It seems odd now, but 150 years ago the “hammerless” centerfire shotgun was a novel design. London’s Theophilus Murcott patented one in 1871, followed by Westley Richards in 1875.
Over here in the US, Daniel Myron Lefever patented his lever-cocking, hammerless design in 1878. Soon after him, Charles Sneider came out with the design you see here.
Sneider was a gunmaker in Baltimore. He started out making hammer guns and then later in his career and introduced hammerless models like this one around 1879-1880. I’m not sure how many guns he made in all, but I’m sure the number is number a fewer than a thousand, and I bet the total number of hammerless models is no more than 200.
I’ve seen a couple hammerless Sneiders, and their quality and elegance impressed me. Take a look at the pics posted here to see what I mean.