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  1. #1
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    1899 Remington Lee

    A brief beginning of a photo and information thread dedicated to the last of the turnbolt Remington-Lee designs. (Driven by topic drift on the 1879 Remington Lee thread.)

    See: 1879 Remington Lee Photos, etc. (Warning! LOTS of big photos) for the first model Lee.

    ETA:Another link showing the 1899 in the hands of the Michigan National Guard:
    1899 Remington Lee in Michigan

    Some photos to start- There may be old repeats, but they haven't been seen by most folk:


    #1a) The US Lee family. From the top down:
    "1899" Remington Lee
    Winchester Lee Straightpull action
    "1885" Remington Lee
    "1882" Remington Lee
    "1879" Remington Lee- originally produced by Sharps with a slighty simpler magazine that did not retain rounds well outside the weapon.


    #1b) Closer view of the action. There's no real safety, but the enlarged end of the cocking piece could be used to lower the striker- but it's not recommended as a general rule with a loaded round in the chamber!



    #1c) "End of the line" for two divergent Lee design paths.

    Last edited by jmoore; 04-30-2012 at 12:34 AM.

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    If I can ask.

    Since the bottom three are likely .41 Spanish or .45-70, and the 1885 is most likely a 6mm Lee Navy, what caliber is the 1899 on top?

    BTW. Many, many thanks for all that you're sharing.

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  6. #3
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    Thread Starter
    As the bolt is the assembly most changed from model to model, let's start there.

    #3a)
    What differentiates the last of the Remington Lees from virtually all other bolt actions are the four locking lugs- Two in the "traditional" Lee position at the rear of the ejection port and magazine well, and two new ones on the removable, but fixed (relative to the bolt body- quite the opposite from the familiar Lee-Enfield) bolt head near the chamber. These front lugs are also rotated about the bolt's longitudinal axis from the rear lugs! Nothing else quite like it and for good reason- in order for all bearing surfaces to absorb rearward thrust during firing, many more features have to be either extremely carefully toleranced, or quite a bit of hand fitting would have to be required. It's not "bad" design, but it surely had to be expensive to manufacture!

    Removal from the action is relatively straightforward. First open the bolt and safety check the weapon, then close the bolt and decock. Raise the bolt handle but do not move it to the rear. On the right hand rear locking lug rib there is a spring loaded pivoting arm which must be raised slightly at the rear and then rotated towards the right/bolt handle/ejection port side as shown below on a bolt already removed.


    #3b)
    When the arm is in the position shown above, the front of the arm may be drawn outward from the bolt assembly. This action will free the bolt head. Pull the bolt to the rear and use the rear locking surfaces to dislodge the bolthead from the body. The bolt should now freely slide to the rear and out of the action body. Pick the bolthead assembly from the action raceway. Note that the extractor will easily detatch from the head, so keep an eye on it! A spare is likely hard to find.


    #3c)


    #3d)

    What should be loose so far:


    #3e)

    In order to fully disassemble the bolt like so,


    #3f)

    , press the firing pin towards the rear whilst keeping the cocking piece forward against the bolt body. If it hasn't been apart in a while the parts may be "glued" together, so a good long soak in penetrating oil may be in order. Regardless, what needs to happen is that the small knob screwed to the striker must be pressed far enough rearward to clear the stud protruding from the back of the cocking piece. When the knob is no longer restrained from rotating, unscrew it in an anti-clockwise direction (as seen from the rear), whilst maintaining rearward pressure on the striker. When the knob is removed the striker will be free to slide forward through the cocking peice and bolt body. Again, if this bolt hasn't been apart for a while a bit of persuading may be required.

    Re-assembly? No hints! (Well, OK, just be sure that the striker tail protrusion from the rear of the striker retaining knob is the same as before diassambly!)
    Last edited by jmoore; 09-29-2011 at 04:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sojerguy View Post
    If I can ask.

    Since the bottom three are likely .41 Spanish or .45-70, and the 1885 is most likely a 6mm Lee Navy, what caliber is the 1899 on top?

    BTW. Many, many thanks for all that you're sharing.


    4) Just a guess, but "30 USAicon" probably stood for .30" caliber United States Army cartridge, as the .30-40 Krag round was THE government issue cartridge at the time.


    The 1899's are MOSTLY .30 Army (i.e. .30-40 Krag). The 1885's are either found in .43 Spansh or .45-70. The Winchester Lee is the 6mm.

    (Too pokey too get the first two posts together, I am. Hence the lack of immediate reply- too much photo work and painfully slow typing. One and one half hours for one post! )
    Last edited by jmoore; 10-01-2011 at 07:52 PM.

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    If you want history and production details on the Remington Lees, there's one "go to" book, written by one of our members:

    THE REMINGTON-LEE RIFLE by Eugene Myszkowski

    This thread won't attempt to regurgitate too much of his work. It's well worth getting a copy!

    If anyone has an 1899 with a good bore and won't mind sharing a range report, it would be most welcome! Mine has the typical rotten bore which is due to a primary diet of blank cartridges. A friend has a Cuban carbine that looks better, rifling-wise, except for the last inch or so, which is completely "wallered out". So shooting results are apt to be dismal at best, and "ill advised" for the most part. ALMOST bought one to rebarrel, but it just wouldn't be the same, so opportunity lost...
    Last edited by jmoore; 10-07-2011 at 04:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
    More coming!

    Thanks JM, and please keep the info coming!

    Patrick

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    JM,

    I do have Eugene's book, and during my 10 days or sp back in the US (from SW asia), I hope to get some trigger time in. The reason for my questuons. Apparently the one I purchased via gun-booger is in very good shape. It was made withth the numbers of the Mich Nat'l Guard (militia?), and is apparently still in origianl trim. We'll see.

    I was hoping your 1899 was chambered in one of the esoteric cartridges mentioned by Eugene.

    Now about loading the rifle ...

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    Magazine and single shot loading details in this post:

    The Remington !899 works well as a single loader with the magazine removed, due to a spring loaded, auto-retracting cartridge loading plate. Just drop a round in the port and close the bolt.


    #8a1)


    #8a2) Note the large area devoted to the single loading platform on the lower half of the action body.


    #8a3) The single loading platform from the front (inverted).


    #8a4) Interiior side view of the single loading platform.


    #8b) Bottom view showing the single loading platform blocking the magazine well sufficiently to keep rounds from falling through when the magazine is removed.




    However, loading from the magazine is easy. Unlike the Lee-Enfield, the "drop free" single stack magazine of the Remingtons requires the user to remove the magazine in order to refill it. Inserting the individual rounds is accomplished much like a .22 rimfire box magazine in that each round is introduced to the magazine body just forward of the rear feed lips, pressed down, and then slid to the rear. Repeat up to five times to fully fill the magazine.


    #8c)

    Then just press the full magazine home until the magazine catch (located in the trigger guard area like all turnbolt Lees) locks it in place.


    #8d) The usual Lee magazine set-up. Mag catch and sear work off the same "U" shaped spring.

    The magazine itself utilizes a single "U" shaped follower spring as first seen on the 1882 model. It's a little different in that the 1899 model's spring is made of two thin layers. Mine is happy in it's mag body, so i did not remove it.


    #8e)


    #8e.1) The 1885 model magazine spring as removed from the magazine body as general example of the type used in the 1899s as well. Note that it also functions as a "bump stop" for cartridge noses- protecting the soft housing metal. (Not a real issue with lead bullets).


    #8f)



    #8g)


    #8h)


    #8i)


    #8j)
    Last edited by jmoore; 10-03-2011 at 08:54 AM.

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    Action body and associated parts photos: ( and text coming! Just not quickly, sorry)


    #9a)

    #9b) Note the squared of locking surfaces. Easier to manufacture but the disadvantages are a less smooth operating cycle and less camming for operation in adverse conditions.

    #9c) Magazine well from the bottom with the single loading platform removed. The upper surfaces are not feed lips but rather magazine travel limiters. The protruding pin at the lower left is the pivot for the magazine catch (partially removed).


    #9d)



    #9e)

    #9f)

    #9g)

    #9h)



    #9i) Top view: Note that the spring loaded ejector in this action (different from the ones shown above with the blue background) has swung across the bolt path, but will move out of the way when the bolt is re-inserted. The other action's ejector won't pivot nearly this far!



    #9j&k) Detail shots of the ejector spring recess, and the ejector spring with screw. Another design shift from the earlier models and the Lee Enfield series.



    #9L)

    #9m)

    #9n)

    #9o)

    #9p)

    #9r) Sear, sear/magazine catch spring, and magazine catch removed from the action. All the US Lees have single stage triggers; the Lee-Enfields received a two stage trigger during their development. Otherwise, this area is fairly consistant for all Lee turnbolts.
    Last edited by jmoore; 10-07-2011 at 05:07 PM.

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    Sights:


    #10a) Remington 1899 rifle rear sight. Carbine rear sight photo coming soon- hopefully!


    #10b) A rather odd sight blade profile.


    #10c) Standard, if a bit worn-possibly slightly modified for parade use, blade front sight.
    Last edited by jmoore; 10-03-2011 at 09:17 AM.

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