Rare: a a 12g Sneider side-by-side hammerless shotgun…

12 gauge Sneider Hammerless Double Barrel Shotgun
12 gauge Sneider Hammerless Double Barrel Shotgun

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.

12 gauge Sneider double barrel hammerless shotgun
12 gauge Sneider double barrel hammerless shotgun

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.

12 gauge Sneider double barrel hammerless shotgun
12 gauge Sneider double barrel hammerless shotgun


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14 thoughts on “Rare: a a 12g Sneider side-by-side hammerless shotgun…

  1. Yeah – they’re very nice. Too bad their safety is so odd. It’s a roller located on the top lever. Safeties were a new idea back then, and I applaud Sneider’s innovation. Unfortunately, it’s a pain to use.

    Hope you’re getting into some birds. We’re going out tomorrow, AM.

    Good shooting, and thanks for the comment.


  2. I have owned 2 Clark and Sneider hammerless doubles. One serial # 500 was a 12 ga, I sold it at the Baltimore antique gun show. I also found # 501 at the same show but it was altered and in poor condition. the dealer was asking $3500. When I showed him my gun #500 he just turned his head. My gun #500 was in excellent condition especially the bright bores being black power. I sold it for $2000. My other Claark and Sneider is a beautiful 8 ga double, fully engraved with waterfoul scenes and ebony inlay in the forearm tip. A hammerless double serial # 371. Mint bores weighs 15 pounds. Great beautiful fouling piece of Baltimore history.

  3. Cool. I love those guns.

    Do you have any pics of them? You still have the 8g? I would love to see that gun.

    Thanks for the comment.


  4. Gregg, I will keep you in mind should I decide to sell the 8ga. I collect working decoys. Older Black ducks are my favorite. Although I use to hunt with Charlie Bryan and go body booting. I have quite a few of his decoys and also one of the last full size swans he made especially for me. He was a great carver and even a better person. He is surely missed. I also collect coins especially the old large cents and half cents. But any old classic coins get my interest.

  5. Gregg,
    I recently got a 8 g clark and sneider from my grandfather’s estate. Wondering what you can tell me about it. I do not think I can insert images here, but have a few to email if you would like. Side by side, hammers, a couple dings at the ends of the barrels and a slightly bent hammer. Very pretty gun though.

  6. Hey Chris-

    Just dropped you an email. Let me know if you don’t get it. Thank you for reaching out.


  7. I misspoke my Clark and Sneider hammerless 8 guage was # 351. It was stolen !! I only have some pictures now.

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