They call me Mr. Retro!

sestoppelman

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Got a chance to shoot this thing yesterday. I could not be much more happy with it. Shot like a house-a-fire. At 50yds it kept 20 Sierra 150's with R15, 5 different charges, all in about 2 inches. At 100yds it kept 11 of 12, 180gr Sierras with W760, 3 charges in about 4 inches left tor right and 2.5 inches up and down. This with express sights on a late afternoon shoot with my old eyes. Both bullets were .311 diameter.
Gun ran perfect. May be a keeper!
Now I have to decide whether to restore it or leave it as is.
 

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Restoration is always a question. The Brits, unlike Americans, regularly sent guns back to the manufacturer for "clean-up". That would include everything from oiling and stripping to recasecolor and refinishing of stocks. It is why American collectors are obsessed with original condition on Winchesters and Parkers and yet a fine Purdey or Cashmore in fabulous condition probably went "home" for work several times. Long way around to say that if you want to have your leespeed restored you would not hurt the value. Note I said restored and not refinished. You would need to send it to Turnbull or someone of his quality and the restoration will almost certainly cost more than the rifle. So while the value will be enhanced, you will likely have more into it than it's resulting value. I have done that on a couple of fine English SxS's, but I also intend to shoot them the rest of my life. And there is no one like Turnbull for that sort of work. Turnbull Mfg. Co. for firearm restoration of antique guns - antique revolvers, antique pistols - including 1886 Winchester rifles, Marlin rifles, Parker shotguns, Colt revolvers, and more

The horizontal lever over the follower is a magazine cut-off. These were on a lot of early magazine rifles so that commanders could more easily control volley fire. Remember these early magazine rifles replaced single shots and the use of volleys had lasted through the Zulu War and the second Mahdi War in Sudan. The rifleman would keep a full magazine in reserve, using the rifle as a single shot. All that went out the window ten minutes into the First World War. Leespeeds were built on military actions, and the earliest likely would have a cutoff.
 

sestoppelman

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Restoration is always a question. The Brits, unlike Americans, regularly sent guns back to the manufacturer for "clean-up". That would include everything from oiling and stripping to recasecolor and refinishing of stocks. It is why American collectors are obsessed with original condition on Winchesters and Parkers and yet a fine Purdey or Cashmore in fabulous condition probably went "home" for work several times. Long way around to say that if you want to have your leespeed restored you would not hurt the value. Note I said restored and not refinished. You would need to send it to Turnbull or someone of his quality and the restoration will almost certainly cost more than the rifle. So while the value will be enhanced, you will likely have more into it than it's resulting value. I have done that on a couple of fine English SxS's, but I also intend to shoot them the rest of my life. And there is no one like Turnbull for that sort of work. Turnbull Mfg. Co. for firearm restoration of antique guns - antique revolvers, antique pistols - including 1886 Winchester rifles, Marlin rifles, Parker shotguns, Colt revolvers, and more

The horizontal lever over the follower is a magazine cut-off. These were on a lot of early magazine rifles so that commanders could more easily control volley fire. Remember these early magazine rifles replaced single shots and the use of volleys had lasted through the Zulu War and the second Mahdi War in Sudan. The rifleman would keep a full magazine in reserve, using the rifle as a single shot. All that went out the window ten minutes into the First World War. Leespeeds were built on military actions, and the earliest likely would have a cutoff.
Funny you should mention Turnbull. I believe his site states no work on Enfields. I have not yet decided what to do with it. A gent on another forum is doing a little research on this rifle for me and he says restoring would not be a good idea. I have given some thought to both ways and see the good and bad points. This may not technically be a LEE SPEED as it is not so marked as those were marked.
The action used on this one is of the very early Magazine Lee Enfield type, not a SMLE. Note it has the early cocking piece safety. This thing shoots really well for a 100 year old rifle. When I hear back from the Enfield guy I will post whatever info he has for me. He is trying to document as many of these as he can for a possible book.
 

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Ses, you've found a rifle that was made before you were !, AND IT STILL WORKS :whistle:
I think that in itself is a feat worthy of mention !!!


No seriously,
well done, the 'ole .303 has in indelible history in our country (Aus) having been the standard issue through several conflicts and then successfully employed by returning servicemen on a whole host of game animals from deer to buffalo.


I know of several deerstalkers and houndhunters who still rely on jungle carbines and S.M.L.E's in .303 to fill their freezers and collect their trophies with each and every year.(y)
 

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Like that old saying for old farts, "Everything hurts, and if it doesn't hurt, it doesn't work!" This rifle works, better than me!
 

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Von Gruff

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I just bought this one from 1900
315395737_zps4ee2c377.jpg


Going to restock and make it like this
LeeSpeed_Rifle_RHS_zps06394966.jpg
 
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Von Gruff

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This is the blank I have bought. Not too fancy but just enough to be interesting.

211-1358649952_zps6ea770eb.jpg
211-1358649808_zps187d8a9f.jpg
 
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Von Gruff

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Talking about retro, I have always had a soft spot for the Lee Speed but they have always been a bit too pricey so this is the only way to get something in that configuration. It will sort of round out my old guns with a Mk 1 LSA 577-450, Mk 3 ME 303 1900 L E Sporter (fake Lee Speed) and 1908 DWM 7x57.
They have all been restock and fix-er-uppers.

The 577-450
Photo0985_zps4b901e49.jpg


The 303
Photo0887_zps81b62541.jpg


The 7x57
7x57StalkingRifle02-02-09012-1.jpg
 
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Funny you should mention Turnbull. I believe his site states no work on Enfields. I have not yet decided what to do with it. A gent on another forum is doing a little research on this rifle for me and he says restoring would not be a good idea. I have given some thought to both ways and see the good and bad points. This may not technically be a LEE SPEED as it is not so marked as those were marked.
The action used on this one is of the very early Magazine Lee Enfield type, not a SMLE. Note it has the early cocking piece safety. This thing shoots really well for a 100 year old rifle. When I hear back from the Enfield guy I will post whatever info he has for me. He is trying to document as many of these as he can for a possible book.
Ses
If it was one like I saw a while back it would be well worth full restoration. It was similar to the the Lee speed but had an engraved Rigby octagonal barrel with 3 leaf express sights. It was in a highland stalker style common to the 1920s style
 

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I usually vote restoration. I’m also almost always in the minority. The main and most frequent objection I hear is, “it’ll hurt the value.” That’s fine with me because I have never purchased any of my firearms with the intention of reselling. It’s all in the eye of the beholder I guess. I’d much rather handle, shoot and admire a deeply blued, shiny wood stocked rifle. When I see the amount of work that goes into a properly refinished firearm ala Vulcan Refinishing or Turnbull, I would pay for either of those gentleman’s work.
Vulcan actually recreates inspector’s Waffenampts and machine turn marks on the barrels on mix-matched Russian captures. That type of hand craftsmanship and detail has a value of its own as well in my opinion.
I admit to being a bit odd. I actually see the value in a well-done military sporter. The biggest complaint is “why waste money on building up a Mauser?” “Just buy a new Remington, etc.” The way I see it, grab those ‘ruined’ sporters while they’re still relatively inexpensive. We’ll never see those pieces of artwork built today at these prices again. Thanks for reading.
 

sestoppelman

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Only thing I have done with this rifle is rub the stocks out with some stock buffing compound to mostly just clean off dirt and grime from the ages. Love the rifle, its smells like an old British gun room with decanters of Brandy about and fine tobacco. Corny I know but that's what I get when I pick this rifle up and absorb its aroma. Its a classic.
 

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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.

Oh c'mon! Everybody knows the 6.5 Creedmoor is king! :ROFLMAO::LOL::p
 

sestoppelman

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Just a little update on this rifle, still have it of course. I didn't do anything to it, like it the way it is. There is a guy in Cal who lives for these rifles and in the process of writing a book about them, and he has assured me its an authentic LSA sporter and worth probably 3 times what I paid for it.
 

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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.
View attachment 24254

View attachment 24255
Click on the pix for a larger view.
Beautiful rifle. Congrats,
 

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