This feature appears in the June ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.
This Lee-Metford .303 rifle was the choice of an Australian sharpshooter and was specially accurized by Harry Motton, a noted gunsmith of Sydney. During WWI, early optics were often eschewed in favor of more reliable iron sights for rifles, although observers had telescopes to mark bullet impact. This bolt-action rifle, used in pre-war competitive shooting, was to accompany the Australian marksman as he headed off to war in 1914, with a pause for training in Egypt. This sharpshooter ended up being sent to the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915, and it was there he served as a sniper.
After this sharpshooter was hit by sniper fire, his fellow soldier recovered the rifle, then brought it home and maintained it in his collection. It resided there until recently, when it was donated to the NRA National Firearms Museum.
The NRA National Firearms Museum at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va.; the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo.; and the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, N.M.; each have fine selections of historic arms on display. Admission to each is free, and donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, visit nramuseums.com, phone (703) 267-1600 or email [email protected].