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Years in warehouse
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March 17, 2017 - 3:02 am
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Alan said
I am looking at a NWMP 76 carbine. All markings and serial check out but I am puzzled by the lack of caliber markings. I understand that 1st models weren’t marked but this is a 3rd model (39xxx) and supposedly should have the caliber marked on the barrel and the brass cartridge lifter. 

Can anyone offer a plausible explanation?  

I have seen them marked and un-marked in different ways. Seen some that were marked in the 23,000 range on the barrel and elevator. Rob Kassab had one in the 34,700 range that was only marked on the barrel and not the elevator. Seen one in the late 39,000 that was not marked at all on the barrel and elevator. Markings do where off in instances and sometimes markings aren’t applied. A gun in the 39,000 range would of been made in 1883, and by that time the 45-60 and 50 Express had been out for a couple of years. But it being a carbine and not a rifle I can see how it could be un-marked per caliber. Carbines weren’t as popular as rifles. I would think that if it were anything other than a carbine in the standard 45-75 caliber, that it would be marked (i.e. 45-60). The April 1882 Catalog lists the caliber 45-60 as being the same price as 45-75 in Rifle, Target Rifle, Musket and Carbine. The 50-95 Express Extra but appears to only imply Rifles and as I recall the Forum has discussed in the past that 50 Express Carbines are very, very rare.

What kinda of condition is it in? Whats the full serial number? Is it listed in a a known reference book somewhere. What kinda of documentation is there on it? Pictures are also helpful.

I’d be more concerned about whether or not If it a genuine NWMP issued or used weapon. If you want to know for certain Donald Klancher is who you need to talk to about it. He is a retired NWMP officer and written on the subject of NWMP firearms, and not just 76s. If your really concerned he is the one to talk with and he charges a minor fee for researching and providing the appropriate documentation. I’d go that route before forking over some major coinage.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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March 17, 2017 - 5:42 am
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Huck Riley said
I know the relative obsolescence probably explains it, but I have a 66 that was received in the warehouse November 13, 1883 and shipped almost 15 years  later on August 16, 1898.  I guess they weren’t in high demand after the 73, 76, 86, 92, 94 and 95 came out!  :-O

On an off-topic note, just hearing the word “warehouse” kind of makes my heart skip a beat.  Imagine a warehouse chock full of that which we dream about, while those who worked there were probably like “ho hum”.  

IF you could pick 10 Winchesters that shared time in the warehouse with your 66 you wouldn’t have to work again.

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March 17, 2017 - 2:00 pm
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My Google Fu is not very good, but I could not find any interior photographs of the Winchester Warehouse(s) from back in the day when they were in use.  I’d be curious to see what they looked like.  Was everything in boxes, or were they out were they could be seen?  Even factory floor shots with barrels full of barrels or butt plates, etc. would be cool to look at.  If anyone has a link to a company history site/museum, that would be appreciated.

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March 17, 2017 - 2:26 pm
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Maverick, Mr. Klancher is a retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police not the Northwest Mounted Police

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March 18, 2017 - 1:05 am
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Clipper47 said
Maverick, Mr. Klancher is a retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police not the Northwest Mounted Police  

You are correct sir! Glad to see somebody actually pays attention to what I post!

Alan I guess I failed to mention I have his contact info, if you want to PM me, that is if you need or want it.

Maverick

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March 18, 2017 - 2:57 am
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Huck Riley said
My Google Fu is not very good, but I could not find any interior photographs of the Winchester Warehouse(s) from back in the day when they were in use.  I’d be curious to see what they looked like.  Was everything in boxes, or were they out were they could be seen?  Even factory floor shots with barrels full of barrels or butt plates, etc. would be cool to look at.  If anyone has a link to a company history site/museum, that would be appreciated.

TXGunNut:  I’d be a dumbfounded, deer-in-the-headlights fool, and at a loss of what to do.  But I think I’d manage to grab 10 of something Smile  

I too would love to see some period photos of pretty much any part of the factory. I have not come across many at all. I posted a couple on a different thread a while back. But if anyone comes across or has amassed a large collection of factory photos would love to see them. 

As far as I know there isn’t any website that is chuck full of factory photos. A while back I came across a photographer guy’s blog where he had snuck into the old factory before they renovated them into apartments. But all it really showed was how empty and run down the empty buildings had become. Along with a several piles of asbestos he was walking around in!

Maybe one day somebody will unearth a bunch, until then I’d say its slim pickings.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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March 19, 2017 - 11:54 pm
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Maverick said

I too would love to see some period photos of pretty much any part of the factory. I have not come across many at all. I posted a couple on a different thread a while back. But if anyone comes across or has amassed a large collection of factory photos would love to see them. 

As far as I know there isn’t any website that is chuck full of factory photos. A while back I came across a photographer guy’s blog where he had snuck into the old factory before they renovated them into apartments. But all it really showed was how empty and run down the empty buildings had become. Along with a several piles of asbestos he was walking around in!

Maybe one day somebody will unearth a bunch, until then I’d say its slim pickings.

Sincerely,

Maverick  

I know a guy who is fixing to retire from Winchester after 30-some years.  I sent a message to him (FB) asking if he ever saw any pics on the walls where he worked, archives, etc.  Hopefully he give us some leads.  Will update if/when I hear.

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March 22, 2017 - 4:04 am
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Well does he work for Browning? Because the Winchester Factory has been closed for over 10 years now, since 2006! And most of the factory has been torn down or developed into low income housing apartments.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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March 22, 2017 - 5:22 am
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Maverick said
Well does he work for Browning? Because the Winchester Factory has been closed for over 10 years now, since 2006! And most of the factory has been torn down or developed into low income housing apartments.

Sincerely,

Maverick  

He works for Winchester Ammunition.  Over thirty years, and retiring in a few days. 

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March 22, 2017 - 1:28 pm
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Huck Riley said

He works for Winchester Ammunition.  Over thirty years, and retiring in a few days.   

He never worked in the New Haven CT factory.  “Winchester” abandoned all manufacturing including ammunition at the New Haven factory when they got out of the gun making business in late 1980.  Any pictures he might have seen would be from the plant he worked at in Illinois.

Bert

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March 22, 2017 - 1:57 pm
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I suppose the guy I know would not have seen any of the photos we are looking for if “Winchester” did not transfer them.  Or if Winchester has/had an internal policy of only keeping pictures of facilities they currently occupy at any given time.

My supposition was (like many corporations I am personally familiar with), their legacy, documents, photos, etc., and ownership thereof, follows the name when purchased, and goes to new buildings, sometimes across the country and other times around the world.  I’ve walked down many a brand new hallway in many a modern office building and seen archival photos of the companies history proudly displayed.  Legacy and it’s evidence is often the very reason a brand is purchased in the first place.

Maybe Winchester did not do this.  Or if the evidence is gone, I stand corrected.  Had I known, or been told, I never would have looked.  As it was, I didn’t think it would hurt to ask a man who worked for Winchester.

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March 22, 2017 - 2:18 pm
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Huck Riley said
  Legacy and it’s evidence is often the very reason a brand is purchased in the first place.

Don’t know if this has any bearing on the subject but, though the above statement is generally true, in the case of Winchester the company was basically shut down by Olin due to severe labor union problems in a bitter strike in 1979-1980 and they decided to get out of the business altogether.  They sold the factory and assets to the union and licensed the Winchester name.  This may have led to a lack of interest, or at least a laxity,  in preserving the photographic and documentary heritage.

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March 22, 2017 - 3:39 pm
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Wincacher said

 …in the case of Winchester the company was basically shut down by Olin due to severe labor union problems in a bitter strike in 1979-1980 and they decided to get out of the business altogether…

One more triumph for Big Labor.  And then US Repeating Arms, the company formed after the union assumed ownership, proceeded to go bankrupt, and is now owned by FN.  What is produced there?

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March 22, 2017 - 3:43 pm
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Exactly!

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March 23, 2017 - 3:01 am
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clarence said

Wincacher said
 …in the case of Winchester the company was basically shut down by Olin due to severe labor union problems in a bitter strike in 1979-1980 and they decided to get out of the business altogether…

One more triumph for Big Labor.  And then US Repeating Arms, the company formed after the union assumed ownership, proceeded to go bankrupt, and is now owned by FN.  What is produced there?  

I spoke with an FN rep at length this past Saturday. One of his samples is an O/U shotgun that supposedly borrows heavily from the Superposed but I didn’t see it. He also had a semi-auto shotgun, a .308 rifle, a prototype pistol and a few production handguns. All nice enough but nothing that warrants discussing here. I think this rep’s focus is military and LE and I suspect that is where FN is focused these days as well.

I spend a fair bit of time in a large warehouse and I have no trouble understanding how a rifle could easily become lost. Items in a warehouse are assigned a location. If a given item is assigned location ABC123 and placed in location XYZ789 it will not be found unless a physical inventory is done or someone just happens to run across it and somehow knows it does not belong there.

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March 23, 2017 - 3:22 pm
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There are pics of a typical production shop at New Haven, ca. 1940 (p. 51) and several different “shop” scenes (p. 56) in Roger Rule’s, The Rifleman’s Rifle….

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April 8, 2017 - 2:50 pm
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I’m sorry, but I don’t think we got much help.  Here’s the entire exchange with the guy I was talking about, and one other chimed in at the end.  Bolded the parts that might be of interest:

“Who works/worked for Winchester?
ME – but retiring on 4/1 and am on long term disability. what do you need ??
Hey , Some members of the WACA (Winchester Arms Collector’s Association) and I were trying to find archival/antique photographs of the interior of the warehouse, assembly, polishing, etc. rooms. So far, no joy. Just some empty/abandoned buildings. Thought you might have seen something on the office walls where you work, or in archives, or know of someone who knows where we might get a look-see, even if just on line. The older the better. Maybe people working, or bins, or racks, etc. I understand if you don’t, but thanks in advance for thinking about it.
best bet would be to get in touch with Marketing folks. pics may be hard to get, as cameras are not allowed in plant/facilities – but pics are out there. i do not have any to share. will try and find out more info
Thanks . We were hoping Op Sec would not have been a big deal way back then, but they did have proprietary methods and real competition with other companies so maybe. Most of us are lever gun guys, 1866 – 1895 but there are single shot and bolt guys. Etc. It’s really just academic interest and curiosity. I wonder if the Cody museum has much. Will check. Any leads you come up with would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.
I work for Winchester Ammunition – fyi – the rifles & shotguns are now made by Browning.
Thanks. I wonder where ownership of the old records went; With the brand name “Winchester” and Olin, or ? I know the Museum in Cody has a lot of records. But the break-up of the company is confusing to me. It’s not a big deal I guess. Could have been lost in a fire, or dumped in the garbage or sitting in boxes in some basement somewhere. If they even exist, it would be cool to see them put in a book. Maybe some day. Anyway, enjoy your retirement!
East Alton has records & blueprints of guns. They keep them in archives, but i doubt you will be able to get copies of anything as they are patent protected and not available to public
I worked for U.S. Repeating Arms ( Winchester ) for a very short time. I would have to think that all the records went to the parent company ( all that wasn’t looted before everyone was let go)”

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April 9, 2017 - 3:10 pm
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tim tomlinson said
Folks,

  Winchester did not always guess the best as to what the buying public wanted at the time.  I am more familiar with earlier models, and can state that early in the production of the 1876 in 40-60 caliber, they produced batches that then sat in the warehouse for an interminable time.  These then became fodder for being reworked to larger calibers to meet demands.  I have the passage in mind, but seems to me Herb Houze talked about the extreme numbers that were refitted to either 45-60 or 45-75 because they were “too small” for the game and other demands of the west at the time.  I have one carbine that was sold to a dealer and promptly returned to be refitted to 45-75 (my question is why bother purchasing it if it was returned so quickly, unless he was fed a set allocation by Winchester?).  It is not all that uncommon for batched production rifles to have surviving specimens remain in warehouse for years.  Bert is/was dead on about the features, too.

Tim  

Excellent post for the points stated, i.e. not guessing right that resulted in specimens remaining in the warehouse, and some 40-60 calibers being returned for larger calibers such as the 45-60 and 45-75.   This also happened with 40-60 caliber Whitney-Kennedys to the larger aforementioned calibers in the winter and spring of 1882/3.  I also have a 45-70 that was more likely than not a factory attempt to produce a 45-70 from the 45-60.   Further, such Winchester guessing and similar warehouse time certainly appears to have continued into the 1930s with some models.  Thanks, Tim.

James

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April 14, 2017 - 1:23 pm
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Several years ago I had a 86 deluxe takedown in 33 WCF. What was puzzling was that the serial number was applied some 12 years before it appeared in the warehouse, and 5 years before the 33 WCF was even introduced. Lettered as all correct. Always wondered where that reciever was hidden or misplaced for those 12 years.

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April 14, 2017 - 2:48 pm
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I had the Cody ledger checked on an extremely nice (looked practically new) 1886 45/90 Oct barrel / full mag rifle I was interested in that was sold at the James Julia auction on Tuesday that was received in warehouse on April 22, 1896 and wasn’t shipped out until June 21, 1899. I thought that was a little strange for a pretty desirable rifle configuration.

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Winchester Model 1873 44-40 circa 1886

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