Winchester Lever Action Development: Model 1895
We have reached the final iteration of the Winchester lever action rifle development story today, the Model 1895. This was another John Browning design, although the locking system is basically the same as the 1894 but with the bolt extending over the top of the locking block and hiding it from sight.
The new feature of the Model 1895 was the replacement of the traditional tube magazine with a single stack box magazine located under the action. By this time, spitzer (pointed) bullets were becoming commonplace, to exploit the new high velocities made possible by the new smokeless powders. In a tubular magazine, these pointed bullets would rest on the primer of the next cartridge in the magazine, and ran the risk of causing rounds to detonate in the magazine tube under recoil. The box magazine, of course, negated this danger completely.
The Model 1895 was built around the .30-40 military cartridge, although was initially released in two black powder chamberings. It would eventually be offered in a wide variety of chamberings, including .30-03, .30-06, .303 British, and the .405 Winchester – Theodore Roosevelt’s “Big Medicine”. In addition, more than half of the total production (nearly 300,000 rifles) would be for the Russian military, with the rifles chambered for 7.62x54R and fitted with stripper clip guides.
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