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 Post subject: Winchester Model 40
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:40 am 
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I saw one of these for the first time yesterday at the skeet range. The owner brought it out just to give it some love and exercise.

What a clumbsy shotgun! It is no wonder Winchester only made a few thousand of these things.

Is there a story behind this shotgun? Are there any valid reasons for Winchester designing this gun the way they did? What is the purpose of the sliding barrel?

Bruce

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 40
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:33 am 
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Nothing wrong with a sliding barrel, Browning used them forever on the A-5. Recoil or inertia operated shotguns have been around for quite a while. On long recoil guns like the Browning the barrel moves several inches while on the later short recoil guns like the Mod 50 it moves a much shorter distance. I am unsure how far a Mod 40 barrel moves.
It's my understanding that the Mod 40 was prone to breaking stocks (The recoil / action spring is in the stock) due to a design problem. Winchester recalled and replaced them ( I believe with a Mod 12) They went back to the drawing board and came out with the Mod 50.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 40
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:57 am 
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I could sure be wrong but I don't remember the barrel moving on a model 50. I owned a model 59 which I think is the same design. There was a moveable chamber that recoiled a short distance.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 40
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:08 am 
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Remroc,

the model 50/59 has a chamber sleeve that moves about 1/2 inch. so it is concidered by many to be in the long recoil class as the A5.

for the model 40

I don't have the NRA assembly disassembly books here, if it is in there they usually have a pretty good write up about the gun, alos how to field strip it.

What I did find was that it was a take off of their Model 11 wich is interesting to look at but a nightmare to much work on, also called the widow maker because it had no bolt handle only knurling near the end of the barrel, you were supposed to grab the barrel and pull it all the way back then let it go to load the gun. This pretty hard to do harder yet in cold weather with gloves on, so a lot of shooters would put the but on the ground and by leaning on it with a body part usaully the rib cage press the barrel back, then when the action cycled it would load the chamber. Did I mention that this shotgun had/has a bad reputation for slam firing when the bolt closes.

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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 40
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:43 pm 
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Elmer Kieth covered the Model 40 in his 1950 book "Shotguns by Kieth". Kieth reported that he sort of liked the gun, said it had trouble breaking it's stock bolt, and that after the war Winchester sort of had a recall on them, giving anybody that sent one in a brand new Model 12 and a note to "forget about an automatic shotgun".

Wouldn't it be cool to see one of Winchester's "Dear Model 40 Owner, your gun really sucks, here's a new Model 12" notes? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 40
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:29 pm 
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remroc1 wrote:
I could sure be wrong but I don't remember the barrel moving on a model 50. I owned a model 59 which I think is the same design. There was a moveable chamber that recoiled a short distance.


You are absolutely right, The 50 and 59 used a floating chamber. I must have had a brain fart as I had my great uncles 50 for a while until I gave it to his brother. The book "The American Shotgun" has a nice section on the Mod 40

Thanks for correcting my error.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester Model 40
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:50 pm 
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To give you some idea of how much of a roll Winchester used to be on back in the good old days,,,,they introduced the Model 40 sometime in 1940,,,,the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941,,,Winchester probably didn't build a handful of Model 40's after that,,,,and they sold forty thousand Model 40's. In less than two years.

A more expensive failure was the Super X. Introduced in 1974,,,they probably didn't manufacture any actions after 1978,,,and yet still they sold about eighty five thousand of the expensive, wonderful contraptions anyway. Legend has it Winchester lost about 25 million 1970's dollars on the Super X,,,,and they didn't sell the last ones out of the custom shop until the early nineties.

You gotta sell hundreds and hundreds of thousands of shotguns,,,all at a profit,,, to really make some money. Like Remington selling about ten million 870's,,,and counting. :wink:


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