Author Topic: 1880s Winchester Sling  (Read 389 times)

Offline Little Dalton

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1880s Winchester Sling
« on: January 09, 2023, 01:42:00 PM »
I know there are some fellows in here that are just as fanatical as I am about authenticity, and there's a lot more knowledge than my piddlin' amount- so here's my project: I need to make a sling that would be correct for the rare swivel-equipped early 3rd model 1873 Winchester ca. 1880-85. Anyone have some research on the slings Winchester themselves supplied on special orders? As to swivels, I'm going with the non-fishhook style, which seems to be somewhat more common in that period than the fishhook and eye style. I'd love to get the sling's buckle, color, weight, finish, length etc details as close as I can get them.
Jordan Goodwin, Blacksmith

Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: 1880s Winchester Sling
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2023, 02:06:14 PM »
Here's a link to a SASS Wire thread on an 1866 sling. I'd think that would be a fine one to use on an 1873.

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Offline Little Dalton

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Re: 1880s Winchester Sling
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2023, 09:15:29 PM »
Here's a link to a SASS Wire thread on an 1866 sling. I'd think that would be a fine one to use on an 1873.

Thank you Marshal! I only saw the Henry slings in that thread- which I agree would be a nice sling, but I would love to see if I can find out just what sling would leave the Winchester factory on a swivel-equipped 1873. I saw in some WACA forum threads (wish I had saved them!) some info on a model of sling Winchester sold for nearly 100 years- early 1890s to mid 1980s. This sling might just be pretty well the same as one from a decade earlier- but I don't know. I believe it had a strange steel double roller buckle, and it is interesting that this 1883 made rifle has a sling just like that. Who knows if it actually dates to when the rifle was made- I'm sure the chances are it is much later. Interesting to speculate though:

https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/72/2013/engraved-winchester-model-1873-lever-action-rifle
Jordan Goodwin, Blacksmith

Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: 1880s Winchester Sling
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2023, 11:10:53 PM »
If you find out any more on what design came on one from the factory, please post about it back here. Although anything from the era would do, there probably would be only one design that was straight from the factory.

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Offline Little Dalton

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Re: 1880s Winchester Sling
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2023, 06:55:20 AM »
If you find out any more on what design came on one from the factory, please post about it back here. Although anything from the era would do, there probably would be only one design that was straight from the factory.

I will definitely post progress and findings!
Jordan Goodwin, Blacksmith

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Re: 1880s Winchester Sling
« Reply #5 on: Today at 05:46:07 PM »

Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: 1880s Winchester Sling
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2023, 09:14:27 AM »
Thanks, I look forward to hearing what you find. Have you tried emailing Winchester to see if they have any records of this?

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Offline Little Dalton

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Re: 1880s Winchester Sling
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2023, 10:45:22 AM »
I have not, but I should. I did order 1879 and 1880 catalog reprints from Cornell Publications, will probably pick up a couple early 1880s ones next. Don't know if slings will be in there or not, but they'll have plenty of good info regardless. Been on the list for a while. Man does Cornell offer a ton of great stuff! https://cornellpubs.com/1835-1899/
Jordan Goodwin, Blacksmith

Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: 1880s Winchester Sling
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2023, 11:09:18 AM »
Thanks for the link to Cornell Publications. I have bookmarked that. Maybe you'll find what you are looking for there.

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Offline Tascosa Joe

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Re: 1880s Winchester Sling
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2023, 09:40:30 AM »
The Madis Winchester Book has a couple of 73s pictured with sling swivels on Page 164.  One is from 1884 and a the others from 1900-1901. Page 600-601 has pictures/drawings of sling swivels and a sling with fish hook attachment.  It appears most of the front swivels are built into the nose cap.  The rear I cannot tell, it looks to be inletted into the buttstock.
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Offline Little Dalton

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Re: 1880s Winchester Sling
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2023, 08:10:35 PM »
The Madis Winchester Book has a couple of 73s pictured with sling swivels on Page 164.  One is from 1884 and a the others from 1900-1901. Page 600-601 has pictures/drawings of sling swivels and a sling with fish hook attachment.  It appears most of the front swivels are built into the nose cap.  The rear I cannot tell, it looks to be inletted into the buttstock.

Yessir! Both styles of sling swivels appear to be used 1880-85. The real question for me now is on the sling itself.
Jordan Goodwin, Blacksmith

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Re: 1880s Winchester Sling
« Reply #10 on: Today at 05:46:07 PM »

Offline Little Dalton

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Re: 1880s Winchester Sling
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2023, 02:35:44 PM »
Well, haven’t figured out how to post photos from my iPhone yet (can’t resize), but I thought I’d update y’all anyways. So, information on what a pre-1885 Winchester sling looked like exactly has been extremely hard to find, so with the help of our own Buck Stinson and Brushy Creek Douglas, I’m moving ahead with my best educated guess. I was able to find both the front and rear swivels complete at a good price from Winchester Bob (call if interested- they weren’t listed as current on his website), and I’m glad I won’t have to fabricate that front swivel from scratch- though I will still have to modify the nosecap to receive it. My buddy Ethan (Brushy Creek Douglas) sent us some photos of a sling on an 1876 Winchester that shipped with swivels and sling in 1884, and the sling really seems to match up well with what we guess the pre-1890s Winchester slings were like- with a simple brass wire buckle, and a double button at one end as the later patent slings retained. This sling is 1-1/4” wide, and while the later slings were 1”, my guess is that the earlier ones were indeed wider as the sling swivel loops are more than large enough to comfortably accommodate the wider sling. Anyhow, I have the brass button, and have a buckle loop on the way that I will have to add a tongue to, and then that hardware will be off to Buck to be united to the leather portion, and my Cimarron ‘73 will soon be sporting a beautiful, new, very much period-correct (if not Winchester reproduction correct!) useful sling.
Jordan Goodwin, Blacksmith

Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: 1880s Winchester Sling
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2023, 06:21:11 PM »
Very good. I look forward to seeing photos of the finished sling. It's nice to hear of your progress.

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