Winchester M1892

Winchester Lever-Action Rifle, and  a brief history of the Gun that Won the West.
The Duke with his 1892 Winchester

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.

1892 Winchester Large Loop, and Mares Leg

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.  

Firearm Type: 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

Return to Gun Index

We Have Four Versions of Non-Firing Replica Winchester 1892 Rifles
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) 

We also have a blank-firing replica Model 1894 Winchester 
< /html>