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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe this is the wrong forum, but I read with interest about the conditions and opinions on the Martini Henry's that came out of Nepal.
What is your opinions on the 1864 Snider breech loaders ?? I already assume that what you recieve might be the luck of the draw and conditions will vary.
I assume that these were built in England ?
As they stated in the advertising, were many of this type of rifle ever really imported by either the confederacy or the union armys ? ?
 

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The Sniders are made in Nepal.At least Atlanta Cutlery sells them with English made locks for a higher price.The only one I have has a stock with a BSA roundel on the butt.Condition is decent.Sniders were not used in the US Civil War as far as I know.P-53 rifle muskets were just not the ones that came out of Nepal.The IMA and Atlanta P-53's were all made in Nepal.I have two of the untouched P-53's.They will be shooters but it's taking some work.
 

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The Sniders currently being sold by AC & IMA are Nepalese production and in the case of a few marked accordingly, containing some Brit parts such as the lock. The long rifle very closely adheres to the Brit counterpart MK III newly made Sniders (as opposed to conversions from P-53 rifles). They have been favorably reviewed as to quality and accuracy and in fact the 2007 ISSO champion used a Nepal Snider to win the match. These are solid rifles with generally VG bores that are in general ready to return to the range (with of course all the CYA disclaimers applying).

Sniders were of course not used in the Civil War since they were made after the cessation of hostilities and no claim to the contrary is made on either IMA or the AC site. They do say that the Snider was developed as an adaptation of the P-53 rifles which was indeed the most commonly imported muzzle loader by both North and South during the war. They do not claim (and such would be ridiculous in the extreme) that the North or South imported Nepalese P-53 rifles nor that the Nepalese Sniders were made from Civil War P-53s. The comment refers purely to type of arm and not the actual rifles. The P-53 and its clones were nearly as common by the end of the Civil War as 98 Mausers were at the end of WWII and were everywhere. Referencing the type makes that historical point and connection…..but nothing more.

The uncleaned P-53s available from IMA/AC are largely of Nepalese manufacture with a few odd Brit parts found from time to time. Since the rifles are sold in the condition they were found it is pot luck. You really can’t grade or test a rifle for function without doing some cleaning and on these NO CLEANING HAS BEEN DONE. However it should be noted that “pot luck” has been quite good for some of the folks taking the plunge.

On the other hand the Sniders being sold have been reconditioned (note looking at the uncleaned P-53s gives you a good appreciation for what AC started with for all of the Nepal cache arms). With the Sniders you should receive a complete and functional arm that is only in need of moderate cleaning of the bore and lock works….and maybe a tad of BLO on the stock……a huge difference compared to what these looked like when arriving from Nepal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As usual, I buy a gun without doing the homework.

For what it is worth, AC told me that still had 17 on the shelf, and of course for the extra $50 they would take the best of the litter. I know that I am running late on this project, so what I am to do except buck up the $50.00. I am sure that the bottom of the barrel may not look too good by now.

So I gather that the Snider type rifle really came into use in the late 1860's.

I ordered one without the English marks. But from what I have read, buyers have not been too displeased with their Nepal Sniders.

I am glad that I did not stir up a hornets nest like you do when you go to the Mauser forum and say that you just bought a Mitchell Mauser.
Hey Guys ! Its only $300.00 bucks !
 

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While the original Sniders were established as the pattern of 1864, you'll find that they didn't make it into widespread production and subsequent issue until the end of our Civil War and thus had no opportunity to show up on this side of the pond.....and at that point one more cartridge rifle wasn't really a high priority with the North (having something like 30 different types of cartridge rifles/carbines in use) and of course the South would have no way of actually taking delivery since they had become largely a land-locked island of rebellion by that late date. This is all academic in any case since Brit home forces came first which also left our cousins to the north without Sniders to fend off the Irish threat following the end of the Civil War.

This of course was good news for folks like me 140+ years later since a Brits first policy on Sniders brought my much valued Canadian Peabodies and WR monkey tails into existance. Ironically both the Snider conversion patterns and the Allin conversion patterns lived on in more refined form until well after the end of the BP cartridge era.
 

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Tom, I bought one of the IMA Sniders (Hand Select) a few weeks back and was amazed at it's excellent condition. Compared to the "untouched, battlefield pick-up, etc." P53s from IMA and AC, it looks like it was put straight into storage and never issued. These Sniders were recovered from the Tumu Tpkhana Army Headquarters Armory, not from the Lagan Silekhana Palace, and were obviously stored under much better conditions. After removing the very light "preservative" and cleaning the metal, I ended up with a rifle in pristine condition, with only a few minor wood "dings" and some very light pitting. There is also very little, if any, wood shrinkage in the stock. See the attached before and after pictures. I haven't fired it yet and maybe I was lucky, but I couldn't be more pleased with this rifle. -- LnL
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lock N Larry,
I recieved mine today and like yourself, I was very well pleased.
I took the wood and cleaned it up with some 0000 steel wool and terpintine and then when it dried I hit it with a treatment of boiled linseed oil and it looks really nice.
The bore and metal parts were in excellant shape.
Buying towards the end, I thought that I would get a dog.
The bayonet was rusty, so I threw it in my tumbler with ball bearings and fluid and cleaned it untill it matched the pantina of the gun.
 

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Sniders turned up in Canada at least by the 1870's and were used out West in Reil's Rebellions [both 1870's/80's], and may have floated around in private hands afterwards. After the Martini came in they were relegated to Colonial troops.
 

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Sniders turned up in Canada at least by the 1870's and were used out West in Reil's Rebellions [both 1870's/80's], and may have floated around in private hands afterwards. After the Martini came in they were relegated to Colonial troops.
Actually, Canada was one of the first parts of the Empire to receive Snider-Enfield rifles, because of the Fenian Raids emergency, and virtually all of our military forces were equipped with them by the end of 1867 ....

Except for very limited issue, Canadian troops never did get the Martini-Henry (nor the Magazine Lee-Metford rifle, for that matter) .... instead, our niggardly government retained the Snider-Enfield as our primary-issue military rifle until 1897-98, when the Magazine Lee-Enfield rifle was finally adopted ....
 

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Dang... you might make me buy a shorty snider from ACC.

My IMA untouched '64 cleaned up great with Denatured Alchohol, and revealed the original finish in many places (definately a shellac) Looks great! Willpost pics soon, when done.
 

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I got a Snider a few years back and am very happy with it. I also got an untouched 1853 and it's in pretty good condition, but the bayonet won't fit as the barrel is just a little shorter than it should be... I'm halfway through cleaning up an untouched Gahendra right now.
 

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