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Jimbobfred View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 24 2020 at 10:39am
Gents, I've recently acquired what I thought was an old army Lee- Enfield rifle however upon examination it turns out what I've got is a Lee-Speed Patents in 303 nitro proof  OT the receiver serial number 3054 barrel number 33G 29957. The rifle is made by BSA with the name Martin Adjuste superimposed on the BSA logo. This model doesn't have the slide or bolt safety, only the half cockbolt. It's also missing the volley sight.  Would appreciate anything anyone can provide to educate me on the rifle.






JIM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 4:40am
I can't help on information, others here are good at those. I would love to see some pictures if you wouldn't mind. We all like to drool over each other's toys.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 5:49am
Alexander Martin of Glasgow. A renowned gun maker. He no doubt fettled the rifle.

The double serials, one might be a factory view to allow it to be used in service rifle competition, or it might have had a barrel change.

Until we see pics, we just guessing.
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Jimbobfred View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbobfred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 9:25am
Aside from the dirt here are a few images
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbobfred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 11:23am


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 11:42am
Oh sweet.
I'm liking this.
Can we have more pics - showing overall?
Loose wimmen tightened here
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2020 at 4:29pm
that is an interesting piece i too would like to see more , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 9:34am
You have a Lee Speed that uses a receiver from a commercial version of the military Mk.I Lee Metford service rifle, otherwise known as a long Lee.

It appears to have a later Sht.LE barrel fitted along with some other Sht.LE components.

It is doubtful that Alex Martin actually regulated the rifle (Martin Adjusted). The barrel is certainly a later replacement on that receiver. 
Not only are the serial numbers miss-matched, but the proof markings on the barrel and receiver don't match either, they are different spec and are from different eras (barrel 1916+, receiver pre 1904).
It is a commercial barrel, but if Martin had replaced the barrel commercially (in Scotland), the gun would have been reproofed. I don't see a reproof which suggests to me that the rebarrel was likely done by a previous civilian owner outside of the UK with a take off barrel from a Martin adjusted rifle.

The sportered fore end would originally have had a larger barrel channel for the heavier Metford Mk.I barrel. If the stocking up to the Sht.LE barrel was done in a professional manner, the channel will either have a liner or have been bedded with some compound. Stocking up a LE is quite critical to accuracy. It will be interesting to see how this one was done.

Martial rifles have the date of manufacture conveniently marked on the right wrist, however, not so with commercial arms. Although commercial arms mirrored those that were military specs, they were not made to conform to a sealed pattern like the military ones were, so they could display many different features or options from the factory. Trying to peg a Lee Speed rifle with a date of manufacture comparing it to features on military examples can be missleading as they did not always follow the same progression as their martial counterparts.

The MLM Mk.I was approved in 1888 and went into production in late 1889, the majority of production being 1890 and 1891. 
In its first issue form, it was equipped with a receiver mounted safety that was not unlike and in the same location as that of the later Sht.LE. The rifle was also equipped with the Lewes sighting system. The safety catch was dropped from production in 1890 and the Lewes sights were changed to more conventional V notch and barleycorn in 1891. This advanced the rifle version to Mk.I*

Your rifle has had the barrel changed out for one from a different model, so sighting is a moot point, but I do note that the receiver has the safety catch machining omitted from the receiver forging, so it is the version that never had the safety catch. Not conclusive because it is a commercial arm, but if it were a military arm, such would peg it at around 1891 or later.
Not sure as to when the early Metford action was first offered in a commercial rifle, or for how long, but the military version was made obsolete by the Mk.II in 1892. 

The barrel has a five digit serial number and a suffixed number with an adjacent factory inspector marking. The 33.G is a unique number from entry into a ledger at the factory. Called a 'factory view' marking, it confirmed that the rifle had been inspected and found to conform to  military pattern and thus could be allowed to be used in service rifle competition. This factory view was a service offered by the factory at an additional cost of one shilling and sixpence.
This reinforces my thoughts that the barrel was taken from a Martin adjusted range rifle.

The BSA logo on the barrel, I am trying hard to remember but it is lost in there somewhere. The piled arms with the double oval border dates it to the 1920s, I think. I'll probably wake up at three in the morning and remember. I then have to right it down in case I go back to sleep and have forgotten it again by the time that i wake up. 
 
Great find! An interesting combination. Howzit shoot?

Yes, more pics please.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbobfred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 5:24pm
Very much appreciate the info. more photo's to follow.
Thanks

Jim
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbobfred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 5:48pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbobfred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 5:51pm
Barrel has the number 27 just forward of the serial number.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbobfred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 5:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2020 at 7:43pm
Nice old deer rifle!

The fore stock is much modified, but originally it would be full length. I note that it has the inlet for the rear volley sight arm. Just above that inlet there is a scallop in the wood for a safety catch lever. If it was a miitary stock, that would put it as an 1889-1890 Mk.I fore stock.

The butt stock does not have a little cut out for the toe of safety catch lever on the wrist, which, if military would make it an 1891 up Mk.I* style. The addition of the regimental stock disc was also a Mk.I* feature.

The bolt still has its sheet metal dust cover which is nice. It has its 8 round single stack magazine too, which usually go wandering unless they are chained to the rifle.

Just a very cool old hunting rifle that over the years has probably put meat on the table for a family or two.

Usually, commercial arms have not had the volume of rounds and the major use that military arms are subjected to. That means that many commercial arms have very little wear to the action. 
This one has all the bits that often get lost (bolt, mag), if it were good condition and the  bore was good, it would make a great project to turn into a classic English style stalking rifle. Carve a stock set. Do some stock checkering. Slow rust blue the metalwork. That single stack mag would readily adapt to another cartridge like .375 Flanged Nitro Express.
The MLM Mk.I receiver forging is heavier and stiffer than later models. Lots of potential for a build.

Does the bolt have a matching serial number to the receiver? Many do not. How does the bore look? Have you checked the head space clearance? It might be a good shooting rifle.

I have no idea as to what the 27 might signify.

What is the story on this one? Where did you find it and what did they tell you about it?
As you can tell, I am probably more excited about your find than you are! 
This is the original action design as created by James Paris Lee and Joseph Speed that was the start of a dynasty.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbobfred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 28 2020 at 11:42am
Thank you again for all the great information. 
I contacted the pervious owner and here is the basic story info on the  gun.   He got it about 40 years ago in Southern Alberta around Calgary. I'm not sure if there would be a connection with Alex Martin as I think his son had a ranch in that area.  The gun was carried for years as a guide gun. Previous owner was a big game outfitter along the eastern slopes of the rockies. Many deer, bear  and elk taken with it. He claimed it was very accurate and he intended to restock and do some work on the gun. Unfortunately it ended up in the basement of his old farmhouse where it had sat for the last 20 years. 
I gave it a good scrubbing last night and after about an hour of working on the bore it has come up very clean with strong rifling and no rust pockets that I could see.  The bolt does match.  I plan to get it to my range and see how accurately it fires. If it performs well I think I'll take up your idea of making a project of it and seeing how good of a stalking rifle I can produce. 

I actually got two old guns from the same fellow and can see that the second one although a later lee-enfield( no markings) has very few markings and a nice fitting sporting stock, making me think it to was for the commercial market. I can send a few photos if you are interested.
Thanks again

JIM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 28 2020 at 3:09pm
I never pass up the opportunity to check out any sporter Lee Enfield. So yes, put up a pic. We like pictures.

Sometimes what appears to some as just another sporterised army rifle can be a factory or custom sporting rifle. So ya just never know... 



Originally, your rifle would have looked very similar to this one. This is an Enfield made 1891 MLM Mk.I*
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Jimbobfred View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbobfred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 29 2020 at 10:16am
This is the second rifle, not in a good shape however it might be interesting.

JIM
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