Last week we began our exploration into Winchester Rifles with Part 1 featuring iconic firearms such as the Yellow Boy and Centennial Model. Part 2 of our 2 part series begins here!
Slide Action Rifles & Lever Action Shotguns
The 1890 was a slide-action design in .22 WRF and cartridge shorter than but resembling the .22 Magnum. This was followed by the 1893 slide-action .22 rifle. The Model 1900 was a single-shot .22. A variant followed in the Model 1902. 1893 saw the introduction of the 1893 Lever Action shotgun. This was a first. It was followed by an improved model in the Model 1901 lever gun.
Model 1895 Winchester
The Model 1895 Winchester was a falling block single shot. The Creedmoor Range opened in New York, in 1872. Creedmoor matches held the same prestige in the late 1800’s through about 1917 as golf does today. Another John Moses Browning design it began to dominate the matches. In has been reintroduced in 2005 in modern centerfire cartridges like the .243 Winchester, 30-06 as well as the old soldier the 45-70. 1895 Lee Bolt Action for the Navy and Marine Corp, 6mm Navy until they converted over to the Springfield in .30-06.
Winchester 1886 & 71
Browning’s skills were tapped for the 1886 design. A beefed-up action over the weaker linkage of the 1876 which handled the black powder cartridges with aplomb, it the 1886 was just plain stronger. It could handle the 45-70 Government, .45-90 and 50-110 Buffalo Express cartridges. 1903 saw it chambered for the smokeless powder .33 WCF. The later Model 71 was a modified 1886 for the powerful 348. The Model 71’s 348 cartridge and its wildcat the 348 neck blown out to accept the .45 caliber bullets and making the 450 Alaskan, a premium and much sort after combo for the Alaskan wilderness.
Model 1892 & 1894 Winchester
The Model 1892 is the iconic rifle in most all of the western movies, even standing in for the 1873. A return to its roots it was chambered is the short handgun compatible cartridges. The action is a very strong scaled down 1886 and suitable for smokeless loadings. Over a million were made, and the 1892 was a favorite down in South America. The 1894 was the first rifle produced to take advantage of smokeless powders and was introduced in the ubiquitous .30-30 came later but the .32-40, .38-55 and later the 32 Winchester Special. A beefed up later version got the .375 Winchester.
Model 1895 Winchester
The 1895 left the tubular magazine and adopted the box magazine which allowed pointed spitzer bullets and cartridges like 30-40 Krag, .303 British, 30-03 and 30-06 Springfield, 7.62x54R Russian and the .405 Winchester, T. Roosevelt’s favorite African cartridge for lions.
Model 1897 Trench Gun, 88 & 9422
The 1897 Slide-action shotgun was introduced. A model of this was militarized and used in the 1st World War and nicknamed the ‘Trench Sweeper’, it was said that if the Germans captured an American armed with the 1897 shotgun they were summerly executed, it was that effective. The Model 88 was Winchester’s last all-new lever gun. It used a rotating lug bolt, load through a detachable magazine and chambered in .243, .284, .308 and .350 Winchester cartridges. It seized production in 1973. Last is the .22 Long Rifle digesting Model 9422 in or .22 Mag in 9422M.
Winchester Lever Action Rifles
This rounds out the list of Winchester lever-guns. Except for the Savage Model 99, no other lever action rifle caught the imagination and the hearts of forest or brush hunters like the Winchesters. Winchester produced several designs that where popular and many still around today. This is not an exhaustive list, concentrating models introduced in the 19th century. Josh Randall, Steve McQueen in Wanted Dead or Alive carried a cut down model 1892 “Mare’s Leg” in the series. As mentioned this was chambered in handgun compatible cartridges but McQueen had .30-30 rounds in his belt loops.