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    £ 2,500

    Enfield Robert's conversion Single Shot .577 Rifles

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    For an advanced British Military Rifle collector this interesting rifle is about as unusual and rare as you will ever find. This is a Pattern 1860 2 Band Enfield rifle converted with an extraordinary breech conversion that was developed in competition to the Snider System and the Allin Trapdoor System. The Roberts Conversion System converted a muzzle loading musket to a breech loading cartridge rifle. Union General B.S. Roberts invented the conversion system, which utilised his own .58 Roberts centre fire cartridge. Originally Roberts contracted with the Providence Tool Company to convert Model 1861 and 1865 Springfield muskets. The US Ordnance Bureau did not adopt the Roberts system, but they did sell some to the State of South Carolina. The Providence Tool Company also sold a number of the altered muskets to France. Many of these arms were P-1853 Enfield’s that had likely been in store in New York State Arsenals. The breech loading modification resulted in a significantly weakened wrist area, and many of the guns experienced severe damage during their period of use. As a result Roberts Conversion muskets are quite scarce today, especially British rifles Most 2 band Enfield’s were converted to the Snider system so to find a competitive system is highly unusual.

    This conversion was made on an Enfield rifle no doubt to promote it to the British Military. There are no British proof marks evident unless they are under the wood but the lock is an issue lock dated 1863. This was more than likely bought as an import for the purpose of experimentation and conversion.
    The rifle is in excellent condition with much original colour on the conversion which can be simply removed by a side key as illustrated. There is one hairline crack adjacent to this key but other than that the woodwork is very good and evidently the rifle has seen little use which concurs with its prototype status.
    The side of the breechblock is crisply marked in two lines with “ROBERT’S PATENT/JUN 11 1867”
    The rack or serial number is stamped into the stock.
    When I received this rifle I thought that the lock was at fault as it would not open fully. Further research revealed that the rifle had an extraordinary design flaw and that is that the breech block cannot be fully opened to load or unload unless the ramrod is pulled about 3” out of the stock as otherwise it fouls the falling block. I have seen a couple of Springfield conversions over the years in the USA (but never an Enfield) and none of them had the ramrod extant, this probably explains why!
    A fascinating and seldom seen rifle conversion manufactured at a hugely innovative time in the development of breech loading rifles and one that did not make the grade. I doubt if I will ever see another one and certainly not in this condition with no missing parts.
    £ 2,500
    Category:Rifles
    Subcategory:Single Shot
    Condition:Used - Good condition for age
    Price:£ 2,500
    Sale type:Trade
    Make:Enfield
    Calibre:.577
    Model:Robert's conversion
    Manufactured Year:1867
    Antique:yes
    Certificate:No Licence - Antique/Obsolete Calibre - Section 58 (2) Firearms Act 1968
    Gun Status:Activated
    Recommended Usage:Collection item
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