Original Canadian WWI Mk.I U.S. Marked Ross Rifle Bayonet with Scabbard in Canvas Frog - dated 1909
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 By 1916, the rifle had been withdrawn from front line service, but continued to be used by many snipers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force until the end of the war due to its exceptional accuracy.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, and is in very good condition. A flat spring was sometimes inserted inside the muzzle ring to remedy problems with the bayonet separating from the rifle. The bayonet itself is dated 6 - 09 for June 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 1910, and is in very good shape. The original factory grind marks can be seen in areas of the hollow ground blade, though it has been sharpened a bit. It also does have some staining and light peppering on the bright blade. The lock mechanism functions correctly, though the barrel ring spring is missing.
The scabbard for this bayonet is in good condition, but does show age. The top of the throat is marked with a proof marks, and other markings, including an issue date of 11.13. The scabbard's leather body has some worn markings, next to a date of 1909. The scabbard is complete with most stitching intact, and the expected wear to the leather from being over 100 years old. It also has a very nice canvas frog, which is different from the leather frogs we have usually seen on these scabbards. The throat under the canvas has unfortunately oxidized significantly.
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 was accepted into U.S. Army service, as indicated by the U.S. surcharges on the wood of the grip.
An very example of a rare bayonet, with an interesting history and signs of real use. Ready to add to your collection!
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