The Guns of 1866—The P53 Enfield vs. the Snider-Enfield

by Fred Ray on May 9, 2018 · 0 comments

Rob at Britishmuzzloaders does a practical demonstration of the differences of the P53 Enfield and the Snider Enfield. The Snider was basically a P53 that had been converted into a cartridge firing breech loader by adding a “shoe” at the breech designed by American Jacob Snider. As such it was comparable to the American “trapdoor” Springfield conversion.

You can readily see the improvement in rate of fire, which jumps from around three rounds per minute to ten. As an added benefit, it uses a metallic cartridge that is impervious to moisture and more resistant to rough handling. Most major armies went to something like this in the period immediately following the American Civil War, until something better could be adopted.

Rob, who’s obviously had some practice, gets off about three rounds per minute with the P53 (used by both sides), which was pretty much the CW standard for a well-drilled unit on either side.



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