Raised in 1875, the S.M.R. survived until 1887 when the corps was amalgamated with the Victoria Mounted Rifles. A small contingent served with the Southern Force under Colonel Pearson at the start of the Zulu War in 1879, by which stage the men were equipped with Swinburne Henry rifles. This weapon, manufactured by the Abingdon Gun Works, traded upon its external similarity to the British service rifle but was in effect a patent circumvention with a different but more fragile action. Perhaps its only advantage was an external cocking lever, but it did at least take the standard Martini Henry cartridge thus simplifying supply.
The unit was issued with just 55 Medals were awarded to the Stanger Mounted Rifles, all bar one of them with the ‘1879’ clasp.