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Winchester Mold for Sharps and Ballard Rifles in .40 Caliber

This is a Model 1882 Winchester Bullet Mold marked 40-330 over P. Basically it molds a conical slug .40 caliber, weighing 330 grains. The "P" means it's for a patched bullet. It's falling apart but I got out my old Winchester catalog from 1893 to find out what caliber this bullet mold is used for. Well, it will actually work for two calibers, both the 40-70-330 Sharp's Straight Patched and the 40-70 Ballard which also used a 330 grain patched bullet. So why would Winchester, a competitor produce a reloading accessory for a competitor? Two reasons. The first is that, while it entered the game a little late, Winchester had a fantastic single shot rifle known as the Model 1885 Hiwall. It was designed by a young frontier gunsmith from Utah named John Browning who produced this rifle (known as the Model 1879 Browning) for a short time before selling his patent rights to Winchester. It is essentially an improved Sharps action with an internal hammer that is automatically cocked when the lever is closed. Winchester built the Model 1885 to compete with Sharps and Marlin-Ballard and offered it not just its own calibers, but those of its competitors. The other reason was that Winchester was in the ammunition business and sold brass, tools, primers, and cartridges in just about every caliber available. In fact, while it has all but left the gun manufacturing business (only licensing its name to manufacturers), Winchester-Olin is still in the ammunition business today!

This mold has the Winchester address on the side of the body. It is in good condition overall with a heavy patina on the body while the walnut handles are solid with no cracks. The sprue cutter is intact and nothing is bent or broken. The mold cavity itself is on the frosty side with some slight corrosion...I'd say Fair plus overall and might clean up to Good. The slugs would need a bit of trimming if you plan to win any shooting matches with it. This is a scarce mold and the first one I've come across in a Sharps and/or Ballard caliber.

Item# 1484




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