***Please Note*** This is the first impressions and not a complete review, yet. I am still currently working on this beauty and bringing her back from the brink but I wanted to give my first, initial impressions so other people can decide whether or not to “take the plunge” concerning “untouched” rifles. They require patience, care, work and sometimes ingenuity but it is so rewarding in the end.
This is something that I’ve wanted for quite a long time…a Pattern 1864 Snider rifle. While it is unconfirmed or unsure as to whether these were originally manufactured by England or in Nepal under their supervision (or a Nepalese copy), it is evident that this is an excellent specimen for a reasonable amount of money. These run, as of August, 2017, about $550. The prices could very well increase as these are in finite supply since they are indeed from the mid to late 1800’s. They are a quintessential link in firearm evolution broaching the change from muzzle-loaders to breech-loading rifles. This is one rifle that held a place in history (albeit shorter than a lot of other types of rifles) but during a transitional time that was a watershed event. Smokeless arms were arriving and a stopgap was needed. This is that stopgap…although it is so much more than just that.
These rifles are not for the faint of heart but they are for lovers of history and antique arms. They are in a more than respectable .577 caliber. When you buy an “untouched” rifle, you do run the risk of having to find or repair some parts but I assure you it is more than worth it in the end (as a personal satisfaction and monetarily as these will only continue to go up and up in value).
Here are some pictures of the Snider “Before” any restoration:
After many, many hours of “elbow grease”, sweat and tears, she is looking quite respectable and those pictures will be updated soon.
I would like to point out that the Snider arrived packaged well and a bayonet is also included. The Snider was impressive from the start with all of the parts necessary and a very good cleaning rod. These were definitely either kept in a better part of the castle where they were stored or with a better preservative (which is a beast to remove) compared to my untouched Martini-Henry Mark II and Gahendra. The untouched Martini (unmarked also) was not in as good of shape but absolutely acceptable. The Gahendra was in somewhat rougher shape but has cleaned up nicely and is a great specimen.
These rifles are simply beautiful, outstanding and historically significant. It still amazes me that a “normal” everyday guy like myself can own one of these (among many other types of antiques previously thought to be out of reach). It does require a lot of work and “love” but I cannot underscore it enough…It is doubtful you will regret such a purchase…If you do, I’ll be happy to accept it via generous donation.
Stay tuned and don’t miss this amazing transition…fitting as this was made during a transitional period of firearms…