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18th January 2005Snider rifles
By Paul Mercer
The role of the Martini Henry in the Zulu wars is well known, but was the Snider rifle still used or were they obsolete by then?
Imagine getting clobbered by one of those whopping great slugs, even at half the velocity of a MH round!
18th January 2005Coll

I may be wrong, but I think this firearm was used by some of the Colonial volunteers during the Zulu War 1879, as they had to purchase their own uniforms and equipment, including weapons.

18th January 2005Neil Aspinshaw
At Isandlwana the most numerous Sniders would have been carbines in the hands of the irregulars and Basuto's. (as well as Swimbourne Henrys & Westley Richards).
We have debated the matter before, but the famous quote from H L Smith Dorrien about the quartermaster refusing Durnfords men ammunition is associated with this.
It is highly unlikely that the 24th's (either QM) would have carried the .577" round, a case of "not having it" rather than "can't have it".
There are alot of Snider slugs in the Talana museum (Dundee S.A), reputedly from Isandlwana.
Don't think a snider has a low rate of fire, expect 6-8 aimed shots a minute, although the recoil on a carbine (especially if mounted) would be wicked. The Martini Carbine load actually carried a low charge to reduce recoil.
18th January 2005John Young
The Artillery still had Sniders.

John Y.
19th January 2005Paul Cubbin
The Sniders were still around, especially in the volunteer and irregular mounted units but were being fazed out in favour of the Swinburne-Henry's (why not repeaters is a subject for another debate, which I think has already been covered elsewhere). The process was accelerated as the war drew nearer and most units had the new carbine. Presumably the more official and 'prestigious' units such as the Natal Mounted Police and Frontier Light Horse got the replacements first with others further down the list having to wait until more were available. The Natal Native units would be the obvious recipients of replaced Sniders, I guess, and it's not inconceivable that a few Zulus had got hold of them too. The few Boer volunteers presumably had their own rifles but no doubt would have snatched up any freebies offered by the British government too.
3rd February 2005Coll
Further to the information given above.

In the book 'British Forces in Zululand' on page 53, there is a black and white photograph showing NCOs of the Durban Mounted Rifles armed with Snider carbines.

Although the caption underneath does state that these were indeed replaced just before the Zulu War with Swinburne-Henrys.