Saturday, November 27, 2010

Today In History: "You'll never get me alive, copper!"

Speaking of Winchester 1907's, it was on this date in 1934 that Baby Face Nelson and John Paul Chase engaged FBI agents Sam Cowley and Herman Hollis in a gun battle on the streets of Barrington, Illinois. In the shootout, Nelson used a Winchester 1907 in .351 WSL that was supposedly converted to fire full auto.

I continue to toy with the idea of buying one. Apparently some outfit named "Load-X Ammunition" offers new ammo for, like, $40/50rds...

11 comments:

Carteach0 said...

Tam, MidwayUSA stocks both dies and brass for that cartridge.

My friend, a loading bench would be a good thing for you.

For the love of Pete, you live with a mechanical genius... what could possibly go wrong?

McVee said...

So cool. One of these days I need to get out of the shadow of Mordor for a weekend and go to a real gun show.

og said...

I've always thought the 1910/401wsl would be a top notch short range/medium game cartridge, but since I'd have to leave the state to use it I never pursued it.

I have also thought that an 05 rebarrelled for the 30 carbine would be a great gun, and a bunch more fun and cheaper to shoot.

Stranger said...

FWIW, I do not remember the event, since I was not yet two at the time. But I do remember a man who was a long time Barrington city cop talking about it, circa 1949.

According to what I heard, Nelson was so fast on the trigger he could make that rifle sound like a tommy gun.

Me? I take no position either way.

Stranger

John said...

The .401SLW,while not as as famous, apparently had a bear country following. In the old literature, i run across a couple of ursus vs us'es stories and endorsements.

skittering around in the memory is image of a WSL facing off against a bear on a promotional poster. The idea of a rimless, head space on the mouth, moderate pressure rifle cartridge is dismissed today as inferior goods.

However, a straight full-length case on a .30-06 base, or possible bigger head-size might be an interesting investigation for the ballistic dabbler. It appears from the WSL's history, that with due care, caution, and QC [including reloading attention to case length]such a slick feeding round would be usable in modern self-loaders. Also seems like a less expensive proposition than re-barreling Winchester 95's [re-bore old shotout 'o3 and 'o6 bbls]. And you get to keep the original bbl on the gun, FWIW.

"welyqgne" - yup,it sure is. Make mine a .444 Rimless auto-shucker, with a ten shot magazine.

Tam said...

Og,

"...but since I'd have to leave the state to use it I never pursued it."

Y'know, looking at the dimensions, I'll bet that .401WSL is legal as a "pistol caliber" round...

ETA: Case length is 1.5", which is under the 1.625" limit...

og said...

It meets the dim specs but I'd hate to have that argument with a DNR officer in the field. Would be an awesome deer/brush gun, though, huh?
The "supposed"original idea was that it had to be a round that originated in a pistol, though how the 458 SOCOM made it in there I'll never know. I used to have a 45-70 revolver, but i can't use my 45-70 as a hunting gun, which pisses me plain off.

As for the conversion, the point of the rebarrel would be to make shooting it more accessible, not to make a more powerful round. If I want more power I can do that with a handful of guns. I just don't want a unitasking gun that I can't just go plink with cheaply.

At 401wsl, the recoil spring is stiff, and you have to push that damned operating rod good and hard. Anything any more energetic than that, you'd just about have to stand on it. Also, like the Marlin Camp Carbine, it'd probably self destruct after a few thousand rounds.

Montie said...

Tam,

Glad to see your second post on the 1907 Winchester. Apparently I was groggy from too much tryptophan laden turkey yesterday when I commented. I said that I was looking for 20 round magazines for mine but in actuality the extended mags are 10 rounders, with the factory mags holding 5 rounds.

I'm jealous of your linked 1907 owner who has managed to accumulate SIX of the ten round magazines. The only ones I have ever seen were on some of the gun auction sites and were prohibitively expensive (I guess I don't want extended mags bad enough to pay what they are apparently worth).

I need to go back and check out my DVD of "Public Enemy" I remember seeing the Lebman full-auto converted 1911, but I missed the converted 1907.

Anonymous said...

Tam,

If you really want one, there is a big gun auction Sunday (November 29) in Mattoon, IL that has at least two of them. And they have the extended magazines.

I'll be there, but I won't be a bidder on the 1907's. I have a Remington Model 8 that I have a hard enough time keeping running.

Rob

staghounds said...

I was in the French Army Museum Wednesday, they had a .351 that belonged to one of those bullet and medal magnet French officers who carried it through both world wars.

Gewehr98 said...

I understand that if you can lay in a cache of .357 Remington Maximum brass (remember that topstrap-cutting round?) then you're set to make .351 WSL ammo, albeit you'll need to turn the rim down and deepen the extraction groove.

I'm considering making the brass for others on my garage lathe, but I won't obtain a Model 1907 Winchester myself. I fondled a bunch of them that had been turned loose for sale from Folsom Prison when they switched to Mini 14s, and they were referred to as "pig stickers" by the prison guards. While I'm a sucker for oddballs like the Remington 8, Czech VZ-52 and Dutch Mannlicher, the 1907's blowback action and marginal accuracy pretty much killed me wanting one, even though it was a real Winchester...