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Old July 18, 2008, 09:05 AM   #1
David Crane
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Winchester Model 1907 Police Rifle

I collect law enforcement firearms and would like to purchase a Win. Model 1907 Police rifle. But I'm confused about the dates of manufacture. Thomas Henshaw in the 6th Edition Updated of his book The History of Winchester Firearms 1866 - 1992 states that production of the Police rifle ended in
1937. Other sources state the Police rifle was produced from 1934 to 1937 at which time all subsequent Model 1907s were manufactured with the Police rifle's heavy stock, metal buttplate and sling swivels. Still other sources claim the Police rifle was produced until 1957. I believe that the FBI issued Model 1907s during the late 30s but can't actually prove it with documentation. Can anyone shed any light on the true history (Post WW I) of the 1907? And does anyone know where I can find a 7th (2007) edition of Henshaw's excellenet book. Thanks, D
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Old July 18, 2008, 09:29 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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As a single data point, the 1939 Stoegers lists the "Model 07 Police Rifle complete with bayonet" for $86.50.
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Old July 18, 2008, 10:17 AM   #3
David Crane
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Excellent. Thank you. Does it by chance list the police Rifle along with a Standard and Deluxe model? I wonder is a 1933 book would not show the Police Rifle and a 1934 book have it. My thinking is this would tie down the year it was first produced. Not sure how, if at all possble, to use the books to tie down the last productioon date.
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Old July 19, 2008, 10:39 PM   #4
.351winchester
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Quote:
I believe that the FBI issued Model 1907s during the late 30s but can't actually prove it with documentation.
Issued I'm not sure, but early DI/FBI agents definately used them, in one case took out a Barker-Karpis associate by punching through the front plate of his vest, bullet stopping on the inside of the back plate. I know in the DI days, Agents on top of their game would employ personally owned .38 Super GM's, and later, S&W Registered Magnums, but when going to war would bring along a TSMG or Remington 11 Riot. They would have picked up on the virtues of the 07 after seeing rapid but aimed single fire after getting the short end of the stick a few times. I've been trying to find out the rifle/optic combo used by Agent Winstead, that detail is just not known. I've skimmed books on FBI history, and there is just very little on specific guns, outside the .357 as a sidearm, just when researching particular investigators. But is a safe bet that this was the rifle, the FBI deployed from '33 on, probably moreso after '34, whether issued or privately owned.

The Motorized Bandits came to depend on this when the chips were down, and for the most part lead trends and use of new technology in firearms in the war on crime. It was the favored weapon of Homer Van Meter, and Baby Face Nelson used one (which I theorize, was a Lebman custom FA, as displayed today by the Tucson PD or SD, with foregrip and comp, due to eyewitness claims it was a Thompson) to kill Agents Cowley(SAC, Hoover's top guy) and Hollis. These showed up in every seized cache of savvier Depression desperadoes, and every LE inventory of note. It is often erroneously reported as being part of Hamer's team's battery in the ambush of Bonnie and Clyde (maybe it's most memorable anecdote), but in fact was not.

There was a police option from Winchester at one time, a brace of Model 97 Riot and Model 07 in one case (taken down, or not?) with pouches for shells and 10 round mags. Never heard of this one for sale, but would be a treasure if you found one. 15 round sticks were available aftermarket. Definately higher cap coming out of Lebman's shop, whether he purchased or fabricated them personally is a mystery.
This was definately the king of semi auto Police rifles/carbines for a long time, (maybe the only pure Police rifle, too, but a lot of LEOs had 94's) and people who faced a spontaneous gun battle at any moment 24/7, came to think very highly of this gun. It was the thing to have on your shoulder. Must have for any LE collection. Largely forgotten and unknown today, unfortunately, because this was the real urban carbine, THE fight winner when they happened all the time, making it the American classic that no one knows about.

C.O.'s were definately issued the 07, looks like it was common on the wall as the Mini 14 GB is today, but cannot give you specific examples of DOC's or even if the Federal system issued them.

Sorry I could not give more info. Finding it very hard to find myself. Wanted to do some writing on the 07,(and the gunsmithy of Hyman Lebman) but there's not much out there to research. I recently purchased a .401 after wanting a .351 for years (still do, b/w ammo), blown away by the old-school craftsmanship. If you get ahold of a serial number index, can you check out my 10, (306X)? I was told it was first year production. I have no use for this rifle, but still love it and want to keep it. If you get a .351 and want to shoot it, hope you are set up to reload.
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Old July 20, 2008, 05:33 PM   #5
David Crane
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Winchester Model 1907 FBI Rifle

Thank you for that great information. Yes, the 1907 was used as much by the mobile gangsters it seems as by the good guys in the 30's. After Dillinger was killed two 1907s were found in his arsenal. One was apparently stock and the other had been modified. The stock rifle was found to be equipped with the standard 5 round mag and the modified rifle had two 10 round mags. Both rifles are now in the FBI archives and I have spent quite a bit of time trying to convince the FBI FOIA folks that, yes, they do have info on the 1907 (unsuccessfulluy to date I might add but I'll keep trying). While I have not found photographic evidence I believe the 1907 was also used during the ambush of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. There is clear photographic and documnetary evidence the a Remington Model 81 was present at the ambush. The Model 81 (in .30 Remington) replaced the 1907 as the Bureau's issue rifle as evidenced by many photos of racks of Model 81s in Bureau gun vaults.

Actually, my research to date shows that the 1907 did not find favor with the FBI after they were received. It is not clear to me as to why; however, one issue was that the 1907 was not effective at the ranges requied by the Bureau. As a result the 1907 had a very short lifespan with the Bureau. The Bureau contacted Remington sometime in 1938 or 1939 and asked if the would build the Bureau a Model 81 in a then unavailable cailber, the soon to be called .30 Remington. The Bureau contracted for and received 100s of Model 81s during WW II. These rifles were some of the very few manufactured for civilian purchase during the war (so who turns down J. Edgar Hoover right?)

You raise a great point though. The FBI Remington 81s are identifiable as FBI issue and I have managed to acquire two of them, one built in 1941 and the other 1943. The 1907 presents another problem. Like you, I have never located any information that would lead one to be able to identify an FBI 1907exclusive of the serial number, which we don't have a record. One can theorize that Bureau 1907s were likely manufactured in the early to mid 30s. The Bureau was inclined toward aftermarket sights, e.g., Lyman, so it is possible a Bureau 1907 would have Lyman sights. Agents apparently complained about the recoil of the 1907 (shades of the S&W Model 1076) so I have been intrigued by the 1907s I have seen that have aftermarket recoil butt pads. I am hoping someone will rack their memory and recall what, if anything, might have been unique to the FBI 1907.

Regardless, thank you for your help and insight. If you are referring to serial numbers of a Model 1910 I have not researched it at all because it was never a Bureau issue firearm. Sorry.
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Old June 7, 2009, 11:50 AM   #6
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I know this is an old thread, but I'm interested in Law Enforcement, particularly F.B.I., firearms of the "gangster era".

Can you tell me, or post pictures of some of the distinguishing elements of a former FBI Model 81?

Thanks, Steve
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Old July 30, 2009, 09:30 AM   #7
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Calfed,

the ONLY difference in the so-called Winchester Police Rifle & a standard, plain vanilla, Model 1907 (.351WSL) or 1910 (.401WSL) was a straight 10 round magazine. - the "police rifles" came straight off the assembly line & NO there were NOT special serial numbers for those rifles.

fyi, there were also some 15-round (and a FEW 20-round "banana clips" that did NOT work successfully!) "aftermarket" magazines made for & sold by George F. Cake Company in Dallas, as late as the late '50s.
(the TX Dept of Corrections still had some of the .351s, as few as 15 years ago, as "tower rifles".)

fwiw, ALL of the "police rifles" in either caliber that i ever saw in 3 decades of being "pinned to the badge" were "police marked" by engraving/stamping/branding the actions/stocks.

yours, PG
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Old July 30, 2009, 06:12 PM   #8
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i just won a 1907 with lyman peep sights off of gunbroker, it is going in my gangster collection, so far it consists of a winchester 97 riot gun made in 1925, winchester 07, remington model 8 (this was an actual police gun/ prison guard rifle), m1911 made in 1915/16, and my newest addition, a thompson "commando" from auto ordnance

im liking my "gangster collection" but it could really use a 1903 in .380, and a remington model 11 cut down like bonnie's....
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Old July 30, 2009, 10:00 PM   #9
.351winchester
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Quote:
the ONLY difference in the so-called Winchester Police Rifle & a standard, plain vanilla, Model 1907 (.351WSL) or 1910 (.401WSL) was a straight 10 round magazine.
I'm pretty sure there was a special police model with enhancements such as a thicker stock. Winny also offered a cool as hell package featuring an 07 and 97 riot, in a takedown sized case that fit both, with pockets for the 10 rounders and loose 12 ga shells.

Thanks for the great info on the 15 and 20 rd mags. The 20's were made by the same co.?

FBI did use the .351. Cowboy Doc White center punched Slim Gray with one, and pumped rounds into the house where Freddie (and Ma) Barker was killed. Either Clarence Hurt or Earl Connelly arrested Karpis without incident once an 07 was levelled inches from his face. For a few examples.

Nice collection Predator, I'm liking it too, how bout some pics. I saw that .351 on GB, looked nice. The two guns you're looking at, I'd say would be the only two glaring omissions to your heist loadout. You can find Model 11's cheap. Clyde had them in 20 and 16 gauge in the Whipit configuration, believe he left the 12 ga. Spl Police or Riot length in 12 ga. or cut down to same. Hope you like your 07, they're normally sweet shooters, fast firing, just how I like 'em. There are places online, custom mfg. loaded ammo. Found some for my .401 (advertised as 200gr/2000fps) at about 2 bucks a round, they had .351 as well. Never got around to ordering though and recently had to sell the rifle.

Did you like Public Enemies?

Last edited by .351winchester; July 31, 2009 at 02:17 AM.
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Old July 30, 2009, 11:12 PM   #10
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"fyi, there were also some 15-round (and a FEW 20-round "banana clips" that did NOT work successfully!) "aftermarket" magazines made for & sold by George F. Cake Company in Dallas, as late as the late '50s."

This is news to me as well. I've heard rumors of the longer-than-10round magazines but never heard of the manufacturer/seller. I'd love to see an ad for these. One more lead to track down. They must have stuck out a mile as the 10 rounders are pretty dang long. It's curious that there aren't any photos of these. Even the Lebman-modified Dillinger guns, etc. all seemed to have just the 10-rounders.

Anyway, sounds like you are on your way to a nice collection. Keep us updated.

John
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Old July 31, 2009, 10:12 AM   #11
prestigegunleather
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to ALL,

pardon me for not responding to each of your questions separately, but i type too slow these days (arthritis!) to do un-necessary typing.

every one of the 15-round magazines that i ever saw had "GFC, DALLAS" stamped on them. i have no idea if there were other manufacturers/vendors.
(the 15-rounders were NOT popular, except as "tower rifles", as the magazines were LONG & "in the way & burdonsome" to carry in a patrol car. further, my understanding is that the 20-round "banana clips" were just plain UNWORKABLE & JAMMED constantly.)

fyi, i've never seen an ad for the GFC magazines, either, BUT i have shot a 1907 with one of the 15-rounders on the DCSO range (long ago). - i've never seen one of the "banana clips" at all.


fwiw, the 1907 that i desperately wanted, but couldn't buy (a ranking DPS supervisior/ORANGEBLOOD "snatched it") was a CASED 1907 that was (nicely) engraved on the action: Property of The University of Texas.
the black leather-covered hardcase had a brass plaque with a longhorn design & Property of The University of Texas. - as far as i can find out, it was the ONLY one that the UT Police ever bought.
(fyi, if you cut me, i bleed BURNT ORANGE!! = i paid a PREMIUM for my S&W Model 64, 4" plain barrel ,that was "surplused off" by UTPD about 1990. the backstrap is marked: Univ. of Texas Property.)

should any reader know of a UT-related firearm for sale, i would be a BUYER for it.

note to readers who are NOT one of us "Wild Texicans" (all of us REAL Texans are CRAZED over high school & college football. - even the COWBOYS don't provoke the general NUTTINESS of the UT/A&M game or the TEXAS/OU weekend. those two football games have provoked more divorces than adultery!) : "you don't want to know" what price (think FIVE figures) that a "plain vanilla" property-marked Model 94 Winchester brought some years ago in a state auction. the reason: the action was marked PROPERTY OF THE TEXAS A&M COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE.
("horse doctors" all over Texas & the SW bid on the Model 94, as well as LOTS of other just plain AGGIES!!! ====> fyi, i believe AGGIES are a LITTLE crazier than ORANGEBLOODS, but i'm not sure of that. - CHUCKLE.)

yours, PG
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Old August 1, 2009, 12:47 AM   #12
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do you know where i can find a picture of that winchester case for the 07 and the 97?? i would consider making one for my two winchesters if i could see a picture...

i havent seen public enemies yet...but i will when i get a chance!!
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Old August 1, 2009, 11:07 PM   #13
.351winchester
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i have never seen a pic of the dual case, just read of it. Know it had mag/ammo pockets, and believe it held them broken down. It was marketed to PD's back in the day. I'd like to show up to a 3 Gun match with a .38 Super and this rig.

John, how's your project coming?
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Old August 2, 2009, 09:47 AM   #14
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These guns you all speak of can not possibly exist.

They would be very important historically as early successful self loading rifles used by famous and/or notorious individuals.

Not listed by the Winchester Collectors Society.

http://www.winchestercollector.org/
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Old August 2, 2009, 10:10 AM   #15
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The very first CF rifle I was ever allowed (briefly) to handle was a 1907 Winchester that the fatherly Missouri State Trooper who lived up the street from us carried in a rack above the passenger side door of his patrol car. This was circa 1956-1957.

I have no idea how 'old' it might've been. As I recall it looked 'like new' so far as metal and wood finish were concerned to me. FWIW, I don't think it was a "standard issue" item because I never saw another patrol car with the same set-up. IMO, it was most probably his private purchase.
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Old August 2, 2009, 03:07 PM   #16
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"John, how's your project coming?"

351 Winchester - I'm still at it with trying to find another 1907 that is cheap enough but good enough to do this with. I've got a metal worker who "may" be interested in creating a forearm. The compensator is the trick - nobody wants to tackle it. I thought about adapting a Cutts from a shotgun but I need measurements to see what size I might need - probably 410? It's either that or be patient and troll the gun show for a Cutts for a rifle. Have you ever seen this? It show that a Cutts was considered for the 1903 Springfield - they look identical to the 1907 cutts.

http://books.google.com/books?id=vb3...age&q=&f=false
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Old August 8, 2009, 01:07 AM   #17
.351winchester
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I'd say that's very much like, if not the actual comp Lebman used. If you find one it would have to be hogged out probably, from .30 to .35. Barrel chopped to 16", don't have any ideas for re-attaching the front sight since it was dovetailed into the hump near the end approx 19.5". That metal forearm would be a must. The original wood cracks if you look at them wrong anyway, attaching a TSMG (which are available from a number of sources low as 20. unfinished) foregrip would be damage waiting to happen. I wonder where you'd find the Cutts for a Springfield, I never knew such existed, gotta be rare and pricey as hell. Anxious to follow the progress on this, hope to get an 07 myself soon.
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Old August 25, 2012, 08:57 PM   #18
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The model 07 was available to anyone who wanted to buy them. Police or whoever. Another Police equipment company would buy them, modify them and offer them to police departments. In 1934, I guess Winchester got tired of it and offered a "police model" themselves. They are few and far between, but the dead giveaway was a fixed, non adjustable rear sight. Their sales were flat, so the "police model" was discontinued in 1937. However, some of the ideas were retained, such as the beefed up stock and forearm, which was prone to cracking due to the force of the recoiling 2 1/2 lb. internal block. From then on, the line was comprised of this one rifle back to the adjustable rear sight, steel buttplate with the few other minor improvements. You could always order the rifle sling as an extra, etc.
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Old August 27, 2012, 06:47 AM   #19
Mike Irwin
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This thread is well over 3 years old.

No need to resurrect it to provide an answer as if the questions were asked yesterday.

Feel free to start a new thread with the information.
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