~ Introduction ~


~ The Lee-Speed Rifle ~

A heartfelt ‘welcome’ to my modest project dedicated to the Lee-Speed rifle.  You may be familiar with this classic firearm but like many shooting enthusiasts, this may be a journey of discovery, as indeed it was for me the first time I laid eyes on this hansom rifle.  As you will read the name Lee-Speed is not an official nomenclature but rather a term that has been adopted by the shooting community and now forever associated with this rifle in all its various models, patterns and variations.  As for my own passion, I cannot claim to be either an expert or prolific collector and thus far, the few examples I have been able to obtain are all of the sporting pattern of rifle, so my apologies in advance for the lack of examples of other patterns.  Perhaps in time and with a little luck, I will be able to feature those patterns not yet represented on these pages.

Manufactured and offered commercially as either a sporting, officers private purchase or military pattern target rifle.  These were all built around the same action as the Lee-Metford military rifle which was itself accepted into British military service in 1888.  These rifles were offered commercially from around 1892 through to the 1930‘s.  The Lee-Speed was predominantly produce by the same companies that also fulfilled military contracts, namely B.S.A. (Birmingham Small Arms) and L.S.A. (London Small Arms).  They were not converted military rifles as is sometimes mistakenly believed but newly manufactured commercial rifles made to a very high standard and sold through some of the finest sporting gun retailers of the day, often being finished by those prestigious gun-makers to their own (or customers) specifications.  Such well known companies as: Greener, Manton, Evans and also Wilkinson to name but a few.

Today these rifles are quite scarce, little remembered and often miss-understood.  My motivation behind this modest web-based project is to highlight these wonderful and little understood early Lee pattern rifles and to share a few of my own examples, insights and research.

For those visitors that have found there way directly to this website, it may be of interest to know that my main website content is on the topic of the Fairbairn-Sykes or British Commando Knife.  You can navigate to these areas via the links on the lefthand side of the main navigation bar at top.

I hope you enjoy exploring these pages and please, if you have any questions or just want to chat about the Lee-Speed, always feel free to drop me a line.

Cheerio and happy collecting,

Roy .

A Fine No1 Pattern Lee-Speed Sporting Rifle


William Evans Of London

My fascination with this classic rifle is far reaching but for the most part revolves around the intriguing concept that these rifles were a commercial evolution of a military pattern, namely the Lee-Metford, also known by its original formal designation the ‘Magazine Rifle Mark I’.  The basic premiss of what we now refer to as the ‘Lee-Speed’ is a rifle that utilizes the military action of the Lee-Metford but in a rifle that was built specifically for the commercial market.

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The Lee-Speed Rifle
The Sporting PatternThe_Lee-Speed_Rifle_Sporting_Pattern.html
The Trade PatternThe_Lee-Speed_Rifle_Trade_Pattern.html
The Military PatternThe_Lee-Speed_Rifle_Military_Pattern.html
Featured Sporting RiflesThe_Lee-Speed_Rifle_Featured_Sporting_Rifles.html

Featured Trade Rifles

Featured Military Pattern RiflesThe_Lee-Speed_Rifle_Featured_Military_%26_Target_Rifles.html
What’s In A NameThe_Lee-Speed_Whats_In_A_Name.html
Lee-Speed Rifle PatternsThe_Lee-Speed_Rifle_Patterns.html
Historic PhotographsThe_Lee-Speed_%26_Lee-Metford_Rifles_Historic_Photographs.html

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