1897 Martini Enfield Artillery Carbine ACI. Introduced: Into NZ 1898. Withdrawn: c1946
New Zealand issue .303” Martini Enfield MK1 Artillery Carbine (ACI) converted at Enfield in 1897 from a 577.450 Martini Henry MkIII/1 rifle originally made at Enfield in 1882. 1500 Martini Enfield Artillery Carbines and 1888 MKI bayonets were purchased by NZ Government in 1898 for use by New Zealand Mounted Rifles. Issued in NZ to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and about half of the 5th Contingents of NZ Mounted Rifles (Rough riders) who served in the Boer War together with 1888 MKI knife bayonets (top) compared to the MKII (Lower) c1901. These carbines continued in service with some NZ based Volunteer corps, for military training purposes during WWI and WWII and issued to some Home Guard Units during WWII.
Left; original Martini Henry markings on right side of reciever. Centre; Ladder sight graduations 600‐2000yds for a shorter 21” barrel carbine using nitro powder (cordite) Right; Martini Enfield conversion markings on left side of carbine reciever fitted with a 21” barrel with Enfield 5 groove rifling, diameter of bore .303”, depth of rifling .0065”, width of lands .0936”, twist 1 turn in 10” left hand. >< sold out of British Service
Ramp sight to 500yds. NZ acceptance number 685 of 1500. E = Enfield rifling, NZ Military ownership marks accepted (Nov) 1898. NZ Home Guard issue marks WWII
Left; Pattern 1888 MKI, NZ number 212 of 1500. Right; made by Wilkinson Sword Co. 3’98 (March 1898). Drain hole at end of bored hole for clearing rod head. Note: many of these bayonets were driven into the hard ground with the butt of the carbine or rifle for use as tent fly pegs
Members of the 4th New Zealand Mounted Rifles (Rough Riders) with their New Zealand issue .303” Martini Enfield (Artillery) MKI Carbines & at 5th from left front row, armed with .303” Lee Metford MKII or Lee Enfield Rifle MKI. When a carbine was lost or needed repairs the rider was issued with a Long Rifle from British stores.
Acknowledgements and special thanks to: Phil Cregeen, Grant Sherriff, John Carter, Osborne Arms Museum for images. Boer War Arms Article in NZAHAA Gazette.
Thanks to Kevin for the above images
The second series of photos below show a rifle that I wish could speak! The markings and the story it tells is an impressive tale.