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Shooting & Reloading - Mausers, Big Bores and others >> Lee Speed Forum & Archive

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RLR
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Reged: 02/06/23
Posts: 6
Loc: Washington
LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle
      #377811 - 05/07/23 03:14 AM

I’ve always wanted a legitimate Lee-Speed sporting rifle. Just like most, the urge hit after seeing “Ghost in the Darkness”. A little over a year ago, I happened to spot on tucked under a Boys anti tank rifle at a gun show. The price was about right, so it came home with me. The front sight insert was damaged, and will eventually be replaced with a more suitable replacement, but for now an insert from a shot out Mauser barrel I had seems to work quite well with a fine sight hold as I prefer. I do wish I could an original front sight hood, but I know I’ll simply have to make a few from scratch instead, hopefully one will look proper. There are no Lee Speed patents on the rifle, and judging by the proofs I’m lead to believe it is an interwar built rifle, likely of the late 1920s. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!













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“Don’t be noble, it’s ruining the country.” -The Old Man via Robert Ruark


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lancaster
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Re: LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle [Re: RLR]
      #377855 - 08/07/23 01:26 PM

I think you got a very good one. suspect its a 303 brit? anyway a nice rifle.

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Norwegian hunter misses moose, shoots man on toilet
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bringing civilisation to the barbarians


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fjrdoc
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Reged: 20/05/22
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Re: LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle [Re: lancaster]
      #377857 - 08/07/23 07:34 PM

Beautiful wood on that Lee

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Huvius
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Reged: 04/11/07
Posts: 3539
Loc: Colorado
Re: LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle [Re: fjrdoc]
      #377864 - 09/07/23 10:26 AM

Agree on the wood - very nice.
I must admit that I don't know when the "Lee Speed" patent stamps ran their course or, exactly, what those patents actually covered.
Maybe your's for all purposes is a Lee Speed just not marked so.
The front sight on your rifle looks awfully Webley like to me the way it's shaped and sleeved onto the barrel. I've seen very much the same sight on some bigger bore single shots some with the grooves for the hood and some without.

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He who lives in the past is doomed to enjoy it.


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superbee
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Reged: 09/05/20
Posts: 10
Loc: canada
Re: LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle [Re: Huvius]
      #377866 - 09/07/23 10:44 AM

Very nice LSA!
Only about 10% of lee speeds were built by LSA


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TH44
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Reged: 21/02/09
Posts: 733
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Re: LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle [Re: Huvius]
      #377867 - 09/07/23 11:03 AM

The LeeSpeed patent expired in 1916, so anything post WW1 is theoretically not a "LeeSpeed"
But everything on the lovely rifle speaks "LeeSpeed", the action, (Lee Metford/Long Lee-Enfield), the single shot cut off (discontinued 1916 on military rifles), sights, early (pre 1910?? safety) 5 shot mag and magazine cover are all classic Lee speed, none of which appears in the later "sporterised Lee Enfields sold after WW1

The only explanation I can think of is a pre WW1 Lee Speed built earlier but finished/proofed after WW1

Certainly better all round than mine - a Westley Richards retailed early version with full length rib and tang safety

Good luck shooting it, you will have some fun

TH44


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RLR
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Reged: 02/06/23
Posts: 6
Loc: Washington
Re: LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle [Re: TH44]
      #377869 - 09/07/23 02:40 PM

Thanks! I think the early action type was a staple of LSA factory sporting rifles right up until the doors closed in 1935. I don’t recall seeing a factory Sporter on any of the later actions, just converted military guns. The lack of any innovations eventually killed the company.

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“Don’t be noble, it’s ruining the country.” -The Old Man via Robert Ruark


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NitroXAdministrator
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Reged: 25/12/02
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Re: LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle [Re: RLR]
      #377870 - 09/07/23 04:15 PM

Very nice. A worthy acquisition. Now for a Tsavo lion.

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John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
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Hunter4752001
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Reged: 25/01/10
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Loc: Australia
Re: LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle [Re: NitroX]
      #377877 - 09/07/23 05:49 PM

On the subject of Tsavo, apart from the prop gun used for the film, has anyone seen evidence/photos that Lt Col Patterson used a "Lee Speed" (in either sporting or military configuration)? In his book, Patterson doesn't use the term "Lee Speed" he simply refers to his .303. Given the British Army at the time expected commissioned officers to purchase their own arms and accoutrements, I expect it would have been a Lee Speed. However I've always been curious?

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93x64mm
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Reged: 07/12/11
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Re: LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle [Re: Hunter4752001]
      #377878 - 09/07/23 08:44 PM

Very nice piece of kit there RLR!
Hopefully one of our Lee- Speed gurus will come thru with a catalogue to show you the shape of the front sight cover - Bet Lancaster or Tinker could knock one of these up in no time!


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RLR
.224 member


Reged: 02/06/23
Posts: 6
Loc: Washington
Re: LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle [Re: 93x64mm]
      #377908 - 11/07/23 12:42 PM

I think the topic of Patterson’s battery has been discussed many times, over many forums. Very few photographs exist, and at that, none are very clear for the weapons in them. The best theories that I’ve come across were that the .303, his .450 double, and the 12 bore shotgun were all Army & Navy examples purchased before his posting to India. Some theories have him purchasing the .450 after his Indian service though. In reality I don’t think there is anything definitive as to what he used. If the Army & Navy theory is true, a BSA made Lee-Speed Sporting rifle wouldn’t be out of the question. It is possible however that he used a more basic model than the movie depicts. Something along the lines of what W.D.M. Bell described his own .303 as being.

--------------------
“Don’t be noble, it’s ruining the country.” -The Old Man via Robert Ruark


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Huvius
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Re: LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle [Re: RLR]
      #377915 - 12/07/23 01:38 AM

Considering that the events took place in 1898, his only mention of the rifle is that he called it a ".303" magazine rifle" and the only picture of his rifle I have seen is clearly a sporting Enfield of some sort, it must be a Lee Speed or sporterized Lee Metford perhaps.



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He who lives in the past is doomed to enjoy it.


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Rule303
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Re: LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle [Re: Huvius]
      #377923 - 12/07/23 08:22 AM

A good pick up there.
Just wondering if anybody has Ian Skennerton books on the Lee Enfield and if that would have anything on the Lee Speeds in then.


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Rowdy
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Reged: 12/09/04
Posts: 53
Loc: Victoria. Australia
Re: LSA “Lee-Speed” sporting rifle [Re: Rule303]
      #378174 - 30/07/23 08:36 PM

I would say definitely a prewar rifle and going by the lack of Lee Speed markings and the threaded brass rod fore end, post 1905 - so best guess 1910/12 or thereabouts.
Wait for better information from Jc5.


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