British Model 1853 Enfield Rifle

  • General History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

A “workhorse” of The British Army from it's development in 1853 until 1889, The 1853 Pattern was a muzzle-loading, .577 caliber rifled musket. It weighed some 9.5 pounds and was a percussion-lock mechanism. It had a maximum effective range of 1,250 yards. It featured superior folding rear sights to improve aiming and targeting abilities. At 40 inches, The Pattern 1853 was designed to given the British Army a superior weapon for the possibility of being drawn into The Crimean War (which they were). The weapon proved to be very effective in that conflict. An unusual facet of the weapon was that pork/pig grease was used to lubricate the cartridge. Many Native Contingents (Muslims) refused to use the weapon due to their religious objections against swine. The “grease technique” even became an early psychological weapon by British soldiers (who would use the rounds greased and made their use widely know). If a Muslim was struck by a “greased round”, he would not be able to achieve his “goal” of reaching the afterlife! (This tactic would rear it's head again in the early 21st Century in the many Wars of The Middle East). Some Enfield's were shipped through The Union Naval Blockade for use by The Confederate Armies. It was estimated at 75% of the Confederate infantry weapons at The Siege of Vicksburg (Mississippi/US), were Enfield Rifles. The Enfield had a long lived production life for a military rifle (over 1.5 Million made, used and exported). They would be replaced by brass and steel cartridge capable rifles.