Snider Rifles



The Snider rifle was a means of allowing the British Army to rapidly jump into the cartridge firing world. The second half of the 19th century saw armies around the world realise the full potential of breech loading systems and an arms race began to adopt breech-loading systems in order to gain an advantage. The British Army had many thousands of muzzleloading Enfield P53’s in-store and in service at the time of the breach loading cartridge revolution and the Snider system designed by American Jacob Snider (1811-1866) provided an excellent way to convert these guns.

In trials the Snider proved to be as accurate as the P53 Enfield if not more, as well as allowing the soldier to fire significantly more rounds a minute. The Snider was adopted for service in 1866 (the year of the inventor’s death) and was produced in large numbers from converting Enfield muzzleloaders. A significant number were made as new with the Snider breech-loading actions both for military issue and for the civilian market, often utilised in the Volunteer regiments Victorian Britain.

Snider Rifles at Auction

Most Snider rifles are chambered in the now obsolete .577 Snider calibre making them legal to own without a licence in the UK under Section 58 (2) of the firearms act. Because of this, there is a strong demand for these rifles amongst collectors and we always find they sell well with us at auction. Should you have a Snider or any other antique or modern firearms, weapons or Militaria you wish to sell we would be delighted to talk to you about entering it into one of our specialist auctions.

Please contact Chris Large on 01270 623878 or email Alternatively, use the valuation form below to obtain a free valuation. 


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Snider Rifles

Chris Large

BA Hons

Department Specialist

+44 (0)1270 623878

Free Auction Valuation

We offer a free valuation service to anyone considering the sale of items through our auctions. Complete the form below and one of our specialists will get back to you promptly.

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