Author Topic: "The Coming Gun" by Winchester Repeating Arms  (Read 133 times)

Offline Bryan Austin

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"The Coming Gun" by Winchester Repeating Arms
« on: November 27, 2019, 01:16:20 pm »
Some of you may be tired of seeing this but others may find the information useful or just entertaining.

"The Coming Gun"
Winchester's .44 Leveractions
1860-1873

In Winchester's 1873 catalog, the Model 73 is never mentioned. The catalog only talks about the Model 1860 and the Model 1866. The title "The Coming Gun" appears to be written sometime before 1865 as noted at the bottom of page 9. The catalog also states the following: [referring to the 1860 Henry]..."Gentleman are ready to stake anything reasonable, that with one of these rifles they will hit the figure of a man, marked life size on a target placed at 500 yards,..."

 Even during the Civil War, the Military refused to order the Henry, so entire regiments bought and paid for their own guns rather than carry what the government furnished. The writing continues and describes at what could only cause the military to be disinterested.

​"There is however a cause why they are not adopted [the Henry Rifles] ......It is the same cause that has always prevented all governments availing themselves promptly of any improvements.......vis. The immobility of prejudice.

 "It will never do to put such rapid firing guns into the hands of soldiers, because they will waste their ammunition."

 "Another sage remark is that "repeating arms are too delicate and complicated to put into the hands of common soldiers."

Even a high ranking ordnance officer said, "repeating arms could never be used in the army"



"Henry Rifle of 1860" and the Winchester "Model of 1866"...

...as referred to by the catalogs, is really difficult to keep up with which rifle the 1873 catalog is talking about.  After Winchester and Davies purchased Volcanic repeating Arms sometime around 1856, it gets rather complicated. The New Haven Arms Company, by 1857, manufacture the 1860 Henry, "Henry Rifle of 1860". By 1866, Henry lost attempts to regain the company and Winchester changed the name to Winchester Repeating Arms Company. In the meantime, by the end of December 1866, the "Infantry Model" [Winchester Model of 1866] had finished field testing in Switzerland. Testings from 300 to 1,000 paces shooting at 6ft x 6ft targets resulting in 1.5ft x 1.5ft groups@300 paces. Several 50-75 yard shots reported by amateurs resulted in 1/2" to 3" groups.


1866 Switzerland Trials
This photograph shows a target used during the Switzerland trials at 300 paces. A few years ago John Kort duplicated these shots but using the 44-40 loaded to Henry ballistics. The impact area roughly represents the average size of a man's chest.



Amateur's target @ 75 yards
During this time they used a string to measure the holes. They would measure from the center of the target out to the center of each hole then add the measurements of each shot together for a total "length". 


"Winchester's "New Model of 1873"
​I failed to see a catalog offered for 1874, however, in Winchester's catalog of 1875 the "New Model of 1873" is introduced.

"Its Popularity Proves Its Success", the title given to the article that explains...

​"One hundred and fifty thousand have been sold without advertising or puffing, and they have everywhere been given unqualified satisfaction, having earned their position solely by their merits."


The purpose of continuing this far into the Winchester 73' is just to show.......
In Winchester's 1875 catalog....[the "44 W.C.F"]..... Winchester stated, The effect of this change [from 44 Henry to the 44-40] is to increase the initial velocity of the arm from about 1,125 f.p.s. to 1,325 feet per second."  During the Indian Wars, the Indians would proved how valuable the Lever-actions would become!!

Back up in the 66's target...as noted, John Kort replicated such low velocity cartridges....however when loaded with an extra 200fps (original 44-40 ballistics), the new 44 WCF was just as accurate but the trajectory was not as high plus it retained a tad more energy.

Referring to the 44-40 shooting Henry and 66' ballistics, trajectory is not much if any different. Take a look at Winchester's Ballistics Web-sight. https://ballisticscalculator.winchester.com/#!/result With or without a scope, the trajectory is the same. Sight the scope in at your desired 50, 75 or 100 yards then check the trajectory at 200-300 yards

Next, the energy. I have had ten million guys ask me even if I could hit the deer, would it kill it. Well, according to Winchester,

they claim that at 1,190fps, the muzzle produces 629ft lbs of energy and at 200 yards, it produces 360ft lbs of energy....just under high power handguns at the muzzle. This should answer any killing powder questions as well as trajectory questions.

Now when we move on up to the 1910 44-40 High Velocity loads for the Winchester 92'/Marlin 1889/94, there is no comparison!!!


Now in this following video, I was using 6.4gr of trailboss and my Uberti 73' Velocity is only 1,090fps but take a look at the 265 yard shots...with open sights.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcWcV3e-6Rs

« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 01:30:46 pm by Bryan Austin »

Offline Slamfire

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Re: "The Coming Gun" by Winchester Repeating Arms
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 06:20:00 pm »
 I always enjoy your posts ,, great shooting ,, " man knows his gun ".


 watch'n and enjoying my coffee ,, Hootmix.