.45-90 Winchester CF and HV

I have two .45-90 Cases that are headstamped:

W.R.A.Co .45-90 W.C.F.

W.R.A.Co .45-90 W.H.V.

I’m guessing “W.H.V.” is “Winchester High Velocity” how was the high velocity load different? (Streamlined bullet, different powder charge??). Also, why are the copper boxer primers on these seated in brass cups with a hole in the centre for the firing pin to strike the cup?


I’m surprised no one has answered you yet. I guess all the Winchester collectors are taking their nap.

I don’t know the details but the HV round is loaded with a lighter bullet at a higher velocity.

For the primer, look here:

iaaforum.org/forum2/viewtopic.ph … ted+primer


I think this is correct information. Someone please correct me if it is not. In the early 1900s you could get Winchester center fire rifle cartridges loaded with smokeless powder in a standard power kind of load, or in what Winchester called a “Winchester High Velocity” loading which had W.H.V. after the caliber or you could get them in a “High Power” loading… which had a H.P. after the caliber.

For example. The 1920 Newton catalogue lists the .38-55 cartridge. In fact the call it the .38-55-255. 55 grains of blackpowder originally. and 255 for the 255 grain bullet. There are 3 smokeless loadings in this catalogue.

.38-55-255 with a muzzle velocity of 1321 feet per second (fps)
.38-55-255 W.H.V. with a M.V. of 1593 fps; and
.38-55-255 H.P. with a M.V. of 1700 fps

Another cartridge with three levels of smokeless loadings was the .32-40.

.32-40-165 with an M.V. of 1427 fps
.32-40-165 W.H.V. with an M.V. of 1752 fps; and
.32-40-165 H.P. with an M.V. of 2065 fps.

.45-90-300 regularly was a black powder cartridge which had an M.V. of 1554 fps. The W.H.V. loading was smokeless and had a M.V. of 1992 fps.
.40-65-260 was a black powder cartridge which regularly had a M.V. of 1420 fps. The Smokeless W.H.V. loading had a bullet of 253 grains and a M.V. of
1790 fps.

The concern about cartridges detonating in a tubular magazine was real, and the approach taken by UMC in loading Marlin calibers was to use the smaller .175 in. primer. The small primer is characteristic in the Marlin calibers produced by UMC from the 1880s until perhaps the early 1900s. JG

Thanks for everyon’es help, now I know what the difference is.

J. Gill, I forgot to mention the primer size, the primers on these are different, The CF has the small primer in the brass cup and the HV has the “large” primer.

Re: J. Gill’s comment about Marlin cartridges loaded by UMC…John Marlin was the one who was adamant about the use of the small primer, and actually placed little blurbs in his catalogs stating that Winchester cartridges were not properly made, and the only cartridges recommended for use in Marlin rifles were those made by UMC…Randy

That Marlin blurb that Randy mentions was actually a full page add run in January of 1887 in the popular shooting magazines at that time accusing Winchester of intentionally seating the primers on their cartridges made for use in Marlin rifles too deep in the case heads to ensure dependable ignition. Their position was that Winchester was trying to make the shooting public believe that the ignition problems they encountered were due to defects in the rifles.

Does anyone have that 1887 ad that they could either scan into this thread, or PM me? I mean the one from Marlin accusing Winchester. Aside from my general interest in ammunition and the library I keep, it would be fun to have since I regularly shoot a Marlin Model 1894 .44-40 rifle, actually made in 1894, the first year of production. It is a good shooter, although the open sight is becoming difficult for me, and I can’t find an original tang sight. I won’t punch holes in the tang for a new one, since Marble didn’t have the brains to make their sight for the hole spacing of originals (modern Marlins aren’t factory drilled and tapped anyway, so it would have made no difference at all in the sight’s use on modern Marlins). If it is Brophy’s book on Marlins (I haven’t check that, just tell me that if known) I won’t need the scan.

I have a rather poor copy of the ad. I believe it was shown in The Gun Report some years ago. If someone can’t come up with a scan of the original in the next day or so, I’ll see what I can do.