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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's a Lee Metford MkII* action from 1896 for sale, with an interesting modification to the area where the rear volley sight would be. Quote from seller: "There is no rear volley sight though the action was machined for one. If you look carefully the original holes for the staff pivot and it's spring/screw have been filled with steel plugs and faced off flush. About mid way on the left socket is a very faint 'N' stamped."

Does anyone know why such a modification would have been done? Was this ever done officially, or did some subsequent private owner do this?

Your thoughts please.

Thanks!
 

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I was on that site earlier today and looked at the action. I don't believe that it would have been a FTR but rather a home made fix. As to why, I couldn't guess as it really doesn't do anything. Most armorers if they were FTR rifles would have left the original holes and completed the refit. I suppose that it wouldn't be too hard to drill and tap the holes again if you wanted to bring it back to original and any armorer could possible do it for you. How hard is it to get a long barrel though? I haven't seen one in Australia for a large number of years.
 
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Common mod.

Filling the redundant volley sight holes is a common thing seen on the many sporters still around. Not a military thing, probably done in private hands when the rifle was sportered. I have had some success in drilling the holes out and using them again, some failures too.

The feint N denotes naval service, in which case, the barrel should also have additional markings on the the left hand side of the nocks form as to when it went through the Naval workshops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi englishman,

Yes, just the action.

The reason I'm interested is that in studying the commercial sporter actions, there is a period of time where the left side of the action appears to be partially machined for volleys but either plugged or never followed through. Problem is that of the many I've catalogued with this feature, I haven't been able to examine one in person yet, to see what is actually going on there.

You can see an example of what I'm talking about in Skennerton, p. 117.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the insight.

Here's a manufacturing question: do you suppose that when forged, the LH side of the Long Lee actions were smooth, like the cavalry carbine actions, and then subsequently machined for the rear volley sight? Or would the carbines have used a different forging?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's a HUGE help! Thanks very much for posting.
 
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