Excerpted from my article, JOURNAL Issue # 463
As early as 1948, Winchester was considering the development and marketing of a new bolt-action rifle costing less (cheaper) than the popular Model 70. Designated the Model 80, records indicate that one of the first prototype rifles, caliber not recorded, was tested to destruction. Three other Model 80 rifles, in 30 caliber, appear on Winchester firearms reference collection data sheets but their whereabouts is unknown. The Winchester Collection, Cody Firearms Museum, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, in Cody, Wyoming houses four surviving prototype rifles, three right-hand and one left-hand bolt actions, with non-detachable box magazines, open sights and chambered for a developmental cartridge called the 30-80 WCF. One other rifle chambered for the cartridge is based on a Model 70 action, with a 21 3/4" lightweight barrel. This could be a prototype Model 70 Featherweight rifle.
So, what is this 30-80 WCF cartridge? References tell us that Winchester was contemplating using the FAT1E3 case as the basis for commercial cartridges in several different calibers ranging from 224 to 358. The original 30 caliber was the most likely candidate to be first in the series and, with the prototype Model 80 rifle as the test platform, designating the cartridge as the 30-80 WCF was only logical.
There are no cartridges that actually have a 30-80 WCF headstamp that I