.33 Winchester Center Fire - primer question?


The primer shown in the above cartridge (enlarged photo) appears to be of a two or three piece construction (depending if you count the anvil or not.)

The outer ring appears to be brass, with the inner cap made of copper. If it helps the inner cap has a “W” embossed on it. I have a number of W.C.F. cartridges, all have a “normal” primers in them. Also no other cartridge in my collection has this “two” piece primer construction.

Did Winchester load other cartridges with it? Or was this a “better idea” that didn’t work out? Any information would be appreciated.



I don’t know but it looks interesting. Hopefully my reply will nudge it back to the top for someone else to pick up and run. If it was a development I am sure they would have used it more extensively that just with one calibre.


Do a search. These primers have been discussed several times.

At least three past issues of the JOURNAL have articles.

They are referred to as the Winchester Protected Primer. Found on many cartridges, most often on those used in lever action rifles with a magazine tube below the barrel.




Thanks for the heads up! I’ll check out the articles.

Again thanks…



Ray and All,

Gulp! I searched for “Winchester Protected Primer” and found that I had asked the identical question on the forum in 2007!! Of course (in my defense) I didn’t know what to call them! Shows what a keen intellect I have!

You guys are a great help.

Thanks again,


The ‘Protected Primer’ was used on quite a few cartridges. From the 1914 catalog: 25 Rem Auto, 25-35 WCF, 25-36 Marlin, 30 WCF, 30 Rem Auto, 32 W.S., 32 Rem Auto, 32-40 W.H.V., 33 WCF, 35 Rem Auto, 38-55 W.H.V., 45-70 W.H.V., 45-90 W.H.V. and 50-110 W.H.V. There were 2 versions, the ‘5’ and ‘5-1/2’.