The Winchester 94 does not have a firing pin return spring. When you retract the lever, the tip of the lever retracts the firing pin.
You are very possibly correct that the cartridges are not catching on the cartridge stop. You can have the little "pip" welded back up and then fit it. It has to engage the rim of the carridge and keep it in the magazine tube when retracting the bolt. I am not sure, but Winchester links may be hard to get anymore.
Of course, if you are trying to fire 38 Special cartridges, there may not be anything wrong with the gun itself.