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Old July 14, 2011, 11:15 PM   #1
Ideal Tool
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I wonder what they used it on?

Hello, everyone. I have a question..I have a Winchester-Lee .236 (6mm) straight-pull sporting rifle. Cody letters this rifle as leaving the factory in January 1898. Now I wonder if some eastern dude had of showed up at an old western hunting camp toting this brand new smalbore..Those oldtimers..most of whom had probably cut their teeth on a .54 Hawkin, or at least on one of the big single shot breechloaders..would have asked the dude what he was after? Mice? that poor guy would probably be laughed out of camp! But I wonder.. This rifle used a 112gr. cupronickle jacketed soft point..I have some originals. M.V. was 2,570 fps. It probably would have been at least a decent whitetail load..maybe even antelope..it was an accurate long range number for it's time. It was just too far ahead of time for it's own good..the powders available were too fast & the early nito was erosive on the metford type rifling. I shoot it once in awhile..but only with 100gr. gas-checked cast bullets. Using Trailboss it will shoot 3/4" groups at 50yds. with it's open buckhorn rear & German silver front blade. At 100yds I got an 1 1/4" group. Wish it could talk!
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Old July 14, 2011, 11:37 PM   #2
Mayor Al
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All anyone would have to say to the Big-Gun Oldtimers would be to remind them that Lewis and Clark toted an air-rifle with them on the first hike across the USA. Your 6mm won't be the first small caliber to explore the west !
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Old July 14, 2011, 11:53 PM   #3
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6mm Lee Navy was comparable to the 25-35 Winchester, a pretty well respected cartridge in the West. Sounds pretty anemic nowadays, but consider that they were comparing a 25-35 to rifle cartridges that generated hundreds (not thousands) of foot pounds and had trajectories like rainbows. 6mm Lee was commercially loaded until WW2, so it had a few followers.
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Old July 15, 2011, 06:50 AM   #4
Art Eatman
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By 1898 there were .30-30s, Krags and 7mm Mausers as well as the .25-35 and the Lee. Hmmm--and then the cartridges for the 1895 Winchester, as well.

Just guessing, I'd think the Lee would have been considered mostly for varmints, antelope, deer and wolves.
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Old July 15, 2011, 07:15 AM   #5
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I am going to agree with Art on this one.
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Old July 15, 2011, 10:22 AM   #6
jrothWA
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The Lee rifle was purchased by the USN for..

shipboard use against close-in torpedo boats of that era.

USMC were equipped with them when part of the relief expedition to Beijing during the "Boxer" rebellion.
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Old July 15, 2011, 02:26 PM   #7
Art Eatman
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Yeah, the Lee started out as a Navy deal, but like a lot of rifles there's no telling about the when and where of later travels...

As far as actual use by the Navy for other than training, I'd really have to stretch and guess. Maybe in China? (But the movie "The Sand Pebbles" was already into the Springfield era, wasn't it?) Or, during the banana republic "gunboat diplomacy"? Dangfino.
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Old July 15, 2011, 05:11 PM   #8
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The Sand Pebbles was late 20's era,

as noticed by the use of the Lewis guns and BAR.

My information seems to tend to mostly USN use, and extremely little sporting use.

Try the Winchester collectors forum for additional question and info.
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Old July 15, 2011, 05:38 PM   #9
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By 1898 the heyday of big bore single shots was largely done. The big news of the day was the 7x57 Mauser which had proven to be superior to both the .45/70 Government and the .30 Government (.30/40 Krag) in battlefield conditions. Public opinion is seldom solely informed by fact, otherwise advertising wouldn't work. Military-adopted cartridges have always had a certain advantage over their competitors because of the presumed superiority of the adopted round and the lower cost associated with production schedules measured in hundreds of millions versus hundreds of thousands of units. I expect a dude showing up with a .236 Winchester-Lee would have taken very little abuse on account of his firearm.
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Old July 16, 2011, 07:56 AM   #10
Art Eatman
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http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/i.../t-318969.html

Scroll down to Float Pilot's post.

112-grain bullet at 2,500 ft/sec. So, long bullet, excellent penetration. Good deer/antelope cartridge in its day.

For a picture: http://www.ammo-one.com/6mmLEE.html
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Old July 16, 2011, 08:52 PM   #11
30-30remchester
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Out west where I live, many people quickly adopted anything that would increase a guns killing range. Many shots are at great distances as there is many place with miles of nothing taller than grass, so stalking was difficult to say the least. I would have to reread the book "OLD MOSE" to determine the year a 6mm LeNavy was used against the most famous killer grizzly to walk the mountains of Colorado.
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Old July 16, 2011, 09:28 PM   #12
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Hello, 30-30remchester. I too have read about old mose..years ago, but didn't remember about the 6mm Win.-Lee used. That would be very interesting to find out! I do seem to recal about another killer grizzly, around turn of century, seemed to be in north west. Found fellow with bunch of fired .46-56 Spencer rimfires around body.
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Old July 16, 2011, 10:32 PM   #13
30-30remchester
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Ideal Toll, it has been years since I read the book myself. I do recall two hunters were after Old Mose, one used the Lee Navy and the other used a 30-40 Krag. I cant remember which hunter used which gun. Utah's most famous grizzly Ole Empriam (spelled incorrectly but close) was killed by a sheep rancher shooting a 25-35 the ballistics equivalant to the 6mm Lee Navy.
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Old July 17, 2011, 09:29 AM   #14
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Ephraim.

From Wiki, Ephraim was, according to the Book of Genesis, the second son of Joseph and Asenath. Asenath was an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph as wife.

Now you know. There will be a test, next period.
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