British Enfield-Snider conversion rifle and Tibetan me-da matchlock NVSNs; circa 1856, .577 caliber, marked "SNIDER PATENT" on breechblock, crown over "GV" on breechblock and receiver, "1856 TOWER" on badly pitted lockplate, overall L49 1/2" barrel L30 1/2"; together with .60 caliber matchlock, overall L55 1/2" barrel L36 1/4".
Provenance: Property deaccessioned from the Centennial Museum at the University of Texas at El Paso to benefit the Museum Collections Fund. (Accession #57.07.02 inked on triggerguard of rifle, 54.28.02 on me-da)
Me-da secured by a missionary about 1907 and transferred to the collection of a British army officer.
Literature: Peterson, Phillip. STANDARD CATALOG OF MILITARY FIREARMS: THE COLLECTOR'S PRICE AND REFERENCE GUIDE. 5th ed. Gun Digest Books, 2009.
Stone, George Cameron. A GLOSSARY OF THE CONSTRUCTION, DECORATION AND USE OF ARMS AND ARMOR, IN ALL COUNTRIES AND IN ALL TIMES. Southworth Press, 1961. p.443, illus. p.444.
Other Notes: Rifle is Snider conversion of an Enfield 2 band short rifle, probably for native use, not British military. See Peterson pp.196-198 for a summary of the military conversions, none of which correspond to this weapon.
Me-da is crudely made, with a straight stock, very much like an Indian stock with barrel held on by leather straps. Barrel is made in India; leather pan cover and long narrow pouch are fastened to stock. There is a typical Central Asian forked rest pivoting from the stock.
Rifle buttplate tang screw missing, poor condition with pitting and damaged wood. Me-da bore very badly rusted.