Snider-ENFIELD Carbine – with Snider patent action 1859
An ENFIELD .577 hammer action saddle carbine rifle with signed Snider patent action, five groove rifling, ladder back sight, brass trigger guard and 20.5” barrels.
Stamped to lock crown over VR and 1859.
Overall length 95cm.
The Short Rifle has a 33 inch barrel and two barrel bands with iron furniture. This variant was issued to sergeants of line infantry and rifle units. It has five-groove rifling with one turn in 48 inches (120 cm).
The British .577 Snider–Enfield was a breech-loading rifle. The American Jacob Snider invented the firearm action, and the Snider–Enfield was one of the most widely used of the Snider varieties.
The British Army adopted it in 1866 as a conversion system for its ubiquitous Pattern 1853 Enfield muzzle-loading rifles, and used it until 1871 when the Martini–Henry rifle superseded it. The British Indian Army used the Snider–Enfield until the end of the nineteenth century.
The Snider–Enfield used a new type of metal-cased cartridge called a Boxer cartridge after its designer. The breech block housed a diagonally downward sloping firing pin struck with a front-action lock mounted hammer. To operate the weapon, the rifleman cocked the hammer, flipped the block out of the receiver to the right by grasping the left mounted breech block lever, and then pulled the block back to extract the spent case. There was no ejector, so the firer lifted the case out or, more usually, turned the rifle upside-down to allow the case to drop out. (Perhaps even more usually, the firer then shook the weapon vigorously to dislodge hot cartridges or those fouled by dust or grime.)