A .50 BMG Winchester-Western Knick Knack


I picked this item up at a gun show recently. I had never seen one before and it just sort of appealed to me. At first glance I thought it was one of those “trench art” items but a closer look showed it to be purpose made.

The base of the brass pedestal is circumferentially marked Winchester Western. The characteristic script lettering has red enamel inside to enhance the visibility of the trademarked logos.

The headstamp of CAL 50 WRA 34 was a little surprising. 1934 was in the depth of the Great Depression. I would not have thought that there was much, if any, .50 BMG ammunition being manufactured at that time.

I am guessing that this was a gift item for dignitaries and assorted big wigs, although it could just have easily have been an advertising giveaway to W-W dealers. With that headstamp date I further suppose that this is a pre-War item. It’s another one of those things that will add to the clutter on my desk, but ammo clutter is something I can live with.

Can anyone tell me anything more about this item? Thanks in advance.

Absolutely a factory display, & very uncommon. No idea the why of it.

Seems to be the 2nd of this style 50 BMG, WRA headstamp with “W 19” and “CAL 50 WRA 33” (as a dummy) coming before, and the next is “CAL 50 WRA 42”.

Ron Fuchs notes it in AP with a black tip and as an Experimental T1-H.V., with a tungsten steel core with a lead alloy core-tip, plus some unfinished cases / draws.

And I have it as a dummy showing a similar struck primer. However that one just might be one not used / finished (no case holes) for the displays? However it has a GM-jacketed magnetic cored bullet.

nice old headstamp !

from what year did they made the .50 cartridges

I have these old FA headstamps

First headstamped was by Winchester & they used “W 19”, Frankford Arsenal’s first headstamp was “F A 20”.

Thanks for your input, gentlemen.

I wouldn’t consider it uncommon, unless this is a reference to the headstamp. This type of paperweight is offered to me at least 2-3 times a year. Someone’s always trying to sell one. The recent SLICS had one for sale. Headstamps do vary, but it never intriqued me at all. These appear on Ebay with considerable frequency and the last time I checked it, they even had a 20mm Oerlikon version for sale, which I’ve never seen before, but it was identical to this style, just a different cartridge.