The Winchester: The Gun That Built an American Dynasty

THE WINCHESTER                              LAURA TREVELYAN

Arguably the world’s most famous firearm, the Winchester Repeating Rifle was sought after by a cast of characters ranging from the settlers of the American West to the Ottoman Empire’s Army. Laura Trevelyan, a descendant of the Winchester family, offers an engrossing personal history of the colorful New England clan responsible for the creation and manufacture of the “Gun that Won the West.” Trevelyan chronicles the rise and fortunes of a great American arms dynasty, from Oliver Winchester’s involvement with the Volcanic Arms Company in 1855 through the turbulent decades of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She explores the evolution of an iconic, paradigm-changing weapon that has become a part of American culture; a longtime favorite of collectors and gun enthusiasts that has been celebrated in fiction, glorified in Hollywood, and applauded in endorsements from the likes of Annie Oakley, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, and Native American tribesmen who called it "the spirit gun."


The author of this book is a descendant from the family and this is more of the family story. When the business came to be and when it was at its peck. She does not look into any of the guns themselves this is mainly just about the different family members who were responsible for the operation of the company and keeping it going.
She does go into the Winchester house in San Jose and gives her opinion about all of the stories. I won’t go into all of that. What I did like was the rise of the company and then the struggle to keep it at a level of success. Where it failed and when the family started seeing they could not hang onto it even after asking for help they had to sell off or go into bankruptcy. The story of the company was interesting as well as her story of her great aunts that she used to visit, those I found very interesting. A good book about a company that helped changed the west. I received this book from I gave it 3 stars. Follow us at

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