Winchester Lever-Action Rifle, and a brief history of the Gun that Won the West.
This posting actually covers three rifles. In addition to the Model 1892 Winchester, it also covers the 1892 Carbine, and the Mares Leg rifle, since basically, it's for the most part, an 1892 Winchester with a shortened butt and barrel. If you've never laid eyes on the Mares Leg, it may strike you as strange. It's a little thing, sawed off on both ends, with a stock so short, it barely extends back past the lever. To call it a carbine would be an understatement. Any shorter and it would be a pistol. The Carbine model falls somewhere in-between.
1892 was the twilight of the Wild
West era. By most accepted historical convention,
the Winchester Rifle and the Colt .45 SAA pistol were given credit for
Winning the West, which by this time had pretty much already been
"won." Of course, it still had yet to be "won" again on the
silver screen, whose heyday was still years away. The Battle
of the Alamo, shootouts with Indians, drivng cattle across the Red
River and the gunfight at OK Corral had to be redone. In the
early days of the movies, there was (and still is) a romanticized
version of the Old West. Directors, looking to make their
mark didn't trouble themselves too much with research or chronological
accuracy. Why would a visionary director bother with such
trivialities? It's not uncommon to see an 1892 Winchester
being portrayed in a film that supposedly is set in the 1860s or
earlier. Still, America loves its Old West culture and
history. It's even popular overseas. Screen legend
John Wayne was a big fan of the Winchester Model 1892, and used it in a
lot of movies. He even had many of his own,
some with the large loop
lever, and "JW" emblazoned on the stock. Steve
McQueen, playing Bounty hunter Josh Randall in the TV series Wanted
Dead or Alive, sported the Mares Leg, a shortened version of the large loop lever 1892.
Hollywood wasn't the
only customer of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The
New Haven, Connecticut arms maker supplied the whole Western frontier
with rifles, to finish settling things down and building them up.
In the years that followed, the name Winchester became--and
still is--nearly synonymous with "deer rifle," as it continues to be
used as a big game hunting and sporting rifle. Winchester
pulled off a major coup in the firearms market of the time.
Having employed such ingenius designers as Daniel Wesson
(original designer of the cartridge) Benjamin Tyler Henry (who
perfected that cartridge, and the 1860 repeating rifle to go with it),
and John Browning who designed many more things, including the
legendary Colt M1911 pistol, they couldn't lose. They
revolutionized firearms, and the history of the American West.
The Model 1892 was made until 1938, and with their other
models, such as the Model 1866, 1873 and 1894, sold more rifles than
any other company in history.
Lever-Action Repeating Rifle
Nation Of Manufacture: USA
Military Service Dates : (1941-1945 Guard Duty)
Variations: Carbine, Mares Leg
Ammunition: .32.20, 38-40, 44-40 Center-Fire
Wars: Used throughout the Old West
Recent Prices at Auction for Originals: US $1,000-$9,000
We Have Four Versions of Non-Firing Replica Winchester
Here is Replica Model 1892 Winchester Rifle
Here is a Replica Winchester Mare's Leg Rifle (Wanted Dead or Alive)
Here is a Replica Winchester 1892 Carbine (Large Loop Lever)
Here is a Replica Winchester 1892 Carbine (John Wayne)