The British .577 Snider–Enfield was a breech-loading rifle. The American Jacob Snider invented the firearm action, and the Snider–Enfield was one of the most widely used of the Snider varieties. The British Army adopted it in 1866 as a conversion system for its ubiquitous Pattern 1853 Enfield muzzle-loading rifles, and used it until 1874 when the Martini–Henry rifle began to supersede it. The British Indian Army used the Snider–Enfield until the end of the nineteenth century.
A simple and robust design, easy to use and a way of providing cheap breechloading rifles using existing weapons. A well trained soldier could fire 10 rounds a minute from a snider compared with 3 rounds from the original muzzle loader. It was also consired quite accurate. The carbine had a barrel length of 19.5 inches against the rifles 36.5 inches. Designed for use by cavalry and artillery providing a short, easily handled but effective weapon. This particular weapon is a Mk II, like the Mk I converted from original weapons, the Mk III version was all new construction. There are videos available on youtube showing this weapon and its successor, the Martini Henry being fired .