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 Hail the Winchester Model 71!!!!

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BrownBear



Number of posts : 321
Age : 67
Location : Alaska
Registration date : 2017-04-19

PostSubject: Hail the Winchester Model 71!!!!   February 7th 2018, 8:57 am

I wrote this up for use somewhere else, but thought lever lovers here would be interested in a little piece of history from the life of an original Model 71:

Bill Burton, long time Kodiak rancher and buffalo herder and now deceased carried a 71 in 348 from just about the day he arrived on Kodiak way back when. He had lots of experience with performance of the round on brown bears and good reason to carry it. And his looked like death warmed over after almost 50 years in a saddle scabbard! Wow, was that thing crusty, but it kept on keeping on.

My clearest image of the rifle is kind of funny, mostly because no one got hurt. We bought a green broke 2YOA mare from him, but the issue was collecting her. She was lead mare in a herd of about 20 youngsters running on his place, and none of them thought it a good idea to give up the wide open spaces. Had ourselves a thorough open country rodeo running down the herd and cutting her from it.

We were coming up a ridge at a trot paralleling and pacing the herd in a little valley below us and nudging them into a canyon Bill didn't think they could get out of. But that pack of teenagers knew the land well and read our plans, starting to circle into a turn so they could head back out onto open ground. Bill and Buck (I swear Buck was born in a saddle!) split off and tore downhill to cut them off while we continued up to block the top of the canyon and their only escape.

Bill and Buck hit the bottom of the valley at a neck hugging gallop and tore off across it and through the tall grass to block the herd. Suddenly Buck and his mare were airborne in a looooong jump with Bill right behind. Buck made it but Bill's stud horse flipped into a full somersault. Bill flying in one direction, his saddle in another, and his prized 71 end over end through the blue sky in a direction of its own. What a world-class horse wreck! I galloped over expecting to shoot a lame horse, call a helicopter for a dying rider and give last rites for a shattered Model 71.

Bill's Arab stud picked itself up and trotted around in a little circle and stopped undamaged to wait for Bill to quit acting foolish and climb back aboard. The saddle synch was broken, but fixable. Bill was only limping a little after we got the dirt and moss out of his nostrils. The 71 was unharmed except for about 12" of dirt up the bore where I found it speared into the ground like a javelin.

Turns out there was a big pile of logs hidden in the tall grass that Bill had forgotten about and launched his horse too late into the jump. We pasted the synch back together, got Bill and his gear reassembled and went off to corner the herd and cut out the very reluctant mare. Only had to fight her a little bit to get her into our horse trailer.

She grew into one of the best 2 or 3 horses I've known or owned in my life.

Buck still has Bill's 71, but keeps it on the wall in remembrance rather than on his saddle.
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Kentucky Colonel
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PostSubject: Re: Hail the Winchester Model 71!!!!   February 7th 2018, 9:23 am

Love the story. Enjoy my 71. All hail the 348! 

Thanks for sharing this BB.

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NWTF Lobo

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Location : Michigan
Registration date : 2018-01-29

PostSubject: Re: Hail the Winchester Model 71!!!!   February 15th 2018, 9:11 pm

I love those 71's.  In this picture of some of my lever guns the 3rd and 4th guns down from the top are the two that I have.

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Buck Conner
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PostSubject: Re: Hail the Winchester Model 71!!!!   February 24th 2018, 3:50 pm

@Kentucky Colonel wrote:
Love the story. Enjoy my 71. All hail the 348! 

Thanks for sharing this BB.

ditto guys

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