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There were many different versions of the Ross straight-pull bolt action rifle made and adopted by the Canadian military. However, the version that Sir Charles Ross thought would be best was only ever made as a small run of prototypes. this rifle was called the Military Match M10, in .280 Ross caliber.
The .280 Ross was a powerful cartridge on par with 7mm Remington Magnum, firing a 140 grin bullet at 3000 fps. This made it very flat-shooting, which Ross saw as ideal for minimizing range estimation errors. Ross’ military experience had been in the Boer War, where long range individual marksmanship was perhaps as important as in any other modern military conflict. For his idea rifle, he used his M1910 action with a Mauser-style 5-round double-column flush magazine, a finely adjustable rear sight with an aperture for precision shooting but also a notch sight for snap shots. He gave a it a 26 inch barrel – longer than many of the rifles being adopted in the early 1900s, but long enough to have good ballistics and a very long sight radius.
Ross presented his rifle to the Canadian and British militaries, but it was not accepted, because of the British retention of the .303 cartridge if for no other reason. Only about two dozen were made, with serial numbers in the 102XX range. Only perhaps half of those still exist today, and it’s a rare treat to be able to examine this one!
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