United States Navy Rifle cover

Lee Not So Straight Pull


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44 shares, 36 points

Winchester Lee Navy Rifle
Winchester Lee Navy Rifle

Q: Can you tell me if the Model 1895 Lee Navy straight-pull rifle was designed by the same guy who designed the Lee-Enfield? Also, did it use a semi-rimmed case similar to that of the later .220 Swift?
Mick Perry

A: Yes, James Paris Lee who designed the action of the Lee- Enfield also designed the 6mm Lee Navy rifle made by Winchester under contract to the U.S Navy. But the Lee wasn’t exactly a straight-pull rifle, but rather a tilt-pull since it had a rectangular bolt that angled upward slightly as the bolt was pulled to the rear. Instead of rotating, lock-up was accomplished by a massive square “locking lug” on the bottom of the rectangular bolt dropping into a recess in the action. I’ve seen it described as an upside-down variation on the Savage 99’s lock- up. I believe that Swift brass can be necked up for the 6mm Lee Navy rifle with no other changes, so it is probably true that the Swift was based on the 6mm Lee case necked down.

6mm Lee Navy


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Nick Harvey

Nick Harvey is one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He has been writing about firearms and hunting for more than 65 years, has published many books and uncounted articles, and has travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject is unmatched. He has been Sporting Shooter's Gun Editor for longer than anyone can remember. Nick lives in rural NSW, Australia.

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