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Old October 6, 2011, 12:57 AM   #1
biggreddy
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Grandpa's Winchester Pre-64 1894 1/2Mag 30-30 with a Bull/Steer engraved stock.




When I took ownership of the Rifle two of the original tan leather hide straps were tied to the saddle tie still, but they were brittle and eventually fell off.




A 12 stamp and a 3 stamp.


clear serial of 4975XX.


I have no idea who did this artful carve job, but could have been any one of my 6 Great Uncles.
In interested to know any of your thoughts on this Northern California Winchester. Not sure of the make date, but it would be nice if she was at least an early 1930's firearm purchase. I also have no clue as to if the 12 and/or 3 marks were inspection stamps or what. I am also unclear as to just how widespread stock engravings were. Did everyone do that to their Rifles or was it just a Model 94 thing or trend? It would be interesting to find out, because I see this a lot with older 1894 Rifles being reproduced in Anniversary editions ; haven't seen too many home or range pieces around much. Which makes me wonder what she could really demand at top auction value. She's definitely a mantle sitter looks better first-person than the pics giver justice wiped down. I use soft gun grease after a little Simple Green myself. Is this not a good way to care/treat/wipe an antique or what else if anything should I use? I will post about an Enfield I'd also like to have seen here at TheFiringLine. Thank You for any interest.
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Old October 6, 2011, 05:21 AM   #2
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It dates to 1909 but it's pretty rough and while the stock carving adds character it detracts value even further.
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Old October 6, 2011, 05:42 AM   #3
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Value aside, that is a way cool old Winchester with a TON of character.
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Old October 6, 2011, 09:49 AM   #4
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Welcome, an interesting piece of history you have. I would think I not the only person that would like to see photos of the entire gun. The numbers by the trigger are assemblers marks. Winchester used these same marking till well into the 1950's at least. Next your bull steer comment makes we wonder if you meant bull OR steer. Cause there is a vast difference between the 2 animals. Your buttstock appears to have been poorly sanded in the past. I am curious if this is truly a half amgazined rifle from the factory or is possibly if the tube was damaged and just shortened. A close up photo of the underside barrel will answer this question. As to the carving being exclusive to 1894's, I am afraid that is not so. I have seen many older guns with carved stocks. May be of German heritage as many older German guns were so carved. Many people personalised their guns, many still do such things to their boats and cars. While the carving distracts from collectors value, this gun has definately got that, "Been there, done that and got the scars to prove it" look about it. Im not sure simple green would be the cleaning solution I would use on a fine old antique firearm. Please dont alter this gun in anyway. This gun has your families history written all over it in the scars it carries.
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Old October 6, 2011, 01:36 PM   #5
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A few notes:
* Your Win 1894 looks like a saddle ring carbine, so a 1/2 magazine would be something someone did to repair a damaged magazine tube.
* The rear sight is a relatively uncommon sight found on 1894s.
* The stock carving was meant as a decoration. I see a lot of rifles from the 1940s and 1950s decorated in this manner. It definitelt detracts from collector's value, but adds personal value.
* Overall condition of your rifle is pretty rough.
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Old October 7, 2011, 05:50 AM   #6
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Saddle-ring carbine's hold only three bullets? This Rifle can't hold six i'm sure.

@Hawg Haggen
thanks for the info!

@Sarge
I totally agree and I am proud to display it.

@30-30remchester
I DID mean Bull or Steer. A close up photo of the underside barrel? Let me shoot that pic asap. When i found this in my Grandfather's things it was totally covered and matted in old dirt, grime, dried mud and grass. Made me think the Rifle was sticking, buried half into the ground inside a horse pen or cattle range up North. It just looked THAT dirty. I meticulously disassembled and carefully cleaned it not to bother the patina or remaining finish. I think I did a great job, yet in hind-sight kinda wish I hadn't done a damn thing to it leaving it covered in Susanville mud, grime, and grease. 2 pics attachments

@Scorch
Right Saddle ring Carbine. I think I read that it carried three bullets or there was a full carbine holing 6 and a half-mag carbine holding 3. I have no real proof because I've never fired it nor would i ever try. Seems operable when investigating the reload mech, firingpin, hammer, and bore of the thing there's too much play and pitting i wouldn't try. The rearsight is uncommon?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg fulldark.JPG (55.1 KB, 71 views)
File Type: jpg mag.JPG (145.5 KB, 71 views)

Last edited by biggreddy; October 7, 2011 at 05:56 AM.
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Old October 7, 2011, 06:10 AM   #7
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You have the short (or half) magazine rifle. As I understand it that was a factory option, but not a particularly popular one.
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Old October 7, 2011, 12:20 PM   #8
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With the barrel band and the forend it has on it, that is a carbine, not a rifle. Still, it would be interesting to actually see it in hand, just to see if that was a factory installed 1/2 mag or if it was a repair. As far as I know, saddle ring carbines came with the full-length mag only. But Winchester would do just about anything you were willing to pay for.

And yes, that rear sight is relatively uncommon. Winchester had a bunch of different sights on their rifles, some common, others relatively obscure. You could even get an express sight with silver centerline and range numeral inlays for your rifle if you ordered it with one.
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Old October 9, 2011, 05:03 AM   #9
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So the Saddle Ring Carbine was only equipped with a three bullet magazine? Because I'm pretty sure it can't hold 6. Here's a blurry picture of the buttplate.
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File Type: jpg butt.jpg (235.4 KB, 46 views)
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Old October 9, 2011, 07:20 AM   #10
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No, typically, Saddle Ring Carbines (SRC) came with a full length magazine tube, from the receiver right up to the end of the barrel. Yours is shorter. It would be interesting to know if it was a factory installed option or a repair. If factory, there will be no barrel band screw notch or magazine cap retainer notch/hole just behind the muzzle on the bottom of the barrel. As I said in my earlier post, Winchester would do just about anything you wanted if you special ordered the firearm, but I have never seen a SRC with a button magazine. Can you take a clear picture of the bottom of the barrel ?
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Old October 9, 2011, 10:25 AM   #11
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As stated by SCORTH and myself earlier, if you would turn the rifle over and photograph the underside of the barrel near the muzzle we can detemine if it was a factory short tube or a repair. Also a closeup photo of the magazine tube cap will also help determine much. Short tubed guns used a different magazine end than did the full tubed models.
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Old October 10, 2011, 02:05 PM   #12
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You ought to put together as much of the history on your gun as you can. You can likely find out where it was shipped to and if it was ordered with special features. Sometimes they have records of who ordered what, sometimes. While most collectors want a gun as close to stock as possible, folk art collectors might be interested in your gun because of the Steer. History can really make a difference.
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Old October 10, 2011, 08:44 PM   #13
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Well, SRC's with half magazines are darned rare, and I personally have never seen one, but Madis pictures a couple that look like the pictures here (allowing for the poor quality of said pictures), so never say never.

Yes, a three round magazine seems a bit pointless, but some folks probably valued the less muzzle heavy feel and the less change in balance as the magazine emptied over having more ammunition in the gun.

Jim
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Old October 10, 2011, 10:32 PM   #14
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I have seen a number of carbines with button magazines over the years. On the cover of MIDWAY's catalog number 34, Larry Potterfield is holding one. If it was a saddle ring or an EASTERN carbine I cant tell. I have an EASTERN carbine with a factory button magazine. I personally like the looks and feel of these. They have great balance and grace. And if you cant hit the animal with the first 4 rounds, I doubt you could do much better with a couple more rounds.
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Old October 12, 2011, 01:55 AM   #15
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I searched into Winchester catalogs and found two from 1903 and 1909 offering everything from carving, engraving wood and gun metal. I understand there's a website service operated through Buffalo Bill's family or something that allows you to find a purchase receipt through WinchesterCo I may try. Here are the sight, barrel,e tc.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC00232.JPG (146.6 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg DSC00233.JPG (143.0 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg DSC00245.JPG (153.3 KB, 46 views)

Last edited by biggreddy; October 12, 2011 at 03:20 PM.
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Old October 12, 2011, 01:57 AM   #16
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cont
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File Type: jpg DSC00231.JPG (140.6 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg DSC00234.JPG (137.2 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg DSC00236.JPG (148.3 KB, 41 views)
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Old October 12, 2011, 02:06 AM   #17
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So this may or may not be a factory 1/2 mag capacity carbine(hopefully these pics will answer that question), although they most likely or positively did offer the SRC in full and 1/2 capacity and did offer factory steel and woodwork. Please correct me if I'm wrong...Again thanks to TheFiringLine.com
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File Type: jpg DSC00240.JPG (143.1 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg DSC00241.JPG (151.1 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg DSC00237.JPG (150.5 KB, 39 views)
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Old October 12, 2011, 05:43 AM   #18
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From picture 233, it seems that your Grandfather's gun originally had the full length magazine tube, but it was shortened at some point in the gun's life, probably as a repair as others have suggested.

The rear tangent sight is interesting. I've never seen one of those on a Winchester 94. I know they were a factory option for many years, but I've never seen one mounted to a 94.

It appears that the sight slider is missing.
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Old October 12, 2011, 10:15 AM   #19
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Mike is correct, the photo #233 clearly shows where the magazine tube used to be. Also the end cap photo shows it is slotted. This was standard on full magazine rifles and carbines. Half magazined rifles and carbine had an end cap with no slot.
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Old October 12, 2011, 03:15 PM   #20
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Knowing my Grandpa, I doubt he or his Dad would change the magazine at home or for that matter carve the Steer out of the stock.Could both the 1/2 mag and Steer both be more likely custom factory specs or at home? If the 1/2mag SRC wasnot offered then maybe he sent it back to the factory to service ...or change..Are all SRC's half stock like that?

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Old October 12, 2011, 06:44 PM   #21
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Winchester certainly offered the half magazine as a custom order item.

At the time when your rifle was made, you could mix and match just about anything you wanted in a custom order gun, from barrel length to profile to stock options to sights.

But, they wouldn't have offered it as it presents on your rifle.

Had it been ordered as a half magazine from the factory, Winchester wouldn't have put the barrel on it with the mounting points for a full magazine tube, they would have used one of the half magazine barrels.

They also would have used the half magazine button cap, NOT the end cap used on full magazines.

Take a look at the overall condition of your rifle. It wasn't a wall flower. It was a hard working, hard living, hard used gun.

It looks as if it was used day in and day out for decades.

Given the condition of the rest of the gun, it's very possible that the full-length magazine tube was somehow damaged. It likely went to a local gunsmith, who did the quickest, most logical thing to do with it. He reconfigured it to look like another gun that Winchester offered, one that doubtless would have been familiar to him.

As for the steer? I also sincerely doubt that that was a Winchester factory job. It's a bit on the crude side, and all of the carved stocks that I've ever seen from Winchester (I'll admit, only a very very few) were done on select walnut blanks, pieces of wood with absolutely beautiful figure even for those times when beautifully figured walnut was pretty common.
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Old October 13, 2011, 01:53 AM   #22
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Agree with all the above, especially the hardworking gun part. That carbine has been repaired several times over the years, including the magazine tube, the front sight, and the buttplate screw. As Mike said, the rear sight slider and the retaining screw are missing. I am sure it represents a memorable time in your family's history when people just "made do".

The Buffalo Bill Museum will supply you with a letter stating what the factory records for your rifle show (special orders, options, configuration when it left the factory, chambering, any factory repairs performed, who the rifle was shipped to, etc). I cannot currently recall the fee charged for this letter.
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Old October 13, 2011, 06:03 AM   #23
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I think they recently upped it to $100, didn't they?
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Old October 13, 2011, 11:37 AM   #24
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Here is the info, charge is $60, about 2/3 of the way down the page.
http://www.bbhc.org/explore/firearms/firearms-records/
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Old October 21, 2011, 01:39 AM   #25
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Thanks Aagin, Scorch, Im planning on doing so soon. I can post the results here.
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