Winchester repeating rifles were often enough among the most important tools a pioneer carried West. The famed firearms are named for Oliver Fisher Winchester, who died on this day 130 years ago. He founded the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1857. Today, the Winchester name is still alive and well in the firearms and ammunition business, and a familiar sight around the NRA.
In fact, this year, the NRA's Shooting Illustrated magazine presented the 2010 Golden Bullseye Award for "Ammunition Product of the Year" to Winchester Ammunition's Supreme Elite Conded PDX1. Winchester Ammunition is the exclusive sponsor of the The Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program
Several famous Winchesters, first introduced to us by Senior Curator Doug Wicklund, are displayed in the NRA’s National Firearms Museum among the highlights of the popular Hollywood Guns collection.
- John Wayne’s Winchester Big-Loop carbine (pictured) from the movie Stagecoach.
- Lorne Greene’s Winchester Model 1873 carbine from the TV series Bonanza.
- Chuck Connors’ Winchester Model 1892 rifle from the TV show The Rifleman.
Want even more Winchesters? Teddy Roosevelt's favorite hunting rifle was a Winchester Model 1895, that Senior Curator Phil Schreier notes Roosevelt called "Big medicine for lions." Also, here's a record-setting Winchester Model 52. Then there's President Dwight Eisenhower's Winchester, and even this rare Winchester rifle-shotgun combo.