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Gold Bullet Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,
A long time friend has recently allowed me to purchase his beloved BSA manufactured Lee Speed Sporter. The rifle shows many years of use and one can only imagine the stories it could tell. I would eventually hope to fire it a few times and would appreciate suggestions regarding a safe and reliable load. The S/N is 2430 and the barrel is marked 38 grs. RIFLEITE.
Regards, Dale
 

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Gold Bullet member
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I thought that the OP had already said it was a BSA - as they tend to be.
I will put it another way then.
is it BSA.co or BSA&M.co
is it marked
WW greener
holland & holland
navy arms
cogswell&harrison

or any of the other retailers of these rifles

thanks for having me ask the question in long form
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello Mr. E,

Thank you for the loading data.
The only markings on the rifle are located on the wrist area beneath the bolt.

LEE-SPEED
PATENTS
BSA & M. Co.

There is also "Patent 19146 '90"on the bolt appendage.
Any additional information would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,
Dale
 

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these rifles came with a few different variations but your pictures dont show what I am looking for.
the major differences between the higher grage and the more common variant is the safety on the butt stock. I see from your pictures there is no safety on the bolt but the bolt is not correct to the rifle as it should have the flattened bolt knob. so my question is where is the safety
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Joel.
Would you happen to know or have an idea of about when this rifle may have been made? With the limited information available my guess would be somewhere in the early to mid teens.
Regards,
Dale
 

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Silver Bullet member
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Nice I missed one very early in my collecting ..I didn't have enough knowledge to make the buy!
 

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What a wonderful classic rifle. You say she shows much sign of use, it must have been 'loving' use, as she looks beautiful.....I would be proud to own her! Thanks for sharing.
 

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these rifles came with a few different variations but your pictures dont show what I am looking for.
the major differences between the higher grage and the more common variant is the safety on the butt stock. I see from your pictures there is no safety on the bolt but the bolt is not correct to the rifle as it should have the flattened bolt knob. so my question is where is the safety
You could order these with whatever bolt handle style you wanted.
 

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I think those with flat, slanted bolt handles were made from actions of the sort intended for Lee-Metford and Lee-Enfield carbines. I've seen catalog pages showing the normal rounded bolt handles, too.

Some of these sporters are marked that they're sighted for MK VII ballistics, after 1910. If the barrel is marked CS, that means Cape Sighted.
 

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I think we can date your nice original sporter a bit more accurately.
BSA&M Co changed to BSA about 1898 from memory.
The #2 pattern (without barrel rib) was first offered in 1896 - in the same year BSA had a number of their rifles returned
from South Africa showing over pressure damage - they eventually traced this to the use of Rifelite smokeless powder.
The makers of Rifleite, the Smokeless Powder Company went out of business in 1900.
Later BSA rifles had the "for cordite only" marking applied - yours is the only #2 pattern I have heard of with the Rifleite marking.
I think we can safely say your rifle was made in 1896 - possibly 97.
The tang safety which I assume is not present was patented in 1897 and offered soon after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hello Rowdy,

Thank you for the updated information on the Lee-Speed. It's probably my favorite rifle and I admire it's beauty whenever I hold it in my hands.

Best Regards,
Dale
 

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Hello Rowdy,

Thank you for the updated information on the Lee-Speed. It's probably my favorite rifle and I admire it's beauty whenever I hold it in my hands.

Best Regards,
Dale
Congrats on your rifle!

Everything Rowdy said is correct. Flat or knob bolt handle makes no difference with regard to date; they could be had with either. Earlier specimens like yours mostly had the knob handle.

Any chance you could post some additional pics of the markings? Are you planning to take the wood off for cleaning? If so, I'd love to see what markings are underneath.
 
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