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Thread: Winchester Hotchkiss 45-70 Model 1879 US Navy Rifle

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  1. #1
    Legacy Member varifleman's Avatar
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    Winchester Hotchkiss 45-70 Model 1879 US Navy Rifle

    Here for your viewing pleasure is my Winchester Hotchkiss 45-70 Model 1879 U.S. Navy rifle serial number 2926., 32"" round barrel with Naval acceptance proofs visible (WWK Lt W.W.. Kimball on chamber, the initials ""R.T"" are carved onto the right side of the butt-stock. Left side has ""257 042"" stamped just below receiver address.. The Winchester Hotchkiss is a smooth-working arm holding five rounds in a tubular magazine within the butt plus one in the chamber. First models are identified by the giant rotating mag cutoff/safety on the right side under the bolt. These rifles remained in service until 1895 when they were superseded by the Winchester-Lee Model 1895 6mm US Navy rifle.
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    Legacy Member varifleman's Avatar
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    Here's a video of loading/shooting this type rifle.


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    Legacy Member oldfoneguy's Avatar
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    I saw one of these in person once many years ago. An older guy had it at the range with a couple of other similar type rifles. He referred to them as prototypes. He said they were all designes that were submitted to but never accepted by the US military. All were black powder 45-70 rounds.

    He named them but this is the only name that really stuck prehaps because of Hotchkiss. All 3 were bolt actions with tube magazines. I remember one had an external hammer and he was having problems extracting spent rounds from it. When I asked him why he would shoot such rare and valuable rifles he told me "that's what they were made for". With an answer like that all I could do was shake my head yes in agreement, say nice rifles and go back to my bench.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Nice piece, I saw one in Canadaicon once in the east coast. A guy had this 45-70 bolt action to show me but didn't know much about it. The wood had been cut back about half way. I think there was something wrong with function...too. Long time ago. We don't see them much here. Nice.
    Regards, Jim

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    Mine is a pleasure to shoot . I plan to take it buffalo hunting one day .

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    Legacy Member varifleman's Avatar
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    Got the Cody Firearms Museum shipment letter; any way to trace the order number to see USN recipient?
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    Legacy Member varifleman's Avatar
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    Thanks to Richard2 on War Relics forum got the US Navy recipient for this rifle. The recipient of the Winchester-Hotchkiss serial number 2926 was the New York Navy Yard, received on January 7, 1880. This is from the book Springfield Research Service Serial Numbers of U.S. Martial Arms, Volume 3, page 188.

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    Advisory Panel Dick Hosmer's Avatar
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    Are you sure about the barrel length? Navies should be 28.75" It is the Army rifle which has a 32.25" barrel. You might like my guidebook "More .45-70 Springfields, 1873-1893" availble from Amazon. It has an entire chapter on the martial Hotchkiss models.

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    Advisory Panel Dick Hosmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldfoneguy View Post
    I saw one of these in person once many years ago. An older guy had it at the range with a couple of other similar type rifles. He referred to them as prototypes. He said they were all designes that were submitted to but never accepted by the US military. All were black powder 45-70 rounds.

    He named them but this is the only name that really stuck prehaps because of Hotchkiss. All 3 were bolt actions with tube magazines. I remember one had an external hammer and he was having problems extracting spent rounds from it. When I asked him why he would shoot such rare and valuable rifles he told me "that's what they were made for". With an answer like that all I could do was shake my head yes in agreement, say nice rifles and go back to my bench.
    The one with the hammer must have been a Remington-Keene, and the third a Chaffee-Reece. The R-K has a tubular magazine under the barrel, while the C-R has a tube in the buttstock like the Hotchkiss but it loads through the buttplate whereas the Hotchkiss loads through the action. I have a fine Chaffee-Reece, and four of the Hotchkiss models - used to have the super-rare Army rifle but was forced to sell it a couple of years ago.

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  18. #10
    Legacy Member varifleman's Avatar
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    Hi Dick; yes you're correct; I measured the barrel and it is 27.5" in length, I also ordered your excellent book!

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