Original British P-1888 Lee-Metford MK.1* .303 Magazine Rifle with Bayonet and Scabbard - Dated 1891

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. These are getting to be like Hen's Teeth, and this is in fact our VERY LAST British-made Lee-Metford that was received from the Royal Nepalese Arsenal, which was located at the palace of Lagan Silekhana in Katmandu, Nepal.

The Lee-Metord rifle was the first British Military rifle designed for the new .303 MkI catridge, as well as the first magazine repeating rifle in general issue, starting in 1888. This rifle saw service throughout the Empire in the final years of Queen Victoria's reign. Although superseded in 1895 by the Long Lee Enfield Rifle, they were in use at the famous Battle of Omdurman in 1898, which was Great Britain's revenge against the Mardists outside Khartoum in the Sudan.

The short service life was due mainly to a logistical problem involving the new .303 MkI Cartridge. It was originally to have used smokeless cordite as a propellant, but there was a major problem with supply, so the early .303 Cartridge MkI design used black powder. It was this cartridge that the Lee-Metford and Metford pattern rifling was designed to work with.  When the .303 MkII came out with the cordite propellant as originally intended, the Metford barrel and rifling was found to be insufficient to deal with the increased power, so in 1895 a new barrel and deeper square-cut rifling was designed at RSAF Enfield, leading to the introduction of the Long Lee-Enfield rifle. Many Lee-Metfords were retrofitted, so finding one in the original configuration is rare.

This example is marked, as all were, on the cup for the butt stock:


I. *

It also is marked with serial number 2046 / 0 on the front of the receiver. Having been long stored in Nepal, this example comes complete with dust cover to the bolt, which is often absent. The long distance volley sight is still present and functional, and many components are proof marked. Overall solid condition, though the rifle shows some pitting from long storage in less then ideal conditions. The bore is clear with good rifling.

Also included is an equally rare original P-1888 bayonet, complete with the original leather scabbard and belt frog. The ricasso of the blade is dated 4 / 93 and is maker marked SANDERSON SHEFFIELD. The bayonet like the rifle is well marked with British stampings, though the blade shows some old rust pits.

This is the very rare Mk.1* model, in fact Nepal was never issued any and what they had were captured from Tibet in the Nepal/Tibetan War of the early 1900s.

All in all an extremely rare and hard to find set! The last one we have!

Specifications (Rifle):

Year of Manufacture: 1891
Caliber: .303 British MkI
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 30.2 Inches

Overall Length: 49.5 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: 8 round single stack magazine

Specifications (Bayonet):
Blade Length: 12"
Blade Style: Double Edged Spear Point
Overall length: 16 3/4“
Crossguard: 2 3/4”
Scabbard Length: 13 1/4"

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