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joseph

Winchester Repeating Rifles.

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DirtyDick

According to one account, submarines were issued with Winchesters - usually 4 rifles and 4 pistols for a medium-sized boat, in addition to the later aquisition of a Lewis Gun - in lieu of SMLEs in 1914-15.

They went on to have the Canadian Ross rifles - which were replaced in the Canadian Army by SMLEs more suited to trench warfare - and latterly SMLEs. The Ross rifle was noted as being very efficient at destroying mines at long range.

This succession of unconventional armament would doubtless have come about as a result of the Navy handing over its 30,000-odd SMLEs to the Army in 1914 (according to WS Churchill).

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lassuy

Many thanks, Tony

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Mark Hone

Didn't Lanoe Hawker try using a Winchester rifle to shoot other pilots? A character in the old BBC series ('Wings'?) played by Jeremy Child certainly did.

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TonyE

Do you have a reference for the submarines being issued with Winchesters please? The pistols would almost certainly have been Webley .455 Self loaders as these were specifically issued to submarines and Torpedo-boat destroyers.

I know Hawker tried a number of ways to shoot down enemy pilots, including the side mounted Lewis angled forward outside of the prop arc.

If he did use a Winchester (and it was not his own), then it would have been a Model 86 in .45-90 calibre. These were issued with both RL type incendiary and SPG type tracer rounds. I would be very interested to receive any info anyone has on the number of these the RFC purchased.

Regards

TonyE

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DirtyDick
Do you have a reference for the submarines being issued with Winchesters please? The pistols would almost certainly have been Webley .455 Self loaders as these were specifically issued to submarines and Torpedo-boat destroyers.

Hello Tony

It was in an account given by Geoffrey Clough (A1919/028) held by the RNSM. His recollections chiefly concern service aboard HMS/m G10.

IIRC, he makes no mention as to the model of Winchester with which they were issued.

He served on boats from 1916 and recalled Winchesters being in use then; then Ross rifles; then SMLEs.

Of course, aside from using them for sentry and mine disposal, they would have equipped any boarding parties sent to examine suspicious vessels.

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TonyE

Many thanks for the reference. It certainly fits for submarines as they would send boarding parties as you say.

I am sure they would have been Model 92s in .44-40 cal, but I would still like to track down a reference to the elusive .30-30 model 94s!

Thanks

TonyE

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GrenPen

I saw this video a few months back. it starts with some footage of sailors with Winchesters. Although it is titled "British Contract Winchester 1892" I do believe it refers to the 1894

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-S65d9bAmc

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GrenPen

My mistake, it is the 1892 - not sure why I thought it was the 1894.

 

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manxsapper1915

Saw this on a local facebook page; Isle of Man Naval Reservists, not sure exactly what date the picture is,  as I don't know much about Naval kit.

26733645_1822052728093367_4094013253025395796_n.jpg

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AlanD

Great photos, one of the best I have seen featuring Winchester rifles in RN service.

 

Regards

 

AlanD

Sydney

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Patricia Mary

Hi - interesting thread - I'm researching the Police Reserves in Hong Kong during the Great War - knowing nothing about weapons whatsoever, I'm trying to work out why the Chinese companies of the Reserves were issued with Winchesters and the British/Indian and Portuguese companies with 'service rifles and Martini carbines'.  Btw the Chinese contingent of the regular police weren't issued with weapons as standard at all ... pretty much only detectives got revolver training.  The Indians and British in the HKP were all given musketry and revolver training.  Were the Winchesters lighter than 'service rifles' (presumably Lee-Enfields)??  Police Reservists didn't get to use their weapons much (aside from regular practices on the range) so I'm sure there was an element of making do with what they'd got .... but any light that can be thrown would be really welcome - many thanks

Patricia 

 

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4thGordons

Hi Patricia

I know nothing about the weapons of the HK police but to answer your question, yes the Winchester Repeaters are physically lighter and smaller than the Enfield "Service Rifles" (at this point I am not sure if the"Service Rifles" referred to would have been "Short, Magazine Lee-Enfields" -as standard throughout WWI- or the earlier Magazine Lee-Enfield (a longer version, officially supplanted but remained in significant service until late 1915 even in the front lines, and longer in training and secondary units). One way you might be able to identify which it was (if it matters to you!) would be to see if any bayonets are shown in pictures as the two types took different bayonets. But in either case the Winchester would have been a smaller, lighter weapon. Depending upon which version of the rifle it was, it may also have fired a "lighter" less powerful round although as noted military versions of the rifle were used by Russia etc in powerful military calibres.

The reference to the Martini Carbine is interesting because these were a much older design of weapon (think "Zulu"). The carbines referenced had (probably) been updated to fire the standard .303" round of the Service rifles, but it is conceivable they remained in the older, black-powder calibre, although I think that unlikely. These Martinis too, as carbines, would have been physically shorter and a bit lighter than the service rifle (see last pic below), but were single shot weapon, rather than being magazine fed like the others.

 

While I do not have aWinchester - you can see them at the start of the thread (or click here for several pics)  and are probably familiar with the basic design from 'cowboy" movies.

 

 

The others mentioned:

Magazine Lee-Enfield MkI*

MLEwebR.jpg.c6a1eef904d798324364f99528d4872c.jpg

Short, Magazine Lee-Enfield MkIII*

smle.jpg.42f9374e35ffea1fde80b3a6eb72798a.jpg

Martini-Enfield Carbine

martini-carbine.jpg.55c76c2c54b1ad29563dfc52975e3b2c.jpg

 

ASC detachment in WWI armed with Martini-Enfield carbines, showing their short length.

Martini-carbines.jpg.e15c9fce355a3c7fd31270a87d406aad.jpg

 

 

Chris

 

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MikB

It might be worth adding that the .44/40 Winchester round was between a quarter and a third as powerful as the .303 service round. Engaging a sea-mine with such a round at 3 or 4 hundred yards in anything other than a windless flat calm would seem to me most unlikely to bring a result. 

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OLD ROBIN HOOD

Greetings from Sherwood Forest.

If I may put my two groats worth into this interesting topic. Looking at the photograph of the soldier made me wonder just

what unit he belongs to. I think that looking at the brassard that he is wearing he may be a well turned out member of

the Volunteer Training Corps . Before official recognition there men had to purchase their own uniforms and equipment The

ammunition pouches that he is wearing look to me to be very much non regulation. In the early days they also had to arm

themselves and almost anything went. So to see a man with a Winchester Rifle would not be unusual.

This is just an opinion.

 

                                                                       Old Robin Hood

 

 

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AlanD

The carbine is not .44/40 calibre, this would have had the forend secured with a band, rather than an end cap.

I also now think the soldier is VTC.

 

Regards

 

AlanD

Sydney

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Patricia Mary
On 14/06/2019 at 15:55, 4thGordons said:

Hi Patricia

I know nothing about the weapons of the HK police but to answer your question, yes the Winchester Repeaters are physically lighter and smaller than the Enfield "Service Rifles" (at this point I am not sure if the"Service Rifles" referred to would have been "Short, Magazine Lee-Enfields" -as standard throughout WWI- or the earlier Magazine Lee-Enfield (a longer version, officially supplanted but remained in significant service until late 1915 even in the front lines, and longer in training and secondary units). One way you might be able to identify which it was (if it matters to you!) would be to see if any bayonets are shown in pictures as the two types took different bayonets. But in either case the Winchester would have been a smaller, lighter weapon. Depending upon which version of the rifle it was, it may also have fired a "lighter" less powerful round although as noted military versions of the rifle were used by Russia etc in powerful military calibres.

The reference to the Martini Carbine is interesting because these were a much older design of weapon (think "Zulu"). The carbines referenced had (probably) been updated to fire the standard .303" round of the Service rifles, but it is conceivable they remained in the older, black-powder calibre, although I think that unlikely. These Martinis too, as carbines, would have been physically shorter and a bit lighter than the service rifle (see last pic below), but were single shot weapon, rather than being magazine fed like the others.

 

While I do not have aWinchester - you can see them at the start of the thread (or click here for several pics)  and are probably familiar with the basic design from 'cowboy" movies.

 

 

The others mentioned:

Magazine Lee-Enfield MkI*

MLEwebR.jpg.c6a1eef904d798324364f99528d4872c.jpg

Short, Magazine Lee-Enfield MkIII*

smle.jpg.42f9374e35ffea1fde80b3a6eb72798a.jpg

Martini-Enfield Carbine

martini-carbine.jpg.55c76c2c54b1ad29563dfc52975e3b2c.jpg

 

ASC detachment in WWI armed with Martini-Enfield carbines, showing their short length.

Martini-carbines.jpg.e15c9fce355a3c7fd31270a87d406aad.jpg

 

 

Chris

 

Hi Chris 

thank you so much for this - the HKP had to come up with about 300 rifles for the reserves at short notice, while the Volunteers and the Volunteer Reserve were doing the same, so I am guessing that they had to go with the begging bowl to the local garrison - hence the older weapons.  And it must make sense that they gave the lighter Winchesters to the Chinese contingent, given that most were lighter and smaller framed than the Europeans and certainly the Indians.  At this time the police had a particularly able armourer, I've found mention that he was adept at keeping the guns up to scratch.  The Reserves weren't given bayonets - I don't know whether the regular police had them.  Unfortunately there are not a lot of photos of the police with their weapons at this time.  Anyhow, thank you again, that's been really helpful.

Patricia 

FullSizeRender.jpg.be6376adc78b46a275e4398fda4b216a.jpg

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