That straight-pull, tho

116 Years Ago: Gun drill at Newport, Rhode Island, July 5, 1906.

Photographed by Enrique Mueller. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. PR-3-Box-33-5

Note the white summer jumpers, which were at the time service dress, and broad dixie cups (rather than flat caps) as well as landing force leggings and belts, the latter complete with bayonet scabbards. Besides the trio of 3-inch landing guns in use, and the cutlasses of the blue-coated officers, the rifles appear to be M1895 Lee Navy models.

A straight-pull .236-caliber rifle designed by James Paris Lee and built by Winchester, only about 15,000 were made, with most of those going to the Navy.

U.S. Navy sailor from the 1900s with Lee rifle in landing party gear, posing by a landing gun.

Marine Barracks Norfolk, Virginia. No date on the photo but are armed with 1895 Lee Navy Rifles

Unpopular, it nonetheless saw service with the Navy and Marines in the Spanish–American War (some were in the USS Maine’s small arms locker) and securing of the Philippines as well as in the Boxer Rebellion. Supplemented by the Krag and finally replaced by the M1903 Springfield after 1907, the Navy had a few Lees still on hand well into the 1920s when they were finally disposed of.

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