Winchester: The American Legend
Few names are as iconic and intertwined with our nation’s history and firearms as Winchester. For more than 150 years Winchester ammo has been recognized by sportsmen, acknowledged as an industry leader and proven itself in the field, on the firing line and front line.
When Oliver Winchester established the company on May 22, 1866, reliable ammunition was part of the original mission. The company name oozes history, pioneering spirit and communicates performance, although resting on those laurels isn’t standard operating procedure. Its tradition of designing and perfecting new cartridges, shotshells and components that perform, in tough conditions, with the latest technology, continues to this day.
The company arguably reached dominance shortly after news of Theodore Roosevelt taking in the view from Cuba’s San Juan Hill swept the nation in 1898. His rag-tag band of Rough Riders determined the U.S. military’s then-standard-issue firearms were sub-quality, arming themselves instead with Winchester Model 1895s for the campaign. The only reason Teddy wasn’t holding his ’95 for that famous summit picture is that, as legend has it, he’d loaned the reliable repeater to another soldier before the battle. He’s widely reported as stating—about his Centennial Model 1876—“The Winchester…is by all odds the best weapon I ever had, and now I use it almost exclusively…”
The story and legend are the product of hard work and untiring innovation that begins with the Winchester Model 1866—launched during the company’s first year of operation. “The gun that won the west,” the Model 1873, was introduced seven years later and it brought with it something all new, the .44-40 Winchester Center Fire—the company’s first centerfire cartridge.
In 1894 the company began launching firearms at a frequency that made competitors green with envy. There was one that year, followed by the Rough Rider-preferred 1895 and many others. Its treasured, controlled-round-feed Model 70 that gained the title “Rifleman’s Rifle” among enthusiasts was first made in 1936 and Winchester didn’t stop there.
Winchester Ammunition Innovation
Winchester’s long list of All-Star guns dominated headlines and sentenced its new cartridge and shotshell designs to the backseat. There, the list of accomplishments is just as lengthy and noteworthy, beginning with the 1895 introduction of the new smokeless-powdered .30-30 Win. cartridge. By 1886 the company was making a line of Rival shotshells in 10, 12, 14, 16 and 20 gauge and, in 1918 collaborated with John Moses Browning to develop the Desert Storm-famous .50 BMG. It’s familiar Super-X brand of shotshells hit the market in 1921, the .270 Win. came in 1925 and two years later copper-plated bullets were coming out of the factory under the Lubaloy name.
The Great Depression struck in 1929, taking a toll on the company’s commercial footing at a time when it was still trying to recover after retooling to produce Enfields for Britain during World War I. In 1931 Western Cartridge Company, which was established by avid sportsman Franklin W. Olin, purchased Winchester Repeating Arms and Western-Winchester was born.
There was no slowdown in innovation. Only a year later it introduced the first non-corrosive, mercury-free shotshell primers and patented a process for making spherical ball powder. Then, working with Smith & Wesson, rolled out the 357 Mag. in 1935, .308 Win. in 1952, followed by the .243 Win., .338 Win. Mag, Power Point bullet and.300 Win. Mag. still serving in the Global War on Terrorism. The still-popular Silvertip bullet arrived in 1939, along with many others through the years.
Improvements in shotshell design continued at the same pace. The Super Seal cup wad was introduced in 1945, which improved shot velocity and gas management. The Winchester Mark 5 shot collar, another performance gain, followed in 1962 and the now-familiar Double X and AA shotshell brands hit the marketplace in 1965. In 1976 Winchester gave enthusiasts their first non-toxic steel-shot load—long before most hunting regulations reflected growing concern about the impact of lead on waterfowl.
Despite the hectic production schedule, the company also churned out 15 billion rounds for U.S. troops during World War II. The Lake City Ammunition Plant, which produces ammunition for the U.S. military, was managed by Winchester from 1985 to 2000. Roughly eight billion cartridges came out of the facility during that period.
Who Owns Winchester? Two Brands, One Name
A labor strike in 1979 ultimately led to the separation of the ammo and gun entities. First the company sold its firearms factory in Connecticut to employees, who had incorporated as U.S. Repeating Arms, but it ultimately came under the management/ownership of Herstal Group— owner of Fabrique Nationale and Browning. Winchester firearms continues to be manufactured under a licensing agreement, but Olin Corporation still manufactures Winchester ammo in Alton, IL.
Since the separation, Winchester has continued to roll out innovative cartridges and shotshells, including the .300 WSM (Winchester Short Magnum) and many others. In 1981 NASA decided the most reliable way to initiate parachute recovery and separation systems for the Space Shuttle’s solid rocket booster engines was with Winchester 209 shotshell primers. Performance is never compromised, obviously, a fact confirmed in 2017 when the U.S. military awarded a contract to the company to supply 9mm ammo for the new Modular Handgun System (an agreement valued at $99.2 million).
The Winchester PDX1 Defender line is tailored for self-defense. Available in a variety of handgun chamberings—and a trio for rifle—the hollow-point bullet is designed to fold into six “petals” on impact, expand to 1.5 times its unfired diameter and defeat intermediate barriers (like clothing). It meets or beats the rigorous FBI testing protocol.
Winchester Ballistic Silvertip
A polymer tip maximizes long-distance performance, yet the alloyed lead core retains weight for the reliable terminal performance sportsmen expect. Its contoured jacket controls expansion and the bullet’s Lubalox coating minimizes barrel fouling.
Winchester M22 Subsonic
Rimfire fans who don’t like to make a lot of noise should take a close look at Winchester’s M22 Subsonic loads. Traveling slower than the speed of sound—yet still functioning in semi-autos—audible report is reduced and suppressor effectiveness maximized. The 45-grain bullets are plated to minimize fouling and improve function.
Winchester AA TrAAcker
The AA line is legend, but this new flavor adds an all-new twist to an outstanding product. The orange wad features notched helical petals that “stabilize” it in the center of the pattern during flight, effectively tracking the shot’s travel. What a great way to get an inexperienced shooter on target. An equally orange hull makes it easy to identify the special loads, even from the standard AA offerings—the preferred choice among shotgun sports enthusiasts.
Winchester 5.56x45 62 Grain FMJ M855 – 150 Rounds$147.85
Manufacturer Winchester Condition New Bullet Weight 62 Grain Bullet Type Penetrator Use Type home defense, plinking at the range Casing Type Brass Quantity 150 Ammo Caliber 5.56x45mm Manufacturer SKU WM855150 Primer Type Boxer Magnetic Yes UPC Barcode 020892228306 Cost Per Round 98.6¢ per round
There are two major kinds of magnetic bullets in this big, beautiful world of ammunition. The first are bullets with bimetal jackets. These are usually Russian in origin, and are manufactured for greater affordability. The second is the M855 bullet, which is not made to be cheap – it is built to penetrate.
This 5.56x45 round’s 62 grain bullet has a normal lead core and gilding metal jacket, but the green on its tip proves it is also packing seven grans of steel. The addition of steel makes the bullet a whole heck of a lot stronger, enabling it to punch through thin metal plating at close to medium range like it is made out of fondant icing.
Although a great option for recreational shooting with an AR-15, penetrator ammo also performs well for personal protection. It will gouge a wound channel up to 20” deep into soft tissue, and may even split into two fragments following impact. That’s why sitting on these 150 rounds of 5.56 ammo by Winchester until a big emergency is a good idea.
This ammo is brass-cased, reloadable, Boxer-primed, magnetic, and non-corrosive.
Good deal. Shipped out fast. Good rounds.
Review by Dan (Posted on 1/3/2021)
Prompt, hassle-free order & delivery
Review by Tex Doc (Posted on 1/2/2021)
good deal these days; as advertised.
Review by Doug (Posted on 12/28/2020)
Winchester Drylok Waterfowl 12 Gauge 3-1/2" 1-1/2 oz. #BB – 25 Rounds$29.85
Manufacturer Winchester Condition New Bullet Weight 1-1/2 oz. Bullet Type BB Shot Use Type hunting ducks and other waterfowl Quantity 25 Ammo Caliber 12 Gauge Manufacturer SKU SSH12LHBB Shot Material Steel Shell Length 3-1/2" Magnetic Yes UPC Barcode 020892017047 Cost Per Round $1.19 per round
If you're looking for a good load for hunting ducks and other waterfowl, you've come to the right page. This 12 Gauge ammo for sale features a 3-1/2" shell with Steel shot. New from Winchester, you will get excellent performance shot after shot as you work your way through all 25 of these rounds. Plus, when you buy from Widener's, you know you'll get fast shipping with a customer service team that stands behind everything we sell.
Winchester Double-X 12 Gauge 3-1/2" 2 oz. #6 – 10 Rounds$20.85
Manufacturer Winchester Condition New Bullet Weight 2 oz. Bullet Type #6 Shot Use Type turkey hunting Quantity 10 Ammo Caliber 12 Gauge Manufacturer SKU STH12356 Shot Material Lead Shell Length 3-1/2" UPC Barcode 020892012233 Cost Per Round $2.09 per round
A great option for your 12 Gauge shotgun! These Winchester rounds have a shell_length of 3-1/2" and are loaded with Lead shot that make them an ideal choice for turkey hunting. These are New rounds so you can focus on your surroundings knowing that you'll get reliable performance from each round.