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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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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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