Winchester model 94







Pre-64 :   The Winchester model 1894 was introduced in October of 1894 apparently starting at serial number 1.  In late 1963 it ended at serial number 2,6000,011.  Individual parts interchanged for most of these guns with exceptions of pistol grips, barrels and some stocks for the different variations.  This model also had some siblings that also used most of the same internal parts.  These models included the model 55, and the model 64.  All of the post-64 guns were all top eject models.

Calibers included 25-35, 30 WCF (30-30), 32 Winchester Special, and 38-55,  also in a small quantity of 219 Zipper in the model 64.

The original standard 26" octagon barrel rifle version

This model rifle up to about 1930 could have had a round or octagon 26" barrel.  Even a part round/part octagon barrel could have been had if special ordered.  They usually had a steel crescent shaped buttplate as shown above. They also could have been special ordered with a 1/2 pistol grip stock and lever, or even a take-down version.   After the Depression of the early 1930s, many versions were dropped and the commonly seen one was the 20" round barreled carbine.  The carbine usually would have had a different steel "carbine" buttplate with a flat comb until about serial number 1,100,000 when the later "flat" type buttplate became common.   Some carbines had a "Sling Ring" attached to the left hand side of the rear receiver, & were commonly called  Saddle Ring Carbines or "SRC".   This SRC version was stopped before WWII & a flat standard grooved or checkered steel buttplate was then used.

The SRC carbine 20" barrel version, note sling ring in lower picture

The 94 and the model 55 could have been had in special order with a "Takedown" barrel version.  This had a barrel extension permanently attached to the barrel which was fitted to the receiver using an interrupted thread system where the magazine tube front lock system could be twisted unthreading the magazine tube from this extension and the front of the receiver, dropping the lever slightly to allow the barrel and forearm assembly to be completely removed from the firearm.   This feature apparently was also dropped in about 1930.

The model 94s did not have any checkering on the wood unless it was a special order gun.   The model 55 used a longer 24" barrel and a 1/2 length magazine tube.  The model 64 was a pistol gripped improved version of the preceding  model 55, could have been had in "Standard" uncheckered wood or a "Deluxe" with checkered wood and sling swivels.

After WWII when commercial production was resumed, the 20" carbine was the only model that survived other than the model 64.  This carbine sported a rounded comb buttstock and ramped front sight base was the common version until the end of 1963.

Wood would have been walnut, except for some SRC guns that had gumwood.

The later standard 20" barrel carbine

Original sights were varied over the years, as well as aftermarket ones possibly fitted over the firearm's lifespan, so it would be hard to truly identify exactly what was original without a lot of leg work.

If a scope was desired on this model, it had to be offset to the left side to clear the ejection of the fired case.

Serial number 1,000,000 was presented to President Calvin Coolidge in 1927.  On 5-08-1948 serial number 1,500,000 was presented to President Harry Truman.  1953 saw serial number 2,000,000 presented to President Dwight Eisenhower.  2,500,000 was made in 1961.

Post-64 :  The post-64 version started life at serial number 2,700,000.  The complicated and expensive machining of the pre-64 gave away to a easier to make post 64 version utilizing a cast receiver, stamped out or cast parts, stained birch wood, with this model going thru many changes and variations until the USRA factory shut down in mid 2006. 

There was a rumor that these easier to make guns and seemingly lesser quality were made in Japan.   This is totally a false statement.

These post-64 models were made totally different internally, using completely different parts, with about 95% non interchangeability with the earlier post-64 versions.   The exterior physical characteristics were quite the same as the pre-64 guns however, which leads to confusion when ordering parts for those not really familiar with this model.

About all the parts that come to mind that do or can be made to interchange from the post-64 to the pre-64s are the magazine tube for the 20' carbine, magazine spring, magazine follower, rear barrel band, band screw for the carbine, and the tang screw.  Forearms and buttstocks can be made to fit.

Calibers were 7mm Waters, 30-30, 307 Win, 32 Win Spl, 356 Win, 375 Big Bore, 44 Magnum, 45 Long Colt, 357 Magnum, even the 410 shotgun.

Many different versions were offered from the "Ranger" which was a economy model, up to an XTR deluxe version.  The XTR version was introduced in 1978.  The stocks were checkered on all but the Ranger series.  The checkering was done on a computer controlled machine lacking the fine lines of the older hand checkered stocks.

Serial number 3,000,000 was made in 1967, with 4,700,000 in January of 1980.

There was a whole series of Commemorative models made during this time.

Top Eject :  The early post-64 guns were top eject like their predecessors.

Angle Eject :   When the perceived desire for mounting scopes became an important sales tool, the model was changed to the "angle eject" style so the scope could be mounted directly on the top of the receiver.   This took place in 1983 at about serial number 5,300,000.



Gunsmithing This Model :   This gun has many quirks that if you do not know or do things wrong in disassembly or reassembly, you may run into trouble.  It was produced back when manufacturing machinery was a lot different than used today.  Tolerances would have not been as close, and hand fitting would have been normal during assembly line production.


Accidental Discharge ; This can be caused by two conditions.  Either of these can happen IF the rifle is chambered rapidly with a live cartridge in the chamber, as in emptying the rifle by cycling until all the rounds are out.  (1) Either a broken hammer sear notch OR a good notch that has been subject to rust or debris being packed into this notch.  (2) This condition will only be found on older WELL USED guns where the top of the hammer has gotten worn down or the bottom of the breech bolt is also worn where the two meet as the rifle is levered and the hammer cocked.  I have even seen some hammer tops brazed welded to force the hammer down far enough so it engages the sear into the hammer sear notch.


Gun Will Not Fire (1) ; Here we are talking about a broken firing pin or weak mainspring. (1) A broken firing pin can be detected easily by operating the lever, opening the action.  This gun has two firing pins, a front and a rear.  The rear which is located inside the locking block will never break, however the front one will on occasion.  To check it with the action open, push forward on the rear of the firing pin that is protruding from the rear of the breech bolt.  In the center of the front of the breech bolt is a small 1/16" hole, the firing pin tip should protrude out this hole about the length that the hole is in diameter.  If not it has the tip broken off, which can be partly caused by repeated "Dry Firing", meaning no cartridge in the chamber as when doing a lot of non-firing practice.


To access this, the action will need to be pretty much disassembled.


(2) Weak mainspring pressure against the hammer can be caused by a couple of things.   (a) Mainspring strain screw needs adjustment.  (b) A weak mainspring.


Gun Will Not Fire (2) ; Here if things get worn enough internally where the trigger stop #7594, which is designed to not allow the gun to fire until the lever is up tight against the lower tang/stock as in a normal firing position.  If things get worn and the lever does not engage or push the trigger stop UP enough to disengage this stop from the trigger allowing the trigger to not be pulled far enough to also disengage the sear from the hammer.  Again you may see a dab of welding on the small stop button (which is visible in the photo below) about 1" rearward of the front of the buttstock.  Also in this photo, you can see the other front part of the trigger stop resting against and blocking the trigger when the lever is opened.


Bent Upper Tang ;   Another one of these is if someone fell while holding the gun by the wrist/grip and the gun hit the ground on the barrel and the toe of the buttstock, the upper tang can get bent upward.   Many do not even know it is bent as the gun will usually function as normal UNLESS this tang gets completely broken off, or is bent so much that after much use the front of the lower tang that acts as a locking block stop gets worn enough that the locking block drops down.  In the photo below you can see that the buttstock has the upper top "EARS" broken off, and there is a wider gap at the bottom front where the stock meets the receiver, than at the top.  The ears being broken off may, or may not be associated with this condition as this gun has seen a lot of use in 75 years, but the gap is very definitive of this problem.


Here we have a bent upper tang as evidenced by the wider gap where the buttstock meets the receiver at the bottom



ang ;   Another

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Originated 09-23-2006  Last updated 01-07-2015
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