Original British P-1864 Gurkha Snider Rifle with 6 Groove Rifling & Tower Marked Lock dated 1853

Item Description

Original item: Only one Available. This came to us from the estate of a longtime customer, who had originally purchased it from us in 2006. It features a British-made lock originally from a P-1853 Enfield Three band rifled musket, 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 in ex arsenal condition.

The lock plate is clearly marked 1853 / TOWER on and 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. 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.

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. 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! 


Year of Manufacture: 1853 (lock) 1870s (balance)
Caliber: .58 inches
Ammunition Type: .577 Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 36.5 inches
Overall Length: 54 1/2 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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