Saturday, November 19, 2022

Filling a Gap - Egyptian Snider Enfield Smooth Bore

My little collection of British military surplus rifles grew by one today. I have Pattern 53 Enfield which was developed to fire the .577 Minnie style ball and saw use in conflicts from the Crimea to India and the US Civil War in both Union and Confederate armies. By 1867, the muzzle loading Pattern 53 was becoming obsolete, and the British initially addressed this by adopting American Jacob Snider's conversion breech for the Pattern 53s. These bridged the gap for only a handful of years until the introduction of the .577/450 Martini-Henrys, and left me with a gap as well. P1864 Snider-Enfields have jumped up quite a bit, but at the Ye Connecticut Gun Guild show today I came across an inexpensive Snider conversion gun, the Egyptian Snider-Enfield Shotgun, manufactured circa 1870s. These shotguns were made from obsolete Snider rifles from the 1870s. The operation is basically the same, except this gun fires either .577 round ball or shotgun pellets (24GA brass). The British did not want indigenous security forces armed with the latest weapons, and we also see later Lee-Enfields converted to single shot .303/.410 shotguns as well (on my want list!). The breech is commercial with the Snider Patent markings , and there are Egyptian markings in Farsi throughout. The stock is in good shape (faint 1902 stamp). The bore is smooth and clear, and the rest of the metal is free of any pitting. The action on this carbine is strong, hold half cock and full. If I load some black powder brass shells, I should be able to shoot this old gun. Imagine if I showed up and broke a few clays with this!  

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