Winchester lever-action repeating rifles are an integral part of the folklore of the American West. Introduced after the American Civil War, the first Winchester, the M1866, would go on to see military service as far afield as Bulgaria, but it was in the hands of civilians that it would become kwn as 'The gun that won the west'. Offering a lethal combination of portability, ruggedness and ammunition interchangeability with pistol sidearms, the Winchesters and their invative and elegant breech-loading system represented a revolutionary design. They were used by a staggering variety of military and civilian groups - gold-miners, trappers, hunters, farmers, lawmen, professional gunmen and Native Americans. It equipped a whole generation of settlers and as such left an imprint on American culture that continues to resonate today. This book explores the Winchesters' unique place in history, revealing the technical secrets of their success with a full array of colour artwork, period illustrations and close-up photographs.
Martin Pegler has a BA Hons in Medieval and Modern History and an MA in Museum Studies, both from University College, London, and was for many years the Senior Curator of Firearms at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds. Martin has established The Somme Historical Centre (www.martinpegler.com), where visitors can see the technology used in the 1914-18 trench warfare. In his spare time Martin runs motorcycle tours of the battlefield. He is the author of a number of books including The Military Sniper since 1914 (Osprey, 2001) and the highly acclaimed Out of Nowhere: A History of the Military Sniper (Osprey, 2004), and he has also contributed to a number of magazines. Mark Stacey was born in Manchester in 1964 and has been a freelance illustrator since 1987. He has a lifelong interest in all periods of history, particularly military history, and has specialized in this area throughout his career.