Item:
ON13321

Original British P-1864 Gurkha Snider Rifle with 6 Groove Rifling & Enfield V.R. Marked Lock dated 1852

Item Description

Original item: Only one Available. The Nepalese cache purchase of 2003 is truly the gift that keeps on giving, even after almost 20 years! Among the remaining Gurkha-made Sniders we recently unearthed this lovely example, made in Nepal under British Supervision. It features a British-made lock, and has a barrel with very rare SIX groove rifling. In all of the Nepalese Cache we have found fewer than a dozen examples with six groove rifling. We now offer this wonderful rifle, fully cleaned and restored for the discerning collector.

The lock plate is clearly marked 1852 / ENFIELD, for manufacture at the storied Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock. It also carries the stamping of the CROWN / V.R. across its tail, indicating this rifle was made for the British Military, and was not an export or colonial service rifle. It has the correct "Lock Viewer's Mark" stamped on the front. This lock was possibly from a very early pre-pattern Enfield Rifled musket, or a late P-1842 percussion musket, as 1852 was right during the development period. Most likely it was supplied to Nepal either as parts or as a complete Rifled musket, and then was used later to assemble this rifle. Lock plates dated 1852 are quite rare to see, especially on a Nepalese Snider!

In fine shape, the Gurkha Snider rifles most closely conform to the Mk.III Version of the snider action, with a button actuated breech lock. We tested the breech, and it opens correctly, and the firing pin spring is still intact. The block pulls back for extraction correctly, and the lock is fully functional, holding at half cock and firing at full. Due to the age the works are a bit stiff at times. The bore on this example is a real treat, with the lands and grooves fully visible, and a mostly bright finish. There is some oxidation in the grooves, but overall this is a great bore.

The stock is in very good condition, with a lovely oil finish. Cleaning and age have reduced the size of the stock somewhat, so the butt plate now does stick out slightly over the stock on the bottom.

Very clean, well serviced and comes complete with ramrod. Simply a great example of a Gurkha Snider Rifle. Ready to add to your collection and display!

Specifications:

Year of Manufacture: 1852 (lock) 1870s (balance)
Caliber: .58 inches
Ammunition Type: .577 Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 37 inches
Overall Length: 55 inches
Action: Side Action Lock
Feed System: Side Hinge Rotating Breech block

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.

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