The Winchester Model 71

Summer 2021 • WINCHESTERCOLLECTOR.ORG | 13 33 W.C.F. and 45-70 Model 71 rifles, there were two experimental rifles made in “308 W.C.F.” Fellow WACA member and author Dan Shuey #4841 researched and wrote an excellent article that appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of The Winchester Collector titled The Other Model 71 Caliber. In it, he discusses Winchester toying with the idea of manufacturing a lighter recoiling variant of the Model 71, and creating a new cartridge, the 308 W.C.F. (essentially a necked down 348 W.C.F. case). In my continued research of the Model 71, I located a second experimental rifle also chambered for the 308 caliber (s/n 36640). Serial number 16572 is the rifle pictured in the Winter 2018 article, and it is listed in the book Inventory of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company Firearms Reference Collection by Thomas C. Johnson, Frank F. Burton, Edwin Pugsley, Thomas E. Hall, ET AL. Lynham Sayce, 1991. This rifle was in the Winchester Museum collection, item #1426. Serial number 36640 is the second .308 caliber rifle, and it is also listed in the same reference book, collection item #2626. I believe that both rifles are currently in the basement vaults at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. In regards to “special order” features for the Model 71, very few were ever offered, but as was Winchester’s longstanding practice, if a customer wanted something extra or special, it was made to happen (at an undisclosed extra cost). One such special rifle is serial number 7868, the only known Model 71 with a factory roll matted barrel. Note the offset Winchester Proof mark stamp on the barrel (below). Photo courtesy of the Joel Goodrich collection Now, and to get down to the basics, there were four distinctly different variations of the Model 71 manufactured: 1. The Standard “Sporting” Rifle, featuring a 24-inch barrel, plain noncheckered walnut stocks, no sling swivels and a squared off uncapped pistol grip. Catalog No. G7112C (G7111C w/No. 98A sight). 2. The Special Rifle, featuring a 24-inch barrel, semi-deluxe checkered stocks, quick-disconnect sling swivels and sling, and a capped pistol grip stock. Catalog No. G7101C (G7102C w/No. 22K sight).