Lee speed project?

ian-bradley

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When I was a little boy I first saw the movie the ghost and the darkness and right then I was hooked on all things dark continent in Africa and I particularly was drawn to Val Kilmer‘s Lee speed rifle . I recently came into being given a “bubba’d” no.4 mk1. Now I know all of the original Lee speeds that were built by greener or Wesley Richards or primarily used on Mark one Lee actions however since this is a perfectly good action that I have and I’m not really into surplus rifles am I crazy for wanting to build a classic turn of the century supporter off of this action? My question to you all is who in the United States would take on such a project ? Would you pick a different caliber or keep it 303? I will need a new barrel for sure. Your input is appreciated.
 

Red Leg

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It is very depressing to see you say you saw that movie as a "little boy." I think of it as fairly recent! Heck 1996 wasn't that long ago.

The Lee Speed is a great rifle, and you can find a lovely original one for a lot less than a quality custom built reproduction - and it will have a soul.
 

ian-bradley

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It is very depressing to see you say you saw that movie as a "little boy." I think of it as fairly recent! Heck 1996 wasn't that long ago.

The Lee Speed is a great rifle, and you can find a lovely original one for a lot less than a quality custom built reproduction - and it will have a soul.
I was 5 years old in 96!

Also I know I could look all day for an original and I will get one eventually but this is a family gun so I may as well do something cool with it!
 

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The Lee Speed is a super fast rifle to mount and get on target with. I love the stock style and have built quite a few stocks for barrelled actions in 303 (maybe 7 or 8), a 270-303, 375-303 and a 400 all on the magazine ee Enfield action (1896 to 1901 and I know they were either side of this but that is the action dates I have worked with) Have also stocked a 1917 Mk 3 and cut the bridge off to conform to the style.
 

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I agree with @Red Leg , you can get really nice lee speed rifles for a pittance. I had a Rigby lee speed and it’s original case. When I sold it to fund another purchase it didn’t sell for very much.

The good ones will have their case, will have peep sights, or a flat rib the whole barrel length. Watson brothers made a few too.

$2000 would get you one of the best made. $1200 would get you a nice shooting iron.
 

sestoppelman

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IMG_2808.JPG
Not an easy find however, least in the states. I regularly search for such rifles and rarely find them, especially a Lee Speed marked rifle. I recently snagged another similar rifle to the LSA factory sporter I have. This one has a BSA barrel and a probable LSA receiver, but otherwise is just like the rifles in question. I got it on Gunauction for $600, but it came with a crappy useless homemade 5 rd mag, not a big deal as the Sante Fe 5 rounder I have works perfect in it. They are neat rifles indeed. My first one, the LSA smells like an English gun room, faintly of tobacco and brandy. I take it out of the safe just to smell it! Feast your eyes young fella!
 

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sestoppelman

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Here is the more recent acquisition. Has the later action, but both have Enfield rifling.
IMG_1079.JPG
 

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sestoppelman

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A rifle such as that does not come up for sale often. While I would not pay that for it, others might consider it a bargain. Its a beautiful rifle.
 

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For $4,200 it's a lot of rifle (especially given its provenance). Try getting something similar made today and see what it would cost. The only impediment to selling will be the fact that it is a Lee Speed rifle. Were it a Mauser 98 the price could be nearly doubled and it'd still sell in short order.
 

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To the person who is interested in such rifles, it would not matter at all that its not a Mauser. Apples and oranges. No doubt there is a smaller market for a Lee Speed or Enfield sporter however
 

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Not sure about the “provenance”. Greener marketed a lot of these to the colonies.

Top end for a really good original Lee Speed is around 2500 - and less than 2000 in the UK. But More power to the seller if someone bites.
 

sestoppelman

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Top end for anything is what someone is willing to pay for it. This appears to be a very nice exampl(y)e. He may not get his asking price but its not outrageous in my viewo_O. At least no more outrageous than the asking price for any number of nice rifles. I would sooner pay his price for that rifle, than $5000 for a Dakota:eek:. Its all about what one wants and how bad they want it.:rolleyes: I don't want it that bad.:D
 

CTDolan

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To the person who is interested in such rifles, it would not matter at all that its not a Mauser. Apples and oranges. No doubt there is a smaller market for a Lee Speed or Enfield sporter however

That's why it'd bring more as a M98 (larger pool of potential buyers). As for interest, yeah, to the one looking for a Lee Speed rifle, that it's not a Mauser is academic.
 

Von Gruff

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The Lee Speed has its own desirability among its afficiando's that is equal to the 98 actioned rifles. Fortunately I love them both
 

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Little pricey to me but to the right person maybe not. A lot of big game has been kicked in Africa with the 303
 

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Hart Custom rifles would take such a job.
When l visited India , l saw that the locally made IOF ( Indian Ordinance Factories ) .315 bore sporting rifles were built on a Lee Enfield action with 5 shot detachable Magazines. Shitty quality gun with even shittier quality ammo. The people there have to make do with this trash because Imported arms have been banned in the country since 1986
BUT
It does give one ideas. You could EASILY convert the gun to .315 Mannlicher ( 8mm) .
Of course , .303 British is a really trad cartridge. If you could get your hands on some Brass bar stock and machine some 215 grain Monometal meplat solids to handload , l am sure you would have one hell of a gun :)
 

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Hart Custom rifles would take such a job.
When l visited India , l saw that the locally made IOF ( Indian Ordinance Factories ) .315 bore sporting rifles were built on a Lee Enfield action with 5 shot detachable Magazines. Shitty quality gun with even shittier quality ammo. The people there have to make do with this trash because Imported arms have been banned in the country since 1986
BUT
It does give one ideas. You could EASILY convert the gun to .315 Mannlicher ( 8mm) .
Of course , .303 British is a really trad cartridge. If you could get your hands on some Brass bar stock and machine some 215 grain Monometal meplat solids to handload , l am sure you would have one hell of a gun :)
That would be ORDNANCE) :rolleyes::rolleyes::D
 

Red Leg

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Hart Custom rifles would take such a job.
When l visited India , l saw that the locally made IOF ( Indian Ordinance Factories ) .315 bore sporting rifles were built on a Lee Enfield action with 5 shot detachable Magazines. Shitty quality gun with even shittier quality ammo. The people there have to make do with this trash because Imported arms have been banned in the country since 1986
BUT
It does give one ideas. You could EASILY convert the gun to .315 Mannlicher ( 8mm) .
Of course , .303 British is a really trad cartridge. If you could get your hands on some Brass bar stock and machine some 215 grain Monometal meplat solids to handload , l am sure you would have one hell of a gun :)
Why not just buy Woodleigh Hydro’s from Midway? They are expensive, but probably cheaper than setting up a machine shop. Not sure on what these solids would be appropriate to use. The .303 is a pretty good deer / PG load, but likely to be frowned upon most places for braining elephants.
 

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