Winchester Model 1907 .351 SL Self Loading Semi-Auto Rifle, MFD 1946 C&R

SOLD FOR: $2247

LSB#: 220503LB03

Make: Winchester

Model: 07 (previously 1907)

Serial Number: 50191

Year of Manufacture: Ca.1946 (Production paused in 1943 at 49552 & resumed intermittently in 1945, finally terminating at approx. 58733 in 1958.

Caliber: .351 Winchester Self Loading (.351 W.S.L.)

Action Type: Blowback Operated Semi-Automatic with 5-Round Removable Magazine

Markings: The barrel is marked “MANUFACTURED BY THE WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. / NEW HAVEN, CONN. U.S.A. SELF LOADING MODEL           07 PAT. AUG. 27. / DEC. 10. 01. FEB. 25. 02. FEB. 17. DEC. 22. 03. AUG. 21. OCT. 30. 06 JULY 5 .10 / -.351 CAL. / WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL / MADE IN U.S.A.” and the top has “WP” in oval, found again on top of the receiver. The lower tang is marked “2”. The upper tang is marked “WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK / MADE IN U.S.A. / MOD. 07. S.L.”. The butt plate has Winchester Repeating Arms Co.’s markings. The magazine is marked “-.351 CAL.-“.

Barrel Length: 20”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade dovetail set to a base on the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “U” notched, flat-top, micro-adjustable sight, dovetailed into the rear of the barrel with a slide step elevator present.

Stock Configuration & Condition: 
The stocks are two-piece smooth walnut with flat-bottom half-pistol grip, straight comb, checkered steel buttplate and sling swivels front and rear. The stocks have a few scattered and minor marks, some scratches on the flats and minor edge wear. There are some hairline cracks at the front of the forearm. The LOP measures 14 1/8? from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate shows minor wear around the edges with sharp checkering. Overall, the stocks are in Fine condition.
There is some pooling of finish and a mix of factory-acceptable and factory-unacceptable wood-to-metal fit. As such, there has been disagreement here about whether this wood is original or has been retouched.

Type of Finish: 

Finish Originality: 

Bore Condition: 
The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.

Overall Condition: 
This rifle retains about 90% of its metal finish. The frame flats show several scattered marks, surface scratches and some frosting. There is edgewear throughout and some thinning on the barrel, forward of the band. The screw heads are lightly marked. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in about Fine condition.

The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: 
This rifle includes one 5-round box magazine and one 1-round, both marked “-.351 CAL-” on the bottom. The magazines have operational wear and have been refinished over erosion.

Our Assessment: 
The Winchester Models 1907/07 is a blowback-operated, semi-automatic rifle produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company beginning in 1907 with production ending in 1957. It is fed from a 5 round capacity, detachable box magazine located immediately forward of the trigger guard. The only cartridge offered by Winchester as a factory chambering in the Model 1907 was the .351 S.L., pushing a 180 gr. bullet out of the barrel at about 1850 fps., more than twice the energy of a modern .357 Magnum shot out of a pistol.

The Model 1907 followed the semi-automatic models 1903 (rimfire) and 1905 (.32 or .35 Win), preceding the model 1910 (.401 Win.), all designed by Thomas Johnson, a key designer for Winchester who also designed the Model 12 shotgun. This series of Self-Loading rifles tells an interesting tale as John Browning had previously designed rifles incorporating helpful features like a bolt handle for Winchester, which Winchester had patented for Browning, only for the two to fail to reach an agreement and the innovations go to Remington for production under the Browning patent. Thus, many of the awkward features on this rifle wear done to avoid patent infringement by Winchester on a patent that they had paid for but Remington was benefiting from.

France ordered 2,800 of these rifles from Winchester during WWI and would modify them to fire fully automatically and equip their troops with larger magazines for trench raiding.
This rifle was made very early after the war (one of the first 600). It shows the improved features found in later rifles. The stocks are much thicker than the early examples which were well known to develop severe cracks with normal use. The charging plunger has had a finger-groove tip installed, which anyone who has operated the earlier smooth, round plungers will immediately recognize as a needed improvement. The magazine release tab is larger and serrated. Rounding out the updates is a sturdy checkered steel buttplate and a set of sling swivels.

This example is in Fine condition, showing signs of very little use and responsible storage. Please take a careful look at the pictures and help us determine finish originality on the wood. Regardless of any question on the wood, this is an outstanding example of an early Winchester semi-auto rifle design which should be of interest to any Winchester collector.
Please see our photos and good luck!

Winchester Model 1907 .351 SL Self Loading Semi-Auto Rifle, MFD 1946 C&R
Winchester Model 1907 .351 SL Self Loading Semi-Auto Rifle, MFD 1946 C&R