.38-72 Winchester

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.38-72 Winchester center fire
Place of originUnited States
Production history
DesignerWinchester Repeating Arms Company
ManufacturerWinchester Repeating Arms Company
Produced1895 to 1936
Case typerimmed
Bullet diameter.378 in (9.6 mm)
Neck diameter.397 in (10.1 mm)
Shoulder diameter.427 in (10.8 mm)
Base diameter.461 in (11.7 mm)
Rim diameter.519 in (13.2 mm)
Case length2.58 in (66 mm)
Overall length3.16 in (80 mm)
Rifling twist22
Primer typelarge rifle
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy
275 gr (18 g) 1,480 ft/s (450 m/s) 1,337 ft⋅lbf (1,813 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]

Description and Performance[edit]

The original Winchester factory load consisted of a 275-grain (17.8 g) bullet at 1,480 ft/s (450 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 WCF was chambered in the Winchester 1885 single-shot rifle.

With the introduction of superior cartridges designed for smokeless powder, the .38-72 WCF 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. ^ a b 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 links[edit]