Original British P-1853 Enfield Three Band Rifle Converted to Snider Mk.III - dated 1861

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This rifle is 100% all British manufacture, starting life in 1861 as a .577 caliber three band ENFIELD Percussion Rifle model of P-1853. The lock plate stamped "CROWN" over V.R. and ENFIELD / 1861. The barrel has copious British markings and proof marks, and the whole rifle is in just outstanding condition.

The wood butt retaining part of its original rondel cartouche displaying Crown and ENFIELD from when it was converted. There is also the ghost of the original cartouche just next to this later one. The barrel has standard three grove rifling and the bore shows clear lands and grooves, with a bit of oxidation. Slight rust pits just on the hinge section of the Snider breach block but no pits anywhere else that we can see. There is the correct III stamped on top of the breech, indicating it is the MkIII version of the breech.

An All British P-1853 Converted Snider Rifle made at ENFIELD in splendid condition and ready to display!

More on the P-1853 Rifle-Musket: The Enfield Pattern 1853 rifle-musket (also known as the Pattern 1853 Enfield, P53 Enfield, and Enfield rifle-musket) was a .577 calibre Minié-type muzzle-loading rifle-musket, used by the British Empire from 1853 to 1867, after which many Enfield 1853 rifle-muskets were converted to (and replaced in service by) the cartridge-loaded Snider-Enfield rifle.

The term "rifle-musket" originally referred to muskets with the smooth-bored barrels replaced with rifled barrels. The length of the barrels were unchanged, allowing the weapons to be fired by rank, since a long rifle was necessary to enable the muzzles of the second rank of soldiers to project beyond the faces of the men in front. The weapon would also be sufficiently long when fitted with a bayonet to be effective against cavalry. Such guns manufactured with rifled barrels, muzzle loading, single shot, and utilizing the same firing mechanism, also came to be called rifle-muskets.

The 39 in (99 cm) barrel had three grooves, with a 1:78 rifling twist, and was fastened to the stock with three metal bands, so that the rifle was often called a "three band" model.

History of the Snider rifle- Jacob Snider, an American from New York, developed this breech loading system for the P-1853 Enfield, the most prolific imported Percussion rifle in use by both the North and South during the U.S. Civil War. When the British Board of Ordnance appointed a Select Committee in 1864 the Snider system was swiftly adopted with the first breech loaders being issued in 1865 to British forces.

Improved in 1867 by the use of Colonel Boxer's center fire brass bodied cartridge, the rifle was used very effectively in the Abyssinian Campaign of 1868. The system utilized a hinged breech block with an internal firing pin assembly that permitted the use of a self contained cartridge of lead bullet in cardboard, and, after 1867, brass casing. This highly efficient conversion system prolonged the active life of the P-1853 rifles up until 1871 when the Martini System was adopted. Snider rifles saw continued use throughout the Empire but were officially obsoleted by the late 1880s.


Year of Manufacture: 1861 - Converted Later
Caliber: .58 inches
Ammunition Type: .577 Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 36.5 inches 
Overall Length: 54 inches

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

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