The long-awaited third volume of Arthur Pirkle's massive study of the Winchester lever action repeating firearms is now available. It provides all the part-by-part details on the most popular collectible and hunting models of the Winchester series found in previous volumes.
By the early 1890s, smokeless power and high strength alloy steels were close to being perfected. Smokeless powder was revolutionizing the firearms industry. The more powerful propellants were making it possible to accelerate small caliber bullets to double and triple the speeds of black powder. This allowed smaller cartridges and in turn more compact rifles. The high strength steels provided stronger barrel capable of resisting the erosive effects of the smokeless powders burning at far high temperatures than those incurred with black powder.
The Model 1894 was John Browning's modernized version of his ground-breaking Model 1886 design. The internal locking lugs were not only stronger but were faster to actuate, making it possible to cock the rifle for the next shot more quickly than with previous models. New cartridges like the .30-30 and the .32-30 were far more powerful than even the big game cartridges developed for the model 1886 but in a package hardly larger and heavier than the M1892. Almost immediately, the Model 1894 rifle and carbine became America's deer rifle a position it still holds today, more than century later.
The Model 1895 was another John Browning design and one developed to handle the powerful new smokeless cartridges like the .30-40 Krag and the .30-06 developed for the U.S. military. The M1895 was a radical departure from previous Winchester lever actions. Its longer receiver was easily capable of handling the long and powerful .30-06 cartridge. The rifle quickly established itself as the premier American big game rifle. Teddy Roosevelt was an early and loyal supporter and hunted throughout the world with the M1895.
Because the Models 1894 and 1895 were developed later and the M1894 remains in production today collector interest in both rifles began later and developed more slowly than with previous Winchester lever actions. Today, that interest is a full peak. Both rifles are plentiful on the collector's market and the prices are far lower than for earlier models. For the price of one M1886 carbine, a collector can assemble a representative collection of M1894s; for the price of two M1866 carbines, a representative collection of M1895s.
As with previous volumes in this series, all parts are described in sequence by serial number range. All markings, dimensions and finishes plus any changes to that part are fully explained and the part illustrated with clear and concise line drawings.
Appendixes contain a history of both rifle's development plus descriptions of the Musket versions of both, serial number charts that have been revised and corrected and new exploded views.