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Thread: To repair or leave alone, Ross HB Target Rifle

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  1. #1
    Contributing Member harlton's Avatar
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    To repair or leave alone, Ross HB Target Rifle

    Hi,
    I'm looking for some opinions, before I go and do anything drastic, as I'm sure some out there know better than I, and if you would be so kind as to offer your opinion, I'll be most grateful.
    Currently slowly restoring my 1905-1909ish Ross long HB target rifle, and at sometime in it's life, the wood has been cut down alla WW1 Sniper style, quite well done, so I don't mind it. The rifle is mostly stock, with the steel little screw type sight bridge and a BSA Martin rear sight, plus a nice front sight. All on, a slightly used full length Barrel. I've got a period correct Germanicon Goertz Certar sight to go with it and some mounts. I was intending on leaving it this way, as so many Sniper Rifles in my Grandad's Batt'n, can be seen modified in this way. My question is though... does this modification detract from the rifles original accuracy, and if so should I replace the wood and front Band/Cap, to restore it to it's original specification, or leave it. My main focus is on the functionality of the rifle, but can't find any answers out there in the web. Thanks very much for any help, Regards Ian

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Pics help!
    But I see it as part of a rifles history who knows where and what its done in its service if its well done then "Bubba" has not been involved in the mods I reckon leave it as it is and enjoy it.
    Do the "Mods" affect the way the rifle cycles or shoots!
    Last edited by CINDERS; 08-07-2018 at 04:32 AM. Reason: typo !

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    Contributing Member harlton's Avatar
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    Hi Cinders,
    I'll try and get some pictures up tomorrow, along with an old newspaper clipping of a WW1 Canadianicon sniper using what they describe as a" special rifle", no front sight fitted that I can see, and it looks very similar to mine, but I'm not making any claims. I'm just interested in enjoying the rifle, and fully agree with you. Only reason I asked is, I recently fixed a similar rifle a civilian Long lee with a reduced barrel length to 28" and short stock. I replaced the front forearm, with a glued together forearm I made up, and it's quite accurate now. I was wondering if this might really be the case with the Ross too,now the mud's gone, but we're talking about a very heavy barrel on the Ross. Maybe not the same case, and I would rather leave it, just as you say, plus it saves a lot of work. Thanks for getting back. Regards Ian

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    Advisory Panel tiriaq's Avatar
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    This is a Mk. II** that has had its forend cut back?
    Does it have service issue marks on the right side of the butt, or the little commercial serial number on the left side of the breech of the barrel?
    The sniper rifles in your Grandad's Bn would have been Mk. III rifles.


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    Contributing Member harlton's Avatar
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    Hi tiriaq,
    Thanks for your reply, your right the rifles issued to and seen in most photos are MK III's, however, as I wanted an original rifle for shooting and I've never seen one of these for sale, in good shooting condition either the Barrel is shot out or cut down and sporterized as their deer rifle from long ago.
    I have shown pic's of this rifle, on the Ross forum when I first got it and the guy there confirmed it's as the long heavy barrel target model, with no sights installed on it. That's why mine has the drilled and tapped steel base, and Martin sight added.
    I also have an A5 sitting here, and may fit that, if not the other one I have. There are no military markings that I can see, but the Butt is much lighter than the rest, so probably cleaned and sanded at some point. The stock has been done, just like one the snipers I've seen, cut flush with the mid band and the stub filed flat. Other than that it's the rifle part that's in really good shape. With a full length 31 inch Barrel, with an excellent bore and a matching tight fitting Bolt. I must admit to preferring the stock appearance, but it's a lot of work,that if it makes no difference to how the rifle shoots and maybe rob's it's history, I don't want to do it.
    I've never claimed this was a sniper rifle, the stock work is a bit of a mystery but other than that, I'm only interested in a similar experience while getting the best shooting possible out of it, what with their reputation for excellence, and I like long Barreled old rifles, I expect this to be my best once sorted.
    One strange fact is their were some of these used, I'm sure of it now, and think I'm upto 4 now, probably as private rifles but they seem to have been there, I recently came across a newspaper clipping of an active WW1 sniper posing prone, with what was described as using his" special Ross rifle", and it looked more like mine than a Mk 10, but the quality is fairly poor and it's hard to be sure. I'll try again and get the pictures up soon, but I'm having trouble getting them small enough to load, while then still visible, but my wife can adjust all that, I just have to wait on her, sorry, they will appear, with period shots too.

    Regards Ian

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    Advisory Panel tiriaq's Avatar
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    I am not sure what you mean by long heavy barreled target model.
    The II** rifle had a barrel with about the same contour as the Mk. III (1910) service rifle - a barrel that was longer and heavier than the other Mk. II rifles.
    Mk. II** rifles initially had a sight on the barrel. Rear aperture sights of various patterns were often retrofitted to the rear of the receiver. Later ** rifles 9ca 1910?) omitted the rear sight on the barrel and used a handguard that did not provide to a barrel rear sight. The BSA Martin was one of the aperture sights retrofitted, or supplied as OEM on some Mk. II rifles. BSA Martins are high quality sights, but not particularly user friendly without a magnifier. Front sights often had a movable hood, so that the amount of light striking the front sight could be controlled.
    The only rifles that I would consider drilling and tapping for a telescopic sight would be ones that have suffered at the hands of bubba already, and further bubbery would not detract.

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    Contributing Member harlton's Avatar
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    Hi Tiriaq,
    That's what I was told it was by the guy who ran the Ross Rifle sight, a few years ago, sorry about the pictures not being done, it just won't allow me to upload them at present, but still working on it. This rifle never had any sight fitted to it, it was the same type of rifle as they used to quite some success, until they complained about the Barrel being overweight. The Barrel has a heavy profile and is roughly 31" long. Others took them to war, to use for sniping, it's the same rifle as the one with the prismatic Zeiss sight fitted to it, I'll have another go tomorrow and no I don't want to drill additional holes in it either. They were fitted with a couple of different stocks too, the military type like mine, or the Deer Rifle kind, I believe it's the same Barrelled action that they used on the Scotch Deer Rifles, but not positive.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harlton View Post
    ... I believe it's the same Barrelled action that they used on the Scotch Deer Rifles, but not positive.
    Scot - a native of Scotland. Plural: Scots
    Scottish - adjectival form, e.g. Scottish Highlands.
    Scotch - an alcoholic drink.
    so:
    Scotch Deer rifles - like unicorns, very rare!

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    Contributing Member harlton's Avatar
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    Sorry Paul,
    Heard That one all my life, but I was fairly sure that's what I'd seen them called, with a name like Ian Sutherland, I do know better, just assumed some other bloody English "Toff" had drunk to much of the stuff when the rifle was named, but their not my thing, no insult intended and hated writing that.

    Regards Ian

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    Any luck with those photos Harlton?
    "Deer-stalking would be a very fine sport if only the deer had guns." W. S. Gilbert.

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