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Thread: Ross Sniper Scopes

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  1. #11
    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Promo View Post
    I think it was the Ross Rifles which were said to had been sent to Latvia, Lithuania, etc. which ended up in Russianicon hands.
    But they didn't get those until the annexation of the Baltic Republics in 1940.
    "Deer-stalking would be a very fine sport if only the deer had guns." W. S. Gilbert.

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    Contributing Member Promo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surpmil View Post
    But they didn't get those until the annexation of the Baltic Republics in 1940.
    I don't have that much documentation on Ross rifles in Russian hands, but at least Wikipedia mentions this:
    After the First World War, the Britishicon Empire supplied several models of .303 cal rifles, including Rosses to Estonia, Latvia and White Russian anti-communist forces. In the course of gaining control of the country, the Soviets captured large numbers of non Soviet origin rifles. In the 1930s Stalin approved aid shipments to the Spanish Civil War Republicans, disposals actually, of American Winchester Muskets, Germanicon Mauser 98s, British Lee Enfields, Austrian Mannlichers, and several Frenchicon types. One shipment from the Baltic Sea port of Memel on 6 Nov 1936, included 18,000-odd Pattern '14s and 2310 Canadianicon .303 M10 Rosses.
    And I found the following information on the Russian Ross Snipers in a gunforums.com post which reads as follows:
    -THE GECO/DYNAMO SYSTEMS

    The most familiar of the prototype scope mounting systems for most people are the side mounted systems that developed out of the collaboration between the German firm of Gustav Genschow (better known by their trade name of GECO) and the NKVD's Dynamo Shooting School. There is a great deal of further detail that can be addressed on these "Target Dynamo" rifles, but since the current focus here is on the development of the mounting systems for Soviet sniper rifles, this write-up will focus specifically on those.

    -THE D1 SYSTEM

    The first fruits of this collaboration would result in the D1 system. This system, perhaps to the surprise of some folks here, was designed not for the Mosin-Nagant rifle, but instead for the Canadian-designed Ross rifle. The Ross rifle was declared obsolete by the British armed forces following the end of the First World War, and thus was readily available as surplus in the interwar period. The accuracy of this system made it a very popular target rifle in many Eastern European nations, and Russiaicon was no exception, the Dynamo school held several of these rifles in their armories.

    The D1 system was a side-mounted bracket. The base was secured to the side rail of the Ross rifle by means of two screws and two alignment pins. The base had a large dovetail machined into it, onto which the mount was slid. The mount was secured by means of a thumb screw. The scope sat in a pair of split rings. The mount was adjustable for windage, with the forward ring serving as a pivot point and the rear ring being mounted into a dovetail between tow opposing screws. tightening and loosening these screws pushed the ring in that dovetail, allowing for lateral adjustments.
    Since the D2 system was introduced around 1926, the Ross experiments have had to be made prior to that.

    Edit: additionally found this on the story of how British rifles ended up with Russia...:
    After the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the British supplied Ross and Pattern 14 rifles from Royal Navy stocks to these Baltic nations. During the Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War, they supplied large numbers of rifles to the "White"anti - communist forces. The Black Sea port of Novorossisk was HQ of the "Denmiss", the British mission sent to supply the White "Armed Forces of South Russia". From March 1919 onward, they supplied about 200,000 rifles to Deniken's forces including large numbers of Pattern 14, lesser numbers of Ross M10 and fewer numbers of Mk.3 and Mk.3* Lee Enfields in .303. Pattern 14 rifles from British Army stocks were provided to other White Russian forces elsewhere in the former Russian Empire during this period.
    Last edited by Promo; 05-24-2018 at 05:52 AM.

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  5. #13
    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    That is the first reference I have seen to the Ross being popular as a target rifle in Europe between the wars, but it is certainly possible that it was.

    Vast amounts of equipment supplied to Deniken and Kolchak were never used at all and ended up in Bolshevik hands "as new" so would fit with the P14 seen in the 1931 movie. It is unlikely experimental work would be done on worn rifles.

    Ross MkIII's were available on the market between the wars, as some were sold to the Republic of China by Morris Cohen, and probably others.

    That last link was an interesting one, and as a tangent, the M91/30 rifles that were "missing" when the civil war arms were sold off in 1959-60 were probably sent to Russiaicon with the Spanish "Blue Division" during WWII. That or traded to the Germans for equipment Spain received from them during the war.

    BSA handing off their surplus business to Soley Armaments in 1930 could be a Depresssion-era economy or a step back to allow better "deniability", or both.

    I have Orlov and Krivitsky's books; will have to dig them out and see if they give any details.

    If this experimental work goes as far back as 1926 then it would no doubt flow out of the close cooperation between the Reichswehr and the Red Army that began as a way for the Germans to circumvent the restrictions of the Versailles Treaty. A triumph of spite over common sense for which they would pay in rivers of blood.
    "Deer-stalking would be a very fine sport if only the deer had guns." W. S. Gilbert.

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    They were given to Turkeyicon also in between the world wars.


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