Author Topic: Why Britain Didn’t Adopt The Winchester 1866  (Read 461 times)


Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: Why Britain Didn’t Adopt The Winchester 1866
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 12:10:05 pm »
This wasn't the first time that the British tested and rejected an American designed rifle.

They tested and purchased a  number of Sharps slant breech rifles and 5 regiments of Cavalry were equipped with them. They were used during the Indian Mutiny with great effect and the troops liked them. Robbins & Lawrence were the contractors.

The first thing they did was remove or disable the Maynard tape and pellet priming mechanisms, preferring the use of musket caps. The calibre was also upped to .577, the bore size of the P53 Enfield.

Ultimately, they were placed in reserve and British pattern carbines were adopted instead. One of the complaints was the flash from the poor gas seal of the slant breech was burning the cuffs of expensive uniforms!

By the time the '59 vertical breech Sharps models were available, the Crimean War was over and the need was not as great. Only the advent of the ACW kept the company afloat.
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