My .577 snider gunshow finds today

I got this .577 ammo today. $5 each for the ‘paper’ and $3 for the brass. this is the first snider ammo in my collection. I have a couple questions. I assume the one DC is bird shot and what is with the little kynoch round? I have read that some of the iron ‘pot’ base ammo had a black line on them but what about this red line?


The short one is a pistol round. Lancaster and others made pistols in .577 - a nice find

I think the red line indicated Government Property.

the paper projectile would be shot, as you suggest but it would be a poor performer for hunting although not impossibly so. My belief is that they were sold mainly for use against snakes in places like India

The single red line denoted a Mark IX round, not government property per se.

See the Snider pages on my website for details: … to-mark-vi


For what it is worth I respectively disagree with VinceGreen’s assessment that the short one is a pistol round. Three reasons; one the bullet is not crimped as other correct examples while the coiled case examples seat the bullet mostly below the mouth, two the case is not tapered, and three Kynoch is not known to make that round, the others known to be correct are on Eley made brass.
On the up side $3 is not big deal. Start a fake drawer.

Forgot to add the shot load were often rubber stamped on the side of the sabot with the size.
I have tan, white, yellow & red colored sabot’s & the tan are stamped “6”. My others are not marked, just to say they might well have been as I recall seeing an “8” on some…

No 1 is a Cdn made second pattern by Dominion Ctg Factory Quebec c1886-91.

thanks for the info guys! are you sure the little round is a pistol ‘fake’? I was thinking it might even be a training round? my dad thought the bullet might even be of civil war vintage because of the white powdery color of it.

No, I am afraid not. The headstamp is too modern, certainly post WWI and probably post WW2. It is a cut down Snider rifle round.


The white powdery substance is the lead oxidizing. It will flake off, but better to just leave it as you don’t want to breathe / ingest lead. Not proper brain food.

The differences in the lead it’s self, storage, and other factors oxidize lead. I have pre-civil war items that show no oxidation & post WW II that are completely white, so noting to judge time by.

The ‘pistol’ round is definitely dubious as Pete correctly said but it may have been a case cut down with the genuine intention of using it in a pistol. The ammo went out of production many years ago, the pistols are still around. People who shoot these old classic pistols have to resort to trying all manner of tricks to create the ammo they need. Cartridge Conversion is a whole big subject in itself. I don’t see why anyone would create a fake and then sell it for $3

The whiteness of the lead is no reliable indicator of age. When produced from pure lead bullets can go white very quickly. I have to store cast balls for my muzzle loaders in kerosene to stop them turning white in my garage. Some I suppose are ten years old now, I have a big casting session every few years and store them.

I think it must have been just cut down for some one to use. it for sure was not trying to be passed off as a fake. he had a little box with maybe 100 rounds of misc ammo for $3 that’s were I picked it out of.
that must be one hell of a pistol that shot that thing though.

Trevork - you think that the short round would be one helluva pistol.
Well, years ago, not long after I started working at the gun shop I was with most of my adult life, we have a Howdah Pistol (double barrel) in the store chambered for the full length 577 snider rifle cartridge. The gun was made as a pistol, but looked like an altered double rifle to give a sense of what the gun was like As I recall, the other chap working there at the time, now a well-known fellow in the gun industry, shot it on our little test range - one shot. He loaded both barrels but the recoil caused his trigger finger to hit the front edge of the trigger guard and gave him quite a serious cut on it. As I recall, he decided not to shoot the second round, and not being particularly adventerous, I chose not to shot the crazy thing at all!

The point of the story - they actually made pistols chambered for the full-size .577 Snider Rifle cartridge!

Don’t confuse big with powerful when it comes to the old British pistol calibres. I don’t have the ballistics to hand but it probably only bumbled along at about 600fps

Compared to modern pistols it was feeble

Real Howdah pistols (the term is often misused) were, as John says, cutdown double rifles used for one purpose only. To be mounted, usually in pairs, somewhere handy at the front of a Howdah to serve as the last line of defence when attacked by a tiger. Tigers it seem would climb up the elephant’s trunk to get to the humans.

The .577 Snider also inspired a number of civilian varients in the double rifle world so you have a basis for adding to your collection but the big game cartridges, usually but not exclusively Kynoch, are very expensive now.

Re the suggestion that this may be a modern reload for shooting, I can confirm that I made similar for firing in my old Webley revolver.
I made the cases from cut down Snider cases and reloaded with 48 grains of black powder. Not only were the cases cut to length but I had to ream out the inside as the case wall at this length was too thick.
The recoil was not as fierce as you might imagine as the black powder gives a push rather than the sharp kick that smokeless would give.
I had a bullet mould custom made and used dies and modern Snider brass for reloading made by NDFS. in Devon.

A question on NDFS. Jim Goodwin, retired, about ten years ago. Somebody was supposed to be taking over the business, do you know who?