.577 (2 3/4") bp


I got what appears to be a .577 (2 3/4") Black Powder Paper Patch Express at SLICS. When I went to catalog it, I now wonder just what it is. The headstamp is “ELEY .577 S.”

Any one know what the “S.” stands for.


Mmmmmhhh , I have seen the “S” after “.577” on Snider cases only.

I have a 577 BPE 2 3/4" round made by Eley , but there’s no “S” in the headstamp


[quote=“RonMerchant”]I got what appears to be a .577 (2 3/4") Black Powder Paper Patch Express at SLICS. When I went to catalog it, I now wonder just what it is. The headstamp is “ELEY .577 S.”

Any one know what the “S.” stands for.[/quote]

Ron, how about SNIDER ???
M. Rea


Pivi & Mdrea–Snider was what I thought also when I bought it, until I started to catalog it and realized it was a 2 3/4 inch case, not the 2 inch Snider length. The “S.” is very clear.


Ron, I don’t know about the “S” but in the abscence of any better explaination I would suggest that they made a universal case for .577 and trimmed it accordingly. The volumes of demand for the longer case would not have been all that great even in those days and its just a bunter error. interesting though if that is what happened.


Do you suppose its a wildcat? ;-)


If it has a case, a primer, and a bullet, it can be wildcatted. The 577/450 and 577/500 are nothing more than big wildcats. ;) ;)

Ron, maybe it means 577 Short ?



just a common variation headstamp of the .577 2 3/4" BPE, & sorry, don’t know what the “S” stands for.


I just looked through my collection and have the same 2 3/4" cartridge with the ‘S’ and the express bullet. The headstamp is the same as is on the 2" Sniders in my collection. Perhaps it was a headstamp error; although if that were the case, you’d think they would just trim the cases to 2" to fix the error.

On the other hand, it could represent a special order and the ‘S’ could represent something other than Snider, like Selous (one could only hope) or Smith.


Other than Snider I can think of no obvious reason for the “S” No gunsmith, ammunition manufacturer, mail order outfitter etc at that time comes to mind.

Then an idea came into my head that at first I thought was too crazy to even mention but then i considered it for a while and I have decided to bounce it off you to see what you think. Like a lot of guns of that era the chambering would have been extremely generous. Could it be that despite the apparant inconsistancy there was sufficient freebore to allow this round to actually chamber in a Snider?
Weird thinking I know but the reason for the “S” is troubling me since it seems to be deliberate. Has anyone got a Snider rifle they could measure to see if it is possible?

Another possibility is that many ex military Sniders were bought up, refurbished and sold on into the Colonies to farmers and settlers. Wesley Richards coming most readily to mind.
Could it be that part of the refurbishment program involved rechambering for a more powerful cartridge? The original Snider round being a bit underpowered for parts of the world where dangerous game might be encountered.

It would only mean taking out a bit more of the rifling and its the sort of thing Wesley Richards would conceivably have done to make the rifles more sellable. They certainly sleeved a lot of Sniders to take their .500/450 No2 cartridge. Perhaps they sleeved those rifles that had poor bores and rechambered the good ones.

The only doubt I have is whether there would be enough space in the “open” Snider breech to allow the longer cartridge to go in and out but I guess it could have been hooked in.

I don’t know, its all guesswork, totally. I have never seen it documented but knowing Wesley Richards it would have been typical of them to do it. Certainly that “S” is there for a reason and this is the only reason I can see.