|Letter - W
06 March 2003
WAD: A space
device in a shotshell, usually a cup-form plastic or paper discs, that
separates the propellant powder from the shot.
WAD CUTTER (WC): 1. A
bullet design which features a sharp shoulder. Designed to cut a clean,
round hole in a paper target. 2. A type of bullet shaped like a cylinder
with flat ends. It is primarily designed for target shooting with
pistols. They are typically cast or swaged out of a lead alloy and
usually don't have a jacket. Wadcutters may be hollow-based,
double-ended, or bevel-based.
Condition of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on
between nations, states, or parties. 2. The period of such conflict. 3.
The techniques and procedures of war; military science. 4. Condition of
active antagonism or contention: a war of words; a price war. 5.
A concerted effort or campaign to combat or put an end to something
considered injurious: the war on drugs.
Click Here for
an "Index of Armed Conflict & War"
WARHEAD: The part of a missile,
projectile, torpedo, rocket, or other munition which contains either the
nuclear or thermonuclear system, high explosive system, chemical or
biological agents or inert materials intended to inflict damage.
HAND: In shooting, the off hand
or non dominant hand. For a right-handed person, the left hand. For
a left-handed person, the right hand. Standard exercises and
shooting competition frequently require shooting a string with the weak
hand. When this is required (for obvious reasons) the gun is
normally held at the low ready rather than drawn from a holster.
WEAK SIDE: Then
side of the shooters body of the non dominant hand. For a
right-handed person, the left side. For a left-handed person, the
right side. Sport shooting competitions may require a shooter to
wear a strong side holster.
tool that can be used to apply or project lethal force or an
instrument of offensive or defensive combat. Thus an automobile,
baseball bat, bottle, chair, firearm, fist, pen knife or shovel is a
"weapon," if so used. The term
"lethal weapon" is popular but redundant as in fact all weapons have the
potential to be lethal. Using the term weapon to describe a firearm is not
only inaccurate, it is "anti-speak". My guns, including my
"defensive" guns are simply firearms. I hope I never have to use
them as weapons and I do not refer to them as such. Calling sporting
and personal arms "weapons" just gives the "anti-gun types" an
inflammatory political word to use against us. Gun people in the
know, use the words firearm, gun or sidearm to describe their arms,
instead of the inflammatory and inaccurate word "weapon".
WEAPONEERING: The process of determining the
quantity of a specific type of lethal or nonlethal weapons required to
achieve a specific level of damage to a given target, considering target
vulnerability, weapon effect, munitions delivery accuracy, damage
criteria, probability of kill, and weapon reliability.
Instruments used in combat. The term is
never used in referring to sporting firearms. See Weapon
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION: In arms control
usage, weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of
being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people. Can be
nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological weapons, but excludes the
means of transporting or propelling the weapon where such means is a
separable and divisible part of the weapon. Also referred to as WMD.
WEAPONS SYSTEM: A combination of one or more
weapons with all related equipment, materials, services, personnel and
means of delivery and deployment (if applicable) required for
WEAPON-TARGET-LINE: An imaginary straight
line from a weapon to a target.
STANCE: A specialized form of two-handed pistol shooting that
provides enhanced recoil control, mobility, and accuracy. The term
is frequently but incorrectly used to refer to any style of two-handed
The Weaver Stance
Weaver stance seems odd at first, and can be tricky if you are
cross-dominant, but it allows for excellent recoil control and
reacquisition of the target in your sights. This means that,
after the gun bounces up a bit from firing a round, it is much
easier to align it with the target again very quickly. In Weaver,
you are standing with the shoulder of your gun hand back a bit from
the target and your dominant foot back a bit as well. You hold the
gun toward the target with your upper body at a 45-degree angle to
it, and bend both elbows. At first, this seems very unstable, but
the secret to the Weaver is the isometric nature of the stance. When
you grip the gun, push forward with your gun hand, and pull back
with your other hand; this push-pull grip makes the gun bounce down
from the recoil and end up right back on target! It also makes for
extremely strong recoil control, and would allow even a small woman
to handle a .38 easily.
It is very difficult to describe the
Weaver stance in words, so please ask someone to demonstrate it to
you before you try it. The most important part of the stance is the
push-pull isometric grip, so as long as that is understood, the rest
should come quite easily.
Like any other martial, mental or physical skill,
to master a stance and to become fast, accurate and natural with any
shooting technique you must practice.
Safety Note: Practice your draw
and presentation with an unloaded firearm or a dummy gun. It
is a good idea to remove the ammo and magazine from the training
area. Do a chamber check and verify empty, every time you pick
up the gun. Someone else or even you may have loaded it.
are 3 common hand gun stances. For more information see
WEB: That portion of a cartridge case between the bottom of the
primer pocket and the interior of the case.
WHITE HUNTER: A
Professional Hunter (PH) who is of the Caucasian race.
Origin of the Term
According to Brian Herne, from
his book WHITE HUNTERS, the name WHITE hunter came about in this
By several reliable accounts it was the chance meeting of hunter
Alan Black and a reckless amateur hunter known as “D,” the fiery
Lord Delamere, that led to the term, “white hunter”. Delamare had
employed the youthful Alan Black to help out on one of his
Somaliland safaris in the late 1890s. When Delamere settled in
British East Africa he purchased a very large acreage of ranching
At the time he employed a Somali
hunter to shoot meat for his employees, and he also hired Alan Black
as a hunter. To differentiate between the two hunters, as well as on
account of Black’s surname, the Somali hunter was referred to as the
“black hunter”, while Alan Black was always called “the white
hunter”, and from this difference, or so the story goes, “white
hunter” came into common usage.
therefore,” according to veteran hunter Donald Ker, of Ker and
Downey Safaris, Nairobi, “the first white man to operate in a
professional capacity taking out hunting parties for a living.” And,
Ker adds, “Black was one of the best that ever lived.”
WIND: A natural movement of air of any velocity; especially : the
earth's air or the gas surrounding a planet in natural motion
WIND VELOCITY: The horizontal
direction and speed of air motion. For most ballistic calculations
in the USA, wind speed is measured in miles per hour.
WINDAGE: The lateral adjustment of a firearms sight to
compensate for the sideways movement of the bullet in flight due to the
effects of wind.
WINCHESTER: Famous American Arms and
Ammunition manufacturer, founded in 1886. Winchester firearms are
now made under license from Olin Corporation by
U.S. Repeating Arms Company or USRAC in New Haven Connecticut. For
more info see the Winchester block below.
Great American Gun Makers
Winchester Repeating Arms Company
Winchester is a noteworthy name
applied to a very long and historically significant line of firearms
and ammunition products. Winchester has been a part of
American history, since it inception as the Winchester Repeating
Arms Company of New Haven Connecticut, in 1866. The founder
and namesake of the company was Oliver F. Winchester, who was
actually a shirt maker, who became a financier and amazingly had no
practical knowledge of firearms or their manufacture.
Winchester's experience and understanding of corporate organization
and general business acumen was outstanding and he became a major
player in the arms making industry of the late 19th century and
developed a great repeating rifle and a very large and successful
Oliver Winchester's interest in arms
making was the result of his purchase of 80 shares of stock, in the
Volcanic Repeating Firearms Company, which had been organized to
manufacture the improved version of the Hunt-Jennings Volitional
Repeater, which had just been redesigned by Smith & Wesson. In
1857, the Volcanic Company went bankrupt and Oliver Winchester
purchased the companies remaining assets in an attempt to recover
his investment. He promptly went to work and organized a new
stock company named the New Haven Arms Company, installing himself
as the company president and owner of 800 shares of the new
companies stock. New Haven Arms Company continued to
manufacture Volcanic Arms products, but with little success.
In 1858, Winchester directed one of
his employees, B. Tyler Henry, to work on improving the Volcanic
Repeater and to develop a new repeating rifle and cartridge.
These developments eventually lead to the Henry Rifle of 1860 and
further lead to the success of Oliver Winchester's company.
About 14,000 Model 1860 Henry's were manufactured, the model ended
in 1866. In 1866 the New Haven Arms Company was reorganized
and renamed the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Thereafter,
all firearms and ammunition by the company were simply known as
The first of the line of firearms
from the Winchester company was the Model 1866. For all
practical purposes it was an 1860 Henry, that incorporated some
improvements by another of Winchesters men, Nelson King. The
Model 1866 by King & Henry included a hinged loading gate that
allowed ammunition cartridges to be loaded into the magazine from
the receiver's breech end, instead of loading them at the muzzle end
in the older style removable magazine tube. This loading gate,
still in use today, allowed the magazine tube to be completely
closed and a conventional wooden fore end to be used. The
closed magazine reduced fouling and decreased the time it took to
reload. It also made the handy lever action rifle easy to "top
off" on the fly, without having to "face down" the muzzle, and
allowed the shooter to insert cartridges without taking their eyes
off the target.
1866 "Yellow Boy"
1866 "Yellow Boy"
The Model 1866
Winchester is also known as "The Yellow Boy" due to its brass
receiver frame. About 175,000 Model 1866 rifles were
made, with production ending in 1898. The 1866
Winchester was chambered in .44 caliber rimfire and took a 28
grain powder weight. The reduction in the projectile weight
from the single-shot rifles managed to increase the
projectile's velocity. The Model 1866 had a 24 inch round or
octagonal barrel and weighed 9 to 9 1/2 lbs. There were other
variants of the Model 1866, including a musket, with a 27 inch
barrel. The musket 1866 weighed 8 1/4 pounds.
The most common variant was the 1866 carbine, with a 19-inch
round barrel, the carbine weighed 7 1/2 lbs.
1866 rifles and
muskets each held a maximum of 17 rounds, but they were
usually loaded with fewer rounds to prevent strain on the
magazine spring. The shorter carbines held a total of 13
rounds. The Model 1866 rifle also had military significance,
though it is not normally rated as a military arm, the lever
action Winchester 1866 was responsible for two great Turkish
victories over the Russians at Plevna. The Model 1866
was manufactured until 1898. Replica's of this rifle are
still being made and used today, as are many of the
1873 Sporting Rifle
The second Winchester model
followed in 1873 and was named the Model 1873 Winchester.
This may seem simplistic by today's standards, but this was
back when noun-nomenclature and model numbers actually meant
something and determining "what was in a name" was an easy
task. Of course there were only a hand full of arms
makers and firearm products to choose from as well, another
factor of "simpler times" that I am glad we have out grown.
The Winchester Model 1873 was
designed for the new center fire cartridge and abandoned the
famous "Yellow" brass framed receiver for a more common, case
hardened iron frame. It had a long life: 1873-1927 and
is probably the only gun to have given its name to a movie.
Soon after its release, the
Model 1873 was available in several new calibers. With
its steel frame cartridge loading system it was much more
powerful than the .44 Henry, and demand quickly pushed its
production into the hundreds of thousands. Barrel
lengths were from the 20 inch carbine to the long gun with a
barrel length of 30 inches.
With these two great
American arms, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company established
itself as one of the "Great American Arms Makers" and one of the
worlds leading suppliers of arms and ammunition. A position
the company has retained for over 144 years. Many people still
feel that the greatest arms in the world have the Winchester name on
An American Legend: The
Valerie A. Peters
Since its beginnings in 1866, Winchester has sustained the romance
and legacy of its remarkable heritage as an American original.
Winchester firearms accompanied American settlers as they moved west
to seek their fortunes in a virgin land. Winchester's image became
one with that of the cowboy, the Indian, the lawman, the
pioneer, the mesa, the mountains, the desert, and the grandeur of
the west. Small wonder that Winchester is called "The American
Legend." The famous horse and rider logo used by Winchester on its
products symbolizes that legacy.
The Winchester Repeating Arms Company produced the first firearm to
bear its name in 1866 - the Model 66. In 1873, the company began to
expand its operations to include
increased ammunition manufacture. To coincide with the introduction
of its new Model 73, the company claimed it was "prepared to
manufacture 250,000 cartridges per day, embracing every size and
description of a quality superior to anything heretofore offered."
By 1875, cartridge capacity had been stepped up to a million a day.
decision to expand ammunition production was one of the major policy
changes in the history of Winchester. It marked the first step
toward making the company one of the largest and best-known
manufacturers of ammunition in the world.
Smokeless powder entered the market in the 1890s. The adoption of
smokeless powder for ammunition was one of the major innovations
affecting the entire history of firearms, and started a new phase in
the development of guns and ammunition. Winchester began to produce
smokeless cartridges, but did not reduce its offerings of black
powder shotshells because, as was the case with metallic ammunition,
smokeless powder did not eliminate the demand for black-powder
Winchester owes its fame
to many sources. However, one man did much to spread the
fame of the Winchester firearm more than any other -- Buffalo Bill.
While Buffalo Bill was
never employed as a shooter by Winchester to publicize the company's
directly and indirectly did much to increase the company's exposure.
As the hero of
fictionalized Western dime novels, he was often armed by the authors
with a Winchester
rifle in his fights with the Indians and the bad guys. In the famous
Wild West Show, he and his fellow marksmen, including Annie Oakley,
used Winchester rifles and ammunition. The Winchester Repeating Arms
Company did not fail to publicize the fact that its products were
the choice of Buffalo Bill and his fellow star performers. Theodore
Roosevelt was another one of the famous folks that used Winchester
products and publicized that fact.
The company who brought
to life "the Gun that Won the West" is the same company that today
continues to supply sportsmen with some of the best sporting arms
and ammunition in the world. In December, 1980, the
company's board of directors authorized the restructuring of the
Winchester Group to allow Olin to better focus more of the company's
resources on Winchester's sporting and defense ammunition business.
With this restructuring, Winchester's U.S. sporting arms business,
which had been part of the company for nearly half a century, was
set up as a freestanding operation and in In July, 1981, it was sold
to the U.S. Repeating Arms Company in New Haven, Connecticut.
U.S. Repeating Arms
Company or USRAC now produces Winchester brand rifles and shotguns
under license from Olin Corporation. In 1991, Olin's
Winchester Division again played a part during a war. When the
Persian Gulf War broke out, Winchester provided a large amount of
the ammunition used by U.S. troops during this conflict.
firearms and the U.S. Repeating Arms Company
U.S. Repeating Arms (Winchester Rifles and Shotguns)
is the manufacturer of all current Winchester brand rifles and
shotguns. USRAC is a licensed partner of the Olin Corporation.
Olin is the parent company of the Winchester ammunition company.
There are a number of other companies, besides U.S. Repeating Arms,
that are licensed to use the Winchester brand name. Each is a
partner with the Winchester Ammunition division of Olin Corporation,
and each is committed to the tradition of quality, reliability and
excellent service that has made the Winchester brand legendary.
A number of years ago the U.S. Repeating Arms Company acquired the
rights to produce Winchester rifles and shotguns. At the same time
they also acquired the entire manufacturing facility in New Haven,
Connecticut. This is the same factory where Winchester rifles and
shotguns have been made for nearly a century and a half — beginning
when Oliver Winchester himself started the company that bears his
name. An entirely new factory — the most modern firearms
manufacturing facility in the world — was completed in 1994 right on
Winchester Avenue in New Haven.
Today, all Winchester brand firearms are made by or for U.S.
Repeating Arms Company. Most are made in the New Haven, Connecticut
factory. On occasion, some are sourced to other facilities
world-wide. U.S. Repeating Arms is part of a world-wide
company with facilities and associations with companies in Europe
and Japan. Some special edition and limited edition firearms are
currently made in Japan by one of our associated companies (Models:
1886, 1892, 1895, 63, and 52-B). The Super X2 is made in Europe with
some parts manufactured in New Haven. The Supreme is still made in
Two offices are now used by Winchester Rifles and Shotguns to
conduct business. Manufacturing and firearms service are performed
at our 225,000 square foot factory in New Haven. Customer Service
and corporate functions are done at our second office in Utah.
Surrounded by the Wasatch mountains, just a few miles outside of the
town of Morgan in a community known as Mountain Green.
"The Greatest Guns in History are
History is worth
repeating. So Winchester (US Repeating Arms Company) still makes
versions of some of the greatest Winchesters rifles of all time.
They are available in either Limited Edition versions (production
held to limited quantities) or Classic Tradition versions (small
numbers made year to year). For more information on Winchester
Firearms use the contact information below.
USRAC Product Service
275 Winchester Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Tel 1-800-333-3288 or
Firearms & U.S. Repeating Arms Company
WINCHESTER SHORT MAGNUM: (.300 WSM) New short action
magnum cartridge developed by Winchester and the Browning Arms Company.
The.300 WSM is a beltless, rebated rim, center fire cartridge that
is short enough to be fired from a "short action" rifle. Even though
the case capacity is about 10% smaller than the .300 Winchester Magnum,
performance is almost the same, due to the modern case profile and use of
a short powder column. Several firearms will be developed around
this new "Short Magnum" in 2001.
.300 WSM - Winchester Short Magnum
The first new, jointly-developed commercial
Rifle Cartridge from Winchester® Ammunition in almost 20 years - and
it's going to give big game hunters an unbeatable reason to "go
Simply put, the new 300 WSM cartridge is designed to deliver 300
Winchester Magnum energy and velocity performance in a short action
cartridge and lighter weight rifle. Using a "short action" not
only reduces overall weight, short action rifles will also normally
feed better and they cost less money to manufacture.
For starters, the unique geometry of this beltless magnum cartridge
delivers the same precise head spacing and high accuracy as
cartridges designed for bench rest shooting. Plus, the WSM's
"short & fat" cartridge shape delivers a highly efficient powder
burn and quicker cycle time via a much shorter and lighter rifle
action with a
standard magnum bolt face diameter.
So keep an eye out for the NEW Winchester Short Magnum Centerfire
Rifle Cartridge with initial firearms manufacturers Browning® &
Winchester® - it's definitely the shape of things to come.
WORK HARDEN: Brass becomes harder as it is worked. See
WSM: Abbreviation for
Winchester Short Magnum. See above.