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Winchester Repeating Arms - Firearms

Oliver Winchester was not a gun designer. He was a clothing manufacturer who financed the design and production of Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson’s Volcanic lever-action pistol and rifle. The company was named Volcanic Repeating Arms and Winchester was one of the major stockholders. Smith and Wesson eventually left the company to put up their own gun manufacturing company (Smith & Wesson).

The Volcanic Rifle Company’s success was limited. The company was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1856 and Oliver Winchester bought the company’s assets and revamped it as the New Haven Arms Company in 1857. Benjamin Henry of the defunct Volcanic Rifle chose to continue to work for the New Haven Arms Company perfecting the self- contained metallic rimfire cartridge and the .44 Henry round.  He oversaw the design of a new rifle patterned after the Volcanic that will use the new ammunition. This firearm became the Henry Rifle of 1860.  Together with the Spencer rifle, the Henry rifle established the lever-action repeater in the gun market.

Winchester Repeating Arms Company

An altercation between Benjamin Henry and Olive Winchester ensued in 1866. Henry felt his compensation was not enough so he attempted to take over New Haven Arms. Winchester got hold of the situation and immediately reorganized New Haven Arms and acquired the name Winchester Repeating Arms Company. He modified and improved the Henry rifle and came up with the Winchester rifle Model 1866. This rifle uses .44 caliber rimfire cartridges and has wooden forearm and an improved magazine.

The Model 1873 was the first firearm to use the .44-40 Winchester Center Fire (WCF). The 1866 and 1873 belong to the rifle families that basically called the “Gun That Won the West.” A larger version Model 1876 was called the Centennial Model. This firearm uses the same toggle-link action and cartridge elevator patterned from the Henry.  The 1876 was chambered to take in powerful cartridges as the 45-75 WCF, 45-60 WCF and the 50-95 WCF.

Winchester in the First Half of the  20th Century

The competition between Winchester and Browning brought about the production of the first self-loading rifle was on. Winchester came up initially with the .22 rimfire Winchester Model 1903 and later with the Model 1905, 1907, and 1910 rifles. The Model 1911 was designed by Winchester to “outwit” Browning’s patent on the self-loading shotgun.  Next came the classic Winchester Model 1912, Model 54 and Model 52


During World War I Winchester produced the .30-06 M1917 Enfield for the United States and .303 Pattern 1914 Enfield for the UK.  It was also during this time that Browning worked on the final design of the Browning Automatic Rifle or BAR at the Winchester plant.  Close to 30,000 BARs were produced. The Great Depression brought about the decline and fall of Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The c company tried to produce and sell consumer goods such as kitchen appliances and more in order to recoup its losses. The strategy did not work that the Winchester Company went bankrupt. The Olin family of Western Cartridge Company bought Winchester to initially become the Winchester-Western Company (1935) and then to Winchester-Western Division of Olin Industries in 1944. This brought about design and production of Model 52 Sporter and the Model 21 double-barreled shotgun. For a time Winchester thrive.

During World War II, Winchester produced the M1 carbine. The gun company also produced the M! Garand Rifle and the M14 rifle which makes Winchester the first civilian manufacturer of the said rifle.

Decline and Fall of Winchester

By the 1960s, automation was the norm in the field of manufacturing. This process made a particular product cheaper to manufacturer which translates to cheaper product. The production of Winchester firearms took considerable hand-work that they cost more to make.  The flagship models 12 pump shotgun and 70 bolt-action rifle were machine-forged and therefore expensive. Winchester veered towards cast-and -stamped designs much like Remington guns. Unfortunately the result was catastrophic. The new line of guns was deemed cheap and sub-standard by experts and gun aficionados.  Winchester firearms made from 1964 up were considered less valuable than pre-1964 models then.

In 1980, the Winchester plant in New Haven was sold to its employees thus the US Repeating Arms Company was founded with a license to produce Winchester brand guns. The Olin family retained the rights to manufacture Winchester ammunition and ownership of the Winchester trademark. The firm eventually folded was acquired by Belgian Herstal Group which also owns the Browning Arms Company and  Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal (FN).

The New Haven plant of the US Repeating Arms was finally closed in 2006.  It was also announced that the Model 94 rifle and the Model 70 rifle and 1300 shotgun were to be discontinued.

Revival of Winchester Firearms

The Olin Corporation, before the close of year 2006, entered an agreement with Browning to manufacture Winchester brand shotguns and rifles. The Miroku Corporation of Japan produced the Model 1892, 1886 lever action and 1885 falling block action while Browning imported them back to the United States.

In 2008 Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal produced the Model 70 rifles in its plant in South Carolina. In 2010 FN revived the production of the Model 1894. The Winchester 1300 also evolved into the new Winchester SXP.

To date, Winchester brand rifles are the Model 70, Model 94, Model 1895, Model 1886, Model 71 and Model 1892. Under shotguns are the Super X3, Super X2, Model 101 and the SXP.

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  • Model 101 Light

    The new Model 101 Light weighs a pound less than other 101 models. The 26" model is 6 l...

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  • Model 101 Pigeon Grade Trap

    A wide 10mm steel runway rib, mid-bead sight and TRUGLO TRU-BEAD interchangeable fibe...

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  • Model 101 Pigeon Grade Trap...

    A wide 10mm steel runway rib, mid-bead sight and TRUGLO TRU-BEAD interchangeable fibe...

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  • Model 101 Pigeon Sporting

    The Model 101 Pigeon Sporting shotgun. Proven .742" Back-Bored Technology, combined wit...

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  • Select Deluxe Field

    Lightweight profile barrels swing fast and fit precisely with the low-profile receiver....

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  • Select EnergyTrap

    The lightweight barrels are highly polished and feature porting and vented side ribs. A...

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  • Select EnergyTrap' Adjustab...

    1 1/4" to 1 3/4" adjustability at comb. The lightweight barrels are highly polished and...

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  • Select Model 101 Field

    Sight down the lightweight barrels and the solid brass bead front sight is immediately ...

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  • Select Model 101 Sporting

    This classically-inspired over and under includes a long list of high-performance featu...

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  • Select Platinum Field

    Trim new stock dimensions and a thin new grip provide control and performance you’ll no...

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  • Select Platinum Sporting

    New, trimmer stock dimensions bring a lighter feel for faster handling. An adjustable t...

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  • Speed Pump Defender

    Easy to pack and carry, handling buckshot or rifled slugs efficiently through the fully...

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  • Speed Pump Shadow Field

    Rugged reliability with a non-glare matte finish on the barrel and receiver that won’t ...

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  • Speed Pump Walnut Field

    The Walnut Field features an elegant, gloss-finished walnut stock and forearm with cut ...

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  • SuperX2 NWTFTurkey

    Metal TRUGLO sights and sling swivel studs are standard. The .742" Back-Bored Technolo...

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  • SuperX2 Practical MK l

    A TRUGLO fiber-optic front sight helps pick up targets fast. The Standard Invector cho...

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  • SuperX2 Signature Red

    Velvety Dura-Touch Armor Coating improves your grip and protects the red finish. The s...

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  • SuperX2 Sporting Clays

    Two gas pistons are provided to cover the full range of factory ammunition. The .742" B...

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  • SuperX2 Universal HunterT

    Extra features include the protective Dura-Touch Armor Coating on the weather-resistan...

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  • SuperX3 All Purpose Field

    The Super X3 All-Purpose Field 3 1/2. The gas-operated Active Valve System cycles a wid...

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  • SuperX3 All - Purpose Field

    The bolt is plated with electroless nickel for added corrosion resistance, while the fa...

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  • SuperX3 Classic Field

    Introduce yourself to the new Winchester Super X3 Classic Field — the newest autoloader...

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  • SuperX3 Compact Field

    The Super X3 Compact Field receiver is Aluminum alloy, Gunmetal gray with Perma Cote UT...

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  • SuperX3 Composite

    742" Back-Bored Technology works with the Invector-Plus choke tube system to provide co...

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  • SuperX3 Field

    Trim grip and forearm dimensions add to the lightweight, fast handling feeling. The .74...

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  • SuperX3 Flanigun

    Super X3 Flanigun Exhibition/Sporting Everything about the Super X3 is designed for spe...

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  • SuperX3 Flanigun Exhibition...

    The Super X3 makes fast follow-up shots possible because of the reduced felt recoil fro...

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  • SuperX3 Gray Shadow

    The Super X3 Gray Shadow. The distinctive and durable gunmetal gray Perma-Cote UT (Ultr...

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  • SuperX3 NWTF

    Super X3 NWTF Cantilever Extreme Turkey with a TRUGLO Red Dot scope! The Active Valve ...

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  • SuperX3 Rifled Deer Cantile...

    The Super X3 Rifled Deer Cantilever Mossy Oak Break up Infinity receiver is Aluminum al...

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  • SuperX3 Sporting Adjustable

    The Receiver is Aluminum alloy, Nickel plated. Barrel is Ventilated rib, Perma Cote UT ...

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  • SuperX3 Walnut Field

    The Super X3 Field weighing 6.75 pounds thanks to a weight saving magazine tube and rec...

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  • SuperX3 Waterfowl

    The bolt is plated with electroless nickel for added corrosion resistance and the barre...

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  • Model 70 Coyote Light

    The new Winchester Coyote Light is the rifle to take along for varmint and target shoot...

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  • Model 1885 LowWall

    Steel; Drilled and tapped for scope

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  • Wildcat BoltAction 22

    One 5-round and three 10-round magazines are included.

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  • WildcatTarget/Varmint

    The receiver is drilled and tapped for bases, as well as grooved for mounting a scope. ...

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  • Model 70 Featherweight Deluxe

    The legendary handling and quickness of the Model 70 Featherweight Deluxe is justly fam...

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  • Model 70 Stainless Featherw...

    Receiver is Stainless steel. Barrel is Stainless steel, Matte finish, Free floating, Ta...

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  • Model 70 Featherweight

    The Model 70 action offers Pre-’64 style Controlled Round Feeding, a three-position saf...

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  • Model 70 Sporter

    The Sporter features a satin finish Grade I walnut stock with cut checkering on its tri...

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  • Model 70 Sporter Deluxe

    The Sporter Deluxe features a satin finished walnut stock with cut checkering on its tr...

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  • Model 70 Ultimate Shadow

    Model 70 Ultimate Shadow, with integrated, rubberized, oval-dot gripping surfaces on th...

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  • SuperX Rifle

    The receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounting bases.

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  • SXR Grade ll

    The ultra-fast cycling, gas-operated action reduces recoil for comfortable shooting eve...

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  • Model 70 Super Grade

    The warm grain and figure of the fancy grade walnut stock complement the contrasting bl...

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  • Model 1894 Custom Grade

    What better way to welcome back the timeless Winchester Model 1894 than with a tribute ...

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  • Model 1894 High Grade

    The Winchester Model 1894 High Grade also honors and commemorates the 200th anniversary...

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  • Model 94 Short Rifle

    The new Winchester Model 94 Short Rifle has a compact 20" deeply-blued round barrel and...

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  • Model 94 Sporter

    With traditional straight grip stock with a crescent butt and blued steel buttplate. No...

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  • Model 1895 Grade l

    The Model 1895 Grade I has a deeply blued receiver, lever, straight buttplate and barre...

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  • 1885 High Wall Safari Octagon

    Receiver is Steel, Drilled and tapped for tang sight.Barrel is Gloss blued, Octagon.Sto...

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  • Model 70 Extreme Weather SS

    The Bell and Carlson composite stock features a textured charcoal grey matte finish for...

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  • Model 70 Stealth

    Receiver is Steel, Matte blued. Barrel is Matte blued, Heavy contour, Target Crown. Act...

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  • Model 1895 Safari Centennia...

    The Model 1895 was the first successful box magazine lever-action repeater ever placed ...

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  • Model 1895 Safari Centennia...

    Model1895 High Grade The Winchester Model 1895 High Grade also honors and commemorates ...

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  • Model 70 Safari Express

    The Model 70 Safari Express in a matte blued finish, handles heavy cartridges. With the...

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  • John Wayne 100th Anniversar...

    The John Wayne Custom Grade Model 1892 rifles are offered with tasteful gold-tone embel...

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  • John Wayne 100th Anniversar...

    The High Grade is a limited edition of only 4,000 rifles, each highly embellished with ...

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  • 1892 TrapperTakedown

    Receiver is Steel, High polish gloss blued. Barrel is 16 inch gloss blued; Octagon. Act...

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  • Model 1892 Carbine

    The Winchester Model 1892 has been featured in many Western movies and was the favorite...

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  • Model 1892 Short

    Receiver is Steel, Gloss blued. Barrel is Round, 20 inch, Gloss blued. Action is Lever,...

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  • 1885 High Wall 125th Annive...

    Receiver is Steel, Scroll engraving with WRA logo, Drilled and tapped for tang sight. B...

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  • Model 1885 High Wall Tradit...

    John M. Browning told his father one day that he could make a better rifle than the one...

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  • Model 1886 Extra Light Grade l

    A John M. Browning firearm design, the Model 1886 features a deeply blued receiver, lev...

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  • Model 1886 Short Rifle

    The strong and reliable action of the Winchester Model 1886 was designed to handle the ...

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  • Model 1000B

    The Model 1000B delivers power with velocities up to 1000 fps. SAFETY: Rear button. STO...

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  • Model 1000SB

    The Model 1000B features a black composite stock features a Winchester 3-9X 32 fog proo...

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  • Model 1000X

    This Quick-Power break barrel air rifle features a walnut stock. SAFETY: Auto rear butt...

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  • Model 1000XS

    The combination of 1000fps maximum velocity and the uniquely designed Winchester 3-9X32...

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  • Model 1100XSU

    The Winchester Air Rifle model 1100XSU is a .177 caliber pellet rifle that shoots with ...

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  • Model 500 XS

    Kit includes 4 X 32 scope. Shoots .177 cal. pellets. SAFETY: Auto rear button. BARREL: ...

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  • Model 500X

    The break-barrel action is easy to use and delivers outstanding power, with velocities ...

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  • Model 800X

    This Quick-Power break barrel air rifle featuring a walnut stock and a rifled steel bar...

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  • Model 800XS

    This Quick-Power break barrel air rifle featuring a walnut stock and a rifled steel bar...

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  • Model 850XS22

    The Winchester Air Rifle model 850XS22 Break Barrel is a .22 caliber rifle that shoots ...

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