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Pentridge Prison Winchesters

For almost 90 years, from the late 1880s until 1978, the Victorian penal system relied on the sturdy, lever-action Winchester 1873 Saddle Ring Carbines as their main firearm.

After small-scale deaccessioning of the carbines in the mid-1950s from the front gates of Melbourne's Pentridge Prison, they were once again returned to their racks until finally disposed of in the late-1970s.

These firearms are uniquely Victorian, having been purchased through the gun dealership of well-known Melbourne retailer, James W. Rosier - whose stamp they carry - and retain their Prison rack numbers engraved into the brass lifter plates.

Yet in spite of this local provenance, little concerted research has sought to identify this significant batch of probably less than 100 carbines.

Guild committeeman Ben Thomas is seeking serial numbers, rack numbers and Rosier numbers of all extant Victorian penal carbines for a forthcoming article on the contract, and the firearms themselves.

Thomas is the webmaster for this site, and all emails sent through it will reach him directly. As with all such research, all personal details are kept confidential.

If you can assist, please contact Thomas at info@armscollectorsguild.com

© Copyright 2005 The Antique and Historical Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria. All rights reserved.