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38 WCF / 38-40 WCF
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November 15, 2021 - 2:34 am
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I have found a shell casing head stamped “W R A Co” “38 W C F”. Would anyone happen to know the date in which Winchester changed the head stamp 38 to 38-40?

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November 15, 2021 - 4:44 am
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James,

The head stamp WRACo 38 WCF is for the Winchesters and WRACo 38-40 is for the Marlin 1888 lever action. Also there was a WRACo 38-40 WHV (Winchester High Velocity) that was for the 1892. This is from Daniel Shuey book, Headstamped Cartridges and their Variations.

Bob

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November 16, 2021 - 8:33 pm
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I find it curious and interesting that the Marlin nomenclature (.38-40) was the name that became common place in the 20th century in reference to this cartridge.   As previously mentioned, Winchester called it the .38 WCF in catalogs and advertisement.  Similar situation with the .44 WCF.  

Any thoughts or speculations?

I call myself a collector as it sounds better than hoarder

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November 16, 2021 - 9:21 pm
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Bill Hockett said
I find it curious and interesting that the Marlin nomenclature (.38-40) was the name that became common place in the 20th century in reference to this cartridge.   As previously mentioned, Winchester called it the .38 WCF in catalogs and advertisement.  Similar situation with the .44 WCF.  

Any thoughts or speculations?  

Not hard to understand why another gunmaker chambering the same cartridges would be reluctant to attract attention to a competitor’s name; and after all, caliber & powder charge was the traditional way to identify any cartridge.

Winchester’s zeal to put their name even on cartridges they played no part in developing backfired when they marked guns chambered in .25-20 SS, developed by Maynard, as .25 WCF.   So when they later developed the .25-20 repeater cartridge, it became the “second”.25 WCF!

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November 16, 2021 - 11:37 pm
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There’s the cartridge head stamp aspect, but there is the also how Marlin specifically marked their firearms as to the chambering.  The earliest lever rifles were marked “.38 – W.” and then this changed to, “38-40”.

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