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Old January 14, 2022, 11:29 AM   #1
musicmatty
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Winchester model 94 and Micro Groove rifling

With Ruger now re-introducing Marlin, I see on the Internet people asking if micro-groove rifling was exclusive to Marlin firearms. Lots of chatter about the old JM models compared to what Ruger is introducing. Apparently, Marlin introduced Micro-groove in July 1953. By the late 1980s, Marlin was not exclusive for using this process. I’m guessing from a legal standpoint, Marlins patent rights were protected for 30 years.

1989 I purchase my model 94 Ranger new. At this time, Winchester was owned by US repeating arms company. I no longer have the box or paperwork that came with purchasing this new rifle. However, I know what the spec sheet listed. It said the barrel was Winchester proof steel and featured micro-groove rifling for accuracy. Also I should note, the hunting magazines at that time we’re running ads with the model 94 ranger also stating micro-groove rifling in the advertisement. To be completely honest, as a young man at that time and Internet not yet in existence, I didn’t know exactly what micro-groove rifling was. However, I excepted it as something exceptional if it was being touted by Winchester. Also, people often ask what is the stock of the Ranger 94 made of, it’s made of hardwood Birch which I think is beautiful to be honest. Also, the receiver is 100% forged steel. Winchester returned to using 100% forged steel in 1983 until they closed the doors in 2006.

Immediately after purchasing this Ranger rifle, I purchased a fixed 4x power Bushnell Sportsview scope and mounted it myself. 32 years later with this rifle I can say with complete confidence that this gun has been highly accurate. Countless Deer through the years all taken with one shot thru the neck. After zeroing this rifle in at the range at 100 yards and seeing the results I was getting, I felt completely comfortable taking a neck shot within 100 yard range and it proved to be correct.

I thought I would share this information and clear up any questions people have been asking with regards to micro groove rifling and who exactly was using it and how accurate is it really.

My same rig today..32 years later showing great results at 100 yards.




Last edited by musicmatty; January 14, 2022 at 07:30 PM.
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Old January 14, 2022, 01:33 PM   #2
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It's my understanding that Marlin introduced the micro-groove barrel in their rimfire models back in 1953, but it wasn't until 1954 that micro-groove was incorporated in the 336 model. I have two M336s in 30-30 win. One, a Texan model that was made in 1953, has the Ballard rifling. It's not drill/tapped for a scope, and that's the way it'll stay as long as I have it. My other one was made in 1960, and it has the micro groove rifling (of course). Both shoot very well. My 1960 vintage 336 has a fixed 4X Leupold compact on it, and it'll group just as well as your pic shows for your Ranger at 100 yds., and sometimes even better than that when I'm truly on the ball out at the range.

I mostly shoot my old Texan at 50-80 yds. And with the open sights, that's about it for my old eyes. At 50 yds., off the bench, I've shot some 3 shot groups that go under an inch. I'm sure a good shooter with good eyes could do a whole lot better with the old Marlin. Hard to beat the ol' 30-30 lever gun for deer and just plain for shooting fun!
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Old January 14, 2022, 01:38 PM   #3
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I have a Westernfield 732 (Mossberg 810) bolt action 30-06s that have rifling that resembles Micro-Groove rifling, thinner groves and a lot of them. Have to get one out tonight and see what Mossberg called it.
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Old January 14, 2022, 02:04 PM   #4
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My 1960 vintage 336 has a fixed 4X Leupold compact on it, and it'll group just as well as your pic shows for your Ranger at 100 yds., and sometimes even better than that when I'm truly on the ball out at the range.
Sir I think people like you and I who have had our rifles this long and have put thousands of rounds through it, are the best ones who can testify whether or not micro groove rifling is any good and does it hold up. My personal experience is that it definitely holds up and is very accurate. Of course any gun is only as good as the shooter. With that said, the gun has to be capable.

This is the results I got last week out of my Henry side gate 30-30 which also features a new Bushnell prime 4x power scope. It’s my understanding the rifling in this barrel is Button’. After grouping three rounds just to the left a bull’s-eye, I dialed it over a few clicks to the right and this is the result with 4 shots. I consider this group very respectable at 100 yards but certainly no better than the 30 year old Ranger model. I am pleased to say I harvested two deer last year with one shot each on its first outing.



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Old January 14, 2022, 06:20 PM   #5
Jim Watson
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I'd sure like to see a picture down that Winchester Microgroove barrel, or a count of the number of grooves.
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Old January 14, 2022, 06:29 PM   #6
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Can't see putting a great big clunky scope on a handy, compact, light weight, take-anywhere, lever action carbine? Don't seem fittin'!
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Old January 14, 2022, 07:05 PM   #7
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Can't see putting a great big clunky scope on a handy, compact, light weight, take-anywhere, lever action carbine? Don't seem fittin'!
When you get older and can't see the irons you'll understand.

I'd prefer a smaller 1-4X. Partly because it is a smaller more compact scope, and partly because 4X is bordering on too much magnification. I never take mine off 1X or 2X other than getting it zeroed.

And a Marlin 30-30 isn't a light rifle. Every bolt rifle in my safe weighs less than my Marlin 336's, about the same as my Winchester 94. Some weigh less with a scope on them than my Marlin's weigh with no scope on them. Some of them are more compact.
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Old January 14, 2022, 07:09 PM   #8
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Can't see putting a great big clunky scope on a handy, compact, light weight, take-anywhere, lever action carbine? Don't seem fittin'!
I won't tolerate any kind of glass on any lever-action carbine. Heresy! When God first handled the Model 94, He summoned Williams and Lyman and directed them to come up with an appropriate receiver sight and, voila!; a miracle rivaling water becoming wine (or Budweiser) .
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Old January 14, 2022, 07:19 PM   #9
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Old guys, old eyes... I'm one of them. Took three shots this year on whitetails, and all three went down at the shot. Two with my scoped 336, and the last one with my .50 cal. half-stocked m.l. Thankfully, I had lots of sunlight to heat up (read BRIGHTEN up) the open sights on the m.l. I miss my younger days eyesight, but I have to thank Mr. Leupold for letting me hunt early morning and late evening to make a good, confident shot on game. Whatever it takes, I'll use it in the field when confidently going for a clean kill.
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Old January 14, 2022, 09:52 PM   #10
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Mine was made in 1914. Never has had a scope and never will.
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Old January 15, 2022, 08:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dgludwig View Post
I won't tolerate any kind of glass on any lever-action carbine. Heresy! When God first handled the Model 94, He summoned Williams and Lyman and directed them to come up with an appropriate receiver sight and, voila!; a miracle rivaling water becoming wine (or Budweiser) .
Those clunky receiver (and tang for that matter) sights are more sacrilegious than the scopes! Give me a buckhorn or give me death! To each his own brother.
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Old January 15, 2022, 12:00 PM   #12
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…When God first handled the Model 94, He summoned Williams and Lyman and directed them to come up with an appropriate receiver sight and, voila!; a miracle rivaling water becoming wine (or Budweiser).
You forgot all about the tang sight, which predates the receiver sight by decades. My old man started deer hunting with a 1915-vintage M94 .30 WCF in 1932, using a Lyman No. 2 sight like the one below. I watched him take a number of deer with it, the tang sight is traditional and clearly more accurate than the obsolete “full buckhorn” contraption. After all, it was good enough for Quigley…

But use whatever floats your boat, ya gotta see the sights to hit yer target!







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Old January 15, 2022, 06:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jmr40 View Post
When you get older and can't see the irons you'll understand.
Been drawin' Social Security retirement benefits for 15 years now-- and I didn't take them early:-) Bet I'm older than you!

Kinda' like taking that great big rooftop luggage carrier box off your neighbor's wife's minivan and putting it on your Porsche 911....
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Old January 15, 2022, 08:44 PM   #14
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I will second or third a vote for a nice receiver sight. I have a 1947 Marlin 36 and a 50 year old 39A that wear Williams receiver sights. No way I was going to drill and tap the 36 but I wanted more precision (for my eyes) than the std open rear. I liked it so much I put one on the 39. I like the ability to change the aperture for the type of shooting anticipated.
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Old January 17, 2022, 06:35 PM   #15
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If it's a vintage Winchester, then I'm of the same persuasion as TX Nimrod:

Quote:
You forgot all about the tang sight, which predates the receiver sight by decades. My old man started deer hunting with a 1915-vintage M94 .30 WCF in 1932, using a Lyman No. 2 sight like the one below. I watched him take a number of deer with it, the tang sight is traditional and clearly more accurate than the obsolete “full buckhorn” contraption. After all, it was good enough for Quigley…
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Old January 19, 2022, 03:05 PM   #16
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AFAIK, only Marlin ever used the Micro-groove barrels. I never saw a Winchester with that type rifling. I've only seen one rifle not a Marlin with what appeared to be a Micro-groove style of rifling and that was on a small ring Mauser action chambered to .243 Win. Guy said if I could get an accurate load out of it I could keep it. No matter what I ran down that barrel, the bullets would hit sideway at 25 yards. I told the guy that gave it to me that it was no go and he said for me to just keep it. I scrapped it for parts.
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Old January 19, 2022, 09:42 PM   #17
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Here’s my Winchester 94 AE centennial chambered in 44 magnum:



It has a microgroove barrel.

12 lands and grooves


Here’s my Ruger 44 carbine semi auto:


It too has a microgroove barrel:

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Old January 19, 2022, 10:54 PM   #18
musicmatty
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Here’s my Winchester 94 AE centennial chambered in 44 magnum. It has a microgroove barrel. :
Thank you for confirming what I tried to state clearly in my original post. There’s a tremendous amount of mis information about Winchesters last 24 years of existence before closing the doors in 2006. Also, it’s really a shame with the poor records management by Winchester.

The Winchesters from 1983 onward to the closing in 2006 or solid work horses. Very dependable.. accurate and yes, you can mount a scope on top. Also, the receivers are not made of trash alloy but rather steel. Are these production years (1983-2006) Winchesters or pre-1964 Winchesters better than the current side gate Henry’s… In my opinion no. Just as Marlin with the release of their 336 model in 1948 took Winchester to the next level, Henry has done the same taken the Marlin design and made it even better in my opinion. All this would be expected with advancements in machining and technology. Whoever owns any of these firearms during their prime production years truly owns a fine weapon in my opinion.
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Old January 19, 2022, 11:11 PM   #19
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Thank you for confirming what I tried to state clearly in my original post.
No problem.

Several manufacturers used the microgroove rifling process (rather they sourced their barrels from a manufacturer that used the process).

That Ruger 44 carbine of mine dates from 1970 so they used barrels with microgroove over 50 years ago.
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Old January 20, 2022, 12:04 PM   #20
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Cool Ruger!
Wish they would reintroduce those... and develop a 10 shot rotary magazine for them.
And also make them in .357.
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Old January 20, 2022, 04:17 PM   #21
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"Just as Marlin with the release of their 336 model in 1948 took Winchester to the next level".
The previous model Marlin, the 36 was just a 336 with a square bolt, probably not strong enough to become the 444. What level did this take the M94 to? Post 64 94's had cast receivers washed with a thin layer of metal that would take bluing, not so great.
I will agree that USRA Winchesters were well made, 94's had forged receivers. Lots of variations too.
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Old January 20, 2022, 08:30 PM   #22
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I have a 336 Texan in 35 Remington, made in the first four months of 1955. It has Ballard rifling and is factory drilled/tapped, though I use the irons. Still works well for its intended purpose.

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Old January 21, 2022, 11:21 AM   #23
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The 336 I bought new in 1968 was drilled & tapped for a scope, so it got one. My son owns it now.
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