.38-72 Winchester Center Fire
Type Rifle
Place of origin 22x20px United States
Production history
Designer Winchester Repeating Arms Company
Manufacturer Winchester Repeating Arms Company
Produced 1895 to 1936
Case type rimmed
Bullet diameter .378 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Neck diameter .397 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Shoulder diameter .427 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Base diameter .461 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Rim diameter .519 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Case length 2.58 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Overall length 3.16 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Rifling twist 22
Primer type large rifle
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
275 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) 1,480 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s)1,337 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
Test barrel length: 24
Source(s): The Rifle in America[1]

The .38-72 Winchester, also known as .38-72 WCF is a rimmed, bottleneck centerfire rifle cartridge introduced in 1895 for the Winchester 1895 lever-action rifle.[2] The original Winchester factory load consisted of a 275-grain (Bad rounding hereScript error g) bullet at 1,480 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s).[1] This straight-walled cartridge case was designed for black powder rather than smokeless powder.

Besides the Winchester 1895 lever-action, the .38-72 Winchester was chambered in the Winchester 1885 single-shot rifle.

With the introduction of superior cartridges designed for smokeless powder, the .38-72 Winchester became obsolete and was soon dropped as an optional caliber for the Winchester Model 1895 and 1885 [3] Production of loaded cartridges by Winchester ceased in 1936.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sharpe, Philip B. The Rifle in America. Funk & Wagnalls: 1958, p. 748.
  2. Barnes, Frank C. Cartridges Of The World. Krause Publications: 1997.
  3. Whelen, Townsend. The American Rifle. The Century Co.: 1918, p. 43.

External linksEdit

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