you are currently viewing: Discussion Forum


The Rorke's Drift VC Discussion Forum
(View Discussion Rules)


PLEASE NOTE: This forum is now inactive and is provided for reference purposes only. The live forum is available at

(Back To Topic List)

DateOriginal Topic
7th April 2003martini henry?
By andy webberley
this has probably been dealt with before , but would the 24th have used mk1 or mk2 mh rifles ? if they went to s.a. with sniders then is it right to presume that it would have been mk1s. i have a snider marked to the 24th which was bought from s.a. about a year ago and this has made me wonder before i buy a mh to shoot in my club! thaks for your help andy.
8th April 2003Barry Iacopp N.Z.
I think it is generally accepted that they would have used MKIs or possibly MKIIs as well. I know of no specific rifles that have been acknowledged as being used by the 24th at R.D. I raised that question on this forum some time ago. John Y.told me of a carbine that was said to have been used at R.D. but not by the 24th.
I have recently had some correspondence with a chap in the U.K. who has a MKI that came with written providence that it was used at R.D. (or so he said) Unfortunately this written proof has been mislaid but he appears to be quite confidant of his claim.
I suspect that any MKI (or MKII ? ) that is not specifically marked to the contrary could have been used at R.D.
Martin Everett has supplied me with a list of serial numbers from rifles used by some members of the 24th in Africa but not at R.D. If any of these rifles could be tracked down it might well tell us once and for all what MK of Martini was used at R.D.
8th April 2003andy webberley
thanks Barry i think i will go for a mk1 as i have been told to-day that the 24th were sent to s.a. in 1874 from india and re-armed with mk1 from sniders out there , combined with your info i think this will be as close as ican get untill as you say the proof turns up. regards Andy
9th April 2003Bill Power
I believe Martin Everett has answered this query previously! The 24th was issued with Mk1 Pattern 3's, upgraded to Mk 11's via the change of the trigger group!
9th April 2003Barry Iacoppi N.Z.
If you upgrade a MKI to a MKII do you not then call it a MKII? There were other upgrade steps taken to convert MKIs to MKIIs other then just replacing the trigger assembly. One would assume that if the trigger was upgraded then the other upgrades would be done at the same time including stamping II on the receiver. Safe bet is that if the rifles used at R.D. had II stamped on the recover then they were upgraded MKIs but technically MKIIs. A rose by any other name…….
The list below points out the difference between MKI and IIs. Compliments of Jason Atkins.
• Revised trigger assembly, to address shortcomings found in the Mark I's trigger assembly
• Safety omitted from newly produced Mark II's, and removed from weapons upgraded from Mark I Pattern
• Roman numeral "II" on right side of receiver and on the buttstock with manufacturer's roundel
• Chequered butt plate replaced with a smooth butt plate
• Revised rear sights (deepened range notches)
• Top of breechblock was blued (actually referred to as "browned")
• New cleaning rod (tulip head, approved in 1876)
9th April 2003neil aspinshaw
There is a martini at Fugitives drift lodge, David Rattray told us it was authentic to isandlwana, It is a mark 1 that has been upgraded to a mark II, the second 1 is offset to the right of the original numeral 1. it is also a different shape numeral font. I believe the 2nd battalion were not in africa as long as the 1st. here lies a few interesting questions, if the 2nd battalion had thier rifles upgraded as late as 1878 to mark 11's could this "authentic" martini picked up by a zulu at Isandlwana have been in possesion of a trooper of the only 2nd battalion (charlie Pope's) company? I will e-mail the lodge to find the serial number perhaps this will give it some great historical significance.
11th April 2003Bill Power
Well,Gentlemen.another fine "revolvin' noise"! The MH Mk.I is,probably,the most "mythical" of these critters,for a very simply reason! There were 3 of them! These varients were called 'Patterns' The 1st had the features described by Barry,The 2nd had no "Safety" as it was decidedly "Unsafe"! Only 2,500 of these were sold to the Canadian Govt. for the R[oyal]M[ilitary] C;ollege]! The 3rd[the socalled"Approved"] had the smooth buttplate& the brass block pin was replaced with the steel split pin! So,the only thing left was the rear sight&the the toggle action trigger sear[a very dodgy item]! The uprade was from these via the trigger action upgrade,the rear sights remained the same!