes you think that SA stands for South Africa? Referencing South Africa as SA has only been going on for about the past 10 years. Not Saying it doesn't mean South Africa.

    http://www.saaaca.org.za/links/markings.htm

    There is a real good website that can help but it's down right now for updating.

    http://www.regiments.org/

    Since it is a carbine the A could stand for Artillery.
    Douglas

    "And don't forget. That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it." Malcolm Cobb, The Martini Henry Note-book
    *********
    To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    248

    Default

    The Martini is NOT South African issue. That is a South Australia marking similar to the original marking on the attached Martini Metford. By the time the four colonies were united to form the Union of South Africa in 1910, the Martinis were obsolete and those remaining in Government possession were marked with the "U Broad Arrow." It was only the Cape that issued Martini Henrys before the Boer War as a British Colony. Natal was unable to acquire the genuine article and had to make do with the inferior Swinburn Henry. So far, research has found no evidence that the Witton carbines were ever issued by either the two British Colonies or the Boer States. Those that are found are almost certainly private purchases.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    508

    Default Service Carbine Martini Henry

    Gentlemen,

    Thank you for the information, we were mislead regarding the S.A. marking denoting South Africa. Is there any historical information relating to South Australian issued carbines?

    However, the Witten Martini Henry carbine definitely came from South Africa. We know it was never an official issue and a private purchase and possibly used in Basutoland.

    Guy and Leonard A-R-West

  5. #5

    Default

    1 Mar. 2009
    4pm

    As Terry says, on Martinis S.A. stands for South Australia. Old stamps for South Africa are often C /|\ G for Cape Government for V for Natal Volunteers (pre-union) or U for Union of South Africa (post-union).

    First pattern Martini-Henry cavalry carbines are exceedingly scarce as nearly all were upgraded to second pattern by having backsight-cover screws added. I have only ever seen three first pattern and all three were from South Australia (my own is rack no. 139). It was fairly common for colonially issued firearms not to be upgraded to newer patterns, and I assume that South Australia never got around to adding the screws to its carbines.

    You should hold onto this carbine. The second-pattern carbines are two a penny compared to the first patterns.

    Coggansfield
    Last edited by DoubleD; 02-04-2010 at 09:56 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Martini Henry Cavalry Carbine

    How difficult would it be to finer a martini henry cavalry carbine mark 1 upgraded with the screws attached and sight cover ?

    How much should one coast in very good condition ?

    Thank you.

    Andy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Under the big sky, in the shadow of the Sweetgrass Hills
    Posts
    3,080

    Default

    They do show up and usually aren't cheap. I have never seen one with an oriignal sight cover. Screws yes, cover no. I have seen aftermarket/home made sight covers. I believe Skenertons Sais 15 has a template to make cover. If not the Temple and Skennerton's Treatise of the British Military rifle does have the template...and it might be in both.

    Price well they are all over the place...mine you could have $2000 and you would have to be a crazy to pay that. Anywhere from $400 to $1000 depending on condition is more realistic.
    Douglas

    "And don't forget. That isn't your Martini you have. It belonged to others before you and will belong to others after you are gone. Look after it, and pass it on with pride. It deserves it." Malcolm Cobb, The Martini Henry Note-book
    *********
    To find things Martini go to: WWW.MartiniHenry.com

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