Original Canadian WWI Mk.I Ross Rifle Bayonet and Leather Scabbard with U.S. WWI Surcharges
Original Item: Only One Available. The Ross rifle is a straight-pull bolt action .303 inch-calibre rifle that was produced in Canada from 1903 until 1918. The Ross Mk.II (or "model 1905") rifle was highly successful in target shooting before World War I, but the close chamber tolerances, lack of primary extraction and overall length made the Mk.III (or "1910") Ross rifle unsuitable for the conditions of trench warfare, exacerbated by the often poor quality ammunition issued. By 1916, the rifle had been withdrawn from front line service, but continued to be used by many snipers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force until the end of the war due to its exceptional accuracy.
This is an early Mk. I example, with the extended muzzle ring and the pinned pommel. A flat spring was inserted inside the muzzle ring to remedy problems with the bayonet separating from the rifle. The bayonet itself is dated 5 - 09 for May of 1909, and has proof and acceptance marks stamped into the wood and steel of the handle. The other side of the handle is marked with the manufacturer information:
ROSS RIFLE Co.
Many Ross bayonets had their blade profile drastically altered during WW I to provide a sharper point. However, this example is exactly as it left the Ross Rifle Co., Quebec, Canada factory in 1909, and is in great shape. The original factory grind marks can be seen in the hollow ground blade, and it does not appear to have been sharpened. It's just got one tiny nick in the edge. The lock mechanism functions correctly, and the spring in the barrel ring is still present.
The scabbard for this bayonet is also in wonderful condition. The throat is marked 6. 14. / 50. H.C. 72., and the scabbard leather is stamped with Mk. 1 and dated 1911 next to a Canadian broad Arrow. According to the late Anthony Carter, replacement scabbards were made by the Hugh Carson Company Ltd. of Ottawa, which would explain the H.C. marking. The scabbard is complete with all stitching intact, and the expected wear to the leather from being over 100 years old.
In 1917, the U.S. Government purchased 20,000 Ross rifles and bayonets from Canada. These were intended for use in troop training due to the shortage of rifles and bayonets during the First World War. They were marked with U.S. and the Ordnance Dept. "flaming bomb" acceptance mark. This bayonet and scabbard were both accepted into U.S. Army service, as indicated by the U.S. surcharges on the leather of the scabbard and wood of the grip.
An excellent example of a rare bayonet, with an interesting history. Ready to add to your collection!
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