Book Review: The Ross Rifle Story

“The Ross Rifle Story” is the Bible of Ross rifle collecting – it is the only substantial reference work on the subject and it has a tremendous amount of information about the development of the Ross. However, it is also one of the worst-edited firearms reference books I am aware of. It has a second Table of Contents on page 85 – need I say more than that?

Well, I will. The photographs are black and white and often too dark or too light. Beyond it really being two separate manuscripts printed back to back, the organization is really lacking. Finding information in the book is sometimes very difficult, as the subject matter jumps around a lot. The story of the Ross – especially separating the civilian and military development – is a pretty complicated one, and even a well-edited book on the subject might be a bit difficult to parse. This book is really bad at times.

But for all that, it *does* have the information (with only a few errors), and it’s the only book that does. If you are interested in the Ross, this is a must-have book despite its problems.

A second printing was run in 2002, and not much effort was put into marketing it. Despite the online prices all being $300+, the seller still has a couple dozen copies remaining as of this writing. To order one (for $100 plus shipping, via PayPal) email him at .



  1. I bought one of these right when they were first re-printed. Since I lived near Toronto at the time, I was able to arrange to meet the publisher in person to pick up my copy, so I saved the shipping.

    The first bit in the book about Sir Charles himself is also quite fascinating, but I totally agree that the organization of the book is terrible. On the other hand, there are little gems of info, like about the match ammunition developed for it etc. There is also a good bit of info on the Huot.

    I don’t for a minute regret buying this book, even though I still don’t actually have a Ross rifle in my collection.

    • The Lindsay reprint booklet is well worth the money, if you can find a copy.

      I think I paid several times that figure for my copy, a dozen years ago or more.

      C.H.A.F.L. Ross (just burden your child with all of those names in the hope that all of the uncles and friends with those names will leave him lots of lands and money), does seem to have been a dilettante arms designer.

      I’ll grant that Gabett Fairfax’ patents are frequently even more outlandish than C.H.A.F.L.’s,

      And, C.H.A.F.L.’s creations did have excellent success on the target shooting range, were very influential in inspiring the first 7mm short magnum on the .404 Jeffery headsize (about 70 years before winchester and remmington brought the same idea out), and inspired the abysmal P13 rifle.

      With over a century of hindsight, The Ross story is an incredibly interesting story of exactly how not to go about selecting a service rifle

      And how not to correct the mistake when you have found out that you have made a big mistake.

  2. Just heard back from from Michael and he is out of books:


    Ian McCollum indicated that there were limited quantities of “The Ross Rifle Story” by Phillips, Dupuis & Chadwick available. The book was a 2002 reprint of the original 1984 publication. Unfortunately, the reprints have now sold out!

    I am in the process of sourcing a printer to reprint the book and hope to have stock in the near future. I will keep your information on file and let you know when the book is available.

    Thanks for your interest…and I will try to accommodate your order as soon as possible.


  3. I have 2 Ross rifles. One a sporterized 1910 in 303 with no serial number. It had a scope mounted on it when I bought it from a texas seller. I have just procured a sporting rifle 1910 in .280 Ross. Have made a copy of the scope mount that was on the 303. Will mount it using original screw holes without drilling & tapping. Ammo is difficult to procure but want to shoot it.

  4. Hi everyone,
    As a student who is interested in writing essays about firearms and their history, I recently came across “The Ross Rifle Story.” As the author mentioned, this book is considered the Bible of Ross rifle collecting, and it contains a wealth of information about the development of the Ross.
    However, while the book is a valuable resource, it is also one of the worst-edited firearms reference books I have come across. The photographs are in black and white and often not very clear, and the organization of the book is lacking, making it difficult to find information at times. Despite these issues, the book remains the only substantial reference work on the subject and is essential for anyone writing about the Ross rifle.
    When writing essays, it is important to have accurate and reliable sources, and although this book may have some flaws, it still contains a wealth of information. That being said, it is important to double-check information from multiple sources to ensure accuracy and to avoid spreading misinformation. I post my texts here
    if someone is interested in this subject.
    I also noticed that a second printing was run in 2002, but it seems like not much effort was put into marketing it. Despite online prices being high, there are still a few dozen copies available.
    What are your thoughts on this book and its usefulness in essay writing? Have any of you used it as a reference before?

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