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Winchester

In the 1800s the idea of a repeating rifle was finally realized by Oliver Winchester, the largest stockholder of the New Haven Arms Co. of Connecticut. He was assigned US patent No. 5501, which protected improvements to the Henry rifle. The new technology included a spring-closed loading port on the right-hand side of the frame, directly at the rear of the magazine tube, and resulted in the first reliable lever-action repeating rifle, produced as the first Winchester, Model 1866.

Famous for its rugged construction, the original Winchester rifle allowed the rifleman to fire a number of shots before having to reload: hence the term, "repeating rifle." Manufacturing of the Model 1866 started in Bridgeport, Conn. in 1867; the Winchester Repeating Arms Company moved to New Haven in 1871. The Company also manufactured and licensed to the U.S. government the M1 Carbine, the standard 30 caliber weapon used by Allied forces in World War II.

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