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The Winchester Rifle is a series of lever-action rifles, often referred to as "The Gun That Won the West". It was the Long-Range Weapon of Jesse James. A later model was the long range weapon of Pancho Villa.


  • Range: 250 yards
  • Weight: 9.5 lbs
  • Length: 49.3 inches
  • Barrel Length: 30 inches
  • Caliber: .44-40 Winchester
  • Action: Lever-action
  • Feed System: 15-round tube magazine
  • Model 66


The Winchester Rifle was arguably the most famous repeating rifle in history. It's frequent depictions in Western films led to its nickname "The Gun That Won the West". Its accuracy, relatively quick reload and large magazine for the time made it popular during Jesse James time.

Oliver Winchester acquired the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company in late 1856, converting it into the New Haven Arms Company. This arms company was renamed again in 1866; into the Winchester Arms Company, and introduced the Winchester Rifle in the same year.

The Winchester Rifle was an improved design of the 1860 Henry Repeating Rifle; which was named by Winchester's superintendent Benjamin Tyler Henry.

The .44-40 Winchester rounds could also be used in other weapons, including various Colt Revolvers.


  • The mansion of known as the 'Winchester Mystery House' was believed to be haunted according to its owner Sarah Winchester, the wife of treasurer William Wirt Winchester of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. She believed the victims of the rifle haunt the house in revenge of their deaths.
  • The most expensive rifle in the world was Major General Henry Ware Lawton's 1886 Winchester: valued at $1,200,000 in 2018.
  • Theodore Roosevelt praised the rifle, calling it his favorite gun.