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A Ross "Cadet" rifle is shown below compared with its 'parent' M1910 service rifle. The word 'parent' is used loosely in this context, where perhaps 'uncle' would be more suitable, since the cadet rifle bears a similar relationship to its big brother as does the 1906 Pattern War Office Miniature rifle to the S.M.L.E (Rifle, Short, Magazine Lee-Enfield) .303 British service rifle - in that the full and miniature versions of each carry no common parts.
Shortly before the .303-inch calibre Ross Mk.III Service Rifle went into production in November 1912, Ross had produced his Cadet Model in .22 rimfire. In that year, the Canadian Government gave the Company an order for 10,000 of these rifles, and delivery commenced in 1913 to the Militia, continuing for three years.*
The Cadet rifle - with long military woodwork. A shortened fore-end sporting/target rifle also became available.
Many of these rifles subsequently found their way to the United Kingdom, in both military and sporting guise.
Above: the boltway; the bolt has a simple single extractor and a slot in the bottom of the forward section which runs over the ejector in the bottom of the receiver.
For anyone unclear as to the meaning of the term "straight-pull", it simply refers to a bolt opening and closing system in which the bolt handle is merely drawn or pulled straight backwards and pushed forwards to respectively open, or to close and lock, the action for loading. More usually, bolt-actioned rifles require that a turning motion be applied, to the bolt-handle, to lock and unlock the bolt to to or from the action on opening or closing. The Ross rifle and the Swiss Schmidt-Rubin rifle are the most well known designs of this nature.
The full-bore .303in Ross M10 rifles were fitted with the Ross aperture rear-sight as also used on the Cooey adaptation of the sight for use with a S.M.L.E. when converted to an Enfield No.2 .22RF training rifle. An aperture rear-sight was therefore fitted to the Cadet training rifle. To permit the use of the rifle with open sights, the aperture sight could be rotated through 90 degrees out of the way.
Below: several variations of fore-sight have been seen; a ramped barleycorn, a tunnel foresight, and this example which has been fitted with the swivel-hooded fore-sight from a British War Office Pattern Miniature rifle.
The rifle can be easily disassembled by undoing the rear barrel sling swivel/bedding screw and the screw holding the nose-cap onto the fore-end woodwork.
Below: the simple trigger mechanism and, in front of the trigger, the bolt locking release lever which lies in a slot at the front of the trigger-guard and has to be pressed, by a finger in front of the guard ant therefore clear of the trigger, in order to release the bolt after firing. The 'straight-pull' action of the Cadet rifle is therefore a comparatively simple design and fabrication - quite unlike the complex bolt of the Ross Service rifle.
Another comparison, below, is made between the actions and bolts of the M1910 and Cadet rifles.
It is worthwhile noting that the complicated and expensive to manufacture interrupted-thread forward-locking bolt-head of the M1910 was not replicated on the Cadet rifle, although the design was emulated many years later by the team at the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock for the 1937 acceptance of the World War II "Boys Anti-Tank Rifle". A further interesting association between these two rifles was the adaptation of the.303" CF Ross rifle to a training rifle for the .55" calibre Boys A.T.R. in Canadian Forces employment. This subject is further detailed on the Boys ATR page linked above.
These two images, left and right, are of the
original fitment foresight
(by courtesy of Chris Smith)
Below left: the aperture rear-sight raised for use and, right; turned away to permit use of the 'V' notched open rear-sight.
The open rear-sight is of a common design similar to that used on a number of B.S.A. small-bore target and sporting rifles
The Ross butt-plate, with the trap inverted in relation to the more common configuration for
British Service and training rifles - including the War Office Pattern Miniature rifle,
but faithfully emulating the butt configuration of its full-bore .303" Service counterpart.
The Enfield Pattern Room example is shown below
The above pair of images are by courtesy of the Enfield Pattern Room
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* "The Ross Rifle Story", p56.