By ERWIN CHLANDA
Just as you thought the row over the Stuart statue is all over, gun enthusiast Des Nelson has discovered the weapon the explorer is holding – the subject of so much criticism – is the wrong one.
Mr Nelson says the gun in the Scottish explorer’s left hand is a Martini, patented 1868 by its Austrian inventor Frierdrich von Martini. John McDouall Stuart died on June 5, 1866.
The British army adopted the Martini in 1871, says Mr Nelson. His information comes from the book Guns, by Fredrick Wilkinson.
The Martini had a lever action similar to the American Winchester but was a single-shot weapon and had no external hammer.
When the Martini lever was pulled down the gun’s block dropped down, the bullet could be slid into the chamber, and pulling the lever back up made the weapon ready for firing.
“All the fuss about the rifle and it’s the wrong one,” says Mr Nelson.