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Grail Gun Comes Home to Papa!!!

gew98

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It most certainly was not the fate of Forgett. It was an employee of Sarco. Glenn something if I recall correctly. I remember the last name was uncommon, but not what it was.
Was pretty sure it was a navy arms bigwig. I too long ago forgot the name of the deceased in that incident.
 

MilsurpMonkey

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Was pretty sure it was a navy arms bigwig. I too long ago forgot the name of the deceased in that incident.
Val sr was the only Navy Arms bigwig. Just like his son Val jr is the only bigwig now. It was a Sarco employee killed by his Lee Navy.

Congrats to the OP on a wonderful looking rifle. They really are neat!
 
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Gazz

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I apologize - I did not want to diminish Karl's acquisition of a personal grail gun but thought I should comment on the potential for serious injury when shooting them. They are interesting guns and I recall seeing one in a shop many years ago and asked to see it. I opened the bolt but could not figure out how to close it! May have been just the follower but I didn't know much about military type firearms at the time.
 

Warrior1354

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I don't think anyone here is trying to insult or scarce the owner who posted up the Winchester lee. But, instead are wanting it to be known the issues, and the dangers with shooting these rifles. Here are a couple photographs of another rifle that blew up just a few years ago. Luckily the owner was only injured not killed. The major fault with this rifle system. That would be gas venting. They had gas venting issues with this rifle. Even when it was in service. The other issue, this cartridge has not been loaded commercially since the 30s. So the only way a shooter could load for it. They would have to modify brass to do it, and it's a semi rimmed cartridge. With a very delicate extraction system on the bolt, and the receiver cut for this extraction system. Another thing is the rifle barrels have a diameter of .236" USN or .243" You will need to slug your barrel to find out.

The owner that was killed his first mistake was to assume the bore diameter was 6mm or .243" in modern terms. It was not. It was .239" and that made the bullets he used .004" oversize. He also had issues with the brass cases he was using. And the charge was way too hot for this rifle. You combined all that together, and that is a recipe for disaster.

I absolutely adore these rifles, and I love their history. But, again everything should be known about them. Before you decide to send lead down range through them.


1000001738.jpg


1000001736.jpg
 

Near Sighted Sniper

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Congrats Kfunk!!! I found my grail gun a few years ago, ( & posted the story here in the C&R section) it’s an incredible feeling to finally find that one piece that’s been evading you for what feels like forever. I’m happy for you bud, enjoy it!!
 

K. Funk

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As much as I'd love to shoot it just to get the "feel" of having done it, I think it will just sit in a place of honor on the rack. I would be more worried about damaging it than damaging me. I have a few other oldies I can shoot including a Krag and a few foreign contemporaries including a Berthier Lebel and an M1891 Carcano. I am also in the process of resurrecting some old Steyrs. Thanks for all the safety concerns and comments.

krf
 

1gewehr

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These are fascinating rifles. Way ahead of their time with small bore, high velocity (for the time), and fast burning powder. Interesting charger design. Removed from service mainly due to the rate at which they burned out barrels, but also with adoption of the 1903 .30-06 rifles for common use in all services. Could still be found on US Navy ships during WWI as the newer .30-06 rifles were all going to training and combat use for use in Europe.

S&S Arms has reproduction clips. Buffalo Arms makes small lots of brass and loaded ammo with proper case head strength. Do NOT use any cases that have cut extractor grooves as the two issues that led to rifles being destroyed were thin case heads from cutting grooves and over-sized bullets from not realizing the actual bore size.

As an FYI, the US Marines used these rifles in combat during the Chinese Boxer Rebellion (see movie "55 Days at Peking"), Spanish American War in Cuba and Philippines, as well as many small actions in other places. The cartridge was also used in the Colt/Browning model 1895 machine guns that accompanied the Marines. Marine reports from the period were very positive aside from the barrel throat wear issue.

Congratulations on finding one of these rifles. I have fired mine with the Buffalo Arms ammo and it proved to be very accurate and easy to use with just a little practice. Enjoy!
 

GS455

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We found an M1885 Remington-Lee Navy Rifle in my Grandmother's closet after she passed. 1st detachable box magazine military rifle eventually leading to the Lee Infield .

She was a WW1 Navy Yeomanette and met her husband in the Navy pre WW1. After a bit of research we determined it's entirely possible this rifle was aboard the USS Main during the battle of Manila Bay. I had it carefully restored but it's not 100%. I was assured it's safe to fire. I bought some low power 45-70 cowboy loads to shoot out of her but I haven't worked up the guts yet. First shot will be a remote string pull when I do. It lives proudly on the basement fireplace mantle for the time being.

Rem-Lee 1 Right.jpg


Rem-Lee 2 Left.jpg


Rem-Lee 3 Patent.jpg


Rem-Lee 5 Makers Mark.jpg


Rem-Lee 6 Receiver Ring Navy.jpg


Rem-Lee 4 Stock Navy Stamp.jpg
 
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VALMET

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We found an M1885 Remington-Lee Navy Rifle in my Grandmother's closet after she passed. 1st detectable box magazine military rifle eventually leading to the Lee Infield .

She was a WW1 Navy Yeomanette and met her husband in the Navy pre WW1. After a bit of research we determined it's entirely possible this rifle was aboard the USS Main during the battle of Manila Bay. I had it carefully restored but it's not 100%. I was assured it's safe to fire. I bought some low power 45-70 cowboy loads to shoot out of her but I haven't worked up the guts yet. First shot will be a remote string pull when I do. It lives proudly on the basement fireplace mantle for the time being.

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That’s quite an interesting rifle. Prob not on board USS Maine as that was on the bottom of Havana Harbor when the Battle of Manila Bay took place…
 

GS455

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That’s quite an interesting rifle. Prob not on board USS Maine as that was on the bottom of Havana Harbor when the Battle of Manila Bay took place…
Right, sinking of The Maine is in many ways what triggered things. I meant The Olympia. I believe we dug up research showing that a large number of this vintage of "Lee Navy rifles" were aboard The Olympia.

(.....it's been years.)
 

gearlogo

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Good plan not to shoot it. I forget who the guy was but he was a dealer or importer of surplus stuff and an avid shooter. He was at the range shooting one of these with his handloads when the rifle let go and bolt buried itself in his eye socket. He did not make it.
This was the nice guy from SARCO. Very sad story.
 
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