Original Belgian-Made Snider Carbine made for the Boer Republic - Liège Marked

Item Description

Original Item: One Only available. It is somewhat puzzling to see a SNIDER CARBINE being made in Liège by Belgian Gunsmiths. Clearly to be sold to British adversaries somewhere other than in Belgium. Marked on the left side of the stock is "S.A.R.", which could refer to The South African Republic which existed from 1852 until 1902 when they were forced to accept British Rule. The Boers however called themselves the Z.A.R since the Dutch used by the Boers spelled South with a "Z". Nevertheless we think "the cap fits". The Snider adopted by Great Britain in 1866 was obsoleted in the early 1870's with the adoption of the Martini Henry Rifle. There were no shortage of Surplus Sniders around for almost any customer HOWEVER not for the known enemies of Britain including the South African Boers.

Two wars occurred, the first in 1880 to 1881 and the second in 1899 to 1901. The second was a close run thing, a huge surprise to the British. The Boers by then were well armed by the German Kaiser but in the 1880 war arms were very hard to get. This resulted in Belgium, the World Armorer at the time, making guns for the Boers which accepted the British .577 caliber ammunition which was readily available all over South Africa.

The Carbine has an 18" Barrel, the barrel is marked with E / LG /* in an oval stamp and that of the "Tower of Liège". There are NO OTHER MARKINGS save the punched wood stamp of "S.A.R." The stock is a light Continental hard wood but not as hard as Walnut and the mounts are brass save the one barrel band which is iron. No markings whatsoever to the lock.

Condition is very good, with a beautiful stock and a great finish to the metal. The three-groove rifled barrel is in excellent condition, with a bright finish and clear lands and grooves. The lock holds correctly and fires at full cock, and the breech opens correctly. Interestingly, it has a "rotating" breech lock lever, instead of the Snider MkIII type push button. Definitely an interesting design.

Obtained from a South African family collection together with other items, a most interesting "NO NAME" Carbine, Ready to research and display!


Year of Manufacture: c.1875
Caliber: .58 inches
Ammunition Type: .577 Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 19 inches 
Overall Length: 37 inches

Action: Side Action Lock
Feed System: Side Hinge Rotating Breech block

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