Original British P-1866 Snider Mk.II** Rifle Converted to Carbine - dated 1868

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This just came out of the attic after a hundred years of storage, together with a couple of hundred other guns. This carbine is 100% all British manufacture, starting life in the early 1860s as a .577 caliber Enfield or Snider 3 or 2 band rifle. It looks to have used parts from several rifles, so the history is not entirely clear. The lock is plate stamped "CROWN" over V.R. and 1868 / ENFIELD, indicating manufacture at the Royal Small Arms factory at Enfield. This was a military issue, as indicated by the royal monogram.The barrel has copious British markings and proof marks, including some we cannot readily identify.

The wood butt stock retains its original faint round cartouche, which reads LONDON ARMORY COMPY. with 1863 in the middle. the stock has been significantly altered, shortened to carbine length. It was definitely longer at one point though, as the cleaning rod channel is present, but was plugged with wood and refinished.

The barrel has standard three groove rifling and the bore shows lands and grooves, but is also worn and oxidized. Overall the metalwork bears a nice worn patina. There is the correct II * * stamped on top of the breech, indicating it is the MkII** version of the breech, though part of this marking is missing due to a sight groove having been added to the breech ring. This was the last version before the "latch" was introduced, though it does have a small "button" at the bottom of the breech plug that grips the breech block. There is quite a bit of wear on the breech block, so it does not catch at all on the button. The firing pin and spring are also missing.

A very interesting Converted Snider Carbine, with loads of research potential. 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: 1863 / 8 - Shortened Later
Caliber: .58 inches
Ammunition Type: .577 Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 19 1/4 inches 
Overall Length: 38 inches

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

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