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WW2 Ross Sevice Rifle Handbook | Compass Library

Ross Service Rifle Handbook

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GALE & POLDEN Ltd, Aldershot, c.1940

An original WW2 MK III Ross Service Rifle handbook, published by Gale & Polden around 1940. This fold-out format booklet is a concise guide to the handling and mechanism of the Ross Service Rifle, primarily used by the allied armies as a sniping rifle during WW1 and WW2. The booklet includes excellent diagrams of the parts and mechanism of the rifle.

The Ross rifle was a straight-pull bolt action .303 inch calibre rifle produced in Canada from 1903 until 1918. it was never widely accepted during WW1, mainly due to problems with its bolt: careless reassembly after cleaning often led to the bolt being ejected into the firer’s face the next time the weapon was used. The British S.M.L.E. was not prone to this problem, and was much more tolerant of the sort of abuse it received in trench warfare.

The close chamber tolerances, lack of primary extraction and overall length made the Mk III Ross rifle unsuitable for the conditions of trench warfare and the often poor quality ammunition issued. By 1916 the rifle had been withdrawn from front line service, but continued to be used by many snipers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force until the end of the war due to its exceptional accuracy. British snipers found the rifle accurate out to 600 yards and more, with only one inherent disadvantage: the Ross accepted only perfectly clean ammunition, totally free of mud and grit, or else it invariably jammed. During WW2 the Ross was used by the Home Guard, the Canadian Navy and many Home Defence and Coastal units.


In fair to good condition. The card cover is in fair condition with general signs of use and some marks. The stapled binding is secure, although the original staples are rusty. The text and illustrations are in good condition with a few marks.

Published: c.1940
Dimensions: 80mm x 175mm
Grey card covers with Black titling
Pages: 16 (arranged in a fold-out format)
Illustrated with line drawings & diagrams