View Full Version : How to finish beater Winchester 94

April 28, 2001, 02:05 PM
Hey guys I picked up a pre-64 Model 94 at the gunshow for a song. Very smooth action, good bore, but the receiver's pretty badly pitted and and the wood's beaten up. I only bought it as a shooter, but I'd like to refinish it somehow. Any suggestions as to something that will hide some of that pitting? Paint? Parkerizing?(I know, I know, parkerizing on a lever action, but what the hell:)) Any suggestion appreciated.

April 28, 2001, 03:39 PM
GunParts can help with replacement wood but the metal has to be sanded or filed by somebody who knows what he's doing. Rebluing a 94 is problematic because of the alloy used in the receiver. I'm sure somebody will jump in to explain why.

Badger Arms
April 28, 2001, 04:03 PM
Bead Blast and then Blue or Parkerize it. The blasting removes all of the corrosion even in the pits and bluing and perkerizing will give you the finish that will wear better. The Matte finish is better at holding oil which means better corrosion protection. Painting ignores the corrosion in the pits. The standard way to refinish involves POLISHING the metal until you remove the pits which takes alot of metal off also. Most gunsmiths will refinish a lever-gun with either matte blue or parkerizing for around $100.

April 28, 2001, 09:23 PM
Thanks for the replies. I have a buddy who does parkerizing in his shop. Is the detail strip on a '94 any more complex than a 1911? I could detail strip it myself and have my buddy park it. Anywhere online I could get a step-by-step disassembly manual? If I park it, I'll just paint the wood with Rustoleum's texture paint. It worked great on my Enfield bush gun. Cool! A "combat" finished lever gun!:D

Alex Johnson
May 3, 2001, 12:18 AM
I could be wrong but I thought the 94's receiver was an alloy that doesn't blue, nor parkarize. Seems to me that Winchester was electroplating these guns with a thin coating of iron so that it would take blue. Again, I could be wrong but it would be worth checking on before you do much more work on it. Even if that's the case I might suggest just polishing it anyway and than beadblasting it followed by a coating of clear bake on finish, it would give you a nice satin finished receiver.

May 3, 2001, 08:35 AM
My 94 is parkerized - I bought it from the smith who did the work. The receiver and mag tube came out a slightly different color than the barrel, so you get a two-tone effect. As I recall, mine is an early 80's production, not sure what would happen with a pre '64. Never seen another one like it though!

Paul B.
May 3, 2001, 02:38 PM
I could be wrong, but I don't think so. Pre-64 Winchesters can be reblued, but the post-64's have some kind of pressed, or sintered iron reciever that would not blue without going through a special process first. I believe that whoever mention plating had it right. I have a post-64 right now that looks like it went through the Indian Wars or some such. SN says it was made in 1978. Think I'll leave it mostly be and decorate it with some brass tacks, like they did in the old days. Give it a touch (?) of class. It shoots great, and for $100, I think I got the better end of the deal, even if it isn't a pre-64. Gotta get me one of those too. I like 94's. They're a real fun gun.
Paul B.

May 3, 2001, 06:22 PM
GRIT BLAST and then either blue or park it. Bead blasting is just too fine and you won't get the adhesion needed to allow the firearm to be parkerized. It needs the 'roughness' of a grit blast to allow the parkerizing chemicals to 'latch onto' the metal. Too smooth a finish and parking looks terrible. And that two tone look is generally because of a high NICKEL content in the iron. I have hot caustic blued several older firearms and shuddered when I pulled them out. One reciever in particular came out a bright purple. WOAH. So, consider a grit blast and blue or park and you won't be disappointed with the results. I bet if you talk to your buddy who parks, he will tell you he uses grit on guns he's going to park and bead for 'finer' work. And see if your buddy can refinish the wood. You might be surprised how nice a hand rubbed finish will look and how long it will last. If not, you can always replace it.

May 3, 2001, 10:02 PM
I've heard that the hot ticket is to powder-coat Model 94s. It's kinda like a fine dry powder that's electrostatically applied then baked on. When done right it's a very pleasing, even, durable, & tough finish. It's also cheap and easy to apply (way easier than paint) but you gotta know someone who's set up to do it. A lot of machine tools, car parts, and home appliances are powder-coated. In fact most thing you buy nowadays that look painted are actually powder-coated. Any medium sized town with a decent industrial park will probably have a job shop set up with the equipment. -- Kernel

Badger Arms
May 3, 2001, 10:44 PM
Wallew: It doesn't matter what he blasts it with as a High Gloss finish will take parkerizing just as well as a sand or silicon carbide blasted piece. Parkerizing is an etching of the metal that will take place so long as the metal is clean. The difference is how rough the final product will be. Satin versus flat is what you get. There are advantages to the flat coating in that it holds more oil but I'd rather have a satin finish. The bottom line on any blasting media is that 'IT MUST REMOVE ALL OF THE RUST' even deep in the pits.

Ken Cook
May 4, 2001, 12:52 AM
Generally speaking, you can NOT blue or parkerize Winchesters.

However, Clead mentioned that this is a PRE-64.

One of the changes Winchester made in 64 which makes the pre-64 guns so desireable is that they changed the content of the steel they made receivers out of.

Pre-64 was pretty much straight 4140 ordnance steel, after the change, they went to a steel with a MUCH higher nickle content, which, when blued turns either a horrid dark pink or purplish color.

To get around this, post-64 winchesters must actually have a thin electroplate coating of iron to take a decent blue, and even then, it's a very difficult proposition.

I've thought several times of parkerizing my old 94, I think it would look fantastic with a nice linseed oil rubbed walnut stock.
A very vintage military look on a classic rifle.

I suggest you go for it and post some good pics when it's done!

Ken Cook
May 4, 2001, 12:57 AM
Sorry Wallew, I should have read ALL the posts before I replied.
At least we agree!