India 1874

The winning shooting team of the 1st Buffs photographed in India with the Magdala Cup in 1874. They are in scarlet frock tunics with buff collars and cuffs. All of them wear the glengarry cap except for the sergeant musketry instructor behind the cup who has an officer style forage cap. Several of them have beards which must have been permitted when on service in India at this time. The rifles are the Snider breech-loaders. They were introduced into the British army in 1866 and used .577 inch metal cartridges. There were two lengths of rifle, one with a 39 inch barrel and one with a 33 inch. The shorter type appears to be held by the man standing on the extreme right of the photo. The rate of fire was 10 rounds per minute which was a great improvement on the muzzle-loading percussion musket which managed 2 rounds a minute. The Snider was replaced by the Martini Henry after 1874.

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by Stephen Luscombe