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Old June 24, 2015, 02:52 PM   #1
Mike Weber
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Winchester Bullets info

I have a full box of Winchester 350gr cast bullets for the .45-75 Winchester Model 1876 Rifle.



I also have several loose bullets of the same caliber and configuration. These were found in an old barn in Northern California prior to the buildings demolition about 25 years ago.

I've contacted the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody Wyoming with requests for information. Typically they are the best source of information regarding early Winchester products. They were unable to help and suggested that I purchase a copy of The Winchester Price and Identification guide. I have that copy and unfortunately it does not contain any information regarding Winchester Brand bullets.

I then contacted the website of the International Cartridge Collectors Association. I was hoping to get an accurate date of production for these bullets and an idea of collector value. They weren't able to offer much help but, they did link me to a recent auction site where an intact box of bullets dating from the same period for the much more common .44-40 WCF cartridge sold for $800

Based on the label of my box of bullets I believe that it dates from between 1876 to 1885.

Any cartridge or bullet collectors out there with info on old Winchester Bullets?
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Old June 25, 2015, 08:29 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Wow. NEAT find!

I don't have definitive information, but my first thought on seeing the box pretty much matches the dates you've come up with because of the label. I believe that around 1885 (it may have been a few years after 1885, in the 1890s) Winchester, for a very short time, went to a yellow label, and then went to a red label for a number of years.

I would say, though, that it's closer to the 1885 date than 1876. Earlier Winchester bullet boxes were pretty ornate, more like the one shown here: http://www.icollector.com/Antique-Bo...fles_i13827653

Value, hard to say. Most of the bullet boxes I've seen haven't been complete (not all the bullets are there), but have been in similar condition, and prices have generally been in the $200 to $400 range.
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Old June 25, 2015, 10:35 AM   #3
Mike Weber
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Thanks for the info Mike. I also concur that the date of manufacture was probably closer to 1885 based on the labeling. This is actually the first box of Winchester bullets I've seen that were intended for a full power rifle cartridge.
I've seen their bullets for the 44-40, 38-40, and 32-20 which were also common pistol calibers at the time.

Due to the market insanity in recent years on anything firearms related its difficult to get an accurate estimate of value on these sort of items.
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Old June 25, 2015, 11:25 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
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Well, remember, the 44-40, 38-40, and 32-20 all started out as Winchester rifle cartridges. It was only later that Colt and S&W brought them into the fold as companion revolver cartridges.

At this time, Winchester really entered the components market in a half-hearted fashion. They wanted to sell complete cartridges, which was far more profitable. At different times the various ammo manufacturers even took stances against home reloading.
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Old June 25, 2015, 12:07 PM   #5
Mike Weber
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Cartridge reloading by private individuals was also still in its infancy with the exception of the buffalo hunters during the 1870's. I was surprised that the Winchester Price & Identification Guide made no mention of Winchester reloading components.
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Old June 25, 2015, 02:29 PM   #6
Mike Irwin
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Let's face it, reloadable cartridges were in their infancy in the 1870s.
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