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Winchester Models: How to Choose the Firearm That's Best For You

Image: Winchester Models: How to Choose the Firearm That's Best For You
Winchester Rifles Model 73, 86, 92, 05. (wikimedia/commons)

Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 12:25 PM

So many Winchester models, so little time to test-shoot them all. Not all rifles are the same, not all cartridges fit a model, and not all shooters have the same needs.

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For instance, Phil Schreier – an expert on Winchester models of every kind – has the odd alignment of left-eye dominance and right handedness. That cross-dominance makes it difficult for the NRA Museum’s senior curator to get a good sighting while holding single-barrel Winchester rifles or shotguns, he explained in a video on the NRA digital network.

About 35 percent of the population have cross-dominance and many don’t find out until they’re shooting, Schreier said.

Schreier shows one of the ways to way to check: Put your arms straight out at eye-level then overlapping your thumbs and hands, creating a small hole just above the crossed thumbs. Focus on an object you can see through the opening. Slowly bring your hands toward your face with the hole at eye-level. Notice which eye focuses on the hole as it closes in. Your hands will slightly drift toward that eye as well. That is your dominant eye.

Schreier’s solution — well, his solution is to shoot left-handed.  There is an exquisite, bespoke, and expensive firearm, known as the Winchester 21 "Cross-Eye" model.  The gun's stock is steamed to curve sideways, to accommodate left-eyed shooting for a right-hand person. 

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Whether buying a Winchester or other brand of rifle, here are other basic checks the buyer should do.

Gun fitting steps are explained in SidebySideShotgun.com: The typical rifle off the rack is designed to fit a 5 foot 8 inch to 5 foot 10 inch male. Someone shorter will find the distance from shoulder to trigger – the pull – is too long. Someone taller will find the pull too short. A gun tailored to the shooter’s measurements, the hit rate can improve up to 15 percent.

Know what you’re shooting: Whether clay pigeons or water fowl, big game or varmints, the target determines the gauge of gun and caliber of ammunition.

For waterfowl like ducks and geese, Winchester suggests 12 and 10 gauge shotguns which are made for ammunition with extra powder and shot. More shot means you’re more likely to hit your target. The company’s website (www.winchester.com) features several hunting guides with tips and recommendations at their learning center.

Know what you can handle: The caliber of a rifle and the gauge of a shotgun determine the size of ammunition. The smaller the caliber and gauge number, the wider the barrel, as explained in Outdoor Hub's article on gun terms. Ammunition is also measured in calibers. And most cartridges, especially ammunition made by Winchester, are designed to fit the same brand of gun.

The larger the barrel size and ammunition, the more recoil occurs when a shot is fired. Knowing how much “kick” you can handle is key in determining what gun is right for you.

Also, get to know your state’s gun laws: The National Rifle Association’s website features a search utility for state firearm laws.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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So many Winchester models, so little time to test-shoot them all. Not all rifles are the same, not all cartridges fit a model, and not all shooters have the same needs.
guns, winchester, firearm, gun buying
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2015-25-30
Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 12:25 PM
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