Winchester "14 Ga." Aluminum

Does anyone have the story (when, what guns, why the designation) of the 20 Ga. Winchester aluminum shells marked as 14 Ga.? Were these tested in the fashion of other “Winchester Gun Club” ammunition like those Marvin Briegel provided photos of for the #468 Journal?

Here is a true 14 Ga. shown for scale.


Went digging on the internet for this and found a kindly chosen sample section on Google Books of Thomas Henshaw’s The History of Winchester Firearms 1866-1992. There it states that experimental Model 59 auto shotguns (12 Ga. introduced 1960, discontinued 1965) were chambered in 20 gauge as well as “…a special 14 gauge based on a revolutionary short aluminum shotshell produced by the Winchester-Western shot shell facility in East Alton.” It indicates these were used for a season at Nilo Farms (a “Franchised Gun Club”?) and were functional but “…the project was dropped because of the almost insurmountable problems involved in educating both distributor and consumer to a new gauge and shotshell length combined with a new aluminum case.”

Perhaps the feed and chambering of the guns for the aluminum 20 ga. and regualr 20 ga. were different thus the rather odd designation to keep the ammunition separate? Thanks for any additional info anyone might have.


The 14 Gauge experimental won’t fit into a regular 20 Gauge gun (chamber rim depth 1.50 mm) because the rim thickness is 2.15 mm

The rim and base diameters of the 14 Gauge aluminium ctge are the same as for a 20 Gauge ctge


Dave, I apologize for not recognizing this when you first posted.
Here’s a scan of a page from R. L. Wilson’s WIINCHESTER, An American Legend.

“The Model 59, Winchester’s next semiautomatic shotgun, reached a total run of over 82,000, from 1959 to 1965. At top, the rare experimental 14-gauge, with aluminum shells and a box of cartridges. Only about twenty-eight were made.”

From the text; “Just over 82,000 were made, and among that number was a novel 14-gauge experimental group. These were tested at Nilo (Olin spelled backward) Farms, the factory’s exclusive field-test facility, and although they performed admirably, the concept was dropped. Winchester officials thought that educating the public for the new cartridge would prove an insurmountable task. The cartridge had an aluminum case and was of a special short length.”

Note this box shows #9 shot and yours #8.


Thanks for the additional info and great photo. That box looks familiar! I didn’t catch the Nilo/Olin thing.
I’ve got another related item I’ll get out sometime to continue the “Shotshell Pride” series…


Thanks for the input. Makes sense as the rim is quite thick on these. Didn’t have a 20 ga. gun on hand to try them in…


And this stuff they try to sell in Germany. :)