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Thread: Assistance Confirming Suspected 1905M Factory Sporter Requested

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    Member Bluenoser's Avatar
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    Assistance Confirming Suspected 1905M Factory Sporter Requested

    This 1905 Ross just arrived in the mail and I could use a little help confirming it's identity. The seller seemed to believe it is a sporterized Mk II. I was and am of the opinion it is a 1905M factory-built sporting rifle. . Any and all comments and guidance will be greatly appreciated.

    The rifle in question has a 22" bbl with "303 Ross" stamped on the reinforce and there are no visible military markings anywhere on the rifle. The front sight appears original to the rifle, but it differs from front sights on Mk II's I have owned and handled. As can be seen in the picture, the muzzle is flat and well finished with no real crown. The bbl mounted rear sight may or may not be original to the rifle. It appears to me the V notch has been dressed off for some reason. Opinions please.








    There is what appears to be a poorly struck serial number (X04_X) on the forward slope of the reinforce. There is no sign of a lightly struck digit in the space between the third and fourth digits.There are also the following numbers:
    A struck out 58 or 38 on the underside of the bolt body with a 33 adjacent to it.
    A 33 and a 41 on the bolthead.
    A 39 on the underside of the bolt handle root.




    Last, but not least, it has a Lyman No. 50 aperture sight in very good condition mounted to the receiver.


    I would rate the rifle in overall very good condition. The bore is shiny and, although the seller rated the rifling as an 8 out of ten, I would rate it about a 6.

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    An old thread you may want to review ...

    Pictures of Ross Factory Sporting Rifles

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    Member Bluenoser's Avatar
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    Thanks Doug,
    I am familiar with that thread and this Ross does appear to be the same model as the bottom one in the pic. The only difference I can see is the rear sight and barrel length, and I doubt the rear sight on mine is original to the rifle. Unfortunately, breakeye does not identify which model of 1905 sporter is pictured. It is later identified as a 1905 R. My point of reference in identifying the rifle as a 1905 M (third type) is The Ross Rifle Story, page 142, plate 69A. That appears to be the example that most closely matches my rifle (and breakeye's). The 1905 R in plate 70A does not have a Harris magazine and the rear sight appears to be mounted on a band. I find The Ross Rifle Story to be a little short on detail when it comes to sporting rifles and I have heard it said Sir Charles was in the habit of regularly changing specs. I am sure we have members with extensive knowledge of Ross sporting rifles and I am hoping they will chime in.
    Last edited by Bluenoser; 03-08-2018 at 03:41 PM.

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    Senior Member Ax.303's Avatar
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    Your rifle appears to be a nice 1905-R. The rear barrel sight was probably changed from the Winchester Buckhorn to the folding sight that is on it now to accommodate the Lyman No.50.
    I have owned quite a few of these and seen and handled a pile more. Unlike the picture in the Ross Rifle Story, they all had the external Harris magazine levers, and dovetailed Winchester rear barrel sights. Period Ross catalogs show this exact same configuration.

    The 1905-R was available with 22, 24, and 26 inch barrels.

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    Member Bluenoser's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for your reply. I responded to your comments on the Ross Rifle Forum before reading your comments here. You have pretty much addressed my response in this post. I very much appreciate your help.
    Could someone post a link to period Ross Catalogs?

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    Senior Member Ax.303's Avatar
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    I don`t have a link, but Cornell Publications sells repro catalogs directly, and on eBay.
    Last edited by Ax.303; 03-09-2018 at 11:31 PM.

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    Which Catalogue or catalogues would be the best to acquire?

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    Senior Member Ax.303's Avatar
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    I seem to have misplaced my copies, but something between 1907 - 1909 (not the 1907 Handbook) should have it.



    There is a picture of one in the Historical Arms Series No. 11 " Sir Charles Ross and his rifle" which is also available a few places.

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    You've done very well there, the sight is rare and valuable. The foresight cover looks very original and is somewhat unique IIRC. No question it is a 1905-R sporter, but the sight was almost as expensive at the rifle, so not usually seen on the R's, more on the E's and M10 .280s
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    Thanks, I was more than a little pleased to find a 1905 with a Lyman # 50 sight. Until recently, my primary interest (spanning 40 + years) has been in pre-No. 1 Britishicon military. I always had a passing interest in the Ross, but it appears to have become my passion of late. Quite addictive, I'm afraid. There is still much to learn and, although I knew the sight was a rarity, I didn't realize how unlikely it was to find one on a 1905R. The hood on the front sight has every appearance of being original to the rifle.
    Things seem to just keep getting better on this one. I initially thought the rifling, which is nice and shiny, was about a 6 out of 10. After slugging it and comparing to the specs for a Mk III, it turns out to be a solid 10. I didn't realize the lands on a Ross are only a little over .004" deep when new.
    Now, if I could just figure out why that odd looking serial (?) number on the bbl doesn't match the one on the stock and butt plate........

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