Antique BRITISH B.S.A. Company SNIDER-ENFIELD Mk III Breech Loading RIFLE
British Snider-Enfield Marked 1868.
Here we present an antique Snider-Enfield Breech Loading Rifle in .577 Snider, made circa 1868 in Birmingham, England. American inventor Jacob Snider designed the conversion for rifle-muskets to be turned into breech-loading firearms. Britain had used the Enfield Pattern 1853 rifle-musket for a decade when breech-loaders came on the scene. Many of the major powers at the time faced a similar problem in that their arms suddenly became obsolete, and not wanting to throw over all their small arms at once, they converted them with this system. Despite being obsolescent in many ways, even at inception, this style of making single-shot muzzleloaders into single shot breech-loaders lasted for several decades. The British Empire adopted this technology in 1866. Other nations soon followed suit, including the United States of America, which used a very similar method called the Allen Conversion to achieve the same goal. This lasted a surprisingly long time, from 1866 to the 1890s, although when the Martini-Henry rifle came along in 1874, it began to supersede its predecessor.
The Snider went through three “Marks” and sub-variations. The Mark I and Mark II were conversions from existing rifle-muskets, while the Mark IIIs, which were made in far larger numbers, came about when existing stores of suitable 1853s and 1861s ran out. The gun did away with the sling bar and featured the latching breechblock, newly built parts and a trap in the butt for a screw-together clearing/cleaning rod. A ladder-style rear sight was graduated to 600 yards and had a provision for a leather cover.
The overall condition is good. Strong action. The bore is dirty and could be cleaned up. Good rifling observed underneath. Solid stock with expected wear. “1868” dated lock. “1885” dated stock roundel. A neat piece of history from late-19th Century Britain and its colonies!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 36-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .577 Snider
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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