Original British P-1864 Snider Breech Loading Artillery Short Rifle - Marked Tower 1858

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a true artillery Short Rifle with a 26" barrel with 5 groove rifling, correct small back sight, bayonet lug for a the Pattern 1856 saber bayonet, checkered butt stock, MKI breech block and correct trigger guard. The lock is nicely marked with a Crown over V.R. and:



It was found in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2003 in our purchase of over 55,000 antique firearms from the Government of Nepal.

There beyond the lock and breech block there is no definitive way of telling which parts were made in England and which were made in Nepal, most are unmarked but this example is very nicely built and has been restored to fine condition. It is one of the very last we have.

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 breechloaders 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 obsolete by the late 1880s.

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