April 2011

Classic Police Self-Loaders: Model 8 Versus Model 1907

What did LE use at the turn of the previous century? We compare two what were then state-of-the-art semi-auto rifles from Remington and Winchester that still have utility today.

Around the turn of the previous century there was a rapid advance in firearms design. Among the great changes was the popularity of self-loading rifles. While the lever-action rifle and the single-action revolver were used by Western lawmen well into the century, officers confronting armed gangs felt a need to get themselves on a level playing field with the criminal element. A relatively short and handy self-loading rifle was just the ticket for use against thugs armed with a variety of weapons and traveling in sheet-metal vehicles. The rifles we are comparing in these pages also had sporting use, and they were used widely by outdoorsmen. But cops, federal agents, and prison guards were the primary users of these firearms. The Remington Model 8, in particular, was used by hunters, and remains popular as a Northeastern woods gun. The Winchester 1907 saw considerable military use. Several thousand were used in World War I, a drop in the bucket compared to some designs, but important for Winchester.

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