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The Greener "GPO" Target Rifle

being a conversion of the then obsolete Martini-actioned Service carbine specifically for the General Post Office clubs' members.


Originally an 1874 Martini-Henry Cavalry Carbine in .577/.450 inch calibre without a nosecap lug for bayonet fitment, and itself a conversion of a Rifle Mk.II, this Service arm was in 1893 converted by barrel replacement to a Martini-Metford in .303 inch calibre. The weapon ended its military days in this configuration, and was not to be one of those further converted to Martini-Enfields with the introduction of the Enfield rifled barrel in 1895.

The next two images can be rotated and zoomed, either as initially loaded or full-screen for higher definition.

Rendered obsolescent by the introduction of the bolt-action Magazine Lee-Enfield rifle in the late 1800s, and withdrawn from regular military use within the British Forces around the turn of that Century, these surplus weapons were eventually "Sold out of Service" to gunsmithing companies such as W.W. Greener and C.G. Bonehill for conversion to anything from the Greener "GP" (General Purpose) 12 gauge shotguns to .22 inch rimfire or .297/.230 inch Morris centre-fire calibre 'training' and/or target rifles for civilian club use.

A batch of these carbines was converted especially for the Post Office for use by members of the many G.P.O. clubs around the country. Other such rifles or carbines were converted specifically for the Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs, which institution sold them to its members at exceedingly reasonable prices by comparison with new small-bore target rifles of the early Twentieth Century. This all at a time when, subsequent to an under-par showing by British rifleman against the Boers during the South African Wars, Lord Roberts, with other justifiably concerned senior military men and civilians, effectively campaigned to encourage rifle shooting within the populace.

The Post Office certainly played its part in this campaign, and, to that end, assisted with the introduction of its own rifle clubs and ranges, also providing the featured wherewithal with which its members could learn to shoot.


 

DATA TABLE - ALL MEASUREMENTS AS VIEWED EXAMPLE
FIREARM
IMPERIAL
(METRIC)
Designation or Type :
Military Style Cadet Rifle
Manufacturer :
Enfield / W.W. Greener
Date :
Early 20th. Century
Serial No :
c 1560
Furniture :
Walnut
Action Type :
Turning bolt
Nomenclature or main marks:
"CONVERTED FOR G.P.O. BY W.W. GREENER"
Calibre :
.22RF
? mm
Weight :
? kgs
Length - Overall :
inches
? cms
Length - Barrel :
inches

? cms

Pull :
inches
? cms
Spare row :
-

Rifling - No. of Grooves :

Rifling - Twist & Direction :
1 : ? cms
Rifling - Groove width :
inches
mm
Rifling - Land width :
inches
mm

Rifling - Groove depth at muzzle :

inches
mm
Sight - Fore :
Sight - Rear :
Tangent leaf
Sight - Radius :
?? inches
? cms

 

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