The M1895 Lee Navy was a rifle well ahead of it's time - a smallbore (6mm) straight-pull bolt action adopted by the US Navy at the same time that the US Army was adopting the Krag-Jorgenson. The Lee Navy was designed by James Paris Lee (the same man who designed the Lee Enfield action), and was a limited commercial success for Winchester with 20,000 being sold in total. Half of those went to the US Navy, and they were issued to shipboard armories and Marine Corps units. One of the ships which received an allotment of Lee Navy rifles was the USS Maine, and its rifles were on board when she exploded and sank in the Havana harbor, helping to start the Spanish-American War. Several dozen of these rifles were salvaged shortly after the sinking (it happened in less than 50 feet of water) and were sold on the commercial market by the Francis Bannerman company. This rifle is one of those few documented to have come off the Maine, making it a fantastic piece of history.
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Category: Firearm Reviews Uploaded: 02/26/2015