This is an interesting .577 commercial snider cavalry carbine made by Bond & James of Birmingham. The lockpate is marked with a incomplete royal cipher (the V.R. is absent) along with 'Tower 1874'. I suspect these markings are spurious, although certainly original to the gun. Tower was no longer making snider lockplates in 1874 and the incomplete cipher is typical of a commercially made rifle attempting to be passed off as official government pattern.
Many of these Bond & James carbines were purchased by the New Zealand government for issue to police and this example is marked on the butt tang with A over N^Z over rack number 729. The A may indicate Auckland.
Bond & James operated at 36-37 Loveday Street, Birmingham between 1868 to 1875. The firm changed its name to Bond & Co. from 1875 – 1878.