What year was my Winchester manufactured? (Serial Number Reference)

What year was my Winchester manufactured? (Serial Number Reference)

Winchester Firearms Manufacturing Dates by Serial Number and Year 1866 through the early 1990s

Below is the download link for a special resource for dating Winchester firearms. These pages were scanned from documents compiled over the years by the customer service department of Winchester Repeating Arms. None of the page scans are of original documents but are simply transcribed information typed into a word processing program. In general, this information is the same that you would get if you called our customer service department and asked them for the information. They use these documents as a reference and the documents should be limited to that use.

Click the image below to download the PDF document containing the serial number date-range information on many Winchester firearms. You will need the Adobe Reader program to open this file. Adobe Reader is available free from Adobe.


There are many “legends” about why the historic serial number records for Winchester rifles and shotguns are not complete or why they are not always verifiable. A few reasons cited are:

  1. A fire at the factory
  2. Inadvertent destruction (during office cleaning)
  3. Records simply lost in filing
  4. Records misplaced between ownership transitions
  5. Documents borrowed but not returned

There is probably some kernel of truth to all of them. But the fact remains; there is no original, single, totally accurate database of serial numbers from 1866 forward that we are aware of. But perhaps these pages can help you somewhat in your research.

Winchester Factory
Winchester Factory

Please keep the following points in mind as you explore these pages:

  • Many of the Winchester brand firearms produced over the years are included, but not all. If your firearm is not listed, we probably do not have any additional information.
  • Before the 1990s the Winchester Repeating Arms firearms brand transferred ownership several times. Any information before the 1990s is always difficult to verify.
  • In general, only serial number ranges with an approximate year are provided in this document. There is no other detail beyond this that we can provide.
  • Since this information was provided through old documents (both official and otherwise), no representation is made that all serial number and year combinations are totally accurate.
  • In some exceptional cases, a more detailed, accurate determination can be made by calling Winchester Repeating Arms Customer Service at the Morgan, Utah office. 800-333-3288. 
  • For any other questions: 800.333.3288 or 801.876.2711. For Parts and Service call: 800.322.4626
  • For questions related to Ammunition don’t call us. Contact Winchester Ammunition directly.
  • No attempt has been made to determine the value of any guns listed.
  • The Cody Firearms Museum has more information on Winchesters produced before 1900.
  • This late historian George Madis compiled extensive histories on Winchester firearms. www.georgemadis.com

There are other outside resources – including the Cody Firearm Museum -- which can be excellent for determining date of manufacture and value: Click here to go to our gun values resource links.

Click below to download a PDF overview of Cody Museum serial number resources.

(Please remember that this information is a compilation over time -- collected from secondhand information. No confidentail records were used. We reserve the right to make changes at any time and make no claims as to accuracy. No attempt has been made to determine the value of any Winchester products.)

© Winchester Repeating Arms, 2012, 2015, R. Stitt