They call me Mr. Retro!

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by sestoppelman, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Now this is going waay back in time guys! This old beauty followed me home the other day from the LGS.
    How old it is I am not yet sure but around 100 years. It is an LSA sporter, or London Small Arms Lee Enfield. These were purpose built commercial sporters meant primarily for the India and Africa hunter. .303 British of course!

    Nice checkered walnut stock in good shape, dings and scrapes and scratches. Can't find any cracks. 3-leaf Express sights with a flip up ladder sight as well to really reach out!
    Huge front sight base that is integral with the barrel, not banded or screwed on. Barrel swivel attachment of the old style. Early Lee Enfield receiver with dust cover. Probably the wrong magazine as from what I read it should have a 5- round mag, and this is 10, but it has an unusual feature. At top right front, is a lever that rotates in and out of position and appears to be designed to grab the follower, or not. Rifle also has the magazine cut-off, so perhaps its meant to work in conjunction with that. Barrel has numerous scratches and wear spots, bore appears excellent especially for its age. It is 5 groove Enfield rifling, not Metford. Oh and of course buffalo horn forend tip and pistol grip cap, eh wot?! All matching too of the numbers I can find.
    I am hopefull that someone on here will be able to shed more light on this fine old rifle.
    IMG_2808.jpg

    IMG_2814.jpg
    Click on the pix for a larger view.
  2. Heym 88

    Heym 88 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Ses...that is an awesome rifle. Congrats on a new toy. I'm retro as well. All of my deer rifles except one are 40 plus years old. Some older. Great find!
  3. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    That's a nice looking 'New' rifle. Hardly retro IMO. My latest is an 1880'ish 577 DR.

    Unless that means that I'm antique???
  4. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    good stuff ses
    finding an old warhorse ,with matching numbers is a rarity down here mate .
    the .303 has more than likely killed more deer in Australia than any other calibre
  5. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I would go farther than that and say that the .303 has probably taken more game worldwide than any other round ever. If one considers its age and wide spread usage both as a service round and a hunting round. I think eric and I bantered this back and forth once some time ago.
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Congrats, what a gem of a gun! I think we can agree the .303 has probably downed more game than any other caliber. I think the 30-06 is likely in second place.

    I would take that gun to Africa, if you could find or make a smaller clip for it. I believe there is a restriction on clip size.
  7. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks Eric, I already have located a 5 rounder on another forum and should have it in a couple of weeks. I too thought about taking it and maybe I will someday, but not likely this next trip. I dont want to hassle with 3 guns.
  8. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    "The rule of 303!" Breaker Morant, Africa

    Anybody know of what I'm talking about? :)
  9. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Ses...eh...Mr. Retro, Congratulations on a neat piece of history. Now that you have it one of the fun things is researching serial numbers, when it was made, where it went, etc. Best of luck in finding those things out.

    Don't you just wish old rifles could talk and tell you their story.
  10. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Yes, but will let you explain it. I happened to re-watched Breaker Morant 3-4 months ago or I wouldn't have remembered.
  11. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I have seen the movie but dont remember the specific reference.
  12. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    It would be a monumental task to trace this rifle back. The company that made it is long out of business. Would be neat to know more about it though.
  13. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Records of London Small Arms Co Ltd (GB-00000001083 - gb1502gm/2047) - Archives Portal Europe

    gb1502-gm/2047 - Records of London Small Arms Co Ltd - Archives Hub

    Ses, I just glanced at this, don't know anything about them. When they say they have ledgers to 1906 I don't know if that means financial ledgers, gun ledgers or both.

    Military Surplus Collectors Forums

    The Lee Enfield Forum Forum

    Enfield Rifle Research

    Don't know if any of these will help but it might provide a starting point. I didn't know much about rifle search until I got the Jeffery. There was an amazing amount on Mauser forums as well as Jeffery info. You start looking and something obscure opens you up to a lot more information. I was fortunate that there is a lot of info out there about M98 actions and rifles that have them. The search is part of the fun. All the best.
  14. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks for the links! I am looking at other forums right now for info. If I turn anything interesting up, I will report it here.
  15. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    The Leespeed! What a great rifle. Pull out your copy of "Ghost and the Darkness" - Patterson's (aka Kilmer) weapon of choice.
  16. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Yep! I looked it up on the IMDB and the rifle shown in the movie is a BSA Lee Sporter which is very close to mine. They actually share the same rear express sight set up. The front is totally different though as the LSA has the base turned onto the barrel. Pretty far out considering the time it was built! This is a really neat rifle. I am sort of torn as to whether to do any kind of restoration on it. I think the monetary value would be degraded if restored unless by the maker, long gone. But it would be neat to see it refinished and re-blued to its former glory as a shooter. Its not too bad as is and I will probably leave it alone. It has nice wood and its pretty much all original except the mag. I found a 5 rounder on another forum and its on the way, though not an original LSA mag. Good luck finding one of those right?
  17. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    That is one cool rifle. Just thinking of the history gives one pause.

    Breaker Morant when being questioned while being Court Marshalled in the shooting death of a local was asked by what rule he was following that allowed him to shoot the man. His response was, "by the rule of 303", referring to his rifle and round chambered there in and he being a solider during the Boor War in South Africa.
  18. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I remember the line now. Great movie!
  19. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Congrats Ses, beautiful rifle.
  20. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thank you Nyati!

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