The Martini-Henry was a breech-loading lever-actuated rifle adopted by the British, combining an action worked on by Friedrich von Martini (based on the Peabody rifle developed by Henry Peabody), with the rifled barrel designed by Scotsman Alexander Henry. It first entered service in 1871 replacing the Snider-Enfield, and variants were used throughout the British Empire for 30 years. It was the first British service rifle that was a true breech-loading rifle using metallic cartridges.
There are four classes of the Martini-Henry rifle: Mark I (released in June 1871), Mark II, Mark III, and Mark IV. There was also an 1877 carbine version with carbine variations that included a Garrison Artillery Carbine, an Artillery Carbine (Mark I, Mark II, and Mark III), and smaller versions designed as training rifles for military cadets. The Mark IV Martini-Henry rifle ended production in the year 1889, but remained in service throughout the British Empire until the end of the First World War.
Martini-Henry in Southern Victory Edit
During the 19th Century the Martini-Henry rifle was used by the armies of Britain and Canada, seeing action during the Second Mexican War. The rifle was imported to the Confederates who made their own version.