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What have I got? UK WW2 Training rifle?

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terrylee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote terrylee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2019 at 6:26am
The options are now greatly reduced, but I need to know the caliber.  Measure the bore at the muzzle. Which is it nearer: either .450" or .303"?    

Am I correct in the date on the right of the action being 1876?  Is there nothing inscribed on the left hand side?

Terry
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Nick58 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick58 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2019 at 9:16am
Hi Terry
Bore (by which I'm taking the internal diameter of end of the barrel - apologies, but I'm a total novice about firearms!) is about 0.470 inches.

My reading of the right hand side is
VR
ENFIELD
1876
(something I can't make out possibly a cross or an arrow - or maybe just a scratch)
II
2

The right hand side is fairly heavily pitted & I can't make out any particular markings beyond the small double arrow head. There appears to be a screw head embedded underneath another screw (which I assume is from alterations/repair during it's life).

I appreciate your time helping with this
Thanks
Nick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2019 at 7:26pm
terry lee is the other expert in this area i would have noted , i see he has jumped in with help , a most interesting find to be sure , 
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terrylee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote terrylee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 04 2019 at 11:03pm
Nick, Obviously still in its original caliber of .577/450 and not a conversion.  One final question: Does its barrel band have a bayonet lug similar to the one in the attached photo?Terry

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 05 2019 at 8:42am
"There appears to be a screw head embedded underneath another screw (which I assume is from alterations/repair during it's life)."
That may be a form of locking screw! Is it like this? (top right, the small screw fits into a cutout on the big one so it can't unscrew.)

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanforth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 05 2019 at 9:22am
The arrow is likely to be the War Departments 'Broad Arrow' seen on any military issued item in the UK. 
The double arrow is the same thing stamped twice forming a star. This is the 'Sold out of service' mark applied when a rifle is desposed of usually by sale.
Life.. a sexually transmitted condition that is invariably fatal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick58 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 05 2019 at 2:16pm
Nick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick58 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 05 2019 at 2:23pm
No bands, but a hole all the way through. 


Nick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 05 2019 at 3:13pm
I think its supposed to drop into the cut at 7 o'clock & lay flush to stop the shaft rotating?
Is that the end of the shaft for the operating lever?
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote terrylee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2019 at 7:45am
Nick, Your final photo was what I needed! Obviously, nothing can replace a personal examination, but I'm pretty sure that your rifle is a Martini Henry Artillery Carbine Mk II.  These were converted from the Martini Henry Mk II Rifles in the early 1890s and are very uncommon in South Africa. Unfortunately, the condition of yours is not too good and it also has the wrong front barrel band. If I was in your shoes,  I'd have I'd have it professionally cleaned by somebody with respect for antique firearms who knows what he is doing. I would NOT have it refinished!      
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick58 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2019 at 8:34am
Terry
Thank you so much for your time and input,  really appreciate it.
It's been a fascinating experience. 
Appreciate the advice about cleaning too (I assume it's the same as coins getting the metal professionally cleaned, I won't be soaking them in Coke LOL ) .

Nick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2019 at 9:04am
I think that terrylee has pegged it pretty good.

A lot of the story will be revealed if the butt disk can be deciphered.

The arm wears 'The Twin Sisters' condemned mark on the nocks flat and on the wood work. The symbol is two block capital Rs back to back. It was an Ordnance marking, next step was to scrap the rifle or make DP.

It is missing a barrel band. No big deal. Easy to find a replacement.

Gently clean it, nothing more. Its value lies in its age, its completeness and its untouched state. If you get too enthusiastic about cleaning it up, you will actually destroy its collector value.

Unless you knew exactly what you were doing, I would not attempt to dismantle anything, even to clean it. Leave it be.

Just clean it with a soft cloth and gun oil (3 in 1 oil is good) for the metal. Raw linseed oil (cricket bat oil) and a soft cloth for the wood.

It has seen its days as service to the Crown. As a condemned arm, it would not be restorable back to shooting condition. Now it is a collectable artifact and needs to be in the hands of somebody who will be its custodian and continue its care.

Great find. Dont toss it. You have something that has value. You are going to be surprised at how much it might be worth. 
.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote terrylee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2019 at 9:20am
Remove the rust and grime with care, whilst respecting its age. The rifle's condition is part of its history. When this has been done, the path of final restoration, if appropriate, will be more obvious.
Naturally, don't waste money if little can be achieved. I also support the view that 10% original finish is worth a lot more than 100% refinish.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2019 at 12:01pm
Originally posted by Nick58 Nick58 wrote:

I'm afraid I don't really know what "What is the caliber and to what range is the rear sight marked?" means, although I've just spotted some marking beneath the sight that I hadn't seen before. (This is all taking me a long way from thinking it was something a relative had 'forgotten' to hand back after his National Service in the early 1950s and thinking 

I'd just ask out of interest before handing it in to be destroyed!  :)  )
What is the actual concern to all your questions if all you intend to do with it is have it destroyed??? A waste of time on our part to answer your questions if the rifle is on it's way to have all of its history erased...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick58 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2019 at 2:59pm
Absolutely, appreciate your input on this 
Nick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick58 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2019 at 3:01pm
Terry
Thanks for your time and patience opening up the background on this. Really appreciate it.
Nick
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