This is one of the most-asked questions. Mostly because Winchester's complex history and because there have been a number of changes and moves in production over the past 20 years or so. For most of the history of Winchester firearms production was primarily centered in the historic factory in New Haven, Connecticut. A number of guns over the years were also produced in Canada (at the Cooey plant which was purchased by Olin Corporation -- Winchester-Western -- in the early 1960s). That facility has not been part of Winchester for many years. The history of Winchester becomes more complex in recent years with Winchester firearms becoming separate from Winchester Ammunition (Olin) in 1981 and with ownership of the factory and license of the brand changing several times. Under new management, a more consistent pattern emerged in the early 1990s. Since then Winchester rifles and shotguns have been produced at associated factories in many locations around the world. At that time a more global approach to manufacturing began and a new emphasis on growth of the line, a greater commitment to quality and a strong push to improve overall product value began.
Today we operate under the name (as we did years ago) Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Being part of a greater business group we now have access to other top level factories and resources in the U.S. and around the world. This works to the benefit of all of you. This gives us the ability to produce the best firearms possible with the value you expect from a Winchester -- all at the appropriate factory for the design requirements.
There are no secrets regarding where Winchester firearms are manufactured. The place of manufacture -- including the country -- is included on the barrel roll permanently inscribed on your gun. If you have any questions at all about the origin of your rifle or shotgun, just look at the barrel inscription.
Below is an outline of where each Winchester firearm is manufactured.
Winchester Model 70.
It is no secret that Winchester Repeating Arms is part of the greater Herstal Group, with factories all around the world. The best factories are used for each model. Some assembly and some production of Model 70s has been shifting to our Viana, Portugal plant as indicated on the barrel inscription on some rifles. USA-made guns are marked as such. Many Model 70 bolt action rifles were produced at our factory in South Carolina, U.S.A. for several years. Previous production was at the New Haven, Connecticut factory. That factory closed in 2006. The origin of each Model 70 is marked on the barrel. Generally today, key parts are likely sourced in the U.S and the rifle assembled in Portugal. Some hunters and shooters have reasons for purchasing only Made In USA firearms. We understand. But it would be incorrect to base your decision to not buy a Model 70 from our Portugal plant due to a fear of poor performance. Model 70s made and/or assembled in Portugal have stellar quality, accuracy and overall performance that matches or exceeds any production Model 70s ever in our history.
Super X3 Autoloading Shotgun (SX3).
The Super X3 autoloader is the latest in the line of shotguns having their roots in the original Super X Model One, although mechanically the similarities are very vague compared to the original. The Super X3 action is more directly related to the Super X2 introduced in 1999. Both the Super X2 and the newer Super X3 are made at our partner factory in Belgium, with additional assembly work done in our Portugal plant. In the gun industry "Made in Belgium" quality is legendary -- and you can see it in every part, every fit and every finish of the Winchester Super X3.
Super X Pump -- Pump Action Shotgun (SXP).
The SXP is a significant evolution of the exceptional Model 1300 Speed Pump. The Speed Pump established many speed and performance records over the years. The SXP is equally fast and incorporates new levels of quality and excellent value. Today's SXPs are designed and production is overseen by our R&D team in Morgan, Utah. They are then manufactured in our partner factory in Istanbul, Turkey. (Which used to be called Constantinople . . . you already know this if you learned the old song that says, "Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople.") Istanbul is a key manufacturing and trade center for Europe. Some SXP parts are sourced from our other Winchester group factories in Western Europe. SXPs are available in field models and Defender versions, and they are all assembled in the same factory. In an interesting bit of history, large numbers of Winchester Model 1866s were sold to the Turkish government in 1870 and Oliver Winchester himself, visited Constantinople (Istanbul) shortly thereafter to secure more sales of other firearms and ammunition.
Model 1894 (Model 94).
The recent reintroduction of the historic Model 94 was spearheaded from our R&D facility in Utah. We then utilize our Winchester Repeating Arms sister factory in the mountain country near the city of Kochi, Japan. Although the Model 94 is the most recent historic Winchester to be built in this factory it is not the first. Since the mid 1990s all Winchester historic lever actions (formerly called Limited Editions) have been made at this same factory. This includes the rifles listed below.
Historic Winchesters: Model 1885 Single Shot, Model 1886 lever action, Model 1892 lever action, Model 1895 lever action, Model 1873 lever action.
These "Historical Winchesters" are back in production today after being absent from the market for many decades. All were all dropped from production by the original Winchester company over half a century ago. Each of these models was reintroduced by today's Winchester Repeating Arms Company at some point beginning in the 1990s. All are in production today. All are made in our partner factory in Japan.
Model 101 Over and Under.
The Model 101 is the evolution of a line of fine over and unders that started with the Supreme Series a decade ago. It was designed and coordinated between our teams at the Utah facility and our R&D resources in Belgium and Portugal. It is designed and styled to have the same proven performance of the original Winchester 101s of half a century ago, but utilizes an exceptionally strong low profile lockup and is fitted with all the modern amenities required of a top performing over and under. In every way, today's Model 101s are exquisitely manufactured and show exceptional craftsmanship. All Winchester over and unders in recent years have been made in our partner factory in Belgium with additional assembly work done in our factory in Portugal. The "Made in Belgium" production location is inscribed on the barrel and these are the only production over and unders in the world that currently have the distinction of being made in Belgium.