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Original British P-1853 Experimental Trapdoor System Trials Rifle by Barnett of London

Regular price $1,995.00

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. The British Government trials to convert the famous P-1853 Percussion Rifle Musket to breech loading was a very crowded affair. It resulted with the British adopting the system designed by Jacob Snider (An American) in 1866. This resulted in the Snider–Enfield Breech Loading rifle, which became the main British service rifle until the Martini-Henry supplanted it in 1874.

Here we offer one of its competitors: a trap door style system, actually later adopted in some form by the U.S. Government in 1873. This example was made by BARNETT of LONDON, a very substantial British Government Contractor. This rifle started life as a muzzle loading P-1853 Rifle Musket as used in the Crimean War,The Sepoy Rebellion (Indian Mutiny) and the U.S. Civil war, as well as all over the British Empire. The conversion was pretty much what the U.S. ended up with in 1873, using a lifting trap door style breach block fitted to the rear of the .577 caliber barrel. Why it lost to the Snider and why the Snider was not adopted by the U.S. is totally a mystery to me but that's history for you.

The firing pin in this weapon was removed, probably as a safety measure at some time but any gunsmith can easily make a replacement it desired. The extractor / ejector also seems to be missing, however it may have never had one. Coming from an old very high end Collection in Kansas City, this Trial's Rifle comes with a good pedigree. It is marked on the left side of the stock with W. WALLIS as well as PATENTED / FEB. 27. 1866. This may indicate that W. Wallis was in fact the one who submitted this design for the trials. We also have seen a similar rifle in the NRA firearms museum, but we are unsure of the link to this example. Definitely worthy of further research!

Showing old powder burns and pits around the breech block and lock plate those areas were cleaned off and recolored at some time in the way past. The stock has been well cared for, and has a good deal of curl to the bottom side.

A very attractive and  rare Rifle, ready to research and display!


Year of Manufacture: c. 1860 - converted later.
Caliber: .58 inches
Ammunition Type: .58 Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 35 1/2 inches 
Overall Length: 55 inches

Action: Side Action Lock
Feed System: Trapdoor Breech Loader Single Shot

NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these.

Shipping Restrictions

    This product is not available for shipping in US state(s)
    New Jersey

    This product is available for international shipping.

Legal Information

  • IMA considers all of our antique guns as non-firing, inoperable and/or inert. Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 921(a)(16) defines antique firearms as all guns made prior to 1899. This law exempts antique firearms from any form of gun control or special engineering because they are not legally considered firearms. No FFL, C&R or any license is required to possess, transport, sell or trade Antique guns. All rifles and muskets sold by IMA that were manufactured prior to 1899 are considered Antiques by the US BATF (United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms). Therefore, all of IMA's Antique guns may be shipped to all US States and most nations around the world.

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