Highwood Classic Arms

Classic Target & Sporting Rifles



BSA Lee Speed
Pattern Sporting Rifle
Retailed by W Richards Preston
Calibre .303
Circa 1900
Price: £695

Very Good Condition
The Early versions of the Lee-Metford and Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifles that were sold commercially were required to carry acknowledgement of the patent holders for the designs used. The inventor of the bolt-action was the renowned, James Paris Lee. Joseph Speed was a senior manager at the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock between 1891 and 1909. He was closely involved in the production and manufacture of the Lee-actioned rifles for the British military,
and made improvements to the action. It become customary for the factory Superintendents to make the applications for designs and alterations in their own name.
Those rifles built by various manufacturers for commercial sale were hence marked

This particular rifle is in nice condition, the metal work has the superior finish which has fine ornate engraving to the action, butt plate, trigger guard & magazine. The barrel has express sights. The woodwork is fine selected walnut which is chequered at the wrist & fore-end & has a horn tipped fore-end. There is a silver escutcheon on the lower butt.

There has been some surface corrosion on a small part of the barrel next to the sling eyelet, trigger guard, bolt knob & a little on the bolt safety.

The rifling is Enfield pattern and the bore rates as good, but with loss of brightness in the bottom of the grooves.
The bore gauges at 0.3055”

A Great Opportunity to own a nice Lee Speed Sporting Rifle from the period when Britain still had an Empire

The history of W Richards goes back to the 1800’s, they were patronised by royalty from all over the British Empire, including HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, and HSH Prince Adolphus of Teck, who relinquished his German titles in 1917 to become Marquess of Cambridge.

The company, originally formed in London in 1801, then after a brief spell in Birmingham finally settled in Liverpool.
They later opened a branch in Melbourne, Australia in 1853 and then, further branches in England in Preston, Lancashire in 1897.

In 1910 Richards purchased William’s & Powell Gun makers, which incorporated Patrick, the famous pistol makers, a further acquisition followed in 1924 of James H. Hooton Gunsmiths.
Richards are still in business and is currently located in East Yorkshire