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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Winder Musket - do you know what one is? (Read 7809 times)
CW
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Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Apr 18th, 2018 at 2:59pm
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What does it take to be a real Winder Musket?
I have been working on a one page info sheet that would define what is and is not a Winder Musket.
The term Winder Musket gets thrown around a lot and often used for muskets of any pedigree.

Just for fun yesterday in talking with a friend who has both Campbell books I emailed him a half dozen cut and paste links to the on line auctions with "winder" rifles.
High walls, 32 calibers, two bands, no flaming bomb, first model muskets, muskets marked 22 long rifle and other odd items of suspect interest.

I have the big Winchester 1 of 1000 Madis book and two others of his.

So far only third model muskets contracted to the government with the acceptance of the flaming bomb, and chambered in 22 short are Winders. True the gov. did receive 1885 Muskets before the Winder contract, and they were in various reconfiguration. Campbell writes the third model musket, gov. "Winders" are all cut down highwalls. If so, can be checked by measuring the outside tang width and the inside tang with.
I am just getting started  ....

Anyone want to weigh in?
  
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LONG RANGE
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #1 - Apr 18th, 2018 at 3:44pm
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I would like to know since I have one as you described.
  
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Redsetter
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #2 - Apr 18th, 2018 at 5:22pm
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CW wrote on Apr 18th, 2018 at 2:59pm:
What does it take to be a real Winder Musket?


Important to understand that WRA never used that term--WRA merely called them .22 Muskets.  Winder's sole contribution was persuading WRA to make a .22 musket with a military style rear sight--because use for indoor training by NG troops was supposed to be its main purpose--a standard catalog option.  Before then, exactly the same rifle could have been ordered, but it would have been a special order.  Making it a standard catalog option was supposed to ensure uniformity when they were purchased by NG or other military units.

The 3rd model was however given a special designation all its own, probably because of its unique construction--a converted HW rcvr.:  Model 87.  This model dispensed with the military rear sight.  Why "87" was chosen, nobody knows.   

And by the way, WRA never used the term "Model 1885."  It was merely the Winchester Single Shot.
  
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waterman
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #3 - Apr 18th, 2018 at 6:49pm
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I've been trying to sort out the Winder tales for some years.  Here is my version: 

Winchester made .22 rimfire muskets about as soon as the Single Shot Musket was listed in their catalog, but did not sell many.  The early ones (both in Short and later in Long Rifle) were fitted with 2 bands and left-over sights from the Hotchkiss rifles (all that, more or less). 

Winchester was busy, but paid attention to potential markets.  In 1900, "military miniature rifle shooting" (what evolved into 4-position smallbore indoor and outdoor shooting) was brought to the US.  Certainly, the Winchester R&D guys looked at the emerging market with the High Wall musket in mind. 

Stevens also watched the emerging market.  Within a year or two, Stevens was producing the Stevens-Pope .22 LR barrels for the Krag service rifle.  Winder & several other National Guard officers bought them (probably with state funds) and converted several dozens of Krags to .22 LR.

Using Krags as .22 training rifles produced very positive results, but in 1904, Winder & the others got into trouble for converting Krag service rifles without authorization.  That is when Winder got a Winchester Single Shot Musket for himself. Did he buy it?  Did Winchester give it to him?  Did Winchester put the Krag sight on a 2-band musket or did Winder do it himself?  In any event, a 2-band High Wall in .22 Long Rifle with a Krag rear sight is now a First Model Winder.

After using his rifle, Winder wrote to Winchester suggesting some modifications.  Winchester management liked Winder's ideas and hired him as a consultant.  The Second Model has one band, a perch-belly military forearm and a Krag rear sight mounted directly ahead of the High Wall action.  They were made in both .22 Short (mainly for indoor use) and in .22 LR.  My 2nd Model barrel (on a 3rd Model) is slightly larger in diameter at the breech end and with a marginally different taper than the later 3rd Models.  A 3rd Model forearm does not fit.  Winchester made the 2nd Model Winder for 10+ years, but did not sell too many, maybe 8,000?

The 3rd Model, with High Wall actions milled to Low Wall profile, and with a Lyman 53 rear sight, was produced  in .22 Short for military contracts from December 1917 through November 1918.  Those in Long Rifle (with or without flaming bombs) were probably assembled post-war from parts on hand.  They were sold thru the DCM and by Winchester.  Maybe 17,000 total?
  
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CW
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #4 - Apr 19th, 2018 at 9:41am
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In a narrow sense I think we have a good idea what defines a Winder, but it seems it is the exceptions that are in question.

In poking around the internet I found a 10-14 year old thread posting on Rimfire Central with a lot of reference to a book that was to be published. The poster went by BERT and was in the PNW or maybe Washington area.  The book sounded like it was to cover not only the Winder, but all things Winchester Singleshot.  Does anyone know about this book or if it was published?
The old RFC thread had some good info but the pictures in Photo Bucket were long gone.
Thanks. CW
« Last Edit: Apr 19th, 2018 at 10:08am by CW »  
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Redsetter
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #5 - Apr 19th, 2018 at 11:23am
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CW wrote on Apr 19th, 2018 at 9:41am:
In poking around the internet I found a 10-14 year old thread posting on Rimfire Central with a lot of reference to a book that was to be published. The poster went by BERT and was in the PNW or maybe Washington area.


That's Bert, the chief moderator of the Winchester Collectors forum, in Wa. state.  The Win SS is his specialty, but he never so far as I know produced a work on it alone.  He's a gold mine, however, of info about them.  What he did publish is the Red Book of Win. values.
  
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CW
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #6 - Apr 20th, 2018 at 1:15pm
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I have a lot to go through. So far I have done a rough cut and paste of much of the internet data I can find.  Bert, it seems, is a wealth of information!

There are a few books and publications I may want to track down. One that I clearly can not afford just for the Winder info is an out of print copy of Thomas Batha's book U.S. Martial .22RF Rifles.  Another that some of you may have (I don't) is the Winter 2010 Collector magazine.
If any of you have these and are able to help with out copyright infringement, can you quote anything from them that would help define what is and is NOT Winder Winchester factory production.

Thanks, CW
  
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #7 - Apr 20th, 2018 at 2:08pm
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CW wrote on Apr 20th, 2018 at 1:15pm:
If any of you have these and are able to help with out copyright infringement, can you quote anything from them that would help define what is and is NOT Winder Winchester factory production.

Thanks, CW


Seems pretty clear to me now merely from the preceding comments.  Some WRA document that defines the specifications?  It doesn't exist, because as I previously pointed out, WRA did NOT use "Winder" as applied to anything--it's collector's terminology.
  
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #8 - Apr 20th, 2018 at 3:51pm
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Redsetter wrote on Apr 20th, 2018 at 2:08pm:
CW wrote on Apr 20th, 2018 at 1:15pm:
If any of you have these and are able to help with out copyright infringement, can you quote anything from them that would help define what is and is NOT Winder Winchester factory production.

Thanks, CW


Seems pretty clear to me now merely from the preceding comments.  Some WRA document that defines the specifications?  It doesn't exist, because as I previously pointed out, WRA did NOT use "Winder" as applied to anything--it's collector's terminology.

Correct and I fully agree. Winchester never used that term and that may be the final answer. BUT, it is not my question exactly. Us laymen use the term and rifles are listed FS as Winders, I intend to answer my question as to a good working definition. As an example, a Highwall musket in 32WF sold as a Winder.
« Last Edit: Apr 20th, 2018 at 4:05pm by CW »  
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #9 - Apr 20th, 2018 at 5:31pm
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CW wrote on Apr 20th, 2018 at 3:51pm:
As an example, a Highwall musket in 32WF sold as a Winder.


An ignorant misuse of the term; although probably (because of the senselessness of that cartridge in a musket) quite a rare chambering.   
  
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #10 - Apr 20th, 2018 at 8:28pm
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Waterman - I read your post when you posted it and now again having put in many hours reading about the subject, your post takes on a new meaning.
You have raised a few items I don't think I have encountered yet.

More later
  
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #11 - Apr 24th, 2018 at 3:46pm
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Redsetter wrote on Apr 20th, 2018 at 2:08pm:
CW wrote on Apr 20th, 2018 at 1:15pm:
If any of you have these and are able to help with out copyright infringement, can you quote anything from them that would help define what is and is NOT Winder Winchester factory production.

Thanks, CW


Seems pretty clear to me now merely from the preceding comments.  Some WRA document that defines the specifications?  It doesn't exist, because as I previously pointed out, WRA did NOT use "Winder" as applied to anything--it's collector's terminology.

Having now read the 2010 winter issue of the Winchester Arms Collector, it is pretty clear there was a Gov contract with a contract number and specifications for what they were buying from Winchester. There is a lot of good data in that issue.

Also, to put this into perspective, knowing something about the timeline and relationship Charlies Winder had with Winchester is very helpful.
  
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #12 - Apr 28th, 2018 at 6:24pm
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John Campbell wrote an article titled "What's A Winder?" for an internet online magazine called "Single Shot Online."  His take is that Winchester started building muskets from 1886 onward but they were not Winders until 1904.  Charles Winder was with the Ohio National Guard and looking told Winchester which was actually working towards that same idea.  The first "Winder Musket" was shipped to Winder in Nov 1904.  Winder recommended some improvements which Winchester general manager Bennett like and adopted.  In 1905, Winchester started shipping the Winder Musket but it was never called the Winder.  So according to Campbell, to be a true Winder, the rifle has to be barreled in a .22 RF cartridge. It also was made up of cut down high wall receivers with the large barrel shank and same tang thickness.  It should also have the Lyman 41 sight.  Early ones were in .22 short, used flat spring actions and had 2 barrel bands.  They moved to coil spring actions around 1908 and went to a perch belly forearm with one band.  Production stopped around 1920.  In 1917 they began calling them the Model 87 and they were on coil spring actions and most were in .22 LR. 
I bought a .22 LR HW musket to build my .22 silhouette rifle from but it was not a Winder.  I've seen these muskets in 32-20, 45-70 and at a Cabela's a few years ago, a mint musket take down in 45-90.
  
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #13 - Apr 28th, 2018 at 9:56pm
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Old-Win wrote on Apr 28th, 2018 at 6:24pm:
So according to Campbell, to be a true Winder, the rifle has to be barreled in a .22 RF cartridge. It also was made up of cut down high wall receivers with the large barrel shank and same tang thickness.


No--only the 3rd model, the so-called Model 87, was built with a cut down high wall receiver. (Should have been done at the outset of the Winder saga, because chambering a HW  for .22 RF is idiotic.)  WRA did this, rather than use LW rcvrs.,  because, it is believed, there was a surplus of unfinished HW rcvrs. in the parts bins, and the 87 was seen as a way to use them up, despite the extra machine work required.

Campbell described all this in Vol. 1 of his two SS books.  However, a better account of the whole Winder story is found in M. D. Waite's March, 1978, Rifleman article, "Col. Winder and His Musket."  (Waite was the best of the Rifleman's technical writers from the '60s to the '80s. No Campbellian speculations, just the facts.) 

  
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Re: Winder Musket - do you know what one is?
Reply #14 - Apr 29th, 2018 at 12:15am
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Red, I respect your knowledge, but you do state your opinion as if it's indisputable fact, and argue with anyone who differs.
Do you really think you're more of an expert than Campbell?
Aaron
  

WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and supporting factual or anecdotal evidence.
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