View Full Version : 351 auto loader?

August 14, 2005, 09:15 AM
Has anyone ever heard of one of these.

Supposedly it was issued to prison guards.

I can buy it for around $300 should I?

Jim Watson
August 14, 2005, 09:32 AM
Winchester had a whole lineup of blowback operated semiautomatic rifles in the early 20th century. The 1903 .22 Auto, 1905 .32 and .35, 1907 .351, 1910 .401, and model 63 .22 long rifle. The '07 and 63 lasted until about 1958. They are all good solid blue steel and walnut rifles of the period, of interesting design and manufacture; BUT their ammo is long obsolete.

I would think $300 to be a good price for a .351 but only if you had a large ammo budget to find old stock, buy custom made; or are an experienced handloader.

August 14, 2005, 09:37 AM
Thanks Jim.

I just scrolled down a few posts and saw that someone else had asked the same question.

Sorry to be redundant.

My dad had just called me from new york, and told me of this gun. He didn't even mention that it was a rifle. :rolleyes:

I told him to hold on for a minute and I'd ask here.

17 minutes for an answer...that's quite impressive!

Thanks again.

Jim Watson
August 14, 2005, 10:05 AM
It only took that long because I had to look for a source of ammo. $27.95 a box from Buffalo Arms. And that in reformed brass, they don't say what.

August 14, 2005, 11:22 AM
Thanks again

cma g21
August 14, 2005, 02:51 PM
I had one about twenty five years ago. It was about the size of an M1 Carbine, but heavier. Power was similar to a .357 magnum. Even then ammo was expensive and hard to get.

James K
August 14, 2005, 03:15 PM
Just FWIW, the .32 Winchester Self Loading (.32 WSL/.32 SL/.32 SLR) cartridge made for the Model 1905 semi-auto rifle was the basis for the .30 Carbine cartridge of WWII. The carbine cartridge was not identical to the .32 SL, of course, but the first test rounds were made from modified .32 SL cases. Some early lots actually used .32 SL or .32 SLR headstamp bunters; these rounds are highly desired by cartridge collectors.


August 14, 2005, 04:16 PM
What is one worth?

Mike Irwin
August 14, 2005, 08:27 PM
Winchester loaded this ammo up through the 1970s and into the 1980s. I still see the odd box at gunshows.

The .32 and .35 are likely candidates for some of the most useless cartridges ever created.

Winchester got a lot of calls for a more potent cartridge, and brought out the .351 in short order, and that one showed some serious sticking power and popularity.

Back in the early 1980s a cop I knew opened the trunk to his cruiser and there was a well-worn .351.

Supposedly at least one member of the posse that killed Bonnie and Clyde had .351s, as well.

The .401 was the real powerhouse of the family, and was the only round truly suitable for hunting deer. Supposedly it was also popular in South America with jaguar hunters (IIRC Peter Capstick made that point).

If you think .351 ammo is expensive, try looking up .401 ammo.

T. O'Heir
August 19, 2005, 09:29 PM
This guy says he has 180 gr RN bullets. $28.98 per 50.
This guy says he has 170 gr RN ammo at $19 per 20 or $93 per 100. He also has Redding dies at $61. http://www.loadxammo.com/rifle.html
This guy says he has both ammo and brass. http://www.reedsammo.com/Page3.html
Brass from here at $54.97 per 50.(ouch!) http://www.qual-cart.com/351wsl.htm
The 180 grain jacketed load data I have give three loads from 1400fps to 1793fps. Shoot me an e-mail and I'll send you what data I have. [email protected]
There's a shop up here that is listing a Win 1905 in good condition for $299Cdn.
I've also got data for the .401 SL if anybody needs it.

December 31, 2005, 11:37 PM
As I write this (December 2005) Old Western Scrounger has bullets (projectiles only) at $12.99 per 100 for the .35 Winchester Self Loading or .351 Winchester Self Loading.
I was given a Model 1905 Winchester rifle in .35 Winchester Self Loading for Christmas, which is why I discovered this bargain.
I ordered 700 bullets, which should last me for some time once I start reloading for this beast.
Anyone have a Model 1905 magazine in .35 caliber to sell? I can't find one anywhere. No one seems to offer them, even Numrich Gun Parts.
Any ideas where I might find one? My rifle came without a magazine. I want to get it in shooting order.

CC Ryder
January 24, 2006, 08:06 AM
I inherited one from my DAD. I have accumulated 8 boxes of ammo. I consider them an investment. Worth too much to shoot. It is in good shape; sling swivels intact, has the curved plunger on the end of the forearm (newer models) as opposed to the round button.
I hunted with it some when I was a kid. Dad bought it new in the early 50's.
When it was new it would go full auto; you couldn't stop it. Dad took it to several gunsmiths before it was fixed. I have the 5 round mag that came with it and 2 8 round mags. I have read that there are 10 rounders.
I bought another some years back that someone had drilled and tapped. Traded it for a really nice Win 63.

July 29, 2009, 11:32 AM
to all,

i bought yet another Model 1907 in .351WSL (about 65% original finish & "refugee from a sheriff's armory") yesterday at a local "country gunshop" for 300.oo. = a SUPER bargain imVho.

reference ammo: use .357MAG cases, as they are only 0.09" shorter than .351WSL or trim down .357MAX to standard length.

FYI, the .351WSL is a KILLER on our small, but VERY numerous, EasTexas deer.

yours, PG

January 20, 2010, 01:58 PM
.357 Mag will work in the 1907 without modifications?

Mike Irwin
January 20, 2010, 02:57 PM
No, it generally won't.

You have to reduce the rim in a lathe.

.35/.351 rims are .410 diameter, while a .357 Mag/Max rim is .440 in diameter.

James K
January 22, 2010, 12:33 AM
The .35 WSL and .351 WSL (they are the same except for case length) are semi-rimmed. To use .357 Magnum or .357 Maximum cases, you have to trim the rim to .408" diameter, thin it to .045", and cut an extractor groove. Not hard, just tedious if you have to make a lot of them.


January 22, 2010, 01:06 AM
There has been a lot of interest in the win rifles w/ the release of the "Public Enemy" movie.

Although I have seen in print that a .351 was at the Bonnie & Clyde ambush, it was more likely a Rem 8 in .35 Rem (possibly .30 Rem)

There was a good write up on both of these rifles in an older "Police" magazine, which I posted on a similar thread a few weeks or more back.

January 22, 2010, 10:00 AM
There is no evidence whatsoever that a 351 Winchester was present at the ambush of Bonnie and Clyde. However, Clyde supposedly presented one or two 1907s to one of his gang when they split up.

Mike Irwin
January 27, 2010, 11:25 AM
I thought one of the Louisiana peace officers who was in on the apprehension was known to carry a 1907 in .351.

January 28, 2010, 12:49 PM

I haven't heard or read of one of the Louisiana members preferring a 351 Winchester. Do you know if it was Jordan or Oakley? Thanks!


James K
January 28, 2010, 09:51 PM
When the History Channel did a show on Bonnie and Clyde, their lead in showed an AK-47 and an SKS. They didn't say whether those guns were used by the dynamite duo or by the cops. (Or who had the time machine.)


Mike Irwin
January 28, 2010, 10:18 PM
No, I certainly can't give any specifics, unfortunately.

I seem to recall it being an article I read years ago, probably in Rifleman, Guns & Ammo, or one of the other popular press gun magazines.

there are any number of references on the web (I googled bonnie clyde 351) to a .351 being used in the final shootout, but that's certainly not definitive.

January 29, 2010, 09:34 AM
I've seen those references too. I'm not sure where they came from as the accounts by the men who participated, while contradictory about how the events unfolded, never mention a 351 Winchester. Admittedly, with the 351 being as popular as it was, having readily availble large capacity mags, and having a very good reputation for being able to punch through car bodies, it is curious there wasn't one there. Maybe someone in Louisiana has, unbeknownst to them, a bunch of the brass in a shoebox that their great uncle or grandfather picked at the scene and there will be some 351sl in the collection?

Or maybe the History Channel has it right - AKs and SKSs?


February 23, 2010, 10:09 PM
Here's my latest 1907 Winchester - a replica I had made by Tom Wilkinson in Idaho of two modified guns recovered when the Dillinger gang was captured in Tucson Arizona in Janauary 1934. These were made by Hyman Lebman of San Antonio Texas who was aquainted with Baby Face Nelson but didn't know who he was - he used an alias. No one knows for sure how many of these were made.



Here are the captured guns in a newspaper clip