Winchester isn’t just a brand; it’s an American icon, a touchstone to our heritage. Winchester’s innovations in rifles, shotguns, and cartridges over just the past 16 years easily earn it Sporting Classics’ Company of the Year. It’s just unfortunate we don’t award a Company of the Last 150 Years, because that’s how long Winchester has been an arms and ammunition production stalwart, dependably serving citizens, police, and the military.

The innovation started with the 1866 lever-action Yellow Boy, the first Winchester-branded rifle and the first commercially successful repeating rifle ever. And it’s still being made. Next came the stronger, iron-framed Model 1873 lever action and the famous .44-40 centerfire cartridge. You know the rest: The Model 1886, Model 94 .30-30, the Model 97 pump, Model 12, Model 21 side-by-side, SX3 auto, Model 70, and, of course, the incredible .270 Winchester, .243 Winchester, .458 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum, and many more. Shotgunners celebrate Super X and AA target shells. The 21st century has already brought us the Winchester Short Magnums. We here at Sporting Classics have a hunch Winchester isn’t about to start resting on its laurels. We can’t wait to see what the next 150 years brings.

— Ron Spomer


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