.577/.450" Martini-Henry

I know the topic has been discussed here before but I don’t believe it was ever made clear who made the .577/450 Martini-Henry cartridge with the ‘F. T. C. & double-headed eagle’ headstamp as per my poorly stamped example.

I was under the impression that these originated from Turkey until I read Stuka222’s post stating that they were not Turkish but came from The Balkans, probably Montenegro. But if that is the case then what does the ‘FTC’ stand for?


Chris Steinhauer says that they came from FTC, Tirana, Albania but again, what would the ‘FTC’ stand for?

I have also found an extract of a book entitled ‘Arming the Periphery - The Arms Trade in the Indian Ocean’ which deals in great detail with the historical trading of weapons & ammunition across the Persia, the Gulf & Northwest Frontier region. The extract that caught my attention was mention of an incident in 1901 when a Mahsud raiding party dropped cartridges which were found to be marked with ‘F.T.C.’ and the ‘double-headed eagle emblem’. The book goes on to say that these were the initials of Fracis, Times & Co. and that the double-headed eagle was the emblem of that company. As far as I can make out Fracis, Times & Co. had their head office at 27 Leadenhall Street, London but had offices in several locations around the world and supplied arms & ammunition worldwide. Apparently weapons were also found bearing the same FTC & eagle mark. Could it be that these cartridges were made for Fracis, Times & Co.?

Jim, I also believe that these were made for Fracis, Times and Co., and the original description of the cartridges mentioned in that book came from a report published in 1902. This was an Anglo-Parsi company with offices established in Persia in 1887, Bahrain in 1895 and Oman in 1896. It was dissolved in 1903, due to bankruptcy occasioned by the seizure of several arms and ammunition shipments sent along the Persian Gulf.

Fede, its great to know that you’re of the same opinion and that I hadn’t gone completely off track! Do you have any thoughts who might have made the cartridges?

Jim, in my opinion these were made by CRB in Belgium, like many of the cartridges in this caliber traded in the Persian Gulf.