Review of article by Wayne van Zwoll in Guns & Ammo magazine online.
This article -- written by Wayne van Zwoll -- does a great job covering the early history of Winchester rifles designed by the world's greatest gun designer, John M. Browning. Most of his early designs were designed specifically for Winchester and sold under the Winchester name. Rifles like the Winchester Models 1886, 1892, 1894 and 1895.
These same rifles constitute the Historic lineup of Winchester lever actions and single shots available in today's modern line-up. 115 years ago, who would have thought that the most popular rifles of that day would still be in production by Winchester and still popular with hunters and shooters looking for guns to not only collect, but to hunt and shoot with.
Van Zwoll tells the story elegantly and accurately. You won't want to miss this easy to read historic overview. From the article:
"In the Beginning -- On July 24, 1847, thinned by hardship to just 143 people, Brigham Young’s band of Mormons arrived at the Great Salt Lake. The persecution they had fled in Nauvoo, Illinois, lay a year’s journey behind. Gunmaker Jonathan Browning had tarried to supply rifles to the refugees. But he soon made his way west. In the Ogden valley he bought property and, with $600 hidden in one of his six wagons, built a house. The Browning family already included 11 children. By a second wife, Jonathan would father 11 more, among them John Moses.
"Young John went to school until he was 15, when the school-master told him bluntly, “No sense you coming back, John. You know as much as I do.” The precocious lad had built his first gun at age 10. It featured a scrapped musket barrel and a board contoured with a hatchet. John stuffed the barrel with a handful of black powder and rough shot, then heated a batch of coke on his father’s forge."
The image at right shows the current menu selection of Winchester rifles on the Winchester Website. Note that all but the Model 70 are historic rifles and all historic rifles were designed by the genius, John M. Browning. Today's Winchester Repeating Arms is headquartered in the Morgan valley, in a town called Mountain Green, just east of Ogden, Utah. Ogden is where Browning grew up. We are located just minutes from where each of these great rifles was designed.
From the same story you will enjoy this video (below) on the history of the venerable Winchester Model 1895 -- especially detailing the Russian connection.
Here's another great video (below) -- this time about the Model 92 Winchester used by John Wayne in the movie Stagecoach. Being discussed is the potential price it could reach when sold at auction. Very interesting.
This year marks the return of the Model 94 Winchester. Arguably the greatest lever action rifle of all time. It is considered the "Classic" of all deer hunting rifles throughout history and finds it way to the top of nearly every "Greatest Rifles Ever Made" list.
A special thank you to Guns & Ammo magazine for the use of photos, copy and video in this article review.