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Thread: 1879 Remington Lee ...need a part

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    Member right_slide's Avatar
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    1879 Remington Lee ...need a part

    A few years back, I found an 1879 Remington Lee Navy rifle in the attic of my great aunt's house. It is in pretty good shape, but it seems that my great grandfather made it "safe" for storage and removed the bolt. He has been dead for 30-40 years and so no one in my family has any idea as to where it could be. I looked everywhere in the house, but was unable to find it.

    Does anyone know of someone who might sell this bolt? or possibly remanufacture it (working or non-working)? I am also looking for a front barrel band and cleaning rod (rod not a high priority).



    This is a piece of my families history, and I would like to be able to have it displayed in my home someday as a complete piece. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

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    Member right_slide's Avatar
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    In addition, the rifle is one of 300 that were in the first contract to the US Navy.

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    Parts are difficult to find for these rifles. You may want to look for one that's been cut down and in otherwise non-shootable condition and get the whole thing as a parts donor.

    Has the magazine been upgraded? (Cook's patent?) If there's a raised rib on one side and a coresponding relief cut in the mag well, then it has. Most were...

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    I'll look around, see if I can find any non-shootables. Thank you.

    It doesn't appear to have Cook's patent.


    Last edited by right_slide; 11-04-2011 at 02:37 AM.

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    The lack of upgrade makes it even more worth the effort to complete it! That mag looks weirdly long, is there an extention grafted on, or...optical delusion?

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    Member right_slide's Avatar
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    I think the line you see is from being in the gun, contact oxidation.

    ---------- Post added at 02:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:41 AM ----------

    I'll get some more pictures of the rifle up this weekend

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    Optical illusion it was (and a not so good computer at another location):





    Bolt isn't like any other rifle of which I'm aware:





    ---------- Post added at 02:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:44 AM ----------

    More photos would be excellent, right_slide !
    Last edited by jmoore; 11-04-2011 at 08:42 AM.

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    Your predicament has really touched a nerve, right_slide , as I remember how marvelously smooth the operation of the R-L with the Cook improved magazine was at the range. The super-original box magazine with the bullet nose cartridge retention design seems poorly adapted for belt storage, but it ought to work as well or maybe even better in the rifle due to the bolt design. Removal of a partially loaded magazine might result in round spillage as well. (???)

    You may be able to give us some practical insights into this short lived version if you can round up some 405gr lead bulleted cartridges or appropriate action proving dummies. The bullet nose capture feature is about the only aspect of this design that doesn't seem to have been utilized in any later rifle..........(Nope, still can't think of a copy cat...hmmm)

    Even without a bolt, you may be able to see some shortcomings or oddities, especially regarding cartridge retention outside the weapon.

    Very interesting!

    ETA: As you have provided us with photos of the first production version of the box magazine, this thread just had to be cross-linked to the big photo spread linked below so readers can jump here easily in the future.

    1879 Remington Lee Photos, etc. (Warning! LOTS of big photos)


    ETA2: After re-reading the first post, it may be that a Remington rolling block front band might be made to work- If you can find the correct version. Ditto for the cleaning rod. My interest lies with the Lee connection much more than the Remington, but GeneM indicated that they used off the shelf parts where possible. (I.e., the rear sight in my case.)
    Last edited by jmoore; 11-04-2011 at 10:27 AM.

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    Member right_slide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
    Optical illusion it was (and a not so good computer at another location):

    https://www.milsurps.com/images/impo.../Lees003-1.jpg

    https://www.milsurps.com/images/impo...stuff084-1.jpghttps://www.milsurps.com/images/impo...stuff079-1.jpg

    Bolt isn't like any other rifle of which I'm aware:

    https://www.milsurps.com/images/impo.../Lees024-1.jpg

    https://www.milsurps.com/images/impo...stuff004-1.jpg

    ---------- Post added at 02:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:44 AM ----------

    More photos would be excellent, right_slide !
    Is yours one of the first 300? I found a full receiver for sale, the bolt handle looks a bit different.

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    Member right_slide's Avatar
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    Another question. How similar are the model 1879 and 1885 receivers/bolts? Would I be able to fit an 1885 bolt into my 1879? (display purposes only at this point) or worst comes to worst, can I fit the 1885 receiver into my 1879 stock?

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