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View Full Version : Winchester 94 30-30's


warbirdlover
January 13, 2012, 01:27 PM
I had a thought that maybe I could pick up a used one cheap just to have and went in GunBroker to check. Holy smokes! The prices they are getting for some less then nice condition 94's is mind boggling! And if you want a pre-64 version. Hang on to your hats! It must be the nostalgia thing since there are much better 30-30's out there.

And I don't see a regular 94 for sale at Cabela's or Gander. Did they discontinue making these? Too bad if so. They are a classic. Lot's of competition also now.

jrothWA
January 13, 2012, 01:44 PM
Best to try local shops for reasonable priced ones.

The FN Winchester dropped the 94 but MIGHT bring it back. Just wait for news.

gak
January 13, 2012, 02:49 PM
They're around, keep your eyes ppen. Best buys are approximately ca 1978-81 (just prior to USRAC) when they'd begun to make more improvements on the earlier fugly Post 64s, at least approaching the good ol' days for most functional--and some cosmetic--purposes. Occasionally you'll find someone who's unwittingly lumped the pricing of these together with the lesser Post 64s, but they're nicer guns for the most part.

dgludwig
January 13, 2012, 03:04 PM
I agree with gak-just don't buy any made from 1964 to around 1978, unless you don't mind a cheaper made and cheaply looking Model 94. Actually, I think the USRAC Model 94s are nice enough carbines and I would consider getting one of them (though some folks just can't abide external safeties on the Model 94).
I do believe every serious rifle looney who appreciates true American firearm icons should have at least one Winchester Model 94 carbine (no matter which year it was made) in his inventory. :cool:

warbirdlover
January 13, 2012, 04:41 PM
I do believe every serious rifle looney who appreciates true American firearm icons should have at least one Winchester Model 94 carbine (no matter which year it was made) in his inventory.

That's kind of where I'm at. And I watched one of the only TV hunters I feel is legitimate, Bob Foulkrod, take one up to the Leaf River area of Canada and shoot a Caribou with it. That was COOL. With the open sights.

1tfl
January 13, 2012, 04:46 PM
I have one and I like it but I don't shoot it very much.
When I go hunting I like the Marlin 336 or 1895 better as I shoot it more accurately and they are easier to mount a scope on it. I like carrying the Winchester as it is lighter and flatter so I carry it when I'm taking someone hunting and I don't expect to shoot.

BigMikey76
January 13, 2012, 05:11 PM
I have seen them in my local Cabella's running between about $300 and $700 used (depending on year, condition...). Most of them have been the '90s versions with the cross bolt safety, but a couple have been older. Never seen a pre '64, though - not sure what the price would be on that.

Poodleshooter
January 13, 2012, 05:46 PM
I recently saw a large number of older ones in less than stellar condition running in the $300-500 range at a regional gun shop.
I have a 90s crossbolt model. I don't care for it (or any lever actions) much. But I got it as gift from some very good friends, so it will likely stay with me as I try to find a decent load for it.

If you think Win 94s are pricier than they used to be, try pricing an SKS.

30-30remchester
January 13, 2012, 06:46 PM
Keep looking, I buy a few each year, all pre 64's for under $400. These are all original in excellent condition. As for better 30-30's "out there" I have yet to find a better "built". The Marlin has some advantages in design but not in quality. I study firearms and their design and own a number of both models so I dont have any particular axe to grind one way or the other.

BigMikey76
January 13, 2012, 06:51 PM
I must say, there is something inherently cool about lever actions. I guess it goes back to childhood cowboy fantasies... I always wanted to be John Wayne...

TX Hunter
January 13, 2012, 07:49 PM
I killed my first Deer with a Winchester 94, Great little rifle, They even sound good when they fire. I have one in my Gun Cabnet. :)

michaelcj
January 13, 2012, 08:18 PM
I agree that it is one of the "must have(s)" for any american collection. Got mine when I was 10 from grand-dad who had kept it new and unfired since it was made in 1932 [eastern carbine]. that gift was 50 years ago and I have to admit that the gun has been fired alot since then and put a fair amount of venison on the table.

Mike J

highpower3006
January 13, 2012, 08:56 PM
I see reference being made as the the post 63/pre78 models as being ugly and or poorly made. Could you elaborate?

I have a 72 vintage that I have had for a while and it appears to look pretty much like any other 94 that I have handled. All the parts are made of steel, and the fit and finish look good to me. It shoots as well as any other I have shot, so what is supposed to be so bad about them?

I understand that the early post 63 models had some issues with stamped parts in place of the milled pieces that were on earlier guns, but I see no stamped parts on this rifle at all. The cartridge lifter looks like it is a casting, but it can't be seen with the action closed and hasn't failed in the last 40 years. Is problem that there is some cast parts in them? If so, I would assume that they were still using cast parts after 1978 as there would be no reason to go back to milling small parts if they were working properly.

Quite honestly I wonder if the prejudice against them is some kind of self perpetuating internet myth that people won't let go of.

PS the serial # is 3702576

tirod
January 13, 2012, 09:19 PM
The post '64 94 thing is really all about Winchester needing to reduce the hand labor fitting parts made with tolerances so poor that some simply would not fit. They redesigned the troublesome ones, eliminated a lot of gunsmith level hand stoning and filing, and regained profitability.

For their efforts to stay in business, some old dinosaurs complained they couldn't get the guns they used to, and wouldn't pay for customs anyway. Now the handfitted loss leaders are overpriced and underused, but you can find an older post 64 - like my Saddle Ring Carbine - but it won't be $175 anymore. Those days are gone, a new 94 will come from Japan for $2,300.

Shop around local, likely the further from a metro and the internet, the better prices can be found.

Stevie-Ray
January 13, 2012, 10:36 PM
I've got one, a 1957 with a Weaver K4 atop. Cool gun for sure but I like my .30-30s going out of my Contender mostly.

OJ
January 14, 2012, 12:43 AM
I agree local shops are best bet - I picked up this Canadian Centennial saddle ring carbine (20" octagonal barrel) at a local shop for $350 two years ago. Used but well cared for and very good condition - sweet shooter - I shoot at least a box of ammo through it once per month or so.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/RIFLES/IMG_2491.jpg

It's the short one -

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/RIFLES/003.jpg

huntinaz
January 14, 2012, 12:50 AM
Check your local pawn shop. I could buy 3 or 4 of them for $300-350 out the door right now. If I didn't already have one, I would.

FrankenMauser
January 14, 2012, 04:56 AM
Those days are gone, a new 94 will come from Japan for $2,300.

Oh, come on. You know that's a ridiculous statement. It's so far off, it's downright shameful.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=460762

Street price on the Miroku 1894s will be about $850-900 in most areas (less, if we can get the Dollar to come up, against the Yen).

jsimmons
January 14, 2012, 06:34 AM
My dad has a 1956 .30-30 that's never had a round chambered, in the original leather gun case, and he still even has the two boxes of cartridges he purchased with it. Got it from Sears.

I've been pestering him to give it to me for the last 10 years.

TX Hunter
January 14, 2012, 09:36 AM
I hope the New Jap lever guns dont sell, anyhow there are eneough used model 94s in circulation, and Mossberg is making a similar rifle, so there is no need to buy a Jap gun.

PawPaw
January 14, 2012, 10:36 AM
I've got two '94s, both of them post-64 rifles. Fun guns to shoot, although I don't hunt with them much any more. I've really been toying with the idea of taking the crappier-looking of the two of them and scout-scoping it. There is nothing wrong with the internals of the rifle, it was carried lots and shot little, so it's all dinged up. I think before it came to me, it had spend most of its life riding behind the seat of a pickup truck. An old, raggedy farm truck.

At any rate, Winchester made about 8 million of them and they're residing in closets and gun lockers all over the world. It's an iconic firearm and one that's very useful for standard riflery.

OneshotRob
January 14, 2012, 11:23 AM
1929 model 94 20" barrel 30-30. This was my grandfathers.It was refinished by my father about 30 years ago. It has a side scope mount,i have the scope,its a leupold. Just curious what its value is. I would never part with it. I havent fired it in probably 10 years

OJ
January 14, 2012, 12:59 PM
huntinaz
Senior Member
Check your local pawn shop. I could buy 3 or 4 of them for $300-350 out the door right now. If I didn't already have one, I would.

Hey - we're talking about lever guns here - not wives - it's OK to have more than one lever gun for the variety - OTOH - with proper attention to making the choice - one wife does that job nicely.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/RIFLES/IMG_2491.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/RIFLES/AWINCHESTER942.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/RIFLES/ABL222.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/kmastf/RIFLES/AWINCHESTER95-1.jpg

dgludwig
January 14, 2012, 03:27 PM
I see reference being made as the the post 63/pre78 models as being ugly and or poorly made. Could you elaborate?


The following is an excerpt from the book Winchester Model 94: A Century of Craftsmanship, under the heading Third Model, authored by Robert C. Renneberg:

"...This is the design change that illustrates the historic and infamous 'Pre-64/Post-64' changeover. The third model receiver (the corresponding serial no. range is from about 2,700,000 to 5,250,000) is the first to carry the designation of Post-64, and while not being in production for a particularly long duration (only about 19 years), was produced in quantities equalling about half the production of all Model 94s to date...
"This new model was such a blow to Winchester fanciers, such a departure from the quality of even the worst example of the previous design, so disappointing in appearance and feel, that sales plummeted dramatically.
"It rattled when you shook it. The action was an abomination with a flimsy sheet steel stamping serving as the carrier, and the receiver itself didn't take kindly to the bluing process. Even the fit and finish of the wood was terrible-on a par with the rest of the gun...
"The receiver itself was now a casting, an investment casting. The material from which it was cast was an alloy of some kind of 'mystery metal' that not only resisted polishing, but also refused to adequately react to the bluing solution. This alloy proved to be so inhospitable to finishing that it finally had to be plated with iron just to provide a consistent medium upon which the bluing solution could react...
"The final solution was to use a black oxide finish, that while in reality was hardly more durable, but at least had a smoother, higher quality finish.
"The machining of this receiver could only be called adequate. Visible machine marks on the interior surfaces show little or no attempt at elimination, and this condition was unfortunately carried over externally to the sides of the lever and hammer as well...
"The lifter/carrier assembly became a simple stamping of blued steel and had a particularly loose and sloppy fit (hence the rattle)...
"By the late '60s, due to lagging sales and 'unkind' references, Winchester was forced to rethink its product. The changes begin to be noticed around the 3,400,000 serial range and these 'improved' models are characterized by a phenolic instead of a steel buttplate. Let's call this receiver style, 3a. These guns, while not up to the Pre-64 standards, were nevertheless vast improvements over the immediately previous design.
"No stamped parts are found in this version. Newly machined internals were designed and properly fitted, and consequently the action becomes considerably smoother and tighter..."
The Fourth Model was introduced in 1978 at serials around 4,600,000. Mr. Renneberg explained that this style of receiver, "...is essentially the same as its predecessor but definitely displays enough re-engineering to qualify as a new model...These changes working in concert modernized the Post-64 Model 94 considerably and, in general consensus, were well-thought-out changes for the better..."

Hey, you asked...:)

BigMikey76
January 14, 2012, 03:47 PM
^^ Nice info. I have wondered for a while now what the actual differences were, but had never gotten around to looking it up.

huntinaz
January 14, 2012, 03:52 PM
Hey - we're talking about lever guns here - not wives - it's OK to have more than one lever gun for the variety - OTOH - with proper attention to making the choice - one wife does that job nicely.

Haha, I should clarify. I have only one Win 94, but I have several other lever guns. I will have more. Leverguns are fine things.

Only have one wife too :p

gak
January 14, 2012, 09:10 PM
Dgludwig, you took the words right out of my mouth :) That's as useful a referenced explanation of the Post 64 era as I've seen. What it didn't elaborate on (in that excerpt) was not only the fit, but the c*** wood often used--birch, or worse?--especially in the pre 3.4 million period, and the effect that early finish had if actually used, exposed to shooting/hunting conditions and especially any moisture: excessive mottling, pitting and flaking. When new/unhandled, at best the oxide finish actually looked painted on. Any 94 will freckle and even pit in the receiver area especially if exposed to repeated or prolonged moisture, hand sweat, etc, without reasonably quick wipe down, but the early Post 64s were another matter (worse) altogether. I don't know if a a better "truck" gun has ever been made--as you really can't "hurt" it!

Of the Post 64 era, although usually considered a new period--my second choice (to the 78-81 era) would be the first USRAC angle eject (AE) models, meaning prior to the crossbolt safety/rebounding hammer add on, which at least added a "normal" scope mounting capability as a tradeoff to no longer being the clean, uncluttered original design.

highpower3006
January 14, 2012, 10:04 PM
By the late '60s, due to lagging sales and 'unkind' references, Winchester was forced to rethink its product. The changes begin to be noticed around the 3,400,000 serial range and these 'improved' models are characterized by a phenolic instead of a steel buttplate. Let's call this receiver style, 3a. These guns, while not up to the Pre-64 standards, were nevertheless vast improvements over the immediately previous design.
"No stamped parts are found in this version. Newly machined internals were designed and properly fitted, and consequently the action becomes considerably smoother and tighter..."

Thank you for the concise reply. This is the kind of information I was looking for, not the "they're a piece of crap" statements without any other facts. I guess mine with a serial number above 3,700,000 falls into the improved model range. The wood on it while not highly figured, is American walnut and is fitted well and, as I stated, there isn't any stamped parts on it. Plus, it goes bang every time I pull the trigger.

Tom68
January 14, 2012, 11:11 PM
I've been tracking with highpower 3006 on this thread. I love my 94, produced circa 1971, in the 3,666,000 serial number range. I bought it when I was 20 years old in 1988 for $120 in a pawn shop, and it was quite "experienced" even then. Since that day I have been quite happy with it--it shoots where I aim it, and always goes bang when I pull the trigger.

perhaps I'm not as sophistiphicated as others with regard to fit and finish, wood and steel, and I might even not recognize the treasure of a pre-64 if I were holding one. Either way, I'll never part with my '94!

in the end, it's all about what makes us happy.

dgludwig
January 15, 2012, 02:39 PM
my second choice (to the 78-81 era) would be the first USRAC angle eject (AE) models, meaning prior to the crossbolt safety/rebounding hammer add on, which at least added a "normal" scope mounting capability as a tradeoff to no longer being the clean, uncluttered original design. [QUOTE]

That's the one I have, gak; serial no. 52592xx. I bought it used 25 years ago for $150.00. Though it's an AE model, I never scope my lever-actions (the one exception being a Savage Model 99) and have equipped all of mine with the Williams receiver sight. My Model 94 has a very nice, sraight-figured (but still figured) walnut stock, close-fitted parts and an even and deep blue job. The trigger, however, leaves a lot to be desired: long, creepy and crunchy. The little carbine, lousy trigger, peep sight and all, will still give me three shots in just under two inches @ 100 yards with factory, 170 grain Cor-Lokt bullets from a rest.

gaseousclay
January 16, 2012, 08:00 AM
I had a thought that maybe I could pick up a used one cheap just to have and went in GunBroker to check. Holy smokes! The prices they are getting for some less then nice condition 94's is mind boggling! And if you want a pre-64 version. Hang on to your hats! It must be the nostalgia thing since there are much better 30-30's out there.

And I don't see a regular 94 for sale at Cabela's or Gander. Did they discontinue making these? Too bad if so. They are a classic. Lot's of competition also now.

I noticed that Win 94's have gone up on gunbroker.com as well. I've been looking to buy a gently used Win 94 for some time but whenever I go to gunbroker the vast majority of them have their values overstated (especially the beat up looking Win 94's)....AND you'll notice that a lot of them don't sell either. I'd say your best bet is to shop at your local gun store or pawnshop to get a fair deal.

Baba Louie
January 16, 2012, 11:24 AM
Too many to choose from. From old timers who still work well, to new fangled angle eject with safety switch here (cross bolt) or safety switch there (tang) or no safety switch a'tall. Buckhorn sights, peeps, tang or even glass for old eyes.

Long barrel or short. Trappers too. Round or octagonal. Handgun rounds to rifle chamberings, even a shotgun round saw its way into the 94 series...

Shhhhhh (looks around and whispers), look up old Ted Williams Sears sleepers on gunbroker. Kinda homely. Says Sears on it... Shhhhh... Keep it quiet. o.k.?

How many million 94's did Winchester make over the years? 7 million plus? With that many to choose from they aren't all worth their weight in gold.

One will come along when ya least expect it. Be ready for it.

Opinated
January 16, 2012, 12:21 PM
If the name on the rifle is not so important, Sears sold a version of the '94 with the Ted Williams brand ( Williams was a baseball player). In years long past, our sheriff would auction confiscated firearms and those owned by his department that had become surplus to their needs. Confiscated arms often were from hunting violations. I bought a Ted Williams Model 100, 30-30 lever action , obviously a '94, with 20" barrel and the magazine tube is just 5/8" shorter than the barrel. Obviously carried in the wet several times with no care, but not pitted. I think it was $120.00.
Sears also sold firearms and ammo with the name J.C. Higgins.