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Anyone recognise this rifle?

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  • Anyone recognise this rifle?

    Hint: Not made in America ... or Europe ... or Asia. This gun is a century old. Way ahead of its time, it was never very popular and production ceased after WWI. It featured a straight pull action, "the first practical cartridge to reach the edge of 3,000 fps," and a unique pop up rear peep (as well as folding leaf on the barrel).

    My trap league team captain inherited it from his father's estate but the bolt was jammed in the action. He gave it to me to fix this afternoon. Quite the puzzle getting it apart and reassembled properly. It was in a canvas and leather soft case that I'm betting came from the factory with the rifle. The gun is in pretty good shape with almost all blueing and just a few rusty spots around the leaf sight and barrel band.
    Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 09-18-2019, 12:57 AM.

  • #2
    Proly a .280 Ross.

    Didn't pay too much attention but LGS had one 6 or 7 months ago.
    Last edited by CD2; 09-18-2019, 03:05 AM.

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    • #3
      Ross Sporting Rifle. I like the stock. Made in North America, if you're splitting hairs.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CD2 View Post
        Proly a .280 Ross.

        Didn't pay too much attention but LGS had one 6 or 7 months ago.
        Yep, Quebec if you really want to split hairs. I can see why it was a failure in the trenches. Takes a wizard to get it apart and back together. Not very practical for a dirty environment where guns have to be cleaned all the time. The bolt has rotating angular lugs similar to my 760 Remington pump. They are spring loaded and whoever jammed this gun had removed the bolt then tripped the spring while putting it back in. The lugs were caught in the locking position behind the magazine. Couldn't remove the bolt or close it either. Ross designed this gun to take some punishment. The action and barrel are anchored to the stock in four different places: a tang screw behind the trigger guard, the usual anchoring screw ahead of the magazine, a removable cross-bolt behind the magazine, and forward swivel anchored through the stock to a barrel band. On top of the receiver something is stamped to the effect "good for two tons of pressure." I believe it. Though built strong, it is surprisingly lightweight. And actually quite easy on the eyes too. For good looks I find it comparable to pre-WWII sporting Mausers and Manlichers. Hard to believe it was designed a hundred years ago. Compare this gun to my Springfield 03-A3, a 1917 Springfield, or Lee Enfield. No comparison. The Ross's action and cartridge were head and shoulders above the others. The one thing that did perplex me was the trigger. Must be at least a quarter inch play of no resistance before one hits pay dirt. Not a bad trigger ... when I finally reached the end. Makes no sense for a fancy sporting rifle.

        The flattened bolt handle knob has a large hole through it. Presumably a sort of saddle ring? Interesting.
        Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 09-18-2019, 10:57 AM.

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        • #5
          I like the graceful stock design. The exact opposite of the AR-15.
          The drop at heel is excessive, but I love that schnabel forend tip.

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          • #6
            That trigger pre travel thing....lots of euro rifles have it

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            • #7
              This is different than a 2-stage trigger? Not sure what you are describing.

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              • #8
                The lines look similar to some CZ rifles. I like it as well.
                Curious about the barrel length, looks to be 26”?

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                • #9
                  No idea.
                  But reading other post, I have seen one in the past!
                  Probably mid 60's sometime. Can't even remember WHO showed it to me or where.
                  Neato, far out and groovy then....same now!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Amflyer View Post
                    This is different than a 2-stage trigger? Not sure what you are describing.
                    Nothing but empty space for the first quarter inch or so pull from trigger's at rest position. No real resistance at all. Then when I hit resistance there's probably six pounds pull till release of firing pin. Very strange.

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                    • #11
                      Sorry, I should have made it clear when Amflyer posted. He is correct, It's a Ross Sporting Rifle manufactured between 1907 and 1918. The Ross Military Rifle that Canadian troops were sent to the trenches with in WWI was a miserable failure. Those were essentially same gun chambered in .303. The rifle's close tolerances and many moving parts did not work well in dirty trench warfare. Poorly made British ammo also exacerbated the tolerance problem. The sporting rifle was a different cat altogether. It's .280 Ross cartridge (1907-1918) was originally designed to replace the .303 British after early failures of the Lee Enfield during Boer War. The Brits correctly determined the problem was mostly with the early Enfield rifles not so much the ammo. Though the .280 Ross was a superb cartridge with good hitting power (the first cartridge to achieve 3,000 fps) and much longer range capabilities, the Brits decided to cling to .303 rather than ditch the Enfields still in circulation. The Ross Rifle, both military and sporting, was dropped from production before the end of WWI. I believe the company still continued to make .22 single shot rifles until after WWII.

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                      • #12
                        Ah, now I remember where I've heard of this rifle before. Sir George Grey, brother of Great Britain (1920's) prime minister was killed when he shot a lion with one in Africa. From pages 47&48 of "Death in the Long Grass by P.H.Capstick.

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                        • #13
                          After careful consideration, I do believe the one I saw was a war relic. It was in pretty rough shape but the guy cycled the bolt a couple of times to display the action.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dewman View Post
                            Ah, now I remember where I've heard of this rifle before. Sir George Grey, brother of Great Britain (1920's) prime minister was killed when he shot a lion with one in Africa. From pages 47&48 of "Death in the Long Grass by P.H.Capstick.
                            Did the gun kill Sir George Grey or the lion? Let's see ... Earl Grey, prime minister of Britain during the 1830s, did indeed have a brother George Grey. But George died at Portsmouth, England in 1928 at age 61. No mention of his previously being injured by either a rifle or lion. Okay, it was not the prime minister's brother who died in a lion attack but rather the brother of Edward Grey, Minister of Foreign Affairs. I found a newspaper clipping on line from LA Times 5 Feb 1911. That George died in a Kenya hospital from injuries incurred by lion not the rifle.
                            Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 09-19-2019, 01:02 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Yes, evidently the bullet came apart on the lion so the lion came apart on Grey, who just came apart.

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