.351 Winchester Self-Loading

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.351 Winchester Self-Loading
.35 Winchester Self-Loading, .351 Winchester Self-Loading, .45 ACP.jpg
From left to right: .35 Winchester Self-Loading, .351 Winchester Self-Loading, .45 ACP
Type Rifle
Place of origin United States
Service history
Used by France
United Kingdom
United States
Wars World War I
Production history
Designer Winchester Repeating Arms Company
Designed 1906
Bullet diameter 0.352 in (8.9 mm)
Neck diameter 0.373 in (9.5 mm)
Shoulder diameter straight
Base diameter 0.377 in (9.6 mm)
Rim diameter 0.407 in (10.3 mm)
Rim thickness 0.05 in (1.3 mm)
Case length 1.375 in (34.9 mm)
Overall length 1.906 in (48.4 mm)
Rifling twist 1 in 16
Primer type Small rifle
Maximum pressure 37,000 to 39,000 PSI
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy
180 gr (12 g) 1,870 ft/s (570 m/s) 1,400 ft⋅lbf (1,900 J)
Test barrel length: 20 in.
Source(s): Whelen, Townsend. The American Rifle. Century Co. 1918. p. 266.

The .351 Winchester Self-Loading (also called .351 SL or .351 WSL) is an American rifle cartridge.


Winchester introduced the .351 SL in the Winchester Model 1907 self-loading rifle as a replacement for the Winchester Model 1905 and the .35 SL. The .351 SL proved popular with police and security forces as the only chambering available in the model 1907, and was used by France in both world wars.[1] An experimental Thompson submachine gun was also made to fire .351 SL in 1919, but was never produced commercially.[2]

The modern day[edit]

While a few gun writers in the 1960s criticized the .351 SL for being inadequate as a deer round, and while the round's power has sometimes been compared to a .357 Magnum carbine load, the .351 SL's killing power falls somewhere between the .30-30 and the .35 Remington. Townsend Whelen praised it as a "good cartridge for deer and similar game in close timber."[3]

Most commercially available loads for the .351 SL launched a 180 grain .351 caliber bullet at between 1850 and 1925 fps from a 20-inch barrel, yielding identical muzzle energy to the .30-30 when fired from a 20-inch barrel (rather than a manufacturer's long test barrel).[4]

When compared to other medium bore rounds, the .351 SL is closer in power to the .35 Remington (200 grain .358 bullet at 1950 to 2000 fps from a 20-inch barrel) than it is to the .357 Magnum carbine (180 grain bullet at about 1600 fps).

The .351 SL cartridge used an unusual bullet diameter of .351 vs the .357 or .358 more commonly used in .35-caliber rifle cartridges.[5]

Most ammunition available today for the .351 SL is produced by a few boutique manufacturers, often using either cast lead bullets or copper-plated bullets or, occasionally, .358 jacketed bullets resized to .351 or .352 caliber. This ammunition is often loaded to lower velocities in consideration of older firearms which have not been properly maintained, and large differences are seen over the chronograph relative to vintage .351 SL ammunition.[6]

But for the handloader who has taken the time to replace the recoil spring and buffer in the Winchester Model 1907, the .351 SL can be loaded to its original velocities. As of 2017, Hawk bullets still makes .351 jacketed expanding bullets with jackets of appropriate thickness.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barnes & Amber, Cartridges of the World, p. 86.
  2. ^ Sharpe, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Vol. 23, No. 6. (March–April 1933), p. 1106.
  3. ^ Whelen, Townsend (1918). The American Rifle. Century Co. p. 266.
  4. ^ http://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/.30-30+Winchester++.30+WCF.html
  5. ^ http://www.chuckhawks.com/351_WSL.htm
  6. ^ "Winchester Model 07 Self-Loading .351 Caliber: Its Past and Its Future with Modern Brass, Bullets and Powders" (2011) Speckin, Leonard pp 68-70
  7. ^ "Winchester Model 07 Self-Loading .351 Caliber: Its Past and Its Future with Modern Brass, Bullets and Powders" (2011) Speckin, Leonard pp 88-96