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Original Rare British P-1888 Lee-Metford Cutaway Skeletal Display Rifle Action - Serial Number 515

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Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. We just received this very rare example from the estate of a longtime customer. Serial No. 515, meaning this is was originally a very early Rifle, Magazine, P-1888 Lee-Metford. It was later converted to British Charger-Loading Lee-Enfield Mk I* Action Skeleton. Manufactured before 1895 this is legally classified as an "antique" by the BATF. Please see Ian Skennerton's wonderful book THE LEE ENFIELD, Pages 527 to 529 for full information about these extremely rare training devices.

Beautifully executed by Victorian Craftsmen this is a mega rare example that has all the correct features of the earliest Lee-Metford P-1888 magazine Rifle production. The barrel shortened, and drilled,  these were intended as training devices only, making this an amazingly rare item to appear on the open collector's market.

It was common to take earlier issued rifles to convert into an instructional model as using new production would have been a downright waste. The Butt shows a stamp indicating this was converted in 1902 after less than 20 years of active service.

This example is fitted with a .303 caliber magazine that has had the left side of the magazine casing milled out to show the inner workings. The barrel has been shortened and the front stock officially discarded. The butt wood has been cut back and part of the butt socket cut away to allow a view of the works of the system. The barrel has been demilled by drilling through the chamber from top to bottom. The weapon still retains the long-range rear sight to the left side and the correct brass butt plate with steel trap door.

Offered in excellent collector's condition this is clearly in the "Hen's Teeth" category of antique weapons. We have only ever had two of these exceedingly rare items.

History of the British Charger-Loading Lee-Enfield Mk I* Action Skeleton

Originally developed for armorers to test parts on, the various models of Lee skeleton actions were soon adapted to training troops. They have always been the rarest of the Lee family of models, from the Lee-Metford on. It was originally made as a Rifle, Magazine, Lee-Metford Mk I, possibly updated to a long Lee Enfield Mk I before being skeletonized. The skeletonizing, or as some call it, the sectioning, is beautifully done with the highest standards of metalworking.

This is a rare opportunity to own a truly once-in-a-lifetime Metford.

The whole in extremely fine display condition, and extremely hard to find, classified as a pre 1899 Antique. Probably the last one that we will ever have!


Year of Manufacture: Pre-1895
Caliber: .303 British
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 30.2 Inches

Overall Length: 49.5 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: magazine

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