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Thread: Looking for a Ross...which one to get?

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  1. #1
    Member Gustro79's Avatar
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    Looking for a Ross...which one to get?

    I have a mission to acquire a Ross this winter prior to the next competition shooting season. I think it might be fantastic for vintage high-power matches. I need a very good bore and non-sporterized military configuration.

    What would be the best model for that purpose? I do like small peep sights for slow fire and an open sight for rapid fire.

    Also... where does one obtain one of these elusive rifles?

    Thanks!!


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    Advisory Panel tiriaq's Avatar
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    Elusive, yes.
    A MkII** would be ideal. Mine shoots like a house on fire.
    Barring that, most any Ross in sound condition with a fine bore.
    All Mk. III rifles will have an aperture sight. If you can find one, a Mk. III Home Guard rifle would be excellent. These are generally in better condition than service Mk. III rifles, and will have the small rear sight aperture.
    Some Mk. II service rifles have aperture sights; others have only notch sights.
    Good luck, though, finding a Ross with a crisp bore at a price that won't bring tears to your eyes.
    The Ross most commonly seen in the US is the Mk. II***, as supplied to the US as training rifles.
    Even here is Canadaicon, clean unaltered service rifles are not often seen.
    You might consider a rifle that has been sported, with the fore stock cut beyond the band. These can be restored with the splice hidden by the band. In this condition, the selling price is a small fraction of the price of an unaltered one. Perhaps 1/5th.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gustro79 View Post
    I have a mission to acquire a Ross this winter prior to the next competition shooting season. I think it might be fantastic for vintage high-power matches. I need a very good bore and non-sporterized military configuration.
    Good luck on all of that. Should be like searching for hen's teeth...
    Regards, Jim

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    Member Ax.303's Avatar
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    As stated above, The Mk II** or Mk III with the heavier barrels can be fantastic shooters.
    The other military Mk IIs with the coarse left hand threaded, thin profiled barrels are not usually overly accurate.

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    Member Gustro79's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by tiriaq View Post
    Elusive, yes.
    A MkII** would be ideal. Mine shoots like a house on fire.
    Barring that, most any Ross in sound condition with a fine bore.
    All Mk. III rifles will have an aperture sight. If you can find one, a Mk. III Home Guard rifle would be excellent. These are generally in better condition than service Mk. III rifles, and will have the small rear sight aperture.
    Some Mk. II service rifles have aperture sights; others have only notch sights.
    Good luck, though, finding a Ross with a crisp bore at a price that won't bring tears to your eyes.
    The Ross most commonly seen in the US is the Mk. II***, as supplied to the US as training rifles.
    Even here is Canadaicon, clean unaltered service rifles are not often seen.
    You might consider a rifle that has been sported, with the fore stock cut beyond the band. These can be restored with the splice hidden by the band. In this condition, the selling price is a small fraction of the price of an unaltered one. Perhaps 1/5th.
    Is the MKII** a military or commercial variant? And why that over a MKIII?
    I find it hard to find info which explains the differences between these variants.
    (I expect this to be difficult to find and pricey. I am considering offering a very rare Swede variant as trade bait to try to lure one out of someone's collection.)


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    Advisory Panel tiriaq's Avatar
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    Mk. II** rifles can be issue or private purchase. If issue, there will be stampings on the buttstock. Private purchase rifles were intended for service rifle target shooting, under the auspices of the Dominion of Canadaicon Rifle Association. Same idea as NM Springfield rifles.
    Mk. II** rifles were intended for range use. These were the .303 rifles that swept Bisley, resulting in complaints that they were not actually "service" rifles.
    There are variations in rear sights, and in the end of the forend, with different lengths, nosecaps and bayonet mounting provisions.
    Mine is a fairly late one. It has a BSA Martin finely adjustable rear aperture sight, never had a barrel mounted sight. The bedding surfaces still show the carbon/soot from the hand fitting that was done when the rifle was set up in the Ross custom shop.
    Mk. III rifles, apart from the Home Guard ones, are service rifles. Their rear sights are basic, compared with something like the BSA Martin.
    As far as availability goes, think in terms of finding a low number Springfield rifle with a crisp bore, or an early NM springfield - only with much smaller production numbers.
    If you look around this site, you will find photos of a Mk. III HG, a Mk II**, and a Mk. III sniper rifle.
    Last edited by tiriaq; 11-11-2017 at 08:38 AM.

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    Member Gustro79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiriaq View Post
    Mk. II** rifles can be issue or private purchase. If issue, there will be stampings on the buttstock. Private purchase rifles were intended for service rifle target shooting, under the auspices of the Dominion of Canadaicon Rifle Association. Same idea as NM Springfield rifles.
    Mk. II** rifles were intended for range use. These were the .303 rifles that swept Bisley, resulting in complaints that they were not actually "service" rifles.
    There are variations in rear sights, and in the end of the forend, with different lengths, nosecaps and bayonet mounting provisions.
    Mine is a fairly late one. It has a BSA Martin finely adjustable rear aperture sight, never had a barrel mounted sight. The bedding surfaces still show the carbon/soot from the hand fitting that was done when the rifle was set up in the Ross custom shop.
    Mk. III rifles, apart from the Home Guard ones, are service rifles. Their rear sights are basic, compared with something like the BSA Martin.
    As far as availability goes, think in terms of finding a low number Springfield rifle with a crisp bore, or an early NM springfield - only with much smaller production numbers.
    If you look around this site, you will find photos of a Mk. III HG, a Mk II**, and a Mk. III sniper rifle.
    Thank you all!! The rifle needs to be as-issued per CMPicon vintage rifle match rules. If the rifle has "upgraded match sights" or anything that wasn't issued to troops then there might be an argument for disqualfication. From your statement I take it that there are MKII** in existence that are set up like match rifles and then actually issued that way.
    Due to the scarcity, I think I will grab the first decent Ross that crosses my path, which will likely be a MKII*** and then work on upgrading it to a heavy barrel variant with reciever mounted sights.


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    Advisory Panel tiriaq's Avatar
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    Mk. II** rifles were issued, with various sights. Privately purchased rifles were essentially the same rifles, minus issue stampings. I think that units trained and drilled with II*, II***, II**** and II***** rifles, reserving the II** for the ranges. The Ross .280 Match rifles are entirely different, they weren't service. II** rifles were fired in military competitions in Canadaicon and Englandicon, both issue and privately owned. The not a service rifle complaint was about fitting a bayonet. The Minister of Militia and Defence stated that the rifle was indeed a service rifle, and that was the end of it. Some II** came equipped with aperture sights, others were retrofitted. The BSA Martin sight on my II** rifle was the original and only sight installed. There is a saying that Sir Charles Ross never made the same rifle twice. A bit of an exaggeration, but there is some truth to it; there are a myriad of variations. You might want to discuss status with the CMPicon, in case a rifle presents itself. Their matches, their rules. You wouldn't want to spend a lot of money on a rifle then find out it didn't qualify.
    A II*** would be fun to take to the matches. Some issue sights (barrel mounted) had only notches, others had an aperture as well - like a M1903. Use the aperture for target shooting. Mk. II rifles were issued with a number of rear sights. There was never a single standard.
    Incidentally, II** rifles are tightly chambered. If a cartridge is fired in a Lee Enfield, and then full length sized, it will not chamber in a II** Ross. I had to make a die to reduce the diameter back toward the head.

  11. Thank You to tiriaq For This Useful Post:


  12. #9
    Member Gustro79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiriaq View Post
    Mk. II** rifles were issued, with various sights. Privately purchased rifles were essentially the same rifles, minus issue stampings. I think that units trained and drilled with II*, II***, II**** and II***** rifles, reserving the II** for the ranges. The Ross .280 Match rifles are entirely different, they weren't service. II** rifles were fired in military competitions in Canadaicon and Englandicon, both issue and privately owned. The not a service rifle complaint was about fitting a bayonet. The Minister of Militia and Defence stated that the rifle was indeed a service rifle, and that was the end of it. Some II** came equipped with aperture sights, others were retrofitted. The BSA Martin sight on my II** rifle was the original and only sight installed. There is a saying that Sir Charles Ross never made the same rifle twice. A bit of an exaggeration, but there is some truth to it; there are a myriad of variations. You might want to discuss status with the CMPicon, in case a rifle presents itself. Their matches, their rules. You wouldn't want to spend a lot of money on a rifle then find out it didn't qualify.
    A II*** would be fun to take to the matches. Some issue sights (barrel mounted) had only notches, others had an aperture as well - like a M1903. Use the aperture for target shooting. Mk. II rifles were issued with a number of rear sights. There was never a single standard.
    Incidentally, II** rifles are tightly chambered. If a cartridge is fired in a Lee Enfield, and then full length sized, it will not chamber in a II** Ross. I had to make a die to reduce the diameter back toward the head.
    GREAT info, thanks. And now I really need to have one. If anyone has or knows of one sitting in a safe somewhere and will let it get back on the competition firing line let me know. I have equally cool trades.




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