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WRA CO. marked Ross rifle - any thoughts on available records?
July 11, 2021
12:49 am
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https://www.gunbroker.com/item/905031994

Picture #34 and #35 show the Winchester markings

 

Here is a rifle that markings indicate it was received by Winchester.  I realize the rifle wouldn’t be recorded in the ledgers but might there be other Winchester records that would offer information on this rifle.  If it were used as a cartridge test rifle, would be have additional markings that would indicate this?

Let me add, what is particulary interesting and perplexing about this rifle is the fact that it was received by Winchester in 1920 – three years after the Ross plant closed!  So who did they get the rifle from?  Where was the rifle in the years preceding 1920?

Thanks!

July 11, 2021
3:02 am
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steve004 said

Let me add, what is particulary interesting and perplexing about this rifle is the fact that it was received by Winchester in 1920 – three years after the Ross plant closed!  So who did they get the rifle from?  Where was the rifle in the years preceding 1920?

For whatever reason WRA wanted a “test rifle,” there was no reason it had to be brand new–a used one could have served the purpose of ballistics testing. 

July 11, 2021
3:32 pm
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Could the wra rec- be electro penciled on at some point by someone other than Winchester? Or  are there other proven examples like this one already known to exist?

July 11, 2021
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Bill Hanzel said
Could the wra rec- be electro penciled on at some point by someone other than Winchester? Or  are there other proven examples like this one already known to exist?  

Doubt anyone but Steve would be attracted to a defaced Ross sporter, even if it was done by WRA. I sure wouldn’t pay more for such a crudely marked gun.  Odd how the markings were applied–if an electro-pencil was used, it wasn’t done free-hand, because the lines are so straight.  I thought brass tags were attached to company-owned guns, but maybe it was done in different ways at different times.  

July 11, 2021
9:43 pm
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clarence said

Doubt anyone but Steve would be attracted to a defaced Ross sporter, even if it was done by WRA. I sure wouldn’t pay more for such a crudely marked gun.  Odd how the markings were applied–if an electro-pencil was used, it wasn’t done free-hand, because the lines are so straight.  I thought brass tags were attached to company-owned guns, but maybe it was done in different ways at different times.    

Interesting enough there is a Letter from Herbert Box to Tom Hall in 1952 in the Cody Museum archives. The correspondence has blueprints, pictures of cartridges, four rifles and a stock, and parts. One of the drawings is for certain a WRACo blueprint for specs of the .280 Ross cartridge. Maybe WRACo did own a few Ross rifles for cartridge experimentation, but this topic would need to be researched further. I’m not exactly sure who Herbert Box was.

Rifles listed as follows.

Model 1897 Ross  in .280 Ross

Model 1908 Ross in .280 Ross Sporter “Originally a Presentation Piece”

.280 Ross N.R.A. Match Rifle

Model 1897 Ross Rifle in .303 British

 

No close up of any of the markings in the photos. 

All that said, the Gunbroker gun is most assuredly engraved with an electronic engraving pen. Which wasn’t patented until May 31, 1921, over a year after the “Recv’d” date. Also, Why would Winchester use and engraving pen? That doesn’t line up with anything I’ve seen previously owned by the company. They either clearly stamped or engraved their property, and it was always well done so. I wouldn’t buy that Ross rifle for its “Story” to say the least.

My two cents.

Sincerely,

Maverick

July 12, 2021
1:06 am
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Maverick said

Interesting enough there is a Letter from Herbert Box to Tom Hall in 1952 in the Cody Museum archives. The correspondence has blueprints, pictures of cartridges, four rifles and a stock, and parts. One of the drawings is for certain a WRACo blueprint for specs of the .280 Ross cartridge. Maybe WRACo did own a few Ross rifles for cartridge experimentation, but this topic would need to be researched further. I’m not exactly sure who Herbert Box was.

Rifles listed as follows.

Model 1897 Ross  in .280 Ross

Model 1908 Ross in .280 Ross Sporter “Originally a Presentation Piece”

.280 Ross N.R.A. Match Rifle

Model 1897 Ross Rifle in .303 British

 

No close up of any of the markings in the photos. 

All that said, the Gunbroker gun is most assuredly engraved with an electronic engraving pen. Which wasn’t patented until May 31, 1921, over a year after the “Recv’d” date. Also, Why would Winchester use and engraving pen? That doesn’t line up with anything I’ve seen previously owned by the company. They either clearly stamped or engraved their property, and it was always well done so. I wouldn’t buy that Ross rifle for its “Story” to say the least.

My two cents.

Sincerely,

Maverick  

Maverick – very interesting.  Thank you. I’m sure you mean Herb Cox.  I have many of his handwritten letters (not addressed to me).  The first rifle you listed – a M1897 in .280 Ross – is an impossibilty as the .280 didn’t appear until 1907.  Also of interest, the M1897 Ross would have been made by Lancaster.

July 12, 2021
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Steve,

Your probably right, but the Cody website lists it as Herbert “Box” and not Cox? Who is Herbert Cox?

Your also probably right about the model designations, as I’m going off some notes, and it’s not always easy to read someone else’s cursive writing. Especially on water damaged paper. 

Either way I still wouldn’t buy that rifle on Gunbroker.

Sincerely,

Maverick

July 13, 2021
12:31 am
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Herb Cox was a Ross collector and knew a lot about him.  He was from before my time.  

I am not interested in purchasing this gunbroker Ross rifle.  I was however interested in the Winchester connection.  

July 13, 2021
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With a half dozen of these rifles, M1910 sporters. Collective pix below w/one M1905 sporterized imposter!’ Including few more specific pix of these ‘usual suspects’ as perhaps illustrative. I’ve just done a quick comparison of the subject rifle photos with my approximate file pix detailed equivalents.  My lowest SN is in the 74xx serial range, my highest in 17K range.   When the Ross Rifle Forum was active, contributing my 74xx number, it was lowest ‘at that time’ for their M10 sporters data base. 

Re the rifle in question.  The front sight is unlike any of my rifles, appearing to be a Military MkIII most likely. Also, the “tag” area behind the trigger guard, appearing as part of the rifle to me; none of my with any such extended “tang”… IF I’m seeing that pix correctly. The serial number placement on all mine, are barrel chamber area left side, see pix. The receiver sight is a “Porter” popup design, fairly common and ‘svelte’ for what it was/is. Alternative was barrel aft open sight on band. Ross-M10-Low-number.jpgImage EnlargerR206-15U-2.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-10-Second-Lowest-sn-Butt-plate.jpgImage EnlargerM10-Bottom-Metal.jpgImage Enlarger

Notably, in the century since production, concerning these rifles, “mix & match” common. Original parts availability, poor and by now, difficult to say for sure, what was and was not original within fairly broad parameters.  A lot of other rifles in such category, perhaps most just “less exotic”.  

No Ross or Winchester expert, but don’t know that I’d not necessarily condemn the alleged “matrix” WRA tagging in respect of “timing”.  Presumptively, a tag could have been undertaken anytime conveninet! Inventory audit coming to mind!  Yet… the question WHY Winchester would have acquired the Ross…  Not making sense to this amateur.  R&D studying the 280 chambering… Perhaps.  But large, sophisticated manufacturer, plenty of independent resources without acquiring such rifle to study the cartridge. “Little bearing; no merit!”  

Then, the matter of the subject rifle collective pix! It particularly bothers me when less than decent pix utilized in a listing. Moreso as red flag where many of the pix are relatively decent. That as perhaps a “pivotal photo” or two blurry as hell!  The barrel, nomenclature and particularly, to me, the serial number style AND placement location highly relevant.  I’d not buy into the integrity of such a listing including the blatantly undocumented assertions concerning the Winchester connection. 

My ‘gut’ reaction this just another M10 Sporter with some ‘non-remarkable non-originality’. Likely the barrel replacing one with aft barrel sight & band or stock swap.  Accounting for such conspicuous band-proximate voids. 

Collectability for these, seems to me decades over, a very small market.  In the seventies/eighties as I was interested in them, generally anchoring “slow movers” and prices very reasonable!  The ‘net’ to me here, just another colorful yarn. Might be true but little chance and as noted above, perhaps even accorded full credence, more “so what” than “collector find!”

A few of my mix & match pix of ‘usual suspects’ collective id above!  My best illustration efforts of relevant original features.  

EDI ADDENDUM:  MAJOR UPLOAD FAIL!  8 PIX – NO GO!  MAY TRY LATER.  YET ALMOST ALL SIMPLY ILLUSTRATIONS OF MY ABOVE COMMENTS!  SORRY!

Best & just my take…

John

***

Deuxième Partie  (Part Two…  Sounds fancier in French! :))

Here goes with addl photos.  Believe self explanatory.  Just to add these as ‘mix pix’ of my Ross rifles, selected for “best illustrations” here.  Never intended for ‘prime time! 🙂R-Ross-Group.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-RIfle-R10-.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-R10-7689.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-Rifle-SN.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-SN-7689-Receiver-Ring.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-R10-Pistol-Grip-no-metal-area.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-RIlfe-Late-SN-Barrel-Markings.jpgImage Enlarger

July 13, 2021
1:47 pm
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Stock does not appear to be original to that barreled action; crude work at the rear of the tang and inlet for the rear sight barrel band not on this rifle. I’d be interested in hearing if anyone has seen similar markings. 

Story doesn’t seem to match the gun but it is interesting.

 

Mike

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July 13, 2021
10:49 pm
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iskra said
With a half dozen of these rifles, M1910 sporters. Collective pix below w/one M1905 sporterized imposter!’ Including few more specific pix of these ‘usual suspects’ as perhaps illustrative. I’ve just done a quick comparison of the subject rifle photos with my approximate file pix detailed equivalents.  My lowest SN is in the 74xx serial range, my highest in 17K range.   When the Ross Rifle Forum was active, contributing my 74xx number, it was lowest ‘at that time’ for their M10 sporters data base. 

Re the rifle in question.  The front sight is unlike any of my rifles, appearing to be a Military MkIII most likely. Also, the “tag” area behind the trigger guard, appearing as part of the rifle to me; none of my with any such extended “tang”… IF I’m seeing that pix correctly. The serial number placement on all mine, are barrel chamber area left side, see pix. The receiver sight is a “Porter” popup design, fairly common and ‘svelte’ for what it was/is. Alternative was barrel aft open sight on band. Ross-M10-Low-number.jpgImage EnlargerR206-15U-2.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-10-Second-Lowest-sn-Butt-plate.jpgImage EnlargerM10-Bottom-Metal.jpgImage Enlarger

Notably, in the century since production, concerning these rifles, “mix & match” common. Original parts availability, poor and by now, difficult to say for sure, what was and was not original within fairly broad parameters.  A lot of other rifles in such category, perhaps most just “less exotic”.  

No Ross or Winchester expert, but don’t know that I’d not necessarily condemn the alleged “matrix” WRA tagging in respect of “timing”.  Presumptively, a tag could have been undertaken anytime conveninet! Inventory audit coming to mind!  Yet… the question WHY Winchester would have acquired the Ross…  Not making sense to this amateur.  R&D studying the 280 chambering… Perhaps.  But large, sophisticated manufacturer, plenty of independent resources without acquiring such rifle to study the cartridge. “Little bearing; no merit!”  

Then, the matter of the subject rifle collective pix! It particularly bothers me when less than decent pix utilized in a listing. Moreso as red flag where many of the pix are relatively decent. That as perhaps a “pivotal photo” or two blurry as hell!  The barrel, nomenclature and particularly, to me, the serial number style AND placement location highly relevant.  I’d not buy into the integrity of such a listing including the blatantly undocumented assertions concerning the Winchester connection. 

My ‘gut’ reaction this just another M10 Sporter with some ‘non-remarkable non-originality’. Likely the barrel replacing one with aft barrel sight & band or stock swap.  Accounting for such conspicuous band-proximate voids. 

Collectability for these, seems to me decades over, a very small market.  In the seventies/eighties as I was interested in them, generally anchoring “slow movers” and prices very reasonable!  The ‘net’ to me here, just another colorful yarn. Might be true but little chance and as noted above, perhaps even accorded full credence, more “so what” than “collector find!”

A few of my mix & match pix of ‘usual suspects’ collective id above!  My best illustration efforts of relevant original features.  

EDI ADDENDUM:  MAJOR UPLOAD FAIL!  8 PIX – NO GO!  MAY TRY LATER.  YET ALMOST ALL SIMPLY ILLUSTRATIONS OF MY ABOVE COMMENTS!  SORRY!

Best & just my take…

John

***

Deuxième Partie  (Part Two…  Sounds fancier in French! :))

Here goes with addl photos.  Believe self explanatory.  Just to add these as ‘mix pix’ of my Ross rifles, selected for “best illustrations” here.  Never intended for ‘prime time! 🙂R-Ross-Group.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-RIfle-R10-.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-R10-7689.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-Rifle-SN.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-SN-7689-Receiver-Ring.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-R10-Pistol-Grip-no-metal-area.jpgImage EnlargerRoss-RIlfe-Late-SN-Barrel-Markings.jpgImage Enlarger  

John – I appreciate your post.  It was of strong interest to me, however interest in Ross rifles is not the norm among Winchester collectors 😉  I had not been aware we have more in common than Winchesters. I agree with your points about this seeming, “mix and max” rifle.  My main interest is whether the purported Winchester connection was legitimate.  As Mike brings up, it would be interesting to know if others have seen other rifles similarly marked.  

Alas, my rossrifle.com website did not see the interest we’ve enjoyed on this Winchester site.  It doesn’t help that the Ross Rifle Company departed the scene over 100 years ago – and they were in operation for only about 15 years.

July 14, 2021
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That’s what I like about this place!  So much interesting stuff is discussed, like this Ross rifle subject!  That and the friends made online and in person with those who gladly join in and discuss old guns and things!
 
I’ve been reading up on the Ross rifle a bit due to Steve’s post.  As some of you might know, back about the start of WWI, a Canadian General criticized the rifle due to jamming.  This statement led to a test being conducted on the front, the results of which proved the jamming was due to defective ammunition, and that the Ross rifle was (clearly) superior to the Lee Enfield in rate of fire and accuracy.  Another comment had to do with the Ross being the most popular, surest, and safest of all rifles in active service including those used by the opposing forces.  Later in the year of 1916, a fellow named Edmunds killed a small ewe in Mexico at a distance of…get this, from 1800 to 2000 yards with open sights.  This feat resulted in an article titled, “Wonderful Performance of the Ross 280.”
 
With statements like those above when the war on and sniper rifles were a hot topic, to include, the Ross .280 cartridge, perhaps, being the rage in some circles at the time, there might be much more  truth to the subject story than one might think, especially so when the rifle was supposed to have been procured at the late date of 1920.  A time when Winchester’s interest in developing a high power bolt gun for sniping would have been peaked not only by the war, but also the past success of the pressure barrel guns that started to show up in target competition five years earlier.  Also, I cannot help but think of the striking resemblance that the Winchester Sniper Rifle Type 2, bears to the Ross rifle, or by that of the later model 54 for that matter…all points that seem to defy mere coincidence, despite the beastly appearance of the WSR Type 2 where size is concerned.
 
James
July 14, 2021
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jwm94 said   Later in the year of 1916, a fellow named Edmunds killed a small ewe in Mexico at a distance of…get this, from 1800 to 2000 yards with open sights.  This feat resulted in an article titled, “Wonderful Performance of the Ross 280.”

A better title would have been “Superhuman performance of hunter’s eyesight,” if he could see his target at that range!  No to mention his skill at range estimation.

Most vocal proponent of Ross rifles while they were in production was Ned Crossman, but the several articles he wrote about them before WWI would be hard to find today, unless you could locate an online collection of Outers mag. 

July 15, 2021
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clarence said

jwm94 said   Later in the year of 1916, a fellow named Edmunds killed a small ewe in Mexico at a distance of…get this, from 1800 to 2000 yards with open sights.  This feat resulted in an article titled, “Wonderful Performance of the Ross 280.”

A better title would have been “Superhuman performance of hunter’s eyesight,” if he could see his target at that range!  No to mention his skill at range estimation.

Most vocal proponent of Ross rifles while they were in production was Ned Crossman, but the several articles he wrote about them before WWI would be hard to find today, unless you could locate an online collection of Outers mag.   

Before the data in my Ross website got corrupted, I had the published the Crossman Ross articles.  They were quite interesting.  Most memorable for me was the destruction testing Crossman performed.  He did this on several rifle.  I recall there was a lever action Winchester (either a M1886 or M1894) and other bolt action rifles.  His testing mode was to fill the cartridge case with pistol power, tamp it down several times to get as much powder in the case and then a bullet on top.  Oh, and then he greased the cases.  I seem to recall the only action that didn’t blow was the Ross.  He used the Ross multi-lug action which in my mind, resembles the Weatherby MkV multi-lug action.  Also bear in mind the .280 Ross case held more powder than the other cases of the other rifles tested.  The .280 Ross case is darn close to the 7mm magnum cases.  In fact, I’ve used 7mm magnum cases to make up loads for my .280 Ross rifles.

July 15, 2021
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clarence said

jwm94 said   Later in the year of 1916, a fellow named Edmunds killed a small ewe in Mexico at a distance of…get this, from 1800 to 2000 yards with open sights.  This feat resulted in an article titled, “Wonderful Performance of the Ross 280.”

A better title would have been “Superhuman performance of hunter’s eyesight,” if he could see his target at that range!  No to mention his skill at range estimation.

Most vocal proponent of Ross rifles while they were in production was Ned Crossman, but the several articles he wrote about them before WWI would be hard to find today, unless you could locate an online collection of Outers mag.   

Agree on the eyesight of the hunter!  Another comment about the shot was described as one mile, so the true distance might have never been recorded. 

It looks to me like the Ned Crossman that you mentioned is Captain Eddie Crossman, who is said to have claimed that the description pressure-barrel came about due to the two heavy barrel rifles that he had made up in 1914, and showed up at the Caldwell range with the following year in order to test his theory as pertains to accuracy, sniping, etc.  The barrels were the type used by Winchester for testing purposes, but were finished out in rifle form.  Or something along this line…here’s a link to the article:  #496 – American rifleman. v.70 1922-23. – Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library

James

July 15, 2021
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clarence said

jwm94 said   Later in the year of 1916, a fellow named Edmunds killed a small ewe in Mexico at a distance of…get this, from 1800 to 2000 yards with open sights.  This feat resulted in an article titled, “Wonderful Performance of the Ross 280.”

A better title would have been “Superhuman performance of hunter’s eyesight,” if he could see his target at that range!  No to mention his skill at range estimation.

Most vocal proponent of Ross rifles while they were in production was Ned Crossman, but the several articles he wrote about them before WWI would be hard to find today, unless you could locate an online collection of Outers mag.   

For big game sized animals, the .280 Ross was advertised to shoot point blank from 0 to 500 yards.  Of course this was firearms company advertising.

July 15, 2021
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jwm94 said

That’s what I like about this place!  So much interesting stuff is discussed, like this Ross rifle subject!  That and the friends made online and in person with those who gladly join in and discuss old guns and things!
 
I’ve been reading up on the Ross rifle a bit due to Steve’s post.  As some of you might know, back about the start of WWI, a Canadian General criticized the rifle due to jamming.  This statement led to a test being conducted on the front, the results of which proved the jamming was due to defective ammunition, and that the Ross rifle was (clearly) superior to the Lee Enfield in rate of fire and accuracy.  Another comment had to do with the Ross being the most popular, surest, and safest of all rifles in active service including those used by the opposing forces.  Later in the year of 1916, a fellow named Edmunds killed a small ewe in Mexico at a distance of…get this, from 1800 to 2000 yards with open sights.  This feat resulted in an article titled, “Wonderful Performance of the Ross 280.”
 
With statements like those above when the war on and sniper rifles were a hot topic, to include, the Ross .280 cartridge, perhaps, being the rage in some circles at the time, there might be much more  truth to the subject story than one might think, especially so when the rifle was supposed to have been procured at the late date of 1920.  A time when Winchester’s interest in developing a high power bolt gun for sniping would have been peaked not only by the war, but also the past success of the pressure barrel guns that started to show up in target competition five years earlier.  Also, I cannot help but think of the striking resemblance that the Winchester Sniper Rifle Type 2, bears to the Ross rifle, or by that of the later model 54 for that matter…all points that seem to defy mere coincidence, despite the beastly appearance of the WSR Type 2 where size is concerned.
 
James  

James – haven’t seen you in a while – it’s great to see you back! Glad you enjoy the Ross talk.  One of the reasons the Ross had some problems in military application was due to the precison tolerances used in manufacture.  Rifles with some, “slop” will work better in combat conditions where keeping dirt and grit out of an action isn’t easy.  In addition, rifles with some chamber slop will better handle ammunition made with poor quality control.  During the war, they hit on a solution – they hogged out the chambers of the .303 Ross rifles.  I’ve had a few of these rifles and fired one of them.  The fired case definitely looks odd.  

July 15, 2021
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steve004 said

clarence said

jwm94 said   Later in the year of 1916, a fellow named Edmunds killed a small ewe in Mexico at a distance of…get this, from 1800 to 2000 yards with open sights.  This feat resulted in an article titled, “Wonderful Performance of the Ross 280.”

A better title would have been “Superhuman performance of hunter’s eyesight,” if he could see his target at that range!  No to mention his skill at range estimation.

Most vocal proponent of Ross rifles while they were in production was Ned Crossman, but the several articles he wrote about them before WWI would be hard to find today, unless you could locate an online collection of Outers mag.   

Before the data in my Ross website got corrupted, I had the published the Crossman Ross articles.  They were quite interesting.  Most memorable for me was the destruction testing Crossman performed.  He did this on several rifle.  I recall there was a lever action Winchester (either a M1886 or M1894) and other bolt action rifles.  His testing mode was to fill the cartridge case with pistol power, tamp it down several times to get as much powder in the case and then a bullet on top.  Oh, and then he greased the cases.  I seem to recall the only action that didn’t blow was the Ross.  He used the Ross multi-lug action which in my mind, resembles the Weatherby MkV multi-lug action.  Also bear in mind the .280 Ross case held more powder than the other cases of the other rifles tested.  The .280 Ross case is darn close to the 7mm magnum cases.  In fact, I’ve used 7mm magnum cases to make up loads for my .280 Ross rifles.  

I’m thinking that Ned Crossman is the Captain Eddie Crossman mentioned in this article:  #496 – American rifleman. v.70 1922-23. – Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library

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July 15, 2021
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steve004 said

jwm94 said

That’s what I like about this place!  So much interesting stuff is discussed, like this Ross rifle subject!  That and the friends made online and in person with those who gladly join in and discuss old guns and things!
 
I’ve been reading up on the Ross rifle a bit due to Steve’s post.  As some of you might know, back about the start of WWI, a Canadian General criticized the rifle due to jamming.  This statement led to a test being conducted on the front, the results of which proved the jamming was due to defective ammunition, and that the Ross rifle was (clearly) superior to the Lee Enfield in rate of fire and accuracy.  Another comment had to do with the Ross being the most popular, surest, and safest of all rifles in active service including those used by the opposing forces.  Later in the year of 1916, a fellow named Edmunds killed a small ewe in Mexico at a distance of…get this, from 1800 to 2000 yards with open sights.  This feat resulted in an article titled, “Wonderful Performance of the Ross 280.”
 
With statements like those above when the war on and sniper rifles were a hot topic, to include, the Ross .280 cartridge, perhaps, being the rage in some circles at the time, there might be much more  truth to the subject story than one might think, especially so when the rifle was supposed to have been procured at the late date of 1920.  A time when Winchester’s interest in developing a high power bolt gun for sniping would have been peaked not only by the war, but also the past success of the pressure barrel guns that started to show up in target competition five years earlier.  Also, I cannot help but think of the striking resemblance that the Winchester Sniper Rifle Type 2, bears to the Ross rifle, or by that of the later model 54 for that matter…all points that seem to defy mere coincidence, despite the beastly appearance of the WSR Type 2 where size is concerned.
 
James  

James – haven’t seen you in a while – it’s great to see you back! Glad you enjoy the Ross talk.  One of the reasons the Ross had some problems in military application was due to the precison tolerances used in manufacture.  Rifles with some, “slop” will work better in combat conditions where keeping dirt and grit out of an action isn’t easy.  In addition, rifles with some chamber slop will better handle ammunition made with poor quality control.  During the war, they hit on a solution – they hogged out the chambers of the .303 Ross rifles.  I’ve had a few of these rifles and fired one of them.  The fired case definitely looks odd.    

steve004 said

jwm94 said

That’s what I like about this place!  So much interesting stuff is discussed, like this Ross rifle subject!  That and the friends made online and in person with those who gladly join in and discuss old guns and things!
 
I’ve been reading up on the Ross rifle a bit due to Steve’s post.  As some of you might know, back about the start of WWI, a Canadian General criticized the rifle due to jamming.  This statement led to a test being conducted on the front, the results of which proved the jamming was due to defective ammunition, and that the Ross rifle was (clearly) superior to the Lee Enfield in rate of fire and accuracy.  Another comment had to do with the Ross being the most popular, surest, and safest of all rifles in active service including those used by the opposing forces.  Later in the year of 1916, a fellow named Edmunds killed a small ewe in Mexico at a distance of…get this, from 1800 to 2000 yards with open sights.  This feat resulted in an article titled, “Wonderful Performance of the Ross 280.”
 
With statements like those above when the war on and sniper rifles were a hot topic, to include, the Ross .280 cartridge, perhaps, being the rage in some circles at the time, there might be much more  truth to the subject story than one might think, especially so when the rifle was supposed to have been procured at the late date of 1920.  A time when Winchester’s interest in developing a high power bolt gun for sniping would have been peaked not only by the war, but also the past success of the pressure barrel guns that started to show up in target competition five years earlier.  Also, I cannot help but think of the striking resemblance that the Winchester Sniper Rifle Type 2, bears to the Ross rifle, or by that of the later model 54 for that matter…all points that seem to defy mere coincidence, despite the beastly appearance of the WSR Type 2 where size is concerned.
 
James  

James – haven’t seen you in a while – it’s great to see you back! Glad you enjoy the Ross talk.  One of the reasons the Ross had some problems in military application was due to the precison tolerances used in manufacture.  Rifles with some, “slop” will work better in combat conditions where keeping dirt and grit out of an action isn’t easy.  In addition, rifles with some chamber slop will better handle ammunition made with poor quality control.  During the war, they hit on a solution – they hogged out the chambers of the .303 Ross rifles.  I’ve had a few of these rifles and fired one of them.  The fired case definitely looks odd.    

Yes, it has been a while.  I guess I’m just now getting use to my new role in life.  Thanks for the welcome back, Steve! 

Yes, I did read something about the tolerance factor of the Ross as opposed to the typical military rifle.  I highly suspect that Winchester was interested in experimenting with the Ross to the end you mentioned, to some extent, anyway.

 

James

July 15, 2021
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steve004 said

Before the data in my Ross website got corrupted, I had the published the Crossman Ross articles.  

Sorry this happened–would have loved to read them!

Despite his advocacy of Ross rifles, I think he would have been the first to call the “1800-2000 yd shot” sheer luck.

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