Rendered in blued steel and walnut, Winchester’s .224-cal. Light Weight Military Rifle could well have become the U.S. Army’s standard arm. But the company gave up on the project in the face of competition from Armalite and its futuristic AR-15.
Lever-action rifles are an indelible fixture in the history of firearm development and played a key role in the formation of these United States. Recently, however, iconic manufacturers have closed up shop or moved production of such classic long guns overseas. The resulting void has opened the door for Henry Repeating Arms Co. to expand its catalog of American-made lever guns.
It was 150 years ago that the name “Winchester” was first stamped on a rifle. But Winchester’s narrative began well before that, and it is a tale tied to the American West, to the wars of the 20th century, to big personalities such as John Browning and John Olin, and to the manufacture of billions of cartridges and millions of rifles and shotguns beloved by generations of Americans.