This vintage rifle has an interesting pedigree and a strange home (PHOTOS)
By Chris Eger
You don’t need a yardstick for this one. (Photo: Svalbard Museum)
Designed after a beef with the British government, this curious rifle has done some globe trotting.
Far above the Arctic Circle is Svalbard, an island chain so remote it was chosen to host the apocalyptic Swiss bank account that is the Global Seed Vault. The ice-covered windswept archipelago has both a legit polar bear problem and a small museum, chronicling its role as a weather outpost for Europe proper, the Svalbard Museum. Inside the museum rests this interesting obrez-style rifle, which has been chopped so short that you can almost hear the ATF screeching in the ether when they see one of these images.
If you can’t quite place the action of the rifle, know that it is a Canadian-built Ross straight-pull rifle.
Put into production in Canada after Britain refused to grant the country a license to produce the Enfield rifle, the Ross Rifle Co. produced over 400,000 rifles, mainly for the Canadian and British military just before and during World War I. Chambered in .303 British, the gun was often well-liked by those who used it and very accurate. In fact, some 2,000 were used by snipers in the trenches of