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A single shot rook rifle in .360 calibre built on a miniature Snider breech-loading action, retailed by James W. Rosier, Melbourne, approximately 1870s.
The Snider action was adopted by the British Government in 1866 as a breech-loading conversion to the current muzzle-loading Enfield Rifle. The adoption was relatively shortlived, as by 1870 the purpose-built breech-loading Martini Henry rifle had been introduced as the main British military rifle.
Civilian sporting rifles mirrored these developments in technology. Rook rifles, which - as the name suggests - were intended for shooting rooks, and other live birds, also found use in the Australian colonies as a popular rabbit or kangaroo rifle.
This one, in excellent original condition, is one of a group of three all retailed by Rosier, two of them having consecutive serial numbers, and the third being only two digits along. With its tasteful foliate engraving to the lock, slender elegant stock and decorative trigger guard, it represent a popular, small calibre sports rifle of the period at the end of the 1860s into the 1870s.
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