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Winchester Model 1895 Lee Navy sniper rifle!
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December 23, 2021 - 9:08 am
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Yep, you read the title correctly, this is a prototype Winchester Model 1895 Lee Navy sniper rifle! This rifle was built in 1902 and then was sent back to Winchester in 1912 to be turned into a sniper rifle for the Navy or Marines. The scope mounts are made of brass and are quite tall, and the scope is a Winchester A5. This rifle is completely unique, I don’t think any others were made. It’s also documented in Colonel Norm Chandler’s book Death From Afar volume 5. Here’s some photos, please let me know what you guys think!

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December 23, 2021 - 12:58 pm
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That is very cool. I have seen nothing like it. Thanks.

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December 23, 2021 - 2:04 pm
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The thing is a fraud and/or a bad joke; fraud, because the mounts were taken from the No. 8, 8X scope sold (but not made) by WRA in the late ’30s; bad joke, because those flimsy brass stilts obviously couldn’t survive a day in military service.  If whoever put this freak together had any brains at all, he’d have used one of the (rare) Cataract scopes actually tested by Ordnance for potential use on the Krag in about 1900.  Observe also the crooked letters in the “Winchester” marking.  If Col. Chandler actually fell for this, it does not speak well for his knowledge of the subject.

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December 23, 2021 - 2:12 pm
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gobblerforge said
 I have seen nothing like it.  

No one else has either, except the fraudster who put it together.

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December 23, 2021 - 4:11 pm
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Here (outrageously overpriced, since they usually sell for about $400) is the scope from which the mounts were taken:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/384551104430?hash=item5989082fae:g:y3IAAOSwqjBhppoE

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December 23, 2021 - 6:21 pm
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A true Navy issued Lee will have Inspector marks on the top of the barrel and on the right side of the trigger guard and a couple other locations. 

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December 23, 2021 - 10:42 pm
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clarence said
The thing is a fraud and/or a bad joke; fraud, because the mounts were taken from the No. 8, 8X scope sold (but not made) by WRA in the late ’30s; bad joke, because those flimsy brass stilts obviously couldn’t survive a day in military service.  If whoever put this freak together had any brains at all, he’d have used one of the (rare) Cataract scopes actually tested by Ordnance for potential use on the Krag in about 1900.  Observe also the crooked letters in the “Winchester” marking.  If Col. Chandler actually fell for this, it does not speak well for his knowledge of the subject.  

Interesting, I guess I’ll have to do some research on it. Speaking of Krags with Cataract scopes, an article by Bruce Canfield appeared in last month’s issue of American Rifleman and it features my rifle. There’s another Krag sniper is in the Springfield museum, I’m not sure if a 3rd one still exists.

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December 24, 2021 - 12:05 am
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USMCSGT0331 said

Interesting, I guess I’ll have to do some research on it. Speaking of Krags with Cataract scopes, an article by Bruce Canfield appeared in last month’s issue of American Rifleman and it features my rifle. There’s another Krag sniper is in the Springfield museum, I’m not sure if a 3rd one still exists.

  

I’ve seen, & scrutinized as well as the glass case would let me, the one at Springfield several times, but haven’t received that Rifleman issue because my address has been screwed up for about a yr.  When you complain to “Membership Services,” you’re talking to a hired consulting/management firm, not anyone employed by NRA.  (I’ve heard NRA dismissed most of its own staff due to the financial crisis caused by La Pierre’s malfeasance.)  I’m a Benefactor Member, but that means exactly nothing at NRA.

Anyway, I would consider your Krag to be one of the most important, as well as fascinating, US service rifles in existence.  There’s no ’03 shown in Brophy’s book that I’d rather own.

Can send you a copy of a Cataract catalog if you don’t have one. 

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December 24, 2021 - 5:38 am
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clarence said

USMCSGT0331 said

Interesting, I guess I’ll have to do some research on it. Speaking of Krags with Cataract scopes, an article by Bruce Canfield appeared in last month’s issue of American Rifleman and it features my rifle. There’s another Krag sniper is in the Springfield museum, I’m not sure if a 3rd one still exists.

  

I’ve seen, & scrutinized as well as the glass case would let me, the one at Springfield several times, but haven’t received that Rifleman issue because my address has been screwed up for about a yr.  When you complain to “Membership Services,” you’re talking to a hired consulting/management firm, not anyone employed by NRA.  (I’ve heard NRA dismissed most of its own staff due to the financial crisis caused by La Pierre’s malfeasance.)  I’m a Benefactor Member, but that means exactly nothing at NRA.

Anyway, I would consider your Krag to be one of the most important, as well as fascinating, US service rifles in existence.  There’s no ’03 shown in Brophy’s book that I’d rather own.

Can send you a copy of a Cataract catalog if you don’t have one.   

I’d love a copy of the Cataract catalog, thank you! That helps take away some of the sting of finding out that my Lee Navy isn’t what I thought it was, lol. I don’t know anything about those guns, my area of focus is the M40, I can tell you amost anything you want to know about those!

What you’ve said about my Krag sniper reinforces what other collectors and friends have told me. It really is one of the most important US sniper rifles in existence, it’s literally the genesis of an organized US military sniper program. After the article came out, a few collectors contacted me and made offers on the rifle. The offers were quite high, but I declined and still have the gun. I’m having a professional photographer shoot the rifle, so at some point I’ll be able to share some great photos.

Here’s a link to the American Rifleman article:

http://www.americanrifleman.org/content/america-s-first-sniper-rifle-the-telescopic-sighted-krag-jorgensen/

Most of Canfield’s article is excerpts from the Army report of 1900, which Senich published in his book The Complete Book of U.S. Sniping way back in 1988. I don’t think there’s any new information in Canfield’s article, but the important thing he did was bring a relatively unknown rifle into the limelight. I really owe him for the unexpected publicity!

The photos in the article come from the auction I won three years ago. Here’s a link to that Krag auction, looking back I got a pretty amazing deal on it, considering it’s historical significance:

http://www.cowanauctions.com/lot/u-s-model-1898-krag-sniper-rifle-with-cataract-tool-optical-company-scope-3224806

I absolutely love this rifle and I wish I could display it, but for now she lives in a massive gun safe (an actual safe, not one of the boxes made by Liberty or Browning). I really appreciate the information you’ve posted in this thread, please let me know if you need any photos or other information on these rifles. Shoot me a message when you have some time, I’d like to take you up on the Cataract catalog and continue our conversation!

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