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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this is the right place for this post but I figured that since you guys are knowledgeable about Enfields you might know a thing or too about this. I just picked this up at a local show. Appears to be a model 1905 mark II Ross rifle. This one is not sporterized like the many other ones i've seen and I figured I should snap it up after seeing the same seller with it at local shows for the past year. Everything looks to be there except for the missing rear sight leaf which I pictured. The metal is in very good condition and there is no pitting that I can see. The stock is in great condition and unsanded and there is a large amount of markings still present. The only issue with it is that the bore is dark but there is still strong rifling present and I think it will clean up. I also see that it has no L.C. marking over the chamber. I'm happy with it and I don't think I did bad on the price either, I traded my mismatched No.1 Mk V and 50 bucks for it.

I have a few questions about its history and this particular rifle...

1.I've heard many people say that the Ross rifles are dangerous and the bolt can fly back when shot, however, after the limited amount of information I found, it seems like those rumors are only attributed with the M10 Ross rifle. My question is, Is this true and should I worry about shooting this rifle due to these rumors? And Is there any commercial ammunition that I should stick too or stay away from when shooting this rifle?
2. There is tons of markings on the stock, Can anyone inform me as to what they all are and mean? I see the U.S. property markings and what appears to be a rack number but i'm not sure what the other ones mean
3. How many Ross rifles were used by the U.S. government?
4. Is there any way that I can determine when this rifle was manufactured?

I greatly appreciate any information anyone can give me. I would also like to hear anyones opinions of the rifle as well
 

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Wonderful find I have been looking for a good one for ages.
I am not at all an expert on these so for what it is worth
1) I believe the bolt issue (it is an issue not a rumour) applies only the the M1910 where if the bolt is incorrectly assembled it can fail to lock, with potentially lethal consequences if the rifle is fired. I do not believe this applies to the M1905.
2) I cannot tell you what all the markings are but some are the mark of the rifle (MkII***) and several candian issue marks. The date is probable the year of issue 1907. (I believe the 1905 model was produced from 1905-1912) So that woulld suggest the rifle was made in 1905-1907, there may be a way to be more precise based on serials etc but I do not know what it is. The rifle despite being very accurate in the MkII** format and winning shooting prizes all over at Bisely etc however it was continually tinkered with (adding up to 5 * to the mark to indicate modifications) and was always politically controversial.
3) I do not know how many Ross rifles the US purchased but they show up with US markings frequently so I would think a decent number. The bayonets are also marked in the same manner. They were purchased for training and second line use to cover the US upon her entry into WWI in 1917.

Not a Lee-enfield of course but I like this a lot!

As I said - not an expert so you should double check all the above. There is a small booklet called "Sir Charles Ross and his rifle" by Phillips and Knap - might be woth a look at.
 

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very nice example with a lot of history to unravel truely a well marked example....
you stold it at that trade level.....as you find out more let us follow along
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you very much for the comments and information guys. I'm glad I don't really have to worry about the bolt hitting me in the face if I shoot it, I had a few people at the gun show try to tell me that I was going to need some serious plastic surgery if I wanted to :laugh: I looking forward to learning a lot more about this rifle and ross rifles in general now.

Just curious but shooting modern commercial ammunition like Sellier & Belliot or Privi Partisan won't be an issue either will it?
 

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What you have is a 1905 Ross Militry Mark II 3 star rifle. Each star is for a major modification. The serial number is 877/1907 Y. This is an early rifle as Ross numbering began at 1 over the year plus one or two letters. The highest number is 999 then the sequence began again with 1 over the date and the next letter. So the highest number in this sequence would be 999/1907 Y and then it would begin with 1/1907 Z.

Approximately 20,000 of these rifles were ordered, originally by the New York State Guard, but the Feds muscled in and took the shipment, kept 10,000 and let the NYSG have the other 10,000. Date was 1917.

Unfortunately your pictures of the stock markings are not too clear and flared out (due to flash?) However the 8 RR is the 8th Company, Royal Regiment and the rifle is number 168 as recorded in their stores. This is referred to as a rack number, so this rifle would set in the number 168 slot of a rack in an Armouries or Barracks. In 1914, the Minister of Defence, Sam Hughes, declared that Canada was going to send Battalions to aid the Mother Country. The 3/759 is the Third Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force and the rifle rack number is 759. The 10/15 is the Tenth Battalion and the rifle rack number is 15.

These Battalions were total of 35,000 men at Camp Valcartier, Quebec. Valcartier was built in six weeks and had the longest rifle range in the World, with over a mile of rifle ranges. It is still in operation, and is located about 15 miles from Quebec City.

As there was a shortage of rifles, the Militia and Regular Force Armouries were stripped of their Mark II Ross rifles to train these 35,000 men. Meanwhile, production of the 1910 Mark III Ross rifle was proceeding, and as the Mark III rifles became available, they were issued and the Mark II rifles were passed along to other units. When this happened, the rifle received cancellation marks on the Battalion and Rack numbers. These could be a straight line, or a regular cancellation mark looking like an airplane propeller from the front.

I need more and better pictures to try to decipher a sequence of Units, but it is probable that this rifle first came from the 8th Company, Royal Regiment Armouries and was sent to Valcartier from them, then passed along to other Battalions.

These rifles were used for training in the United States, along with a cancelled order of Westinghouse Mosin Nagant rifles that were not delivered because of the Revolution in Russia. The American Army was desperately short of Springfields and ordered Model 1917 Enfields to arm Overseas bound troops with. The Ross and the Mosin Nagant rifles were used mostly for drill purposes.

This is a short synopsys of your rifle. As stated, more clear and detailed pictures can tell us more about it. The 1905 Ross was NOT part of the "Urban Legends" about the Ross Rifles, as this was a problem with the 1910 Mark III models. Most of these do not have the enlarged chambers.

In the USA, there seems to be a premium on these rifles, and one in good shape can easily run $1000. The 9150 number is the U.S. Military number of the rifle.
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What you have is a 1905 Ross Militry Mark II 3 star rifle. Each star is for a major modification. The serial number is 877/1907 Y. This is an early rifle as Ross numbering began at 1 over the year plus one or two letters. The highest number is 999 then the sequence began again with 1 over the date and the next letter. So the highest number in this sequence would be 999/1907 Y and then it would begin with 1/1907 Z.

Approximately 20,000 of these rifles were ordered, originally by the New York State Guard, but the Feds muscled in and took the shipment, kept 10,000 and let the NYSG have the other 10,000. Date was 1917.

Unfortunately your pictures of the stock markings are not too clear and flared out (due to flash?) However the 8 RR is the 8th Company, Royal Regiment and the rifle is number 168 as recorded in their stores. This is referred to as a rack number, so this rifle would set in the number 168 slot of a rack in an Armouries or Barracks. In 1914, the Minister of Defence, Sam Hughes, declared that Canada was going to send Battalions to aid the Mother Country. The 3/759 is the Third Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force and the rifle rack number is 759. The 10/15 is the Tenth Battalion and the rifle rack number is 15.

These Battalions were total of 35,000 men at Camp Valcartier, Quebec. Valcartier was built in six weeks and had the longest rifle range in the World, with over a mile of rifle ranges. It is still in operation, and is located about 15 miles from Quebec City.

As there was a shortage of rifles, the Militia and Regular Force Armouries were stripped of their Mark II Ross rifles to train these 35,000 men. Meanwhile, production of the 1910 Mark III Ross rifle was proceeding, and as the Mark III rifles became available, they were issued and the Mark II rifles were passed along to other units. When this happened, the rifle received cancellation marks on the Battalion and Rack numbers. These could be a straight line, or a regular cancellation mark looking like an airplane propeller from the front.

I need more and better pictures to try to decipher a sequence of Units, but it is probable that this rifle first came from the 8th Company, Royal Regiment Armouries and was sent to Valcartier from them, then passed along to other Battalions.

These rifles were used for training in the United States, along with a cancelled order of Westinghouse Mosin Nagant rifles that were not delivered because of the Revolution in Russia. The American Army was desperately short of Springfields and ordered Model 1917 Enfields to arm Overseas bound troops with. The Ross and the Mosin Nagant rifles were used mostly for drill purposes.

This is a short synopsys of your rifle. As stated, more clear and detailed pictures can tell us more about it. The 1905 Ross was NOT part of the "Urban Legends" about the Ross Rifles, as this was a problem with the 1910 Mark III models. Most of these do not have the enlarged chambers.

In the USA, there seems to be a premium on these rifles, and one in good shape can easily run $1000. The 9150 number is the U.S. Military number of the rifle.
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Thank you for the very detailed information buffdog. I'll take some better pictures of the markings when I get a chance later tomorrow
 

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I have the exact same model Ross rifle and have shot both British military 303 (not Pakistani) and commercial 303 as well with no issues. You're lucky - mine has a stock devoid of all serial numbers / proofs. good shooter, though, and really gets people's attention.

the bayonet, btw, will not be cheap. Probably $300 if and when you find it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Buffdog: I took some more pictures of the markings on the buttstock. Hope their good enough as they were the best I could do with my crappy camera.

Took the Ross out this morning and fired 3 shots of Privi Partisan .303 to test it for functionality. I didn't shoot it for any groups or anything because its pretty windy today and the rear sight leaf is missing but it seemed to work flawlessly.

I'm a bit confused by the cut-off mechanism(?) and how to feed the rounds out of the magazine instead of just laying one round in at a time. Can anyone explain to me how this is supposed to work? Hope everyone has a Happy Easter
 

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