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Thread: A Unicorn - BSA Co Lee-Speed No. 2 Officer's Carbine

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    Contributing Member NORTHOF60's Avatar
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    A Unicorn - BSA Co Lee-Speed No. 2 Officer's Carbine

    I was researching a Winchester Model 95 in .303 Britishicon when I found this gem for sale:



    BSA Co Lee-Speed No. 2 Officer's Carbine - wasn't on my bucket list, or even on the radar ...

    Not perfect, but still a heart-stopper. It wasn't listed as sold, but unavailable - quantity zero (0). I couldn't determine its status. When I was finally able to get hold of the owner, he told me it had been sold.

    Missed it by that much ....
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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Too bad, that would have been a neat little carbine...very scarce.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member NORTHOF60's Avatar
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    Tabernac - close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

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    Jc5

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    Contributing Member Micheal Doyne's Avatar
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    Interesting the No1 looks extremely like a lee Medford carbine I have, shoots beautifully out to 400. It has no military or service markings though. Do you know what rifling these in the pamphlet had?

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    Contributing Member NORTHOF60's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    The knox form of the item under discussion is stamped "Nitro Proof" as well as "E" for Enfield rifling.

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    Contributing Member NORTHOF60's Avatar
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    I find THE U.K. HISTORIC ARMS RESOURCE CENTRE - MINIATURE CALIBRE RIFLES REFERENCE FACILITY
    site invaluable. Check out the 1908 "BSA Catalogue of Military, Target, and Sporting Rifles".

    BSA small-bore target rifles, sights and accesories

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    Quote Originally Posted by NORTHOF60 View Post
    The knox form of the item under discussion is stamped "Nitro Proof" as well as "E" for Enfield rifling.
    Why do you think the "E" (in a circle) on this carbine means Enfield rifling? I'm sure the rifling is 5-groove Enfield, but I don't think the "E" stamp has anything to do with it.
    .
    .
    Researching Lee Speeds and all commercial Lee Enfields. If you have data to share or questions, please send me a PM.

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    Contributing Member NORTHOF60's Avatar
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    Its an extrapolation.

    According to the BSA 1909 catalogue: Lee-Enfield Magazine Military Carbines - "these rifles are not strictly of Service Pattern, and therefore cannot be supplied Government viewed". This rifle could be order with either Metford or Enfield rifling. I've only noticed the "circle E" on BSA Lee-Enfield Magazine Military Carbines. I have not seen the mark present on the BSA Lee-Enfield Magazine Sporting Rifles, which could also be ordered with Metford rifling.

    I take no ownership over the issue, and would happily defer to and expert who can prove otherwise.

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    There’s no proof either way, just observations. The encircled E is something I’ve seen on commercial examples—on carbines as well as sporting rifles, some with Metford rifling, and it is quite different from the seriph E that appears on the center-top of the knox form of government service rifles with Enfield rifling. On commercial rifles, the encircled E nearly always appears near an similarly encircled letter V, somewhere on the knox. There is no corresponding encircled M (for Metford), though an encircled N is sometimes seen.

    Meaning is unknown and every theory I’ve had over the years has been struck down by new evidence. I wish I knew the meaning, but anyone who knew it must be long dead.
    Last edited by Jc5; 11-08-2019 at 12:52 PM.

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    I wish I had been born rich, instead of handsome - and then being cheated out of both!

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