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Old September 14, 2012, 09:16 PM   #10
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Join Date: July 15, 2012
Location: Wonderful, Windy Wyoming
Posts: 133
Later, when Winchester wanted an autoloading shotgun, poor T.C. Johnson, Winchester's in-house designer, had to work around all those neat, tight patent specifications that Winchester's own attorneys had drawn up so carefully.

And the resulting work-around gun that Winchester shipped was the 1911 or "Model 1911 SL" (not to be confused with the 1911 pistol of Browning's design). Outwardly, the 1911 had similar lines to the Auto-5... but the similarities quickly ended there.

The Winchester 1911 came to be known as "the headbuster" or more popularly, "The Widowmaker" because of how it had to be operated, thanks to the design's inability to use features in the Browning/Winchester patent for the Auto5.

The gun was cocked by grasping a knurled area on the barrel and pulling rearwards. There was no operating handle on the breech block. Many hunters and shooters found it was less awkward to put the gun butt-down on the ground, and push down on the barrel. This often meant that their heads or chests were over the muzzle - hence the name "widowmaker."

It was also known for splitting stocks from the recoil.

In hindsight, we can see why Winchester has gone out of business several times over their history. It seems that they can't see the larger picture of their business... letting JMB walk out the door with a design they had already patented for him was perhaps one of Winchester's most stupid moves.
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