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INT’L – OPINION – The Infamous Ross Rifle: This Might Just Be the Worst Gun Of All Time

With constant jamming and no interchangeable parts, the rifle proved near useless for battlefield soldiers. Key Point: A bad gun with a bad buying contract caused hell for British soldiers entering World War I. At the turn of the 20th century, Canada was dependent on Great Britain for rifles to equip her army. In 1901, however, a request by the Canadian government to purchase 15,000 Lee-Enfield Mark I rifles from Britain was denied. The British were in the process of upgrading and replacing rifles used in the Boer War, and with first priority given to arming their own troops, there were no rifles to spare at the moment for the North American commonwealth. This rankled Canadians. It was a time of growing nationalist sentiment; many felt that it was time to loosen ties with the mother country and exert more national self-sufficiency. The issue also brought an important question to light. What would Canada do for rifles and other military equipment she depended on from Great Britain, if the vital trans-Atlantic supply line was severed?  [full article]

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