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British Military Use of Winchesters
December 18, 2017
11:52 am
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Sydney Australia
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The manufacture of Pattern 1914 rifles in WW1 by Winchester is well known and also the shipments of Model 1917 rifles in WW2 to the  U.K. which included Winchester made M17’s, the latter being issued to the British Home Guard, along with small quantities going to the RAF.

 

Also well known now is the purchase in 1915 of 20,000 Model 1892 44WCF SRC’s along with 5,000 Model 1894 30WCF SRC’s, these being inspected by Canadian inspectors on behalf of the British Government with the inspection mark DCP through crossed pennants, thus being referred to as “DCP” carbines by modern collectors. See the post in the Survey Forum.

 

JWA has noted on another post the purchase by Britain of Model 67/69/74 rifles which mostly ended up in a training role during WW2.

 

Perhaps less well known is the purchase in WW1 of a few dozen – exact quantity still unknown – Model 1886 rifles in 45/90 which were used for testing tracer and incendiary ammunition for shooting at Zeppelins. Weather any of  these saw actual combat is unknown.

Similarly some Model 1907 S/L .351 rifles were purchased through the London Armoury Company who were the Winchester (and Colt) agent at the time. A figure of 120 has previously been given but new research at the National Archives in London shows that the true figure was much less than this, although the exact number may never be known unless some new information comes to hand.

Winchester Model 1903 rifles were also purchased from the trade in the UK including William Evans as well as the London Armoury Co. One order was place direct with Winchester for 500 rifles which has been reported previously. In fact this order was reduced to 250. The total number of Model 1903 rifles taken into service by the UK in WW1 is not known but will almost certainly be less than 1,000, probably closer to 750 rifles. These turn up from time to time marked R.A.F. with or without an Enfield inspection mark. Sometimes there is only the Enfield inspection mark.

Last but not least a quantity of Winchester Model 1911 S/L shotguns were purchased through the London Armoury Company for training of aerial gunners in WW1. The only figure I have found is a tender for 25 guns, however the figure would have been much more than this as considerable quantity’s of spares were ordered. Also the ”Winchester S/L shotgun” appears as a heading along with Vickers and Lewis guns on various printed forms, which would not be the case if only 25 were purchased.

 

Any one ever seen one of these shotguns with RFC, RNAS or RAF stamped on the metal work some ware?

 

Although not military use the Royal Irish Constabulary purchased through the London Armoury Co , 1000 Model 1897 shotguns. These will have a small Enfield inspection mark on the breech and a rack number stamped into the butt from 1 to 1,000 prefixed with the letters R.I.C.

 

Hope this was of interest!

 

Regards

 

Alan David

Sydney

Australia

December 18, 2017
1:11 pm
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Alan,

Fascinating information!  Thanks for sharing your research.

Best Regards,

WACA Life Member #6284 - Specializing in Pre-64 Winchester .22 Rimfire

http://rimfirepublications.com/  

December 18, 2017
4:11 pm
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Alan,

Thank you very much for posting your research! I am interested in further discussion with you about the RIC Model 1897 shotguns.

Bert

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December 24, 2017
2:44 am
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The purchase of Model 1897 shotguns from London Armoury Co in the UK took place in 1921/1922. They were for issue to the Royal Irish Constabulary. At the same time 3,300 Colt Hammerless pistols in .32ACP were also purchased through the LAC for issue in Ireland.

 

The purchase of the shotgubs appears in some Army Council reports, the quantity of 1,000 is not stated only the value of the order which was 9,000 Pounds. This was a significant amount of money back then, you could buy a modest house for 1,000 Pounds at this time.

 

Other paperwork refers to a purchase of 1,000 shotguns without naming the make or price paid. As I mentioned the guns were inspected at the Royal Small Arms Factory Enfield and marked as shown in the attached photo.

 

There is a survey going on over on the Royal Irish Constabulary Forum on these guns, see attached link. I see know reason why someone – Bert? – could not start a new survey on this forum for these RIC marked Winchester Model 1897’s. As the RIC Forum does not get much traffic we may get a few more responses on this site which is a lot busier. A link could be left on the RIC Forum to the new forum on this site – I don’t think anyone would get their nose of of joint, knowledge is for sharing.

https://irishconstabulary.com/the-winchester-model-1897-shotgun-t909.html

RIC-1897.jpgImage Enlarger

Regards

 

Alan David

Sydney

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December 24, 2017
4:40 am
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Hmmm…  the listed price in the 1922 catalog for a Model 97 Riot Gun was $46.  Even if the UK Pound was worth twice the value of the U.S. Dollar at that time, 9,000 pounds would have purchased well short of 400 guns. 

I have been surveying the Model 1897 for almost 10-years, and thus far I have only identified (1) RIC marked Riot Gun, and (1) other Riot Gun in England.  Granted, 1,000 guns is not a large number, and who knows how many have survived, but it seems that I should have found at least a few more of them than just the one.

Bert

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December 24, 2017
5:32 am
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Here is the exchange rate for the U.S. Dollar against the Pound for the time period we are talking about.

 

Here are the exchange rates Pound Sterling – U.S. Dollar for the years
1920 to 1924:

1920: £1.00 = $3.66 / £1000 = $3660
1921: £1.00 = $3.85 / £1000 = $3850
1922: £1.00 = $4.43 / £1000 = $4430
1923: £1.00 = $4.58 / £1000 = $4580
1924: £1.00 = $4.42 / £1000 = $4420

 

On the RIC forum you will see rack number stock markings from 214 to 826 meaning there were at least 826 shotguns if they started at number 1.

As time goes by hopefully more rack numbers will come to light.

 

Regards

 

AlanD

December 24, 2017
7:13 am
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Alan,

Very interesting! The two Model 1897 Riot Guns I have identified (in Ireland and England) have serial numbers very close to one another (719789 and 720424), with both were manufactured early in the year 1920. I need to start digging for more Riot Guns in that range.

Bert

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April 29, 2018
6:45 am
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Alan D.  Hi Allan, not sure where to put this. but I have a couple of Canadian Proof marked 1892 Carbines for you.  Both 44WCF,  Both full magazine.

Numbers are 761489 and 772812.    Also have a later Carbine with Canadian Proof,  number 907653.   The first two should be in the group you were

interested in.       Eric   Tamworth.

April 30, 2018
1:05 am
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G’day Eric

 

I have added the two Model 1892 DCP carbine survey. These two numbers fall roughly in the middle of the serial numbers so far recorded.

 

Do the carbines have any other markings such as the letter N stamped near the receiver ring or the letters DP stamped into the stock? The former being a Royal Navy mark and the latter meaning Drill Purpose, these carbines also have a saw cut right through the breech at 90 degrees to the bore axis.

 

Is the latter carbine 907653, a Model 1892 or !894? The serial number is much higher by 100,000/150,000 serials than the data base shows for the Great War DCP carbines.

Examples of Winchester Model 1894 and Marlin carbines in .30/30 with the Canadian ownership mark of a broad arrow within a C are out there and show up in official armorers notes and pam’s. The time period being WW2.

 

Regards

 

AlanD

Sydney

April 30, 2018
3:48 am
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Hi Alan,  All three carbines are 1892 models, all full magazine, all have Winchester Proof marks on barrel and action.  Canadian Proof behind rear sight.  No other extra markings on any of them.    No 772812 has had a cut through the top of chamber. This has been ” repaired” and the first 4 in 44 has been replaced.  Very well done, bit of a trap,hey? Almost impossible to see.    Did Canada normally mark Winchesters, or only for England?

       Hope this helps you,  Eric

April 30, 2018
7:48 am
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Eric

 

The DCP mark was applied at the Winchester factory by Canadian inspectors working on behaf of the British government, who did not have enough inspectors to cover this inspection task.

 

The serial number of 907653, is after the war finished so it does not make sense for it to have the DCP mark. Are you sure this is the serial number?

 

We are talking about this mark right?

 

dcproof4.jpgImage Enlarger

 

Regards

 

Alan

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April 30, 2018
9:26 am
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  Alan

 

 The Canadian proof marks are all correct.  Being Australia, it would not surprise me if the barrel was  changed at some time in the past. It is just one 

 of a group of old winchesters that I got in a deal a few years back. I’ve seen Winchesters that even their grandmother would’nt recognise.  Had my 

 doubts about this one,it is too late for the War years.      Keep looking, you might find one with U Boat teeth marks on it.

                   Cheers,   Eric

April 30, 2018
11:36 am
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Eric Ryan said
  Alan

 

 The Canadian proof marks are all correct.  Being Australia, it would not surprise me if the barrel was  changed at some time in the past. It is just one 

 of a group of old winchesters that I got in a deal a few years back. I’ve seen Winchesters that even their grandmother would’nt recognise.  Had my 

 doubts about this one,it is too late for the War years.      Keep looking, you might find one with U Boat teeth marks on it.

                   Cheers,   Eric  

Eric,

Does 907653 actually have a ring on the left side of the receiver?  The 906000 and 907000 SN range is dominated by small caliber sporting rifles with almost NO SRCS showing in my data.  And you are so right about AU rifles.  They can be “interesting” to say the least.

Michael

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Model 1892 / Model 61 Collector, Research, Valuation

May 1, 2018
10:43 am
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Hi Michael.   I pulled this “Carbine’ apart for a look.   Action Frame has always been large calibre, But I’m sure that the barrel has been changed to a Carbine at some time. There is evidence that the staple and ring were also added post factory.  I guess somebody just wanted a Carbine. This is not unusual  over here in the Wild South. We have even developed our very own unique Australian Proof Marks,  put on with vise jaws and pipe wrench. The Carbine barrel has been well ‘proofed’ under the forend.  Still be a good pig shooter, sorry Alan. I think we are all mad anyway, who wants a mint gun with Foreign markings when you could have one that some old cattle rustler lifted his coffee pot off the fire with?

    Keep up the good work,  Eric

July 17, 2018
10:48 am
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Hello,

A collector contacted me and wonderfully shared data on his 17 Model 1892 rifles so that I could add them into my survey.  One of his rifles was SN 774875 which was a SRC configuration on 44 WCF and is marked with the DCP proofs.  Another little piece of the puzzle has been added!

FullSizeRender-3.jpgImage Enlarger

Thanks so much for the help.

Michael

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