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Old May 10, 2013, 04:13 PM   #1
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Are There Any REAL Gunsmiths Left?

I have a Winchester 94 in .44 Magnum that was manufactured in 1971. It is one of my favorite rifles and I carry it with me to my farm regularly. Recently it has developed a problem. When I cycle the action I will occasionally have a cartridge release and go under the lifter. This causes a jam and I have to take the lever out to clear it.

I would like to get this problem fixed. Research indicates it can be one of a few things and all are repairable. So I started looking around in east Texas where I live for a good gunsmith to make this repair for me. To my dismay I have found that all the gun shops I have contacted either no longer have a gunsmith or their "smith" is only capable of placing high dollar accessories on AR rifles - not much more.

So I started asking around about reputable gunsmiths and have found again that none are interested in working on anything much more than 1911s or AR rifles.

I am willing to ship this rifle anywhere I need to in order to get it to a competent gunsmith who will repair it for me. Can anyone anywhere suggest a good gunsmith who is competent and willing to work on a Winchester 94?

Thanks very much for all advice and assistance.

Cal Barton
Tyler, Texas
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Old May 10, 2013, 04:20 PM   #2
Bart B.
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Ship it back to Winchester and I think one of their shop's 'smiths will fix it.

Call 'em to arrange this.
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Old May 10, 2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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I talked to "Winchester" and was told before I was even allowed to state my problem that there is at least a 16 week backlog for repairs. Then when I described my problem I was told that the necessary part was only available for 94AE models.

I know this is probably not true, but this is the help I got from "Winchester".
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Old May 10, 2013, 04:28 PM   #4
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These people are world class and can work on any firearm as far as I can tell.
Everything they've done for me has been top notch.
Just don't be in a hurry to get it back, their services are in high demand.
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Old May 10, 2013, 05:06 PM   #5
4V50 Gary
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Gunsmiths tend to specialize today with some only working on pistols like the 1911, others on ARs, yet others on custom guns. They're as specialized as auto mechanics.

Can you also confirm that unlike a tube fed shotgun, there are no shell stops on either side of the magazine tube?

If the answer is yes to the above, can you confirm that the link sits atop of the carrier, right? (sorry, I could only come up with some images online).

If so, then the carrier/link is supposed to keep the next cartridge from exiting the magazine tube. Therefore, the connection between the carrier and link is wrong. Perhaps it is reassembled incorrectly. It could be something is worn too.
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Old May 10, 2013, 10:05 PM   #6
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I'd ask the local Cowboy action shooters about a good levergun smith. - They'll know somebody who knows leverguns inside and out.

You might get quicker service that way, maybe get the thing slicked up too.
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Old May 11, 2013, 03:18 AM   #7
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Agreed on the cowboy shooters,they will be able to network you someplace.
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Leverguns can be ammo sensitive,overall length,bullet shape,etc.One classic example is the common Lyman 240 ish grain Keith bullet.The ogive is a little long.If you crimp into the crimp groove,these bullets tie up Marlins and 92's pretty bad.I do not know the 94/.44.

The 215 gr Keiths feed real well.
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Old May 12, 2013, 03:53 PM   #8
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Before you spend a lot of money on it be sure you're not inadvertently short stroking the lever. On the 94 .44 the lever needs to go from closed to fully open in one motion without stopping or slowing down on the way, and closed the same way. This, of course, applies to any lever gun, but the 94 .44 is one of the easier ones to cause what you've described by jacking around with the lever between open and closed.
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Old May 13, 2013, 12:58 AM   #9
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Call John Taylor at 253-445-4073. He is a fantastic gunsmith, the best I know.
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