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No Love For the 71?
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August 5, 2017 - 7:04 pm
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pdog72 said
Bert – Wasn’t there a matted barrel 71 floating around the Reno show a couple years ago on a Sunday? I don’t know if anyone thought it was correct, but I do remember something about it. Do you recall?  

Gary,

I have just (1) single Model 71 listed in my research survey with a matted barrel (out of the 1,473 total I have listed).  It is any early (1936) production Special Rifle, and I have it documented as being in a private collection.

Bert

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August 6, 2017 - 1:22 am
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Well, didn’t get the price I’d hoped for but was able to get a fair enough deal. Hard to say when another one this nice would come along. Someone @ Cabela’s takes much better pics than I and they haven’t taken it off the orphanage site so here’s a link to my latest addition:

 

http://www.cabelas.com/product/gun-library/fort-worth-gun-library%7C/pc/103792680/c/105933780/winchester-model-71-348-win-/2524815.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Ffort-worth-gun-library%2F_%2FN-1103648%2B4294390268%2B4294713057%2FNe-4294390268%3FWTz_st%3DGuidedNav%26WTz_stype%3DGNU

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August 6, 2017 - 1:36 am
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When you get ready to load for it, make sure you order some of the 250-gr bullets… no wimpy 150-grainers !

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August 6, 2017 - 4:02 am
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Order bullets? Not likely!

 

http://accuratemolds.com/catalog.php?page=5

 

Couple of these look good, need to do some measuring first.

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August 6, 2017 - 5:09 am
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Hmmm… A 250-gr hard cast bullet with a gas check would be fun, and likely a very good Hog Killer.

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August 6, 2017 - 12:50 pm
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I was thinking 220 but you and Uncle Elmer are probably right. If the twist is indeed 1-12″ I may come around to your way of thinking. Looks like I can probably push it to 1900fps or so. Just need bore and groove diameter and I’ll put in the order.?

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August 6, 2017 - 1:36 pm
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TXGunNut said
I was thinking 220 but you and Uncle Elmer are probably right. If the twist is indeed 1-12″ I may come around to your way of thinking. Looks like I can probably push it to 1900fps or so. Just need bore and groove diameter and I’ll put in the order.?  

Holy Geezus,

Would that be your Uncle Elmer Fudd,

I remember him from watching Bugs Bunny,

Seems like over kill, for that little wrabbit.

"I Would Have Rather Lived Through The Industrial Revaluation"

"Instead of The Space Age"

From

 The Twilight Zone

 

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August 6, 2017 - 3:15 pm
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No, Elmer Keith. Laugh He liked the 250 gr bullet and according to Snookie Williamson he may have convinced Winchester et al to offer factory loadings in this bullet weight. I agree with you, tho, if I shoot one of those little S TX white tails with this rifle any tracking job will be like trailing the Valdez after cocktail hour. WinkBig hogs OTOH hand are fun to shoot, take a fair bit of killing and aren’t much fun to track in heavy brush.

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August 7, 2017 - 6:43 am
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Ode To The Winchester Model 71… Asking the question, destined to fail from inception/inaction?
Americans came home from “The War to End All Wars” schooled in the doctrine of the bolt action rifle as the finest instrument of an era. In 1925, Winchester introduced the Model 54 bolt action with advertising furor and hype. Also beginning a process to have almost doubled its sales beyond the Remington Model 30 Competition in about half the production period. The evolutionary/revolutionary Model 70, only some months behind the Model 71 intro.
With the Model 71, a specific decision to consolidate versatile, (relatively) heavy chamberings into a single cartridge, the .348. With relatively small engineering changes, the ‘new & improved’ simply a slightly updated Model 1886 with improved metals. The point, little seeming reason or additional investment required to offer the new lever in multiple chamberings. Yet, against the force of the forthcoming Model 70 in multiple chamberings, the 71 shackled to a single new cartridge offering. Take it or leave it! That with, fanciness aside, two basic configurations. A model success bet suddenly hinging on this rifle/round package. Significantly too, Model 71 the exclusive ‘heavy cartridge’ rifle to compete with the Model 70. Internal competition frequently a ‘push-pull, urging internal regulation/manipulation.
Locations stocking ammo suddenly with the need to carry this round. That against one single gun requiring it. That competing for shelf space with other Win lever offerings in multiple chamberings including the ever popular 30-30. Other cartridges across a wide spectrum of rifles. Almost to wonder if the 71 principally a marketing afterthought. What to do with the aging Model ’86? The fact of putting all the chips on that one single round, hardly seeming wise; more of a condemnation.
My belief, the Model 71 largely an ‘also ran’ speculative convenience. Filling a perceived ‘gap’ in lever action potential. Yet specifically avoiding too closely approaching the widening chambering choices of the Model 70. To wonder, if they’d marketed the 71 in such as an upscale Winchester 94 in brush gun configuration; with ammo already on dealer shelves such as 45-70 & 33 Win. (One thing to offer a “special factory order chambering” likely involving months; quite another to have it on hand, ready to examine/covet/purchase.) Perhaps even… rimless chamberings too! A popular 270 bore round in appropriate length.
To speculate, the ‘hole’ filled by the 71, mostly marketing generated rather than market force drive. Production ‘putting along’ until extinguished by the then radical Winchester 88. That with its own lever ‘say what’ to overcome. Yet multiple chamberings coming! Also, though relatively successful ‘perhaps’, another indication of where the consumer was… the Model 70.
The eulogy for the 71. Winchester’s pinnacle of fine Browning design which in the single chambering/limited configurations, never to seek its true potential. I, a long time coming to my single, early Model 71. Too many pre ’64 Model 70 rifles, too little time. Finally, the right 71 at the right time/price. Appreciating the quality of ‘real steel’ and walnut as reflected. Yet still, the mid-century species seeming a Winchester inspired, market reflected ‘anomaly’… RIP.
My take

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August 8, 2017 - 2:31 am
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Interesting analysis, one could conclude the Model 71 was a failure. I don’t feel it was. Its predecessor, the 1886, wasn’t generally a big seller, probably never meant to be. The 1892 and 1894 were likely produced to appeal to the masses but the 1886 wasn’t and I doubt Winchester envisioned the 71 having a broad appeal. I think the 71 was an attempt at niche marketing, or whatever they called it back then. There will probably always be a narrow market for a quick-handling, hard-hitting levergun and the 71 had that territory well covered. I’ve always liked medium to large bore lever action brush guns so it seems the 71 was meant for folks like me, I’m glad someone took good care of it until I decided I “needed” one.

I wish the .348 WCF cartridge had been a bit more successful, putting some rounds together is beginning to be quite an adventure.

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August 12, 2017 - 1:24 pm
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Bert H. said

Steve,

I have verified (2) of them in 33 WCF, and (2) in 45-70.  There are rumored to be several more of them out there in each caliber.

No, the Model 71 did not come from the factory with a Pachmayr recoil pad.  They were offered with the Winchester solid red rubber pad, and a NoShoc recoil pad.

Bert  

Now I’ve figured out why I thought M71’s could be ordered with a Pachmayr pad from the factory.  On page 353 of my Winchester Big Book, on the bottom of the page there is a photo of a M71 with a recoil pad.  In the caption Mr. Madis states:

“Pachmayr made recoil pads for Winchester, and some of their pads will be found the model 71.”

The above statement also suggests there were other models fitted with their pad.  Interesting. 

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August 12, 2017 - 7:53 pm
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Steve,

As has been noted in the past, not everything George wrote in his books is completely accurate. Based on the information listed in Winchester’s catalogs, Winchester used Silvers recoil pads in early years, then designed and patented their own recoil pad in 1922, and offered NoShoc recoil pads on several models. I have not yet found any reference to Winchester offering or using Pachmayr pads during the time period the Model 71 was in production. In fact, it appears that Winchester did not use Pachmyar recoil pads any sooner than October 1960 (based on information found in a lawsuit filed against Olin Industries by Pachmyar in 1974). This link provides evidence that Winchester began a short business association with Pachmyar in August of 1959. http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/502/802/370197/

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August 12, 2017 - 8:32 pm
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steve004 said

Now I’ve figured out why I thought M71’s could be ordered with a Pachmayr pad from the factory.  On page 353 of my Winchester Big Book, on the bottom of the page there is a photo of a M71 with a recoil pad.  In the caption Mr. Madis states:

“Pachmayr made recoil pads for Winchester, and some of their pads will be found the model 71.”

The above statement also suggests there were other models fitted with their pad.  Interesting.   

TXGunNut said
Interesting analysis, one could conclude the Model 71 was a failure. I don’t feel it was. Its predecessor, the 1886, wasn’t generally a big seller, probably never meant to be. The 1892 and 1894 were likely produced to appeal to the masses but the 1886 wasn’t and I doubt Winchester envisioned the 71 having a broad appeal. I think the 71 was an attempt at niche marketing, or whatever they called it back then. There will probably always be a narrow market for a quick-handling, hard-hitting levergun and the 71 had that territory well covered. I’ve always liked medium to large bore lever action brush guns so it seems the 71 was meant for folks like me, I’m glad someone took good care of it until I decided I “needed” one.

I wish the .348 WCF cartridge had been a bit more successful, putting some rounds together is beginning to be quite an adventure.  

No inference intended that the Model 71 was a marketing failure. Rather a ‘limited success’, the single chambering a tactical tool holding an intentional line limiting internal competition with the Model 70. While in general, I’d hardy describe the 71 as ‘niche’ product. Such not, simply in terms of duration and volume. Yet in sense of marketing as you’ve commented. To agree. ‘Niche with intent.’ Multiple over the counter chambering, full magazine, straight grip butt stock options… ‘What might have been!’ I wonder how many readers in this Thread, truly believe the Model 71, as marketed, achieved its ‘highest and best’ potential.
Again…
My take

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August 12, 2017 - 9:17 pm
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It would be fascinating to read transcripts of the discussions they had at the management and marketing level on the topic of the M71.  And who knows, maybe someone at the highest level won out over what had been recommended by the marketing team.  I can’t help but inject my own bias and admiration for the rifles that preceded the M71.  For me, if I were in charge, I couldn’t imagine letting the company go from a history of many different heavy lever rifles (e.g. .45/70, .45/90, the .50’s, the .405 and so on) to a situation where the .32 special was my largest and heaviest lever rifle.  Also, the M71 may have been an experiment – they really didn’t know how substantial the response would be.  I would have offered the M71 in .45/70 as well, but I need to realize these, “pumpkin rollers” were on the way out.  At least Elmer Keith would have backed me on this 🙂

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August 12, 2017 - 11:09 pm
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I agree, Steve, it would be interesting to know what their thinking was when the result was the M71. It may well have been some exec’s pet project.

Was it a success? At the time, iskra, I believe it was. I don’t think sales and marketing types back then used the same metrics they use today. I think the “take it or leave it” configuration approach was a break from tradition but like it or not it was a harbinger; try ordering something special on a production rifle today. The single chambering approach appears to be a mistake but while the rifle was in production ammunition was probably much easier to find than it is today. For all the reasons in listed in your excellent first post the Model 71 is an odd but interesting rifle, I think that’s why I like it….except for the cartridge. It’s an interesting and capable cartridge but for some reason it didn’t catch on.

The demise of the 348 WCF is one reason why I may never fire this rifle. I want to cast for any center fire rifle I shoot and in this case that would involve a bit of cu$tom equipment and pricey brass. I have too many other interesting loading room projects going on right now to do anything more than investigate it. I’ll probably buy some brass next time they do a run, I think I have a set or two of dies located but the bullet mould and sizing dies will likely be cu$tom orders. I don’t like buying rifles chambered for cartridges I don’t currently load, minimum investment for a new-to-me cartridge is about $300 and the 348 will likely be twice that.

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August 12, 2017 - 11:35 pm
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TXGunNut said
I agree, Steve, it would be interesting to know what their thinking was when the result was the M71. It may well have been some exec’s pet project.

Was it a success? At the time, iskra, I believe it was. I don’t think sales and marketing types back then used the same metrics they use today. I think the “take it or leave it” configuration approach was a break from tradition but like it or not it was a harbinger; try ordering something special on a production rifle today. The single chambering approach appears to be a mistake but while the rifle was in production ammunition was probably much easier to find than it is today. For all the reasons in listed in your excellent first post the Model 71 is an odd but interesting rifle, I think that’s why I like it….except for the cartridge. It’s an interesting and capable cartridge but for some reason it didn’t catch on.

The demise of the 348 WCF is one reason why I may never fire this rifle. I want to cast for any center fire rifle I shoot and in this case that would involve a bit of cu$tom equipment and pricey brass. I have too many other interesting loading room projects going on right now to do anything more than investigate it. I’ll probably buy some brass next time they do a run, I think I have a set or two of dies located but the bullet mould and sizing dies will likely be cu$tom orders. I don’t like buying rifles chambered for cartridges I don’t currently load, minimum investment for a new-to-me cartridge is about $300 and the 348 will likely be twice that.  

I think you can get into shooting your rifle for a fairly minimal amount – especially if you already have the dies.  You can buy a box of Hornady .348 flat point bullets for $39.  I also found these for sale – which was interesting as I had no idea they were making them:

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/673616797

I enjoy shooting cast bullets and shoot them in many different rifles and handguns.  I have also never owned a bullet mold in my life and have never cast a bullet in my life.  Plenty of others are happy to serve that function and they sell them for a fair amount less than jacketed bullets.  Given what they charge, I see little advantage in doing it myself.  Here’s an example:

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/677420369

So, find 20 rounds of brass, buy a box of 100 cast bullets for $33.50 (which includes shipping) and you are good to go.  Also, those 100 bullets will last you a good while 😉

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August 13, 2017 - 3:48 am
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Over the last several years I’ve spent quite a bit of time over on the CastBoolit site http://castboolits.gunloads.com/forum.php  and I do a lot of casting when the mood strikes me, I even reclaim wheel weights and cast them into ingots. Someone over there is bound to have an appropriate mould and will cast me a few, I’ve done the same several times. There’s even a guy over there that makes obsolete brass. I’ve been lurking over there a bit today, may as well see what my old friends have lying about. Buying cast bullets is what got me into casting; I’m a bit fussy about my bullets.

Thanks for the ideas, Steve.

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August 13, 2017 - 4:23 pm
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steve004 said
I suppose I do have some bias against the .348.  I never thought there was anything about the .33 that needed improvement.  This probably explains part of my desire for a M71 in .33.  I notice many have found the .348 hits hard on the shooter’s end.  Hence, the reference above to loading it down a bit.  Well… don’t you just circle back to the .33 Wink  

Steve, you and I need to talk someday about your beloved 33WCF. In my research into the 348 the 33 keeps coming up and for my purposes the 33 makes a lot more sense. Haven’t seriously considered the 33 until recently, thanks for the nudge. Most critters I hunt don’t need all the killing power the 348 has to offer and the 33WCF would certainly be easier to get into production in my reloading room.

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October 17, 2017 - 11:42 pm
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Finally scored a couple of boxes (same lot #!) of Winchester Silvertip ammo for this old beast today. They cost about the same as a good set of dies but I still have doubts I’ll ever load for this cartridge. Just felt silly having a rifle that I couldn’t shoot if I wanted.Wink

Found them sitting on a shelf in a little gunshop/antique shop (Past & Blast) in Whitesboro, TX that I’ve been hearing about for years. Owner is a Winchester collector but I didn’t get to visit with him. Had about a dozen nice enough pre-64 Winchesters and several older Colts & Marlins but nothing I was interested in. I’ll have to go back and look at a few survey guns but didn’t have my notes with me. And no, I’m not associated with this business or receiving anything for passing on this info. Just a nice little shop run by good folks and I enjoyed passing a bit of time in there this afternoon.

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October 18, 2017 - 1:25 am
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hokie said

Holy Geezus,

Would that be your Uncle Elmer Fudd,

I remember him from watching Bugs Bunny,

Seems like over kill, for that little wrabbit.  

Wabbit!!!!   Big Larry

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