Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Winchester rifle

The Winchester rifle, originally known as the Henry rifle (named after the gunsmith who invented it), was famous for its rugged construction and a lever action that allowed the rifleman to repeatedly fire, hence the "repeating rifle."

Repeating revolvers had been popular in the early-mid 1800s. The original handgun, invented by Samuel Colt, was given many changes and additions, before being adapted into a rifle. This gun, a volcanic repeating rifle, was originally manufactured by the Volcanic Arms Company, before Oliver Winchester bought the company, renaming it to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

The Winchester repeating rifle was widely used in the "Wild West" of America, and no frontiersman ever left home without his Winchester. It also had limited use in the American Civil War.