What happened to 351 Winchester?


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Lone_Gunman
July 24, 2009, 01:13 AM
I have never seen nor shot a 351 Winchester, but it sounds like an interesting roung. A 180g bullet going at 1800 fps, basically a hot 357 magnum, but better suited for auto loaders because it is semi rimmed (or rimless?).

Why was the M1 Carbine not chambered in this caliber? It seems like it would have been a bit more powerful than the 30 Carbine round.

Why did people lose interest in this round? There really isnt anything else like it that I know of.

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ECVMatt
July 24, 2009, 02:54 AM
I once found a 351 case way back in the swamp land of North Texas. I wish I knew how it got there. The round has a lot of history with law enforcement in the 20's and 30's.

Here is a thread with more info:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=4934718

Here is another with good info

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75468

Have a good one,

Matt

BigG
July 24, 2009, 11:18 AM
The 351 was loaded in blowback self loaders made by Win after they foolishly let John Browning go to Belgium and sell his autoloader, etc. Shoulda stuck with John. The 351 was based on the earlier 32 and 35 Win SL which were unwieldy and underpowered for their weight. The 351 was pretty underpowered too. The only thing it has in common with the M1 carbine is they are both underpowered but the carbine is at least light and handy

Onmilo
July 24, 2009, 12:43 PM
Maximum effective range is 150 meters for a rifle round.
A modern 12 gauge slug from a rifled bore will exceed this parameter and do it with more retained energy.

The 351 was an excellent cartridge for the era of its popularity.
That time has come and gone.

Kernel
July 24, 2009, 02:05 PM
Near .30-30 level of performance in an autoloader. Time marched on. The ballistics of the 1890's wouldn't cut it anymore with the American buying public.

Hard to keep the boys down on the farm after they've seen the bright lights of the .30-06. Those who wanted a .30-30 (or similar chamberings) could always choose one of the fine, and less expensive, lever actions from Marlin or Winchester.

Neat cartridge and gun designs, though. Some elements sort of made it a proto-assault rifle (autoloader, clip fed, intermediate cartridge).

Jim Watson
July 24, 2009, 02:28 PM
Actually, the .30 Carbine was derived from the .32 WSL.
Make it rimless for better feeding from a double column magazine, taper it down to .30 caliber because the US Army shot .30 caliber rifles, period, increase the load for more power from a locked breech action. Lots of changes but the ancestry is there.

Lone_Gunman
July 25, 2009, 01:18 AM
So why are 357 magnum lever actions popular rifles? The ballistics are very similar to 351 Winchester.

Sunray
July 25, 2009, 01:47 AM
"...never seen nor shot a 351 Winchester..." Looks like a .30 Carbine on cheap steriods, except for the semi-rimmed case. Here's a line drawing of the .351 case. http://stevespages.com/jpg/cd351winchesterslr.jpg
The Carbine case. http://stevespages.com/jpg/cd30m1carbine.jpg
The .401 SL is even more like the carbine round on good steriods.
"...why are 357 magnum lever actions popular rifles?..." Ammo's easy to get and semi-rimless cases don't lend themselves to lever actions well.
"...basically a hot 357..." Not even close. A 180 grain .357, out of a rifle, piddles along at 1381 fps max. A 180 grain .351 runs at 1793 fps max.
"...Maximum effective range is 150 meters(164 yards) for a rifle round..." You may want to re-think that. The .30 Carbine was designed to be effective at 300 yards.

Onmilo
July 25, 2009, 02:19 AM
So why are 357 magnum lever actions popular rifles?

Cheap and fun to shoot.
The .351 Winchester is fun to shoot.
It just isn't cheap to shoot.

jim in Anchorage
July 25, 2009, 02:27 AM
My 1951 gun digest lists the model 71 in .348 at $112.00[deluxe,checkered,with Lyman sight] Standard model,$91.10. Model 94 carbine,$62.45. Model 07 .351,$126.95 What would you have bought?

Sunray
July 25, 2009, 02:31 AM
"...My 1951 Gun Digest..." What's that got to do with the .351 SL?

jim in Anchorage
July 25, 2009, 02:41 AM
Because the model 07 was the only gun it was available in? Read the last line of the OP,then reread mine.

Onmilo
July 25, 2009, 02:43 AM
Everything.
The gun cost fifteen bucks more hard green cash than a rifle that was 75% more powerful than the .351 in 1951

Ecomnomics will kill a gun design faster than anything else.

Sunray
July 25, 2009, 03:00 AM
"...Model 07 was the only gun it was available in?..." Nope. The .35 SL came in the earlier 1905 Win too.
"...fifteen bucks..." Week's pay in 1951.
Found a poor picture of the .401 SL from a lousy source. Have one of 'em around here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.401_Winchester_Self-Loading

jim in Anchorage
July 25, 2009, 03:47 AM
It was the only gun it was available in when it was discontinued

.45Guy
July 25, 2009, 05:25 AM
"...Model 07 was the only gun it was available in?..." Nope. The .35 SL came in the earlier 1905 Win too.

The 1905 was in .35WSL, a whole different animal. Still a great round though. Still have a pile of it sitting around as well.

ClayinAR
July 25, 2009, 07:50 AM
Don't look now but there are tons of rifles and firearms out there that are too weak to do anything but punch holes in paper. New cartridges, mostly useless. The 351 is prolly not as useless overall as some of them.
I won't name any names but think about how popular some of these toys are. For that's what they are.
I don't understand why other rifles or revolvers are not chambered for it. We have lots of revolvers out there that shoot rimless cartridges.
What actual use is there for a .17 caliber? Or many others?
Or the rifle cartridge whose name cannot be said?

Brian Williams
July 25, 2009, 09:02 AM
"...basically a hot 357..." Not even close. A 180 grain .357, out of a rifle, piddles along at 1381 fps max. A 180 grain .351 runs at 1793 fps max.
You have not loaded a 357 with 15 gr of Lil'gun and a 180gr XTP, it moves much more than 1381fps

I would like to see an AR setup to shoot something like a 351, take a 223 and blow the case straight and load it with a 180gr spire point.

Lone_Gunman
July 25, 2009, 09:48 AM
The .351 Winchester is fun to shoot.
It just isn't cheap to shoot.

Price and popularity are a vicious cycle though. It it was more popular, it would cost less.

I would like to see an AR setup to shoot something like a 351, take a 223 and blow the case straight and load it with a 180gr spire point.

Yes, something like that was exactly what I was thinking when I started this post...

Another interesting gun would by an M1 Carbine that took the 351 Winchester. I think 351 Winchester might have been a better round than 30 carbine.

351 WINCHESTER
July 25, 2009, 02:52 PM
Money killed the .351. When w/w quit making ammo in the early 80's it listed for over $40. per 50. Gunwriters had a field day with this old ctg. claim it was underpowered for deer. Apparentely they never shot a deer or a hog with one, otherwise they would have changed their tune.

We tested the .351 in ballistic gel. www.brassfetcher.com. We were impressed. Ammo is still available, but expensive as it always was. The 07 Winchester was an expensive gun to buy and shoot.

When I was a kid I hunted with friends that used the .351 and at normal hunting ranges it killed deer with authority. As a matter of fact one of the ladies that hunted with us used to curse it saying "that damm .351 ruins too much meat". Basically it's a 100 yd. gun. They were never very accurate as they were set up a little sloppy so they would work every time the trigger was pulled. Rarely does anything break on them with the exception of the wood.

iiranger
July 25, 2009, 03:09 PM
#1). Smokeless made the self loader possible, practical, end of 1800s. Black powder left too much crud. Thus the Gatling, fast by manual, etc.
#2). They were playing with "blow backs" that were held shut by the weight of the breech block. I think Jack 0' said it would take a 12 lb breech block for a .30/06... JUST the breech block.
#3). Vast improvement over the buffalo guns of the 1800s, much less drop, and the lever actions and black powder... you didn't have to work a lever... BUT little heavy. Law enforcement loved it. Carried the gun on horse or car...
#4). As stated, the .30 Carbine was designed from the .32 WSL about 30 years later, but Carbine Williams had worked out "gas operated" (while in prison!!!) so it could be MUCH lighter and work at higher pressures and... modern tech for WW II.
Knew a prison worker who learned to shoot one for "tower duty" in the 1970s!!! Another loved to tell of stopping an escape by shooting at the car... Destroyed both rear window and windshield, one shot... Upset the H__ out of the driver who was the escapee... If you got one and some ammo, still put bambi down with authority, otherwise, museum piece like the cloth covered airplanes.

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