1887 "P-1885" Martini-Henry Mark IV Pattern A Long Lever - Good to Very Good Condition!
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1887 Martini-Henry. This rifle is an example of the rarest of all the major Martini-Henry variants, the Mark IV "Pattern A." These were a short-lived transitional model between the Mark II Martini-Henry rifles and the Mark IV "Pattern C" rifles, the latter of which are much more numerous. These Pattern A rifles show a fair number of transitional features missing from the later models, including a barleycorn style front sight. While some of these were constructed from old-stock Mark I receivers to which a "V" would be stamped beside, this one appears to be a fairly rare clean "IV" stamping. All expected proofs and markings remain, including the main set of Enfield markings on the right receiver flat, a rack or serial number on the barrel, a small proof mark on the barrel, arrowhead Army property markings, and a plethora of Enfield inspector's marks on various surfaces of the rifle. Of note are the markings showing Indian service. Despite its presence in the area, this rifle was NOT part of the cache of Nepalese rifles discovered a few years ago, and was instead brought back from Afghanistan by a serviceman; while the Nepalese rifles can be nice, most of them are fairly rough, especially in bore, so that's a good sign.
Condition is overall quite nice. The metal surfaces show an attractive patina but are free of any serious pitting, showing no brown rust or crusting at all. Bore is good, with strong grooves. Action is very tight and snappy, with a strong dry fire and crisp trigger. Wood shows the expected dings from 140 years of life but is free of cracks or serious gouges except for a spot on the left side of the buttstock. There is a rack number on the right side of the buttstock and the remnants of a yellow painted number on the left. The only real damage to the rifle is to the cleaning rod, which was unforunately whacked pretty well at some point in its life and is now well squashed.