M1885 Remington–Lee

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M1885 Remington–Lee
Type Rifle
Place of origin United States
Production history
Designer James Paris Lee
Manufacturer Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company
Produced 1879-1892
Caliber .45-70 Government, .43 Spanish
Action Bolt action
Feed system Box magazine

The M1885 Remington–Lee (also known as the M1885 Lee, and "Navy M1885") is a bolt-action, box magazine repeating rifle designed principally by James Paris Lee.


It first appeared in 1879, manufactured by the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company. Eventually Remington took over production and produced copies in .45-70. Arguably the most modern rifle in the world until the introduction of the 8 mm smokeless powder using Lebel M1886 rifle, the Lee utilized the first successful detachable box magazine, unlike the Lebel which still used a tube magazine.

The design was incorporated by the British into the Lee–Metford and Lee–Enfield rifles, thereby becoming one of the most widely used rifle designs of the 20th century. Remington's version of the Model 1879 saw only limited use by the U.S. Navy and the Model 1882 was tested by U.S. Army and issued on a very limited scale.[1] Ultimately, it was passed up in favor of the Krag–Jørgensen in 1892.

New Zealand purchased 500 for its militia in 1887, these were chambered in Remington's .43 Spanish (11.15×58mmR) caliber. These were quickly replaced after complaints about ammunition quality.[2]


  1. ^ http://milpas.cc/rifles/ZFiles/Bolt%20Action%20Rifles/M1885%20Remington-Lee%20US%20Navy/The%20US%20Militry%20Remington-Lee.html
  2. ^ Scarlata, Paul. The Military Rifle Cartridges of New Zealand. Shotgun News, 2008, Volume 62, number 28, p. 18.
  • .45-70 Rifles by Jack Behn. C1958 by Stackpole Publishing.
  • Small Arms of the World by WHB Smith and Joseph Smith.