Overview Of The Winchester Shotgun

by | Feb 1, 2019 | Guns

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Most people have heard of the Winchester lever action shotgun Model 1887 and its successor, the Model 1901. While these shotguns have been relegated to history with the advent of the pump action shotgun, you may be wondering how it fits in the modern world.

What Is A Lever Action?

The lever action firearm cycles fresh rounds into the chamber using a lever located over the trigger, which often doubles as a trigger guard. It requires the shooter to move their trigger hand while leaving the forward hand in place on the handguard.

It takes skill to fire a lever action quickly, particularly with the recoil from a shotgun but is well worth the effort to learn. Operating a lever on a shotgun is more difficult than a pump, but those who favor lever actions are never disappointed when they have and shoot a shotgun.

History Of The Lever Action Shotgun

Lever actions were the first fast firing repeater, and Winchester made these firearms famous with the ’73 Winchester rifle. It didn’t take long until Winchester commissioned John Browning to work on a shotgun version.

The first lever action shotgun to hit the market was the Winchester Model 1887, which was one of the earliest successful repeating shotguns. It was offered in both ten and twelve gauge, though later Winchester realized that the M1887 wasn’t strong enough to handle the smokeless shells and designed the M1901.

During the intervening years, the demand for lever action shotguns has waned with the rise of the pump action shotguns. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest, though not enough to create wide-scale production of lever action shotguns. Instead, there are authentic reproductions of old models.

Lever Action Shotguns Today

Winchester only had the M1887 and M1901 lever action shotguns for years, until 2001, when the company released the Model 9410, a .410 bore shotgun. It remained in production until the New Haven factory closed its doors in 2006 and made a huge impact on the firearm community while it was made.

Now, in order to find a Winchester lever action shotgun for sale you’ll need to check out the dealers, and even then this style is uncommon. The lever action shotgun isn’t being developed at this time, though there are reproductions from Chiappa Firearms, who has the M1887 available.

Since the lever action rifle has managed to survive and thrive, a person might assume that the shotgun would do the same, but John Browning was right. He’d predicted that the pump action would be the future of shotguns, and it has been, with the odd collector here and there keeping the lever action shotgun alive.

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