Back in the last quarter of the last century, I had some experience with a Lee Navy sporter in pretty grimy condition. I'd never before handled a Lee Navy & this one had a steep learning curve. It had apparently spent 40+ years behind the seat of a Model A (or earlier) ranch pickup & was encrusted with hardened grease, oil & dust. The bolt release had so much crap on it that I didn't even know it was there.
When I finally figured out how to remove the bolt, I had a flash back. 25 years earlier, I had received military instruction in the care & feeding of the US M-1918 Browning Automatic Rifle. It came to me that internally, the BAR looked a lot like a Lee Navy with the bolt turned upside down and operated by a gas-driven piston. Encase the bolt in a steel box with the locking lug seat on top, coincidentally protecting the shooter, and feed the thing from a box magazine. Voila!
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