Winchester Model 1907
|Winchester Model 1907|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Wars||World War I|
|Manufacturer||Winchester Repeating Arms Company|
|Produced||1907 to 1957|
|Variants||"Plain" "Fancy Finish" and "Police" rifles|
|Weight||8 lb (3.6 kg) to 9 lb (4.1 kg)|
|Length||40 in (1,000 mm)|
|Barrel length||20 in (510 mm)|
|Cartridge||.351 Winchester Self-Loading|
|Rate of fire||Semi-automatic|
|Feed system||Detachable 5 and 10-round box magazines|
|Sights||Open iron sights and optional tang or receiver-mounted aperture sights|
The Winchester Model 1907 is a blowback-operated, semi-automatic rifle produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company beginning in 1906 with production ending in 1958. It was perhaps the first modern assault rifle, firing a cartridge of intermediate power (roughly equivalent in energy to the 7.62x39), cycled through a semi-automatic operating mechanism, fed by a detachable magazine. It was fed from a 5, 10, or 15 round detachable box magazine located immediately forward of the trigger guard. In size and handling, it is much like an M1 carbine, though the 1907 is heavier and fires a much harder hitting round.
The only cartridge offered by Winchester as a factory chambering in the Model 1907 was the .351SL centerfire. The energy of this cartridge at the muzzle approximates the original loading of the 30-30 or the modern 35 Remington at approximately 75-100 yards.
In addition to the standard or "plain finish" model, a deluxe or "fancy finish" model was offered with pistol grip stock and checkering on the forearm and wrist of the stock. The plain finish rifles were offered in 1907 at a list price of $28. In 1935, Winchester offered a special "Police Rifle" variant, featuring a non-adjustable rear sight, sling swivels, larger magazine release, and a special barrel measuring 5/8" at the muzzle, and rear sight dovetail moved 2 3/8" inches rearward. A barrel sleeve with Krag bayonet mount and front sight was also an option with the "Police Rifle".
The basic design for the Model 1907 is covered by U.S. Patent 681,481 issued August 27, 1901 and assigned to Winchester by Thomas Crossley Johnson, a key firearms designer for Winchester. This patent was initially used to protect the design of the rimfire Winchester Model 1903, but came to be applied toward the centerfire Winchester Self Loading rifle series, which includes the Model 1905, Model 1907, and Model 1910.
List of Patents
- U.S. Patent 681,481 Small cartridge, Winchester Model 1903
- U.S. Patent 694,157 Box magazine
- U.S. Patent 720,698 Large cartridge, self-loading, box magazine, takedown rifle (Winchester Model 1905)
- U.S. Patent 747,675 Cartridge extractor
- U.S. Patent 829,215 Forearm tip
- U.S. Patent 834,578 Recoil buffer
- U.S. Patent 963,444 Buttstock bolt
World War I Orders
The government initially ordered 300 Model 1907 rifles in October 1915 from Winchester, soon followed by an order for 2,500 more rifles. Ammunition orders for these rifles exceeded 1.5 million cartridges of .351SL before 1917. Subsequent orders in 1917 and 1918 totaled 2,200 Model 1907 rifles. According to factory records, these rifles were modified for fully automatic fire and fitted with Lee-Navy rifle bayonets. These rifles were designated by the name of Winchester Model 1907/17, they used either a 15-round magazine or 20-round magazine and fired from 600 to 700 rounds per minute.
According to a November 1, 1916 Winchester internal report, Great Britain's London Armory was sent 120 Model 1907 rifles and 78,000 rounds of .351SL ammunition between December 1914 and April 1916 for use by the Royal Flying Corps. These rifles were specially modified for aerial use and intended to arm airplane rear seat observers.
According to factory records, the 1st Aero Squadron of the U.S. Army Signal Corps Air Service was shipped 19 Model 1907 rifles and 9000 cartridges of .351SL ammunition. The 1st Aero Squadron's shipment was sent to Columbus, New Mexico and was presumably used in arming their aircraft while in support of General Pershing's Punitive Expedition.
The Model 1907 was a popular rifle with law enforcement in the United States during much of its production - especially in the 1930s when the police in the United States were upgrading their firearms due to the increase in crime. The Federal Bureau of Investigation acquired some Model 1907 rifles in response to the 1933 Kansas City Massacre.
- West, Bill R. (1964). Winchester For Over a Century. Stockton Trade Press, p. III-5.
- Winchester Repeating Arms Company 1907 Guns Catalog Reproduction by Cornell Military Publications. Brighton, MI 48114
- US Patent Number 681481: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=681481
- Houze, Herbert G. (2003) "Winchester's First Self-Loading Rifles". National Rifle Association, American Rifleman 151(5): Washington. p. 51.
- Houze, Herbert G. (2004). Winchester Repeating Arms Company: Its History & Development from 1865 to 1981. Krause Publications, p. 182.
- Schreier, Konrad F. Jr. (1990). Winchester Center Fire Automatic Rifles. Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Armax III(1): Cody, Wyoming, p. 13.
- Vanderpool, Bill "Bring Enough Gun" American Rifleman October 2013 pp.80-85&115-116