Original British Snider Mk.II Cavalry Carbine by J.C. & A. Lord from the Nepalese Royal Bodyguard

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Made in England, this is an unusual second model Snider System carbines in .577 cal. The only Cavalry in the Royal Nepalese Gurkha Army was "The Royal Bodyguard" which would certainly account for the fact that so few Cavalry Carbines were discovered in the old Palace. Of very interesting construction, this Snider Carbine is half stocked with checkering on both wrist and forearm. The furniture is all steel and bears some line engraving, indicating custom manufacture.

The lock plate is marked J.C. & A. LORD on the lock plate, and has a longer manufacturer marking on the barrel, which is somewhat faint:


The barrel bears British Proof Marks indicating Birmingham manufacture. These include the CROWN / CROSSED SCEPTERS / B P C proof marking and CROWN / CROSSED SCEPTERS / V "viewed" markings, as well as the CROWN / BP proof for black powder gun barrels. It is also marked 25, indicating the a "25 gauge" bore of about .571". Additionally, the breech block is marked SNIDER / PATENT around the S Arrow marking, which is also found on the chamber ring. This carbine has closest to the MkII** action, with the small button at the bottom of the breech plug to retain the block.

Complete with all steel ram rod and sling swivel, the carbine has a 21 1/2" barrel and is 39 1/2" overall. The bore has five groove rifling, which has a mostly bright finish showing lands and grooves. They are a bit faint though, indicating that this carbine saw significant use while in service. The lock holds correctly at half cock, firing at full cock. There is however some damage to the firing pin retainer. The rear sling swivel is present and functional, and it does not look like this carbine ever had a front swivel. The rear sight is present, however the sight leaf has been replaced with one bearing Nepalese numerals.

The stock on this example is in very good condition, though it definitely does show wear from use. There is some cracking on the left side, and the front 2 inches of the stock look to have been replaced. There is also a grafted on repair on the toe of the butt stock. However, in spite of all the use, the checkering on the wrist is still in great shape, and the wood stock does have a lovely color.

A truly interesting carbine variation, custom built almost certainly for the "Royal Bodyguard". Very hard to find, ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: circa 1866
Caliber: .58 inches
Ammunition Type: .577 Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 21 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 39 1/2 inches
Action: Side Action Lock
Feed System: Side Hinge Rotating Breech block

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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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