Peter Mc

Firearms of the Irish Police

26 posts in this topic

In this topic I will show some examples of firearms as issued to the old Irish Police Forces, prior to 1922.

A Lovell's pattern 1842 Constabulary percussion carbine, as issued to the Irish Revenue Police.

A .65" percussion constabulary carbine, 42½" overall, barrel 26¾" with traces of Tower proofs and with Lovell's spring bayonet catch below muzzle, the lock engraved with crowned "VR" and "Tower 1848", full walnut stock with broad arrow and "BO" and 1851 marked on butt, regulation brass mounts, the butt plate tang engraved "RP 736", original steel ramrod, sling swivels. Holland & Sons stamped to underside of butt. GWO & C (barrel and ramrod moderately pitted overall and cleaned, light pitting and wear to lock, some bruising to stock)

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Another Irish Revenue Police Musket

A .65 Lovells pattern 1842 Constabulary Per carbine, 26" brl, profusely ordnance marked at breech, full walnut stock with B.O. Storekeepers stamp to butt dated 1851. Brass mounts buttcap stamped RP 862. Matching stamped ramrod. Lovells spring bayonet catch, lock struck with Tower crown VR cypher dated 1847. Number '39' and 'I. Johnson' stamped to lock backplate; indicating the Party number for Gort, Galway; later transferred to Killaloe, Clare. Holland & Sons stamped to underside of butt. VG condition with ex. Sharp untouched stock, much original blue to brl. This was James Holland (later & Son) who were trading in East London in the Minories area close to all the London Ordnance Contractors in the period 1825 to 1868. James Holland took his son into the trade name for the years 1855-68. This ties in nicely with the Ordnance Contract date for this carbine. I. Johnson would have been the setter-up of the carbine, i.e., the subcontractor who put it together.

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A Lovell's pattern carbine to the Constabulary of Ireland

An 1842 pattern carbine. 26" brl of .65" calibre, full walnut stock with brass mounts, butt plate tang engraved C7902. Lock with Tower VR cypher dated 1844. Faint BO mark to butt with 1844 stamp. Number '41' marked to left side of butt. (In the Revenue Police this would correspond to Shrade in Donegal). This pattern of carbine was designed by G. Lovell for issue to the police. This specimen with C prefixed number on the butt was issued to the Irish Constabulary.

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I just read your previous post featuring the sword and belt buckle, you've topp it with this post!

Great bit of history and another excellent post.

Thanks Peter.

Regards

Brian

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Peter - this is my example of the Lovell's - I was fortunate to buy it with the bayonet - which is far rarer than the carbine. Will probably send it to auction soon - it only sits in the flat study.

The interesting thing with this carbine, is that following it's success with the RIC - it was also adopted for the Australian Police - and very unlikely with their proximity to the US - the first Canadian Mounted Police in 1873.

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A nice looking musket Mervyn and is that a sling swivel forward of the trigger guard? What are the markings on your musket and bayonet?

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Peter - to answer your question - I haven't got a clue ..... Ages since I've looked at it - will have someone take some close-up photos.

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Martini Henry Royal Irish Constabulary carbine

A Martini Henry Mark II carbine of .45/577 calibre, with Royal Irish Constabulary markings (R.I.C. 2457). These were shortened versions of the Martini Henry rifle, now sporting 21 inch barrels. Action stamped with the Enfield VR cipher and dated 1885. This model with an original wide black leather sling.

The Martini Henry was introduced to the RIC around June 1899, with the final batch being issued to the Belfast police in June 1900. It replaced the Snider carbine, of which 12,000 were recalled. As part of the cost saving practices for which the Irish authorities were renowned, the bayonets previously used with the Snider rifles were also recalled, shipped to England to be rebushed, then finally re-fitted to the Martinis and re-numbered at the Constabulary Armoury.

The Martini Henry saw only a limited period of service with the RIC, being replaced by the Lee-Enfield carbine from 1904.

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ID: 10   Posted (edited)

Peter - nice that you have a fully stamped example. Can't be too many left. The carbine was originally designed for artillery and cavalry and we see quite a few in Natal - left over from the Zulu War of 1879. Do you have any Lee Metfords or Enfields for the RIC ? What about bayonets - did they issue them for the Martini ?

Edited by Mervyn Mitton

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ID: 11   Posted (edited)

The Lee Enfield RIC Carbines (part 1 of 2)

Lee Enfield Mk1* carbines or Lee Metford cavalry carbines converted to Enfield rifling; 21 inch barrel, nose cap adapted to take the Pattern 88 knife bayonet. Small six-round magazines. 11,000 were supplied by the War Office as a free issue to the RIC between March 1904 and 1914.

The new carbine was first issued to the Reserve Force at Dublin's Phoenix Park Depot in March 1904, before being distributed across the county forces. It replaced the Martini Henry carbine and at the same time replaced the existing long bayonet with the shorter knife pattern.

By July 1904 the new rifle had been issued to counties Cavan and Carlow, and special training regarding the mechanism of the new rifles had been given to the RIC Musketry Instructors. In January 1905 Kings county had been supplied, and it was noted that Morris Tubes had been privately purchased by some of the men for practice. County Monaghan did not take possession of the carbines until April 1905.

In September 1920 the RIC wrote to the Ministry of Munitions of War to communicate their desire to sell as scrap approximately 10,000 of these carbines, which were to be replaced with the modern SMLE rifle. They were shipped to the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock around November or December 1920, together with around 1.1 million rounds of MkVI ammunition (ref: National Archives file MUN 4/6028).

The estimate for scrappage was 5d each, or £1 if sold (for LE carbines) or 10 shillings each (the Lee Metford carbines). I am led to believe that some of these carbines were taken into use by the South African Prison Service.

A Lee Metford cavalry carbine converted to Enfield rifling

21" brl with Enfield 5 groove rifling, military proofs at breech. Full walnut stock, nose cap with bayonet lug to accept the P88 knife bayonet. Butt with brass disk stamped 3.'04 R.I.C.1094. This specimen made up from a Lee Metford cavalry carbine which was re-barrelled. Vg o/a cond with high % finish, shooting grade bore. I have fired this weapon many times and it has a kick like a mule!

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Edited by Peter Mc

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ID: 12   Posted (edited)

The Lee Enfield RIC Carbines (part 1 of 2)

A Lee Enfield carbine adapted for the RIC

A LEC Mk1* Carbine, 20.5in barrel. EV11R Crown dated 1903, probably over earlier stamp as barrel is Victorian.

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Edited by Peter Mc

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Peter - a few photos of the lock on my Lovell's have just come on a disc. Will post them here and see what you think. Hope all is well - haven't seen you post for a while ? Mervyn

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Very nice Mervyn and a nice untampered condition. I wonder are there any markings to the butt? Have you ever managed to shoot this weapon at all?

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Not likely - I need all of my fingers ! I really had forgotten the details on this piece and have only what was sent on the disc. I will ask the family to have a look next time they visit the flat. Best wishes.

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I am a firearms collector (hobby only) from the US.  I have an interesting piece.  It's a Winchester Model 1873 saddle ring carbine marked with an RIC crest and marked also "W. Morton & Son Ireland"--it also has British proof marks.  It was by the serial number manufactured in 1882.  I have done some research to find others that are similar but have not been able to do so.  I know that Morton was a gun manufacturer located on George Street in Cork, which started business in 1846.  If anyone has more and better information than I do, thank you for replying.

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That is very interesting dksgiggs. Can you put up a photo of the carbine and a close up of the crest? What is the serial number? PM me if preferred.

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dksiggs  -  welcome to GMIC.   This is certainly a different item from the usual guns thay carried.   Perhaps it was a special

order for a member of the RIC  -  and Morton's stamped it as the importer  ?

 

I would like to see this post continue on our Forum - and not as a PM. This way other members can comment and add their opinions. 

Peter, I look forward to seeing your opinion.     Mervyn

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dksiggs   -  have you been able to take the photos on the weapon ?  If you have problems posting please contact me.  Mervyn

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I took a few pics---not good one and hurriedly--of the carbine and the crest/markings.  I hope they load.  I think I will have to do more than one post.  Sorry.

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Other photos of the Winchester markings.http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2015/post-18155-0-53254800-1424455229.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_02_2015/post-18155-0-82843400-1424455243.jpg

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Well, it should be possible to trace the owner from the initials  -  that is if he was in the RIC.   Morton's details appear to be hand

engraved  -  which would seem to agree with the possibility that he was the importer.  I hope Peter Mc. will be able to trace this

back for you.    Are the manufacturer's details on the weapon ?   Best wishes  Mervyn

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That's not an RIC crest, but a set of initials that looks like RJC. Even if it were RIC I would expect it to be stamped with a rack number as well. Not a police firearm imo.

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