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Winchester Model 1907
Winchester Model 1907 rifle.jpg
Winchester Model 1907 semi-automatic rifle.
Type Semi-automatic rifle
Place of origin  United States
Service history
Used by FranceFrance
 United Kingdom
 Russian Empire
Wars World War I
Production history
Designer T.C. Johnson
Manufacturer Winchester Repeating Arms Company
Produced 1907 to 1957
Variants "Plain" "Fancy Finish" and "Police" rifles
Weight 8 lb (3.6 kg) to 9 lb (4.1 kg)
Length 40 in (1,000 mm)
Barrel length 20 in (510 mm)

Cartridge .351 Winchester Self-Loading
Action Blowback
Rate of fire Semi-automatic
Feed system Detachable 5 and 10-round box magazines
Sights Open iron sights and optional tang or receiver-mounted aperture sights

The Winchester Model 1907 is a blowback-operated, semi-automatic rifle produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company beginning in 1907 with production ending in 1957. It was fed from a 5 or 10-round capacity, detachable box magazine located immediately forward of the trigger guard. The only cartridge offered by Winchester as a factory chambering in the Model 1907 was the .351SL centerfire.[1] The energy of this cartridge approximates the modern .357 Magnum when fired from a rifle.


In addition to the standard or "plain finish" model, a deluxe or "fancy finish" model was offered with pistol grip stock and checkering on the forearm and wrist of the stock. The plain finish rifles were offered in 1907 at a list price of $28.[2] In 1935, Winchester offered a special "Police Rifle" variant, featuring a non-adjustable rear sight, sling swivels, larger magazine release, and a special barrel measuring 5/8" at the muzzle, and rear sight dovetail moved 2 3/8" inches rearward. A barrel sleeve with Krag bayonet mount and front sight was also an option with the "Police Rifle".[1]


The basic design for the Model 1907 is covered by U.S. Patent 681,481 issued August 27, 1901 and assigned to Winchester by Thomas Crossley Johnson, a key firearms designer for Winchester. This patent was initially used to protect the design of the rimfire Winchester Model 1903, but came to be applied toward the centerfire Winchester Self Loading rifle series, which includes the Model 1905, Model 1907, and Model 1910.[3]

List of Patents

World War I Orders


The French government initially ordered 300 Model 1907 rifles in October 1915 from Winchester, soon followed by an order for 2,500 more rifles. Ammunition orders for these rifles exceeded 1.5 million cartridges of .351SL before 1917. Subsequent orders in 1917 and 1918 totaled 2,200 Model 1907 rifles. According to factory records, these rifles were modified for fully automatic fire and fitted with Lee-Navy rifle bayonets.[4] These rifles were designated by the name of Winchester Model 1907/17, they used either a 15 round magazine or 20 round magazine and fired from 600 to 700 rounds per minute . See also Ribeyrolle Automatic Carbine

 Great Britain

According to a November 1, 1916 Winchester internal report, Great Britain's London Armory was sent 120 Model 1907 rifles and 78,000 rounds of .351SL ammunition between December 1914 and April 1916 for use by the Royal Flying Corps. These rifles were specially modified for aerial use and intended to arm airplane rear seat observers.[4][5]


The Imperial Russian government is recorded by Winchester as purchasing 500 Model 1907 rifles and 1.5 million rounds of .351SL ammunition through the J.P. Morgan Company in May 1916.[4][6]

 United States

According to factory records, the 1st Aero Squadron of the U.S. Army Signal Corps Air Service was shipped 19 Model 1907 rifles and 9000 cartridges of .351SL ammunition. The 1st Aero Squadron's shipment was sent to Columbus, New Mexico and was presumably used in arming their aircraft while in support of General Pershing's Punitive Expedition.[4][6]

Law Enforcement

The Model 1907 was a popular rifle with law enforcement in the United States during much of its production - especially in the 1930s when the police in the United States were upgrading their firearms due to the increase in crime. The Federal Bureau of Investigation acquired some Model 1907 rifles in response to the 1933 Kansas City Massacre.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 West, Bill R. (1964). Winchester For Over a Century. Stockton Trade Press, p. III-5.
  2. Winchester Repeating Arms Company 1907 Guns Catalog Reproduction by Cornell Military Publications. Brighton, MI 48114
  3. US Patent Number 681481:
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Houze, Herbert G. (2003) "Winchester's First Self-Loading Rifles". National Rifle Association, American Rifleman 151(5): Washington. p. 51.
  5. Houze, Herbert G. (2004). Winchester Repeating Arms Company: Its History & Development from 1865 to 1981. Krause Publications, p. 182.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Schreier, Konrad F. Jr. (1990). Winchester Center Fire Automatic Rifles. Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Armax III(1): Cody, Wyoming, p. 13.
  7. Vanderpool, Bill "Bring Enough Gun" American Rifleman October 2013 pp.80-85&115-116

External links

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