Jacketed black powder sporting rifle bullets by WRA


In the late 19th century Winchester produced jacketed bullets for some of the rifles offered by the firm. Buttweiler catalog XI/2 (item 407) is a box of such bullets: 245 gr., for the .40-82, and featuring a tin-washed copper jacket. These bullets were based on Thomas Bennett’s patent of 14 Dec. 1886 (U.S. patent 354376) for a copper jacketed grooved bullet. A similar bullet was offered in the 1894-95 Montgomery Ward catalog as “patent metal patch bullet” in several calibers, including a .40 caliber of 245 gr. weight. The Ward’s listing didn’t name the manufacturer. I have a specimen of what may be one of these Bennett-patent bullets, but it does not exactly match either the Buttweiler example nor the Ward’s catalog description. What I have is a .40 caliber copper jacketed bullet, flat-nosed, and with three knurled grooves. It is of FMJ type with exposed lead at the base; diameter is .4055 in. (10.3 m/m), weight 259 gr (16.8 g.). The weight approximates 260 gr., one of the standard weights of .40 caliber rifle bullets in this period but not the weight of either of the cited sources. The bullet is also not tinned. So: is this a Winchester product? If not, who did make it, and when? Thanks, Jack