Today a Gift Horse

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Rapidrob
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Today a Gift Horse

Post by Rapidrob »

I good friend of mine and one of my club's members knows I like odd-ball firearms and presented me with a 1905 Ross MkII in what I think is .303 Epps(?)
It is a classic Canadian conversion as I found several of the exact same rifles being shown on Youtube.
By luck alone I was testing out a new load for one of my NoI MkIII Lithgow rifle today and had brought a lot of ammo in .303 Britt.
I had fire a Ross rifle many years ago but never had a chance to collect one that was 100% correct.
This rifle has had all of the for-wood remove and what ever hardware was up front as well. The sights have not been molested in any manner. The bore is bright and shiny.
I fired the rifle using the "battle sight" with four different loads at out Pumpkin 300 meter target and only missed with two shots out of 25 rounds fired.
Recoil is much less "felt" over any of my .303 Britt rifles and carbines.
The action is as smooth as butter. Trigger pull is very smooth.
I know nothing about the Ross rifles other than they are from Canada and are straight pulls and the MkII and MkIII have redesigned bolts so you can't assemble them wrong.
I know nothing about the cartridge this rifle has been converted to. The mouth is much larger on a fired case compared to a normal .303 fired cartridge.
The rifles bore is tight! That was a nice surprise.
Ross1.jpg
Ross2.jpg
Ross3.jpg
Ross4.jpg
.303 Britt on bottom:
Ross5.jpg
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Re: Today a Gift Horse

Post by ammolab »

Because of extraction difficulties in combat many (most) Ross rifles were reamed with a “most generous” chamber reamer. Reloaders say “neck size Only ” or forget reloading most Ross brass.

The Epps has a straight case and really sharp shoulder
4AA47B31-9036-4766-A1ED-E9388590B5FF.jpeg
4AA47B31-9036-4766-A1ED-E9388590B5FF.jpeg (19.54 KiB) Viewed 380 times
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Re: Today a Gift Horse

Post by ammolab »

B225CB5D-B544-4A01-878B-1D1F6CFFF8E9.jpeg
Another Ross rifle which makes a case like Robs
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Re: Today a Gift Horse

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From Doc AV in 2014:
Roundsworth
May '14

I had a Ross rifle with a ‘hogged out’ chamber. I cannot recall what letters were hand stamped on the barrel to indicate the modification. ‘LC’ comes to mind. Full length sizing really worked the brass. I do not know how long the cases would have lasted. I neck sized them in a 7.7 Japanese neck sizing die, but got rid of the rifle before I finished the experiment. The 1905 Ross action is really a nice, smooth operating action.
DocAV
May '14

Ross Mark III (M1910) Rifles sent with the Canadian Expeditionary Force to Britain and the Front in France were reamed out to “LC” Chamber specifications…The Body diameters were increased, and the Shoulder moved Forwards somewhat, after Poorly-Manufactured British ammo caused a lot of Jams in the Flanders Mud n( Specifically from two or three “New Factories” (M, J, and N) because the shoulder Position was not correctly formed when, after filling the case with cordite, the neck and shoulder were formed around the Bullet.

The Ross Rifles were toleranced for Canadian Peace Time ammo, and with this worked Fine… in the trenches, Soldiers soon got to “Trying out” all their ammo before entering the Line, and Lots with H/S as marked above, were rejected and sent to MG units (the Heavy ramming force of the Vickers soon “full length sized” the Defective cases)

This QA problem ( the New Factories had NO experienced floor staff, only civilians off the street). The Technicians from Nobel and BSA could not cope with the Large volumes required in 1915 and early 1916, when Most of the defective shaped cartridges are found.

The simplest solution for both Ross and SMLEs was to have an Increased Chamber dimensions…that allowed for Mud fouling as well. The details are available in “The List of Changes”

Hence in Ross Rifles with “LC” chambers, a variety of "Ballooned " cases will appear…strangely, those in Naval Service seem to have been more conservatively “enlarged”…I have a Chilean DA (Naval) Ross, with Chamber LC marks, but the Cartridges show very little signs of Distortion ( about the same as a New Lithgow Barrel (SMLE)…and I use Prvi Military, Brit. Military, and Canadian (DIz) Military in my M1910… Both Factory new and Reloads ( neck size Only). NO Extraction problems…But then our range is Concreted and Well-grassed…NO Mud in sight, even after Tropical Rain…

Doc AV

Nice to know info saving me a lot of $$$ on special reloading dies! Ha!
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Re: Today a Gift Horse

Post by Tommy Atkins »

In the light of this I'd say you need to carefully mic a fired case to see what EXACTLY you have there. So far we've discovered 4 versions of this so its probably a good idea to figure out what yours is, even if just for reliable reloading data!
WE have:
. 303 British (std)
.303 Brittish (hogged)
.303 Epps
&
.303 epps improved!
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Re: Today a Gift Horse

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I will do just that.
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Re: Today a Gift Horse

Post by Tommy Atkins »

Good move!
Keep your brass whatever it is.
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Re: Today a Gift Horse

Post by Rapidrob »

My fired cases are still have tapered walls and not blown out straight as the .303 Epps.
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