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Change from 4 to 2 digit model numbers.
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February 22, 2022 - 5:16 am
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3-12-19 is the date that Bert, or someone, posted for this change in markings, which makes sense because any time an arms company suspends commercial production to exploit a war contract, the usual result is major change (generally for the worst) in its post-war product line; Stevens Arms provides the most extreme example.  But looking for something in my 1918 catalog, #81, I was surprised to find all model numbers had already been changed to the 2-digit format.  No specific date on this catalog, but seems reasonable to assume it was issued in early 1918, before the company was fully involved in M1917 production.  So the decision to change the nomenclature (I hate it, a transparent & contemptible attempt to disown their 19th C. heritage) had been made much earlier than 1919, but was not implemented due, probably, to disruption caused by the M1917 contract.

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February 22, 2022 - 11:45 am
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I wonder if buried in an archive somewhere, there is a record of the management discussion that was involved with this decision?

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February 22, 2022 - 1:15 pm
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steve004 said
I wonder if buried in an archive somewhere, there is a record of the management discussion that was involved with this decision?  

Must have gone something like this:  “we can’t let the public think our products are old-fashioned, so let’s not remind them many were designed in the 19th C.”  What other reason could there have been?  Wonder what the men thought about the wasted work of grinding “18” off all those roll-dies.

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February 22, 2022 - 9:12 pm
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clarence said
So the decision to change the nomenclature (I hate it, a transparent & contemptible attempt to disown their 19th C. heritage) had been made much earlier than 1919, but was not implemented due, probably, to disruption caused by the M1917 contract.  

I don’t know the exact reason or haven’t found any correspondence as to why they changed to the two-digit model designation when they did. But believe that when a Change In Manufacture was issued, it was reflective across all parts of the Manufacturing process. How that relates to advertising nomenclature, I don’t know either.

But I think one could argue that the two-digit nomenclature has been in use by the factory practically since the company’s inception. There are early payroll ledgers dating in the 1870s maintained by Superintendent V.A. King that use the following terms interchanged throughout them. Model 1866, Model 1873, Model 1876, Model “73, “Model 66”, Model “76, Mod 73 & 66, Mod 76, and simply “66, “73, “76.

So who knows exactly what Winchester Management was thinking. Probably just another type of marketing scenario they were trying out. No different than the W Brand marketing or the failed 1of1000 marketing campaigns. 

Sincerely,

Maverick

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