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Old August 1, 2022, 06:52 PM   #1
FunGramps
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Bought my first Winchester 94 in 30-30

Make that my first Winchester, period. Got my first deer in the 80's in MT with a Marlin 30-30, open sights. Dropped it like a rock. Stupid me sold that gun a few years later.

I'm pretty stoked about this rifle. It's from 1981 and pretty minty at that. I love the ring! These are stock photos. I'll be getting the rifle in less than a week.

Yeah, I paid too much for it. Could have gambled, drank or smoked the money away instead. I don't do either but makes for poor excuses to the wife for my obsession with my boy toys. Include motorcycles to that.

Winchester-94-SRC-Lever-Rifle-30-30-Win_101904382_111033_E6D490B942535876.jpg

Winchester-94-SRC-Lever-Rifle-30-30-Win_101904382_111033_AB3856300A38F9FF.jpg

Winchester-94-SRC-Lever-Rifle-30-30-Win_101904382_111033_CF274E28292F5A8F.jpg
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Old August 1, 2022, 07:31 PM   #2
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Nice!!! If you are happy, that's all that matters.
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Old August 1, 2022, 07:58 PM   #3
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@Gramps: Congratulations. That's a beautiful rifle. I'd have to think long and hard before making any changes to it, but...

I have big hands, and I've always had problems with the tiny loop on win 94's. Ranger point precision (rangerpointprecision.com) makes a larger loop for post 64 win 30-30's. Kind of a goldilocks size. Big enough, but not too big. For me, it made a big difference in operating comfort.

In any case, I know you'll enjoy your rifle. There are certain things, that God, in His infinite wisdom, wants us to have: a 30-30 lever action rifle, a 12 gauge shotgun, a .45 acp 1911, and a 38 special revolver...and maybe a .45 colt single action revolver.
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Old August 1, 2022, 08:27 PM   #4
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I'm kinda meh on Winchester firearms for the most part--except a nice Model 70--those definitely get me really excited. Nonetheless nice score.
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Old August 1, 2022, 11:04 PM   #5
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Personally, I prefer the Marlin, but I've had and used Win 94s. Grew up deer hunting in the Adirondacks, and every single saddle ring carbine I ever saw in any hunter's hands had one of two things done to the saddle ring, either wrapped in a leather thong, or removed completely.

In those days, in that place, it was a completely sensible thing to do.
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Old August 2, 2022, 04:05 AM   #6
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It should be mandatory to have a Winchester 94.
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Old August 2, 2022, 04:42 AM   #7
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I've had several Winchester M94's over the years and found them to be good, honest short to medium range deer rifles. I traded away my last one many years ago and a while back I got the urge to find another, this time to keep forever. I got lucky when a friend of mine mentioned that he wanted to sell or trade his 94 for a different rifle. As luck would have it, I happened to have the very gun he was looking for and the deal was made.

I wound up with a pretty darn nice 1955 vintage Model 94 out of the deal for a $500 total investment.
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Old August 2, 2022, 03:17 PM   #8
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That looks like a pretty nice rifle. It's late in the post 64 manufacturing range, shortly before they went to the angle ejects, which means it has a pretty good shell lifter in it, and should not be the less desirable stamped metal one which came out in 64 and ran for the first several years of the post 64's. However, I have seen lots of the stamped metal lifter guns that worked just fine, anyway.

Congratulations! However, buying Winchester 94"s can be habit forming, and you may end up with several before you are done.
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Old August 2, 2022, 04:44 PM   #9
FunGramps
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Mandatory '94? I like that.
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Old August 2, 2022, 09:22 PM   #10
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when its anything other than safety, when it comes to firearms, I dislike the use of the word "mandatory" even when used in jest.

One thing i would recommend, if you are going to carry that rifle in the field, pay close attention to the finish on the receiver. If you carry the rifle by the receiver (its natural balance point), DON'T expect that finish to be very durable.

Even good bluing isn't durable to stand up to years of hunting carrying the rifle with one hand around the receiver, lots and lots of old Winchesters still with blued barrels but with the finish worn off the action.

I'm no expert, but I don't think the case color on your gun is actual case hardening, and many "faux" case color guns have a reputation for rapid finish wear.

Good Luck with yours.
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Old August 3, 2022, 06:15 AM   #11
Mike Irwin
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I've always admired the 94, but it has never admired me. There's something about the stock on it that just multiplies felt recoil all out of proportion for me.

Partially because of that my lever action of choice is the Savage 99.
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Old August 3, 2022, 09:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin View Post
I've always admired the 94, but it has never admired me. There's something about the stock on it that just multiplies felt recoil all out of proportion for me.

Partially because of that my lever action of choice is the Savage 99.
Yes... the recoil of the Winchester 94 is quite noticable... especially .38-55 chambering (I have had two of those). The .32 Special chambered M94s (I had two of those also), doesn't seem any different than that of the .30-30, but still sharp and "muzzle blasty".
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Old August 4, 2022, 08:35 AM   #13
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Nice looking rifle!

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Old August 4, 2022, 05:00 PM   #14
eastbank
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out of my 15 lever actions, my favorite is a win model 64 made in 1938 in 32 spl. i got it at a estate sale that was not advertized very well and not many people showed up(600.00), it has a shiny reciever from being carries and hunted for over 80 years. the bore is in ex condition and shoots a 165gr bullet at 2200 fps. ping pong balls at 25 yards are easy to hit off hand.
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Old August 4, 2022, 05:17 PM   #15
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I have a few Levers myself. My favorite is old 1895Win 3006, in 3030 it’s Marlin Maurader.
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Old August 4, 2022, 08:35 PM   #16
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That’s a beautiful rifle… Congratulations! Relatively light and fast handling in my opinion. I have one scoped and one with just open sights. Both are chambered in 30-30 The one with open sights is my go to rifle for home defense and hiking in the woods. The one with open sights is dialed in at 50 yards for a very respectable group. Beyond 50 yards, I prefer to use a scope for my own personal shooting abilities.

Do you plan on keeping your rifle as a showpiece or actually shooting it? I enjoy shooting mine regularly. After every 160 rounds, I check all the screws for tightening… Especially the barrel band.



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Old August 5, 2022, 02:48 PM   #17
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M94

I've had two M94s, sold or traded both, and would like to have either or both back. One had the best trigger imaginable.

Be sure and understand the use and function of the half-cock safety, many don't. No insult intended.
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Old August 6, 2022, 08:51 AM   #18
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Be sure and understand the use and function of the half-cock safety, many don't. No insult intended.
Um, at the risk of sounding like an idiot, I don't know that. Can you enlighten me?

Thank you!

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Old August 6, 2022, 04:09 PM   #19
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I took the lever saftey out of Mine loved it ever since. Before If i Didnt hold the lever all the way in it wouldnt fire, was very annoying.
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Old August 7, 2022, 02:39 PM   #20
bamaranger
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half-cock

The M94 incorporated a manual safety sometime in the mid 1990's. Prior that, as designed by Browning, the design had the characteristic hammer with a half-cock notch which served as the "safety".

Once a round has been chambered, the hammer is at full cock, completely rearward. It must now be lowered to half-cock, to allow for safe carry with a round chambered. I read about rifles being carried with the chamber empty, a round being levered into the chamber to allow a shot, but I have never encountered anybody afield practicing that habit.

To correctly and safely lower the hammer to half cock, pressure must be applied the hammer retaining it to the rear with the thumb, then the trigger depressed with the trigger finger, the thumb then easing the hammer forward until the half cock notch engages. The trick is that once the hammer is captured with the thumb, the finger must COME OFF TRIGGER, do not ride the trigger. If the hammer should slip the thumb and snap forward, if the finger is correctly OFF THE TRIGGER, the half cock notch SHOULD catch the hammer and prevent an accidental discharge. If the trigger is somewhat depressed during the process, and the hammer slips off the thumb, the hammer can snap fully forward and allow the rifle to fire. This process requires some dexterity, understanding and hand/finger strength, and I have encountered some (including my wife and grade school age son) who could not safely manage it every time. Winchester (and Marlin) apparently reached the same conclusion, hence the addition of the cross bolt safety in the later years). Though many, including myself, started with a traditional M94 and the half-cock, I do not recommend the rifle for newbies, especially kids. Bamawife, who is kid-like in size and hand strength, will never be able manage the rifle correctly.

I have also encountered those who are inclined to carry the rifle with a round in the chamber and the hammer fully forward, somehow believing the rifle is unsafe "half-cocked". That is not the case, and carrying the rifle chambered with the hammer resting fully forward on the firing pin MIGHT allow the rifle to fire if the hammer is snagged and returns forward or receives a direct blow. Regardless, not using the half cock is bypassing a safety feature.
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Old August 7, 2022, 02:42 PM   #21
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dislike

I'll add, I prefer my Winlins without the safety, true to the original designs.
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Old August 7, 2022, 03:19 PM   #22
Jim Watson
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I think the main advantage of the add-on safety is in unloading; you have to cycle rounds through the action to get them out of the tube and the cross bolt protects against an errant trigger finger.
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Old August 7, 2022, 04:24 PM   #23
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I won't own a lever gun with a safety other than half cock but then I wont own an angle eject either.
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Old August 7, 2022, 10:32 PM   #24
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Hawg,

My angle eject has been fabulous. I agree its useless if your not mounting an optic. But does come in handy if you decide too.

Jim, Yes your are 100% correct that cross bolt saftey is good insurance. Its the only saftey on my 94 now.

Bamaranger
Its my understanding that 94 uses a free floating firing pin. I wonder if there would be enough interia to cause it to fire a round with the hammer resting on the firing pin
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Old August 8, 2022, 12:37 AM   #25
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inertia

I can't say what type of firing pin the '94 uses, but resting the hammer fully forward with a cartridge in the chamber is not a good idea and negates the half-cock feature.

I think there is a tab on the bottom of the wrist at the grip, that the lever loop depresses when gripped correctly, that also has a safety function. Hmmmmm!, could that be the Marlin instead?
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