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Simonov's Gallery (960)

Martial Pinups: Martini-Henry

This Day in History: September 30, 1927

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by Simonov
Martial Pinups: K31
Martial Pinups: HK G36K
Origin:  United Kingdom
Year:  1871
Type:  Single-shot service rifle
Caliber:  .577/450
Weight:  8.5 lbs (3.827 kg)
Length:  49 inches (124.5 cm)
Barrel length:  33.22 inches (84 cm)
Capacity:  1 rd

The rifle of an empire, the Martini-Henry was the first British service rifle designed to used with metallic cartridges.  It replaced the older and outdated Snider rifle (itself a cartridge conversion of the older Enfield percussion musket).  The Martini-Henry receives its name from the inventors of its action (Friedrich von Martini, who had improved an older design by Henry Peabody) and the rifling used in its barrel (Alexander Henry).  Originally chambered for the large bore .577/450 cartridge, the Martini-Henry was a force to be reckoned; however, it was not without setbacks.  The original .577/450 loadings used a rolled brass case which had a tendency to render rifles useless during combat by sticking in the rifle.  The M-H would also quickly become obsolescent with the arrival of early Mauser bolt-action rifles chambered for smaller, higher velocity cartridges.  Lessons learned at the hands of Afrikaaners armed with Mauser rifles quickly convinced the British to adopt a more modern weapon in the form of the Lee-Metford and Lee-Enfield.

The Martini-Henry gained its greatest claim to fame during the Anglo-Zulu War, most notably for its used during the Battle of Rorke's Drift.  It was in this battle (illustrated in the film Zulu) that approximately 150 British soldiers defeated an assault by 3-4,000 Zulu warriors.  Following its replacement by the Lee-Metford and Lee-Enfield, a number of Martini-Henry rifles were converted to the new .303 British cartridge and redesignated Martini-Enfield.  Some M-H rifles were also converted to shotguns for police and sporting use by the firm W.W. Greener which also used the Martini-Henry as the basis for a harpoon gun, one of which is seen being used by the character Quint in Jaws.  The M-H also saw service in World War I as an anti-balloon weapon firing an incendiary cartridge.  In more recent years, the M-H as well as locally-produced copies have turned up during the war in Afghanistan.  A legacy of the British occupation of the region, these rifles have appeared in Taliban weapons caches alongside AKMs, PKs, and RPGs.

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Type: Picture/Pinup
Published: 2 years, 8 months ago
Rating: General

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2 years, 8 months ago
ohhhhh sexy
2 years, 8 months ago
Mmmmmm, yeah, pack that powder~
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