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Old November 5, 2012, 01:03 PM   #26
DPris
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Gas,
It's a mix- many don't like the idea of the classic & quintessential American workingman's rifle being made in the Orient, and the Winchester name is so closely intertwined with the history of the western expansion that it's sacriligious to have it made by any other country. Much more so in that respect than the Browning or Weatherby branding.

Everybody knows Colt & Winchester "won the West".
Browning was selling his designs, not making them under his own name.
Weatherby who?

Imagine the outcry if Colt were to have their Peacemaker made in Japan. Regardless of quality, the idea's repugnant to many.

The project manager said various options were considered, including Turkey & Russia, and the Miroku operation that was already producing leverguns was settled on for cost reasons & acceptability to the buying public. Nobody would buy a Chinese 94.
A US-made 94, he said, would have an even higher pricetag.

The 94 is not now intended for mass sales, Miroku doesn't have the room to churn them out in volume, so they're a semi-limited production nostalgia item at a high price along with the other older "Winchester" designs produced there.

In bygone times, the Marlin 336 and the Winchester 94 were both priced much closer together, both were good quality working guns, and it was largely a matter of just choosing between which style of levergun you preferred.

Today, since the 94 has gone off-shore & doubled in price it's no longer the affordable entry-level deer gun for new riflemen or the ol' faithful first choice as a general purpose truck gun that it used to be.

With the decline in quality of the Marlins, those remain more affordable, but they have to be approached with caution when looking at a new one.

Winchester 94 prices will never come down, but hopefully Marlin quality will come back up.

Personally, having owned and hunted with both in .30-30, either one USED to be about equal in overall quality & performance in the "good old days".
Both were good, solid, dependable guns that people knew & understood. And- that people could afford to buy.

Today I have the two 94s in .30-30, a .357 Marlin, a .44 Mag Marlin, and a .45 Colt Marlin.
I prefer the Winchester's "feel" in .30-30, but prefer the Marlins in handgun calibers.
The guns are all older, and as the current situation stands I have no interest in buying a new Winchester because of what's been done to them, and I'm waiting to see if Remington can restore the Marlins to what they used to be before I consider spending any more money on one of those.

Music,
Yes, we do retain at least some measure of control- we can choose not to buy a product we find offensive.

There are, in the case of the 94, millions still in circulation & it's not all that difficult to find an older one without the unnecessary re-designs.

The new 94 hasn't been out long enough to give much of a track record, but the 86 Mirokus have & you can find reports of ignition failures attributed to the rebounding hammer.
I am NOT saying the new 94 should be avoided because of this, or that it WILL have ignition problems. I'm just commenting on the rebounding hammer in general.

I considered buying a new 92 earlier this year, but one of the deal-killers was the tang safety. It leaves an open space next to the hammer for gunk to get in, and it irritated my hand. I would have had to either file the nub down or remove the safety altogether.
I know- it's not an issue for many, but for many others it is.

There's been a scope option for the 94s for many years prior to the angle eject introduction. The AE is actually the least offensive of the modifications to the original design & one I could live with.
My 16-inch 94 in .30-30 has it & it's tolerable.

As California has come to rule the nation in certain aspects of the firearms manufacturing industry, and as the 1% of handgun owners who mount lights & lasers on their guns has dictated to the rest of us that we have to have accessory rails we don't want, so has the tiny percentage of those who stick glass on a 94 dictated to the rest of us that we have to have an angle eject action.

Back to the 86 briefly- That rifle was highly respected in the Old West for it's power and its slick action. The Miroku Winchester 86 I had was beautifully done, but I couldn't for the life of me see where all the praise for the slick action came from. It was stiff, and one day I finally realized that what I had was the result of the rebounding hammer, and that action was not representative of an original 86.

On a related note, I have worked with 92 levergun repros by three different companies. The original Winchester 92s were also slick little guns. Two different Italian 92 makers' levers were much slicker than the current Miroku 92 I had here. They don't have the design "upgrades" & they don't have rebounding hammers.
Their actions require noticeably less effort to cycle.

The rebounding hammer system adds trigger weight and adds cycling effort, by its nature.
The undercut bolt on the new 94 is only an improvement over previous rebounding hammer versions, it is not a significant benefit over pre-rebounders.

Again- buy one if you want one.
I have not said otherwise. Just adding perspective & background.
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Old November 5, 2012, 02:35 PM   #27
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94's

The market on these were sky-high a couple of years ago, however, as they started to come out of the closet, the prices fell. Even one I have listed is done so way too low compared to others I've seen around NE Texas, but the only ones sniffing are dealer-types wanting far less than value, so they can put it in the store fronts not need a quick turn around.
The market will return.
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Old November 5, 2012, 03:20 PM   #28
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Gas,
It's a mix- many don't like the idea of the classic & quintessential American workingman's rifle being made in the Orient, and the Winchester name is so closely intertwined with the history of the western expansion that it's sacriligious to have it made by any other country. Much more so in that respect than the Browning or Weatherby branding.
how is this different from firearms being made in Belgium (like the older Brownings), Finland or Italy? the jingoistic attitudes towards country of manufacture seem rather one-sided imo. I'm not disagreeing with you on the point about it being sacriligious for Winchester to have the Win 94 made in Japan based on its history in the US, but I think gun owners ought to be more consistent with their arguments. If a brand like Sako took over manufacturing the Win 94 would there be as much outrage?
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Old November 5, 2012, 05:59 PM   #29
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If you simply wanted one of the new copies, buying one of the new 94's would make perfect sense. Personally, I'm into shooters and I can still find clean 94's well under $500.00.

If I wanted a really, really nice one? I'd buy an original and and send it off to Turnbull.

YMMV
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Old November 5, 2012, 06:53 PM   #30
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Gas,
People just have their preferences.

If Colt sent the Peacemaker off to be built in China, it'd kill the gun off.
If they sent it to Japan, pretty much the same.
Some people are even concerned Colt will move the Peacemaker to the new building in Florida. "What? It won't be made in HARTFORD anymore???!!!???"

Tradition can be very powerful in marketing & sales, and some things suffer when messed with.

Brownings have never been deeply ingrained in the gun world's conscious & sub-conscious view of American history like Winchesters & Colts.
Some people care where they're made just out of national pride, most couldn't care less as long as the quality's there (and it doesn't say CHINA on it anywhere).
The vast majority of gun buyers don't even know that Browning manufactures exactly none of their products themselves, anyway.
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Old November 5, 2012, 07:44 PM   #31
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Quote:
If you simply wanted one of the new copies, buying one of the new 94's would make perfect sense. Personally, I'm into shooters and I can still find clean 94's well under $500.00.
if I had a spare $1200 laying around i'd gladly buy a new 94, but that ain't happening anytime soon. as for finding Win 94's for under $500, i've yet to find anything under that amount that didn't look like it was dragged behind a truck. most Win 94's I see on gunbroker are going for $500+. I'm hoping prices will ease up after the election. i've noticed that Win 94 angle-eject models are going for well above $500...in some cases $600 or $700.
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Old November 5, 2012, 07:55 PM   #32
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Gas,
People just have their preferences.

If Colt sent the Peacemaker off to be built in China, it'd kill the gun off.
If they sent it to Japan, pretty much the same.
Some people are even concerned Colt will move the Peacemaker to the new building in Florida. "What? It won't be made in HARTFORD anymore???!!!???"
true but there's a huge difference between manufacturing standards in Japan versus China. I consider Chinese made product junk. I consider Japanese made product high quality. Japan is our economic partner and without them we wouldn't have a lot of the product we see on the shelf. I also consider the Japanese artisans in their own right, so guns being made by Miroku are a stamp of approval for me. it speaks volumes when I prefer a gun made in Japan over a new rifle by Marlin in the US.

Quote:
Tradition can be very powerful in marketing & sales, and some things suffer when messed with.

Brownings have never been deeply ingrained in the gun world's conscious & sub-conscious view of American history like Winchesters & Colts.
Some people care where they're made just out of national pride, most couldn't care less as long as the quality's there (and it doesn't say CHINA on it anywhere).
The vast majority of gun buyers don't even know that Browning manufactures exactly none of their products themselves, anyway.
this is the crux of the problem though isn't it? i'm guessing that Winchester closed their New Haven shop due to bad sales. if gun owners took pride in where their guns were made surely Winchester would still be a US owned company rather than owned by FN. as for Browning, I assumed the 'made in Japan' stamped onto every Browning barrel was the dead giveaway that they weren't making their guns in the US
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Old November 5, 2012, 08:06 PM   #33
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you sure about that? the last time I saw a pre-64 up for auction on gunbroker it went for well over $1200, and it sure as heck wasn't in mint condition. for that kind of money i'd want a pre-64 NIB and unfired.
Seriously? Hmmm.....wonder what my 1957 model 94 would be worth.
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Old November 5, 2012, 08:45 PM   #34
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Seriously? Hmmm.....wonder what my 1957 model 94 would be worth.
i'm quite serious, unless of course the person bidding on the Win 94 was a shill bidder. I usually see less than pristine pre-64's going for around $800 or so. Winchester 9422's seem to fetch about $700-800 these days
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Old November 5, 2012, 08:54 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaseousclay
true but there's a huge difference between manufacturing standards in Japan versus China. I consider Chinese made product junk. I consider Japanese made product high quality. Japan is our economic partner and without them we wouldn't have a lot of the product we see on the shelf. I also consider the Japanese artisans in their own right, so guns being made by Miroku are a stamp of approval for me. it speaks volumes when I prefer a gun made in Japan over a new rifle by Marlin in the US.
I agree, the craftsmen at Miroku would probably rather fall on their swords than bring dishonor on themselves and their ancestors by building junk.

Also, the Japanese have a work ethic that makes the Amish look like a bunch of slackers.

Last edited by B.L.E.; November 5, 2012 at 09:03 PM.
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Old November 5, 2012, 08:54 PM   #36
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Gas,
I'm not much interested in breaking it down any farther.

To some people, point of origin matters. To others it doesn't.

My personal gripe with the current 94 has zero to do with WHERE it's made, my gripe is HOW it's made.

FN closed down the New Haven operation because it wasn't profitable. Quality had declined, USRAC was no longer a real company (it was just the plant), machinery was outdated & worn, and it wasn't going where FN thought it should be going.
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Old November 5, 2012, 10:05 PM   #37
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My 'well under $500...' remark stands. If I want to know the higest prices I can hope to get for any particular firearm, I look on the internet auctions. If I want to buy something for a reasonable price, I 'run my traps' at various pawn shops and hole-in-the-wall gun shops, until I find it. As I said, I am primarily interested in shooters; but I still find decent examples and leave the 'dragged behind a truck' guns lay.
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Old November 5, 2012, 11:07 PM   #38
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Sarge said: "Seriously? Hmmm.....wonder what my 1957 model 94 would be worth."
Gaseousclay said;
"I'm quite serious, unless of course the person bidding on the Win 94 was a shill bidder. I usually see less than pristine pre-64's going for around $800 or so. Winchester 9422's seem to fetch about $700-800 these days."

I'm actually between Gaseousclay and Sarge on this--but probably closer to Sarge for most Pre 64s. Gaseousclay, where is "tundra" - Alaska? That might skew the market/availability a bit? Also different "eras" of Pre 64 can be a factor. Pre War (which is technically Pre 64 but few but some "purist" (in semantics) collectors use it as such, but most give it its own subset) are definitely up there and beyond for decent examples. OTOH, "average" post war--what most consider "Pre 64"--examples can be readily had down in the $500 territory in most (or at least many) markets, and really decent examples beteen that and $750.
Gaseous, like Sarge wondering about his '57, if you're right, I've got some Pre 64s I need to consider selling! A check on local Backpage ads might also give a "closer-to'reality" check on average Pre 64s. As someone else suggested, what some are asking on GB and what they're actually selling for (there or elsewhere) eventually can be two drastically different things. I agree the prices are up in many areas, but not $1,200 (sold) unless it's NIB or darn close (and I may be wrong even about that), not for a late 1940s-1964 gun IMHO.

Last edited by gak; November 5, 2012 at 11:14 PM.
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Old November 6, 2012, 07:20 AM   #39
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Looking through the gun library at the Cabelas in Buda, TX, around 1200 is what they seem to want for a common pre war .30-30 with a steel buttplate and a band around the forestock.
Then there's the uncommon configurations and calibers.
They have a capped pistol grip 26" octagonal barrel half magazine takedown model with a metal fore end cap instead of a band and factory checkering on both the pistol grip and forend in .30-30, circa 1921, they are asking $10,999.
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Old November 6, 2012, 08:58 AM   #40
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Gaseous, like Sarge wondering about his '57, if you're right, I've got some Pre 64s I need to consider selling! A check on local Backpage ads might also give a "closer-to'reality" check on average Pre 64s. As someone else suggested, what some are asking on GB and what they're actually selling for (there or elsewhere) eventually can be two drastically different things. I agree the prices are up in many areas, but not $1,200 (sold) unless it's NIB or darn close (and I may be wrong even about that), not for a late 1940s-1964 gun IMHO.
the $1200+ price point I came across was through gunbroker and this was over a month ago...maybe two months. I thought the whole thing was suspicious and I would be inclined to agree with you that for $1200 I'd expect a pristine NIB pre-64 and nothing less. I think a more realistic price for a like-new pre-64 might be around the $700-800 range. I guess auction sites aren't really a good place to determine fair prices on Win 94's, as most of them are overpriced, especially the post 64 variants.
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Old November 6, 2012, 01:30 PM   #41
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B.L.E. said:
" Looking through the gun library at the Cabelas in Buda, TX, around 1200 is what they seem to want for a common pre war .30-30 with a steel buttplate and a band around the forestock.Then there's the uncommon configurations and calibers.They have a capped pistol grip 26" octagonal barrel half magazine takedown model with a metal fore end cap instead of a band and factory checkering on both the pistol grip and forend in .30-30, circa 1921, they are asking $10,999."

"Pre Wars" certainly are another thing altogether, and yes most of them are asking (and mostly fetching) a pretty penny. As said, in general conversation most folks consider "Pre 64" to be Post-war (or during war at most) up to 1964.
The "Pre Wars" - especially ones that are noticeably different than the 1941-1950/51's (which some late Pre War carbines especially resemble), have a market mystique all their own. Specifically saddle ring carbines (SRCs) with the "old west" (66, 73, 92 etc) features of curved "carbine" butt, ring, oftentimes carbine ladder flip sight, and earlier (further forward) front barrel band with post sight--which was the normal configuration up to the 1930s or so (+/-)...when more started taking on what would become later the standard flat "shotgun" butt, ramped front sight and leaf rear ubiquitous with 94s right up to the 2000's.

Another distinction of course is model/configuration availability, primarlily - any rifle (as opposed to round barreled carbine) made before 1964--short, long, round,. octragonal, doesn't matter--is a Pre War with very few exceptions (special orders and maybe a commemorative or two, neither a common occurence 1941-64 and mostly the province of Post 64s). IOW, war and post-war production was almost entirely 20" round-barreled carbines. No rifles or even short (20" octagonal) rifles to speak of. IIRC, neither were there any factory Pre 64 (war and post war) "trappers" (aka baby carbines), which were mostly 16" round barreled SRC's and already a very limited commodity even Pre War. Originals of these represent one of the Winchester collector "holy grails" and are some of the rarest, most sought after--and hence precious $--regular production guns out there. Rarest among those are 12"-15" barreled examples, now requiring an exemption letter of course.

What are most often thought of as Pre 64s (again 1941-1964) are also divided into two general groupings - "long wood," which all carbines had from 1894 up to 1950 (and some 51s)...which is a longer extension of the forend piece ahead of the barrel band. After 1950/51 up to 1964 (and beyond), the standard carbines were all lessened to "short wood" configuration. Some Post 64's--again, commemoratives and some later AEs had the same long-wood feature, sometimes paired with something resembling the old front post sight -- both aspects again harkening back to the "old west" guns' configuration, and 16" "trapper" production also resumed some time Post 64 for the first time since the Pre War period. Clean "long wood" Pre 64's generally command a little more than same-condition "regular, run-of-the-mill" Pre 64's, being considered a bit more "vintage," having retained at least that one feature found on all Pre War carbines.

Last edited by gak; November 6, 2012 at 02:45 PM.
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Old November 6, 2012, 08:20 PM   #42
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I went into Cabelas in person today during my lunch break, I work only about a mile away, and looked at some of the '94s in their gun library. They had one they were asking $12,999 for.
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Gun-L...3Bcat103589280

I also looked at a couple of the "new 1894's", one by Miroku and another made by Winchester. Both were in "rifle" configuration. What immediatly stands out is how the trigger is so far forward in the trigger guard. It's sort of like the trigger on the transfer bar Ruger single action revolvers only the trigger does not go rearward when the hammer is fully cocked. There is a long trigger travel before it actually hits the sear, my guess is that this either raises a transfer bar or lowers a firing pin block.

My dad had a rifle configured '94 with an octagonal barrel, steel crescent butt plate, and it was chambered for .32-40. I killed my first deer with it when I was 11, so the "rifle" style '94s have a special place in my heart.
My brother has that gun now.
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Old November 6, 2012, 08:22 PM   #43
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If they're new current guns they're both made by Miroku.
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Old November 6, 2012, 08:40 PM   #44
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You're probably right but one of them didn't have the word "Miroku" anywhere on it, so I assumed it was made by Winchester.
The one that did have Miroku on it had a gold band inlay near the muzzle and Cabelas aniversary on the reciever in gold inlay. A little garish for my tastes, besides, I never have been a fan of contrieved to be collectors items commemorative guns.
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Old November 6, 2012, 09:12 PM   #45
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Gaseousclay said:
"I think a more realistic price for a like-new pre-64 might be around the $700-800 range."

You're right on. A quick check in a Phoenix local ad shows one which I don't believe to necessarily that unusual--no doubt aided by a stagnant economy, to paraphrase "Pre 64, like new. $700." They make a point of "not refinished," and indeed it looks nice. No other detail shown, but the short wood configuration would strongly suggest dating of '51-'64. If someone wants a (presumably) truly nice one, that's not an unreasonable price at all. Wish I needed one or just had the funds for another! Btw, other ads that were more sparse of info averaged (unscientifically) $550-600 or so, with one IIRC $500.
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Old November 6, 2012, 09:12 PM   #46
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There really is no "Winchester", it's just a brand name licensed by Browning from Olin Corp for FN.

Browning handles import, marketing, distribution, and service for Winchester-marked guns for FN.

Any new "Winchester" leverguns will be made by Miroku & should have Winchester on it somewhere. Now I think they're also stamping BAC for Browning Arms Corporation on the barrels, too.
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Old November 6, 2012, 09:57 PM   #47
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According to an inflation adjustment calculator I found on the web, $700 2011 dollars equals about 78 1950 dollars so $700 to $800 is probably mostly just compensating for inflation more than this price reflects rarety or collectors interest.
After all, thirty-thirtys were like belly buttons, everybody had one.
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Old November 6, 2012, 10:52 PM   #48
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If I felt compelled to get a new Winchester (Miroku) lever, it'd be the 92, if for no other reason than, incredibly, you have no other choice--with the Winchester name on it--until you go back as far as 1941 or so. AFAIK, until the Mirokus there were no "Winchester brand" 92s ever made from '41 til the Japanese plant was first commissioned to make some limited copies fifteen or so years ago (and the vaunted Browning-labeled ones before that). To me that's amazing for what arguably is in many ways Winchester's/Browning's finest/purest design...even considering what happened market-wise in the intervening years. The advent of the smokeless .30-30 rifle cartridge in the early 20th Century basically killed off interest and market for the pistol caliber levers--until cowboy shooting (CAS) created a new market in recent decades. The detail-fact that 92s were used almost exclusively in early-mid 20th Century western TV shows and movies was lost on most folks and regardless wasn't enough to keep the popular interest alive in the pistol round levers as the .30-30 continued its take over. Yes, later in the late 60s-70s, there was a smattering of Win 94s (and Marlins?) made in .44 Mag, but not enough to dent the .30-30 market. Not until a cowboy action shooting sport started to develop did import copies of the 92 really start to create a 92 (and resurrected 73) market again.

S0, the Miroku 92 has the proper form (the lawyer bits notwithstanding) and top-level fit and finish. Add the Winchester name and I can see a market for someone who wants the name, and the lineage that goes along with it (however circuitously derived). That only other Winchester choice, Pre War 92s, are now largely just pricey collector items if in decent enough shape to shoot regulasly, so don't really come into play for most in this market.

OTOH, as has been pointed out, many fairly affordable Pre 64 94s are still out there in decent shape, and.for a little less the Post 64 examples just prior to the USRAC take-over in 1981 or so, finally started to show signs of a return to the good ol' days. AND, if you insist on scoping there are still pre safety 1980s AE examples out there, as well as a decade's (+) worth of pre-Miroku (Connecticut plant) safetied 94s. No real need right now for a lawyered-up Miroku 94, especially at the prices asked.

Last edited by gak; November 6, 2012 at 10:59 PM.
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Old November 6, 2012, 11:03 PM   #49
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I was thinking 92 too, till I found the firing pin changes, the internal trigger block addition, the rebounding hammer, the tang safety and so on.
Beautifully done, but...
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Old November 6, 2012, 11:33 PM   #50
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A good gunsmith tuned up my Miroku made 1886 for me....best trigger and action feel I've ever experienced with a lever gun and I've played with an original 86 as well ! I have a very old 1894 with nickle steel octagon barrel in 25-35 that is a gunsafe queen.....very loose action , crappy trigger , but I love the rifle ! My Miroku made 1892 came with a very acceptable trigger and while I am not partial to the tang safety and rebound hammer its still a good shooter and is quality built ! My Marlin 1895 cowboy is a great shooter with cast bullets but the workmanship is not as good as the Miroku made Winchester brand rifles from what I see !
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