Abdur Rahman's Rifles: Unlocking the Mystery's of the Kabul Arsenal Martini's

by Miles

Very and distinctly different from anything craft-produced in the Darra Adam Khel regions of the Kyberpukhtunkha region of Pakistan, the Kabul Arsenal pumped out railroad materials, coins, and most important to us at TFB, Martini-Henry’s and Martini-Metford license produced copies with the assistance of the British Empire at the time. One such collector of these rifles has been generous enough to take the time and help us record the details of their history and manufacture, going through all the known generations of the rifles. Information has been very scarce about this, mostly owing to them not really existing in the Martini-Henry market in the United States apart from being brought back as war trophies or bazaar purchases by Coalition troops and civilians while stationed in Afghanistan.

Production began with the Emir, Abdur Rahman Khan in the 1880s at an industrial area southeast of Kabul that was a basin of industrial production. As the years went on the rifles continued to be made through his son’s rule, and then another son’s rule, that of Amanullah Khan. It was during this period when Amanullah was essentially chased out of the country that production took a turn for the worse and the rifles stopped being made altogether in the early 1920s.

Vern, Miles, and N.R. Jenzen-Jones of Armament Research Services (ARES) are working on an ongoing research project examining Martini-type rifles in Afghanistan. Do you have a Martini from Afghanistan? Please contact: martini@armamentresearch.com




You want more Martini-Henry variants? Check out the Martini-Peabody. Or the Greener, that’s a neat one too.

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Endless Horizons by Ian Post (Space) Artist


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I've made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv

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3 of 9 comments
  • Graham 2 Graham 2 on Aug 09, 2018

    I hate to pile in on Mile's but hi's u'se of apostrophe's doe's need work!

    Also, the plural of mystery is mysteries, not mystery's or even mysterys.

    Sorry to be critical Mile's, I really enjoy you're video's.

    • Retfed Retfed on Aug 10, 2018

      @Graham 2 It's part of the mystery's of apostrophe's.
      And, even though it's been pointed out for several days now, the editor (if there is one) will never correct it. It's almost as if they're proud of looking semiliterate.
      I like this blog, but still . . .

  • Mac Mac on Aug 14, 2018

    Love my Martini Medford bring back but am too afraid to use real ammo. I only have WW1 belted .303 and I am pretty sure I would only let my worst enemy shoot that hot stuff through it. I have compromised by using sub caliber conversion shells(.303 to 7.62 Tok) to make it marginally safer