The Winchester Model 71

14 | WINCHESTERCOLLECTOR.ORG • Summer 2021 3. The Standard Rifle “Carbine,” featuring a 20-inch barrel, plain noncheckered walnut stocks, no sling swivels, and a squared off uncapped pistol grip. 4. The Special Rifle “Carbine,” featuring a 20-inch barrel, semi-deluxe checkered walnut stocks, quick-disconnect sling swivels and sling, and a capped pistol grip. The primary difference between the older Model 1886 and the new Model 71 was in the design of the hammer spring. The Model 1886 used the oldstyle flat spring to drive the hammer, whereas the Model 71 used a coil spring. Also of note, the receiver frame was milled from the newly developed “Proof Steel,” which is a much stronger alloy than the older Nickel Steel alloy that was used for the Model 1886. Within the four primary variations, there were the early “long tang” and the later “short tang” sub-variations. The reference to “long” or “short” tang refers to the length of the upper tang, with the long tang being dimensionally the same as the original Model 1886. The different tang lengths necessitated different comb lengths on the butt stock. The long tang variation preceded the short tang variation, with the change from the long to the short tang occurring in the June/July 1939 time frame (in the 16646–16790 serial number range). There have been a very small number of later serial numbers found with long tangs (with serial number 19967 being the highest recorded).