Restoring A Forearm

Restoring a Snider with some judicious woodwork brought an old military rifle back to life.

by Paul Mazan

One of the common problems with collecting and shooting old military rifles is undoing the work that has been done to them over the years. I found a wonderful old Snider on Gunbroker.com. Like so many of them, the barrel and forearm had been cut at some point in its history to make it handier and more suitable for some settler to use around his farm.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Snider, it is a conversion of the 1853 English Enfield from a muzzleloader to a single-shot black powder cartridge gun along the same lines as the Trapdoor Springfield. However, rather than putting in a trap door that opens forward, the Snider opens to the right side. The cartridge is .577 Snider and it can be loaded with the same .58 caliber Minié ball that was used in the gun when it was a muzzle loader. The Snider was originally available in three primary barrel lengths. The three-band Enfield or long rifle has a 36.5” barrel. The two-band or short rifle has a 30.5” barrel, and the Cavalry Carbine has a single barrel band with a 19.5” barrel.

Brass for the .577 Snider can be made by…

Read more in the October 2017 issue.

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