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Winchester WRA WB double box cartouche

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    Winchester WRA WB double box cartouche

    What is the thought among Winchester collectors concerning the serial number range that the WB double box cartouche and the slightly different stock features entered into service ?

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    I suspect early July 1941 after Robert Sears left. The Winchester serial ledgers will give some indication on serial number.


      I was thinking somewhere between 14k to 19k serial range, approximately. I'll have to look back at my research to see if my memory is even close, lol.

      Paul 'Bubba'


        Both myself and other Winchester collectors always were suspicious about WRA 123666 with the double box WRA WB stock. The photo published in Duff's book on page 175 was taken at an angle that does not reveal the deep anneal color of the receiver. Only recent photos of the sale of this rifle (11K) showing auction photos that do show the anneal color. Also the serial number range was always in question too.
        Last edited by RCS; 01-19-2020, 12:57 PM.


          I understand the cost of publishing in color. It can be cost prohibitive but technology has improved tremendously since Duff and Pyle's book and alot of new information has been gained in the last 25 to 30 years. To me black and white hides too much. Color photos show alot more detail. I too was disappointed when I saw 124,666 in color.


            It has always been a problematic area and there is just so little to go on with early WRA. I recently ran across one of the first ways in which we tried to analyze this by just using statistics (still a valid means but oh so boring). Over time, we eventually came up with three different methodologies to try to nail down the duration/size of both the double box WB but also as part and parcel, the RS cartouche as well - indeed, all the flat buttplate WRA's. In all of them the only way to make 123,666 fit is to assume (create?) a fairly massive attrition rate in the field for early production Winchester rifles, and/or to assume a massive overlap of serial numbers in early WRA production, otherwise there just aren't enough real examples extant today to make it work. Perhaps they did overlap serial numbers a lot at WRA AND perhaps the early WRA's did all go to Borneo or Australia or the Philippines AND get captured by the Japanese AND destroyed - we just have no records of it, ... I don't think anyone ever found WRA's "Tuttle" to tell us what serial number overlap WRA had at this point, and the attrition rate would be a curve that would overlay the data of stocks/rifle still in existence (this attrition rate curve becomes smaller or closer to zero as the war goes on and is one of the reasons why original rifles from later in the war are more common than early in the war). Meaning; if half of the RS cartouched rifles/stocks were shipped out and destroyed making that current data too small, then the beginning date for the D-B WB could begin much later than the data shows. It also figures in with the rate of production which was increasing throughout the war, but ultimately the argument then becomes; what shape is the curve that represents the rate of attrition, ... The more you want to grant to these issues, the more 123,666 can become part of the range, ...

            Hello? This thing still on? Helloooooooo,... I know - zzzzzzzzz, ........ Sorry.

            I did personally handle 123,666 finally when it sold at Rock Island. Did you know that they will not allow you to photograph any of the pieces - you have to actually buy them if you want to take a picture of them. I think the new RIA pictures, however, were good enough to make a fairly accurate assessment, if you cared to examine them closely.

            My best guess is to leave it in an absolutely huge range of serial numbers for the D-B WB still based on how much attrition you want to argue and how much overlap in serial numbers you want to argue for early production at WRA. If we can find an original somewhere in these early ranges to sort of anchor things then we might have better arguments to make but right now it is still kind of wide open. Personally, I always wanted to see one of these D-B WB's in the 117,000 range - though it may be a semi-reasonable guess as good as any other, I think it is more because I really just like the number But now, given the number of early substantially original WRA's that have shown up in recent years, I am still hopeful that one may surface - as they say, it is all still out there.

            Best all.
            Last edited by Bodyman; 01-20-2020, 11:25 AM.


              Many collectors who were around at the time s/n 123666 appeared believed it was a California restoration. A vender in St Charles Illinois had just shipped a few hundred stocks (recovered from the Wisconsin barn wood) to a well known (to GCA members) parts man in California, a lot of this wood was not that good and there were bad feelings. A year later a friend bought s/n 123666 from the California parts man for 2K who later on sold it to a dealer, later Canfield bought it. There was a good chance that with the barn wood and parts available serial number 123666 could have been restored in California. The deep anneal color is not a good point either.

              Here is an old note that I have: Col Robert Sears left Winchester on June 30th 1941. No rifles were built between June 25, to July 8, 1941. The start serial number was 114523 on July 8th 1941


                My photos show some no trap Winchester WRA RS stocks: note the trigger guard recess is like the late SA SPG stock (without a notch) as is the curve on the pistol grip. I have never seen a Winchester WRA WB or double box WB without the trigger guard recess notch. These stocks all have a letter and number code (sometimes a symbol too) on the front of the stock. I would have thought there would be some overlap - but I never found one to date. The Winchester stock change could have been done when Col Sears left Winchester which would date the WRA double box stock introduction at around serial number 114523 ? Click image for larger version

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