Oliver Winchester founded the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1866. Today, the firearms side of the business is headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut. The Winchester brand is currently owned by the Olin Corporation. Most of the ammunition manufactured under the Winchester name is produced in Alton, Illinois (just outside St. Louis, Missouri) and Oxford, Mississippi.
With a storied past and reputation for reliability acting as a tailwind of sorts, Winchester continues to be one of the largest and most respected ammunition manufacturers in the world today. You can find their rounds for sale across dozens of calibers for pistols, rifles and shotguns here at winchesterprimers.com.
SHOP WINCHESTER PRIMERS & MORE
SHOP WINCHESTER PRIMERS & MORE
AMMO & POWDERS
Early History of Winchester
After many internal issues, corporate politics, and re-structuring, Oliver Winchester came out as the majority stockholder of Winchesters’ predecessor, the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company. After very little success, Winchester and his partner bought out what was left of the VRAC. In 1857, they rebuilt it as the New Haven Arms Company.
The New Haven Arms Co. built the first Henry Rifles in 1860 along with the Spencer Rifle. Both rifles were a success and quite a few were used by the Union Army during the Civil War. These two iconic repeating rifles secured the NHAC’s place in history.
Birth of Winchester Repeating Arms
Soon after in 1866, New Haven Arms was re-structured into the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Winchester took the Henry rifle pattern, improved and modified it, and it was reborn as the Winchester Model 1866 repeating rifle.
The Winchester Model 1873 was the next rifle to become a massive success. It was successful for multiple reasons, but one of the most important ones was Winchesters 1stcenterfire cartridge offering… the .44-40 WCF (Winchester Center Fire). The bigger Model 1876 came after the Model 1873, and the 1876 was chambered in larger calibers. They hadn’t yet achieved making a rifle with a chamber long enough to fit the .45-70 Government round. But, they were able to make a rifle with the .45-70 Govt by using the Model 1886 Browning design.
On into the 20thcentury Winchester made firearms for World War I, World War II, and now Winchester firearms are made in many modern factories all over the world. The factories are located in Portugal, Japan, Belgium, Turkey, and some designs are overseen by the Winchester R&D team in Morgan, Utah. Winchester firearms have a complicated, interesting, and rich history that is worth learning about. Not just for a basic history lesson, but also for learning more about the history of the American Firearm.
Popular Winchester Lines of Ammunition
Along with those extremely well-known calibers, Winchester produces multiple ammunition lines in places like their Oxford plant pictured above. Odds are good you’ve heard of most of these, even if you’re just a casual shooter or hunter.
Some of Winchester’s well-known ammo lines in alphabetical order are:
- Ballistic Silvertip
- Deer Season XP and XP Copper Impact
- Defender series
- Dual Bond
- Expedition Big Game and Big Game Long Range
- Platinum Tip
- Power Max Bonded
- Ranger & Ranger T / Black Talon
- Super Clean
- Super X
- Super Suppressed
- USA Forged
- Varmint X
- VX Lead Free
- W Train and Defend
- White Box (Winchester USA)
- WWII Victory Series.
Those are just the Rifle and Handgun ammo types. We haven’t even touched on the 18 different lines of shotshells Winchester crafts for almost every flying animal (except bald eagles, that’s illegal, you Commie!), and for a few 2 and 4 legged animals.