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Thread: .351 Winchester Self-Loading

  1. #1
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    .351 Winchester Self-Loading

    Remember when OWS ammunition came in boxes with labels like this?

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  2. #2
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    O'l Dangerous Dave - Clever Fellow

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I found this box last year. Too bad it was empty.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    The 351 Winchester Self loading carbine was ahead of its time. It was really the first assault rifle, before even the Germans had even thought of it. I think at that time that they called it a "Close Quarters Combat" weapon with the extended magazine. I had almost bought one many years ago, but at the time ammunition was difficult to impossible to get. We didn't have the internet at the time of course and figuring out how to reload for it was another problem too. Of course today it is quite doable though.

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    Last edited by Earlwb; 07-03-2017 at 08:06 AM. Reason: add more information

  5. #5
    Boolit Master TNsailorman's Avatar
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    The .351 Winchester carbine would have been a great "trench sweeper" in the Big War. james

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I have one (and a .32, .35 and .401 WSL). I use .357 brass (reduce the head diameter with a drill press and file, and no ejection groove cut). Works great. I saw a box of 50 unfired .351 brass in a store yesterday for $80. I'll stick with the .357 brass.
    I did find an extra mag and a dozen vintage rounds in a small gunshop last winter for $65.
    They are great shooters.
    Check this out:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyFXlRzNnGk

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNsailorman View Post
    The .351 Winchester carbine would have been a great "trench sweeper" in the Big War. james
    Actually some of the doughboys were issued the carbines to use in Trench Warfare way back in WWI. They also used them for a while in the early WWI airplanes so the pilot could shoot at the enemy pilots too.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earlwb View Post
    Actually some of the doughboys were issued the carbines to use in Trench Warfare way back in WWI. They also used them for a while in the early WWI airplanes so the pilot could shoot at the enemy pilots too.
    Before we got in, the Frogs ordered many of them; and Winchester delivered some. They were, unlike some latter autos, neither easy nor fast to make; or many more might have made it over there.
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy quail4jake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    I have one (and a .32, .35 and .401 WSL). I use .357 brass (reduce the head diameter with a drill press and file, and no ejection groove cut). Works great. I saw a box of 50 unfired .351 brass in a store yesterday for $80. I'll stick with the .357 brass.
    I did find an extra mag and a dozen vintage rounds in a small gunshop last winter for $65.
    They are great shooters.
    Check this out:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyFXlRzNnGk
    wow, you have the complete collection of all 4 WSLs! that's worth a display! I would pay money (some real money) to fire all 4...

  10. #10
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    Battis,

    WHERE are you getting your .401WSL brass OR are you making it??
    (My Manual on Cartridge Conversions says to make it from 9.3x72R cases, which are equally hard to find here in Boxer-primed.)

    I started to buy a perfectly functional (though it needed a complete refinishing) with a great bore, Model 1910 for 400.oo at the last San Antonio Gun-show but didn't because I could not think of a place to get cases.
    (The gentleman, who was trying to sell it to me, stated that it was for sale because he couldn't find ammo or cases. = I chuckled to myself, as I walked away.)

    yours, tex
    Last edited by texasnative46; 07-03-2017 at 11:24 PM. Reason: add

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I referred someone else that was looking for it to a vendor sponsor here, but I see that the listing is a few tears old.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...nchester-Brass
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I make the brass from .414 Super Mag brass. Reduce the head with a file and drill press (I don't cut an ejection groove). Accurate Mold #41-208L. 22 grs IMR4227.
    Great shooter. I call it The Big Ouch (it kicks).

    The only WSL I don't have is the .22. I had a chance to get one but I passed - the ammo is hard to find.

    The recoil springs are available from Wolfe Springs for the .35 and .351 only. I put new buffers in the .35, .351 and .401. The .32 came with about 100 rounds of ammo and the rifle looks like it was fired very little.
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    Last edited by Battis; 07-03-2017 at 11:59 PM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    I've read any number of accounts of the French in WWI purchasing large numbers of 351 WSL rifles (along with almost anything else capable of firing fixed cartridges they could get their hands on) and put the 351's to good use. They were small enough that the second crewman on an airplane could carry it. Suspect they saw good use in close-in stuff.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had a 351 and a 401, I wish I had them back,,,,,,,,

  15. #15
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    Landy88,

    In the Summer of 1966, I met & interviewed a US Army WWI pilot for over 5 hours for our local newspaper. - He said that any number of the little Winchester carbines were delivered to the US Army Flying Corps (the predecessor of the USAAC) & used for air to air combat and for "securing the airdrome".

    He also told me that the Winchester carbines were frequently used as "trench brooms".

    yours, tex

  16. #16
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    Tex,

    What an amazing and great interview to have got to do.

    Those pilots did so much that transformed aviation, warfare, and history in such a short span of time.
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  17. #17
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    Landy88,

    Indeed it was. - All these years later, I'm pleased that I stopped to look at "the little old man, in a funny looking uniform", that I saw strolling down Hwy 67 toward Dallas. - As a result of my "nosiness", I got him to allow me to interview him for the local paper.
    (He was uniformed as a 1LT of the USAFC, complete with WWI backpack.)

    Note: At that time I was "a red-hot 18YO" & he seemed ANCIENT to me. - Of course he was then about the same age as I am in 2017.

    Turns out that he was an "Official Goodwill Ambassador" for the American Legion Post #1 in Paris, France & said that he was walking across Texas from Texarkana to El Paso & visiting American Legion Posts along the way.
    After I interviewed him, he requested that I drop him off at the truck-stop near where I had met him & walked out of sight. = I've often wondered if he made it to El Paso but I heard nothing of him or his "long walk" thereafter.
    (That's 814 miles, as the crow flies!!)

    yours, tex
    Last edited by texasnative46; 10-09-2017 at 10:28 PM. Reason: typo

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy maxreloader's Avatar
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    401 wsl brass can be made easily from 7.62 x 39 brass and a smidge of Imperial sizing wax with a custom turned 4x ball expander. Fireforms perfectly...
    Looking for Ideal molds 419181 (44 Evans Long) and 375167 (38-72)
    "Joined Dates" are deceiving if you factor-in "lurk dates."

  19. #19
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    This advice is probably unnecessary, but I'll post it for my own piece of mind: Do everything possible to "baby" those old rifles. Once you have reliable function and decent accuracy from the loads work-up, you're done. Don't be tempted to turn the .351 WSL into a .358 Winchester, and don't try to change a .401 WSL into a .405 Winchester. It's not in the cards, and trying to make it happen will only result in the shooter's disappointment and a very battered rifle.
    For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. Ecclesiastes 1:18
    He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool become servant to the wise of heart. Proverbs 11:29
    ...Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40


    Carpe SCOTCH!

  20. #20
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    Kosh75287,

    WELL SAID.

    I've owned several Model 1907 & Model 1910 carbines over the years and BOTH are perfectly suitable for WT/pigs to about 50KG/medium game, with any load that will reliably cycle the actions.
    (Particularly in the .401, any heavy GCCB that cycles the action, fits the case & will chamber is A KILLER on deer. = WTs just aren't that hard to kill.)

    ADDENDA: One of my old hunting pals, who has sadly passed on, used to hunt our deer lease with his great uncle's old/"tired-looking" .401, with which he was a "dead shot". - I don't ever recall "Bugs" having to track a wounded deer either.
    We often said that if you heard a "BLAMM" in the woods that we would be eating fresh venison that night.
    (The .401WSL has a VERY distinctive sound.)

    yours, tex
    Last edited by texasnative46; 10-10-2017 at 03:28 PM. Reason: add

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check