The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Curios and Relics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 21, 2013, 10:08 PM   #1
tahoe2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 13, 2011
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 520
1894

my friend has a Model 1894 Winchester, has a 1/2 octagon-1/2 round 26" barrel, a crescent buttplate, and an elevated peep sight mounted on the tang.

According to the serial number it was manufactured in 1898, there is absolutely no blueing left and it has the usual cracks & dings of a 115 year old hunting gun.
It appears to be in good working order, albeit the action is a little loose.

Question; should this gun only be shot with Black Powder loads?
as in - 30 grns Pyrodex RS under a 150grn cast bullet ?
tahoe2 is offline  
Old May 21, 2013, 10:32 PM   #2
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,450
The Model 1894 was intended to be a smokeless powder gun from day one, but Winchester had a problem making nickel steel barrels so it was not until 1895 that all guns were considered suitable for smokeless powder. All .25-35, .30-30 (.30 WCF) and .32 Special are OK for smokeless. A few early .32-40 and .38-55 should probably be fired with BP, but realistically there would probably be no problem with a few rounds of reasonable smokeless loads.

Of course, that is a general point; it does not mean an individual gun is safe to fire.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Old May 21, 2013, 10:36 PM   #3
tahoe2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 13, 2011
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 520
thanks James, he says it hasn't been fired since the late 60's or early 70's, I told him he should definitely have it inspected by a qualified GS.
tahoe2 is offline  
Old May 21, 2013, 11:56 PM   #4
Scorch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 11,445
Take it to the Marksman in Puyallup. The gunsmith there is top-notch and knows a bit about Winchesters as well.
__________________
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Taylor Machine
Scorch is offline  
Old May 22, 2013, 08:07 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,985
"Winchester had a problem making nickel steel barrels so it was not until 1895 that all guns were considered suitable for smokeless powder."

I've always heard that the reason the .30-30 and .25-35 cartridges lagged behind was because Winchester's supply of the only suitable smokless powder was interrupted for several months, which meant that ammunition wouldn't have been available even if the guns were.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old May 22, 2013, 08:16 AM   #6
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 11,074
What might have deteriorated on the gun unshot for 40 years?
As long as it isn't rusty or full of dirt dauber nests, it will shoot as well now as it did in 1970.
Jim Watson is offline  
Old May 22, 2013, 01:38 PM   #7
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,450
Maybe so, Mike, but both Madis and Williamson mention the issue of barrel steel and Williamson also mentions another factor, that Winchester had a problem developing machine tools that could cut the harder nickel steel.

The inability to obtain powder could well be a factor, but Frankford had been loading .30 Army (.30-40) with smokeless powder for over two years, and Winchester had loaded both that caliber and 6mm Navy with smokeless powder, so I would be a bit surprised if they couldn't obtain powder. (At least four companies were making smokeless powder at that time - DuPont, California Powder Works (Peyton), Lafflin & Rand, and Whistler & Aspinwall, so it was well beyond the novelty stage.)

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Old May 23, 2013, 09:03 AM   #8
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,985
Jim,

Here's the way I understand it...

All of Du Pont's rifle powder suitable for use in .30 caliber cartridges was going for military use.

Laflin and Rand had problems developing a smokeless rifle powder that they could consistently manufcture (large batches were rejected; supposedly some started decaying quickly pretty much the moment they were manufactured. ), and didn't enter the commercial market until about 1897.

CPW's output of Peyton Powder was also earmarked for military use in 1893 with none available to the civilian market, the same with Whistler and Aspinwall's W.A. 30.

There were other companies, such as Hazzard and the American Smokeless Powder Company, that were also working on commercially viable rifle propellants, but none had reached commercial viability in 1894-95.

Here's an interesting tidbit from page 10 of a history of the Laflin & Rand powder companies that speaks directly to this:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/newr...te=1&p=5532470

"Developmental testing of the 30-40 Krag cartridge was begun in 1890 with European powders (Wetteren) and continued with powders from Peyton (California Powder Works – in which DuPont had a 43% interest since 18765,6, and became a subsidiary as of 1903), and also a DuPont smokeless powder. Cartridge development encountered many delays from powder availability to primer problems, case corrosion, and bullet jacket issues."

While smokeless powder manufacture was, as you note, beyond the novelty stage, it was still incredibly new technology -- less than 10 years at that point for a powder suitable for rifle cartridges -- and the manufacturing processes were FAR removed from anything these companies had ever dealt with before.

In essence, at the same time they were developing powders suitable for rifle use, they were also developing the manufacturing techniques and processes, and they didn't always work.


All that said...

I had never considered the problems of machining nickel steel before, and I could see how that could also cause issues and delays for Winchester.

Nickel steel was introduced in 1889 as a commercial alloy, so it was also a new technology.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old May 23, 2013, 01:33 PM   #9
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,450
Good points, Mike. I guess Winchester may have had the same kind of problems with nickel steel that S&W had with stainless some 60 years later.

I think we may be looking at it wrong to some extent. I recall reading somewhere that the 94 was designed and intended for the .30-30 and smokeless powder. But the problem(s) cropped up after they had advertised the new rifle so they decided to get it out "on the street" with black powder ammo and make some money while they worked on the steel and powder problems.

BTW, your link is circular, pointing back at your post.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Old May 23, 2013, 03:14 PM   #10
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,985
"I recall reading somewhere that the 94 was designed and intended for the .30-30 and smokeless powder."

It was. That was the intention, the same with the Winchester 1895.

Winchester was banking on smokeless powder being available for commercial use. And, also, apparently on having the issues with machining nickel steel worked out.

Neither one appears to have worked out very well.

That wouldn't be the first time that a company has advertised something, run into a problem, and had to work around it.


"BTW, your link is circular, pointing back at your post."

Crap.

OK...

Try this one...

http://www.castpics.net/subsite2/Gen...-Smokeless.pdf

Middle of the last paragraph on page 10.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old May 23, 2013, 03:18 PM   #11
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,985
Oh, one other problem with the Peyton Powder...

It used a picric acid derivative that apparently ate the living hell out of the brass in storage, so it was dropped in favor of W.A. 30 and was repurposed as a shotshell powder.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old May 23, 2013, 07:51 PM   #12
tahoe2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 13, 2011
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 520
Black Powder 30-30 load

So I pose the question , 30 grns Pyrodex RS and a 150grn cast bullet?
What kind of pressure and velocity can I expect as compared to a commercial 150 grn, 2300 fps load?
tahoe2 is offline  
Old May 23, 2013, 09:14 PM   #13
Old 454
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 15, 2011
Location: Chesterton Ind.
Posts: 396
wow what a great read on that PDF file.

I might have to try some Unique after reading that.
Old 454 is offline  
Old May 23, 2013, 09:48 PM   #14
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,985
My guess on pressure is going to be maybe 15,000 to 20,000 PSI, and velocity probably won't break 1,500 fps.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old May 24, 2013, 10:17 AM   #15
tahoe2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 13, 2011
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 520
thanks Mike.
tahoe2 is offline  
Old May 24, 2013, 08:29 PM   #16
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,450
Great info, Mike. Frankford was also having trouble with their .30 cartridge. Early experiments used both DuPont and German Rottweil powders as well as Belgian Wetteren. Some early cases were tinned to resist corrosion from the powder.

It is interesting to note that early work was done with copper jacketed bullets and rimless cases, the latter based on Swiss and German developments.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Old May 25, 2013, 07:42 AM   #17
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,985
For a period of time I believe Du Pont seriously considered licensing Ballistite because they were having such issues with their own smokeless forumulations.

I'd never heard that early .30-40 cartridges were also developed using a Wetteren powder.

Judging by this this source (an INCREDIBLY good source on the nitrocellulose industry as a whole), the Wetteren powder that was probably used in the early .30-40 cartridges was a nitrated paper pulp.

http://books.google.com/books?id=ix1...powder&f=false

In that sense it sounds a lot like the old Schultz's White Powder.

Anyway, in the .30-40, jacketed bullets continued to be an issue for a number of years because the machinery used at Frankford wasn't at that time capable of drawing concentric jackets, apparently leading to accuracy issues.



HOLY CRAP!

On page 952, bottom, in the section on W.A. 30?

Try this on for size...

"also the .30-35 US Magazine rifle, Model of 1903

I have NEVER in my life heard of the .30-06 cartridge being referred to in the old style nomenclature!
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old May 25, 2013, 08:00 AM   #18
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,985
"Some early cases were tinned to resist corrosion from the powder."

US ammo was tin plated for a considerable number of years starting in I believe the 1880s.

.45-70, .38 Long, and .30-40 were all tinned at various times. I'd always heard it was as a method of increasing their long-term storage viability, especially in areas where sea salt corrosion would be an issue.

I've never seen any tinned .30-06 ammo, though.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old May 25, 2013, 07:09 PM   #19
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,450
Of course other cartridges had tinned cases, but the subject was .30-40 cases. I know of no .30-'06 tinned cases except for the early paper bullet blanks and dummy cartridges, both tinned only for identification. In both cases, the practice had been carried over from the .30-'03.

FWIW, ".30-35" is a new one on me, also! It wouldn't even be accurate, either. The .30-'03 and .30-'06 were never loaded that lightly except for guard cartridges.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Old May 26, 2013, 07:24 AM   #20
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,985
OK, I just wasn't sure where you were headed with the tinned case comment. It seemed as if you were saying that the .30-40 was tinned specifically and only because of the effects of the new powder.

Re: the .30-06 nomenclature, it struck me as very odd, as well. Manufacturers by the time this book was printed were doing a very good job of increasing the energy density of rifle powders, but nothing like that.

I think, though, that I just solved the mystery...

If you look at the previous section on Du Pont's 1909 Military Powder (I THINK that would have been one of the early "Military Rifle" series of powders, possibly MR-19, we find this...

"The loads recommended for a 150 grain bullet is 47 grains by weight and for a 180 grain bullet 45 grains by weight."

Seems that it might have just been a typo.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.

Last edited by Mike Irwin; May 26, 2013 at 07:38 AM.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old May 26, 2013, 02:11 PM   #21
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,450
Let me clarify that the cases in question were a lot of experimental cases made in 1890 before there really was a .30-40 or a U.S. Krag rifle.* But History of Modern US Military Small Arms Ammunition notes that the cases were brass, "tinned inside and out to better resist corrosion" and "were to be loaded with smokeless powder." Your statement about early smokeless powders corroding cases seemed to tie in with that information, but it does not specifically say that the "corrosion" was from the powder.

*Springfield was experimenting with the .30 caliber, using modified single shot trapdoor rifles, as pictured in Frasca and Hill's The .45-70 Springfield.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Old May 26, 2013, 04:21 PM   #22
Malamute
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 2004
Location: Rocky Mts
Posts: 820
Quote:
originally posted by tahoe2

So I pose the question , 30 grns Pyrodex RS and a 150grn cast bullet?
What kind of pressure and velocity can I expect as compared to a commercial 150 grn, 2300 fps load?
Are you mainly concerned about pressure in the old rifle? The Lyman cast bullet manual shows 14.4 grs SR4759 with a 150 gr cast bullet, with 1529 FPS velocity, and 16,700 CUP (pressure).
__________________
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt-
Malamute is offline  
Old May 26, 2013, 07:27 PM   #23
MJN77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 27, 2009
Location: on a hill in West Virginia
Posts: 688
FWIW, I own an 1894 Winchester rifle in .30-30 with a 26 inch octagonal barrel that was made in 1896. The barrel says "NICKEL STEEL BARREL ESPECIALLY FOR SMOKELESS POWDER". I shoot off the shelf Winchester and Remington jacketed soft point ammo. Shoots quite well. I also own a 1910 made 1894 .30-30 saddle ring carbine that says the same thing on the barrel.
MJN77 is offline  
Old May 29, 2013, 12:08 AM   #24
tahoe2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 13, 2011
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 520
Malamute

I am concerned about pressure and the safety of my buddy, whom the rifle belongs to.

MJN77; No powders available any where around here, I do have some H-335 or BL(C)-2 which works well in my other 30-30's, but I just wanted to start out low & slow with the old girl.
tahoe2 is offline  
Old May 29, 2013, 12:21 AM   #25
Malamute
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 2004
Location: Rocky Mts
Posts: 820
It should be fine with factory loads so long as the action isn't grossly loose. Don't be alarmed if primers back out a little, its pretty common. Its more of a low pressure sign than a headspace issue. The 94's ejector holds the case forward in the chamber when fired and the primers often back out a little, even when the gun's headspace is within spec. Ammo is often on the skinny side headspace wise also. You can get primer protrusion even when everything is within spec. Unless its dramatic, I ignore it.

FWIW, I believe the Remington factory loads use bullets that are about a thou under average, it should alleviate pressure even more. The component bullets I have are .307" diameter. If you want to handlaod, just using starting loads with normal rifle powders should be alright.

The guys that handload 30-30 improved and 307 say that when loads get near max, they can feel a bit of lever kick when firing. (See William Iorgs posts on shooters forum, he handloads lever cals quite a lot. He's an education in himself, reading his posts and threads) Factory 30-30 loads are really pretty mild, but if you feel some lever kick, it may be worth having the headspace checked, and action looked at. Otherwise, I'd just shoot it and enjoy it.
__________________
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt-
Malamute is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11511 seconds with 7 queries