The Winchester rifles are all the rifles with a lever action made by the American company Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The most famous are the Winchester 1873 and the 1894 versions. The company made nine different models. Say “Winchester” is like to say “Repeating Rifle”, as it’s the most famous repeating rifle in the world.
Created in the 1866, it was the best repeating rifle of the second half of the XIX century. They were known because the soldier could shot without recharge, ejecting the used cartridge and setting a new one, using a lever included on the body of the rifle. This model was made by Oliver Winchester, president of the company, coping and upgrading the Henry rifle, made by another company he owned.
It’s known as “the weapon that conquEsted the West”. This sentence is not so precise, as it has been introduced during the last phase of the Indian Wars. It has been determinant as it was so superior comparing it with the weapons of the Indians. It is also know because of the Hollywood movies (John Ford and John Wayne), the spaghetti western movies (Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood) and movies as “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” as symbol of the cowboys.
The repeating rifles were also used in the Secession War (1861-1865) but the Winchester were not born yet.
The Winchester was also used by the cavalry, but it was so important in the civil market as it was used by the haunters, especially by the bisons haunters. It has been very important in the battle it has been involved such as: the Pacific War (Chile against Peru and Bolivia), the Mexican Revolution and the IWW. It has been used until the IWW, when a new generation of rifles was invented (bolt rifles and comb charger rifles). The manufacturing process closed in the 1932.
In the 1964 was the end of the “true” Winchester, as the weapons were redesigned and the company was partially sold, keeping the only working part: the manufacturing of the bullets. For that, the rifles made before the 1964 were more expansive than the previous models.