Need help old 1894 idenification


December 18, 2006, 09:38 PM
Hello, i have inherited an old winchester 94 marked 30WCF that has been in the family forever. It is the takedown model, half octagon and half round barrel, pistol grip stock, and half mag tube. There are no serial numbers on it and i'm just trying to figure out age, date or decade. Not that i would sell, but also mabe a value range? Thanks

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December 18, 2006, 09:54 PM
Sorry not to be of helpbut that is a lovely old rifle.


December 18, 2006, 10:00 PM
Thank you

December 18, 2006, 10:07 PM
Very nice. I'm sorry to say I'm probably not any more help than the previous poster, but I haven't seen any like this later than 1920 at the latest. I have a feeling this piece is from the first decade of production, but I cannot say for sure.

December 18, 2006, 10:11 PM
Sweet fancy Moses.

It's value range is high. Don't do a thing to it. Don't let anyone else do anything to it.

December 18, 2006, 10:20 PM
I don't know anything about your rifle......but darn that thing is beautiful.:D :D The markings on it are excellent and the color of the wood is spectacular.

The Real Hawkeye
December 18, 2006, 10:48 PM
Is that the original wood? Very nice.

December 18, 2006, 10:52 PM
Right now, I'm wondering two things...

1) What make and model is that receiver sight?

2) TRH, where'd you get your sig line?

December 18, 2006, 11:02 PM
Original wood, but my Grandfather and his friend refinished it about 20 years ago

1 The receiver sight is an old Lynan 55c

December 18, 2006, 11:15 PM
But to answer your question, I'd suggest putting the specs up over here:

We're just going to keep looking at the pictures, slack jawed. Paco and crew actually know something about leverguns. The blue appears original, which is good. The wood is amazing, even if it was refinished.

Old Fuff
December 18, 2006, 11:37 PM
I thought by now the Winchester collectors would be crawling all over you... :uhoh:

Unlike most Winchester model 94 rifles, this one has a number of custom features that most likely were special ordered, they include:

A pistol-grip stock with a shotgun-style buttplate.

Special figured wood (probably originally checkered).

The takedown feature.

There should be a serial number stamped on the bottom of the receiver, ahead of the lever, but back of the takedown shoulder on the barrel. An alternative possibility is that it's stamped on the bottom strap, behind the lever, or on one of the tangs. In that case it would be necessary to remove the stock to see it.

If you find the serial number, the Winchester museum in Cody, WY. would do a records search for a fee (likely around $30,00) and given that it was probably special ordered might find some interesting information about the original buyer.

The value of the rifle might depend on what they found.

Jim Watson
December 18, 2006, 11:44 PM
A takedown half octagon half magazine 1894 is an uncommon variation and is worth a bit even with sights changed and stock refinished. It would be worth a lot more if Grandpa and his friend hadn't gotten fancy.

The lack of a serial number is worrisome. Winchester numbered all their leverguns that I know of. My 1885 and 1886 are numbered on the bottom tang, my 1892 on the bottom of the receiver.

December 18, 2006, 11:48 PM
Beautiful gun, should be worth more than a grand. I don't know where they would have put a serial number on a takedown model, but I bet there is one there somewhere. My saddle-ring carbine has it across the front bottom of the reciever. It's serial number is 145XXX and I looked it up and found out it was made in 1898. ps your gun has an extra pin that mine does not have just above the loading ramp, maybe part of the takedown design?

December 19, 2006, 12:12 AM
Well as the story goes, the rifle came from my great great aunt who was a tough old dame in the hills of Oregon, before that no one knows. My grandfather tried doing some limited research before he passed, he told me that the serial numbers must have been scratched off at some time -but.........Hey mabe the great great aunt was up to no good?:D

December 19, 2006, 03:35 AM
Can you check the underside of the receiver for the SN? It doesn't look like anyone scratched at it.

December 19, 2006, 03:44 AM
ya, theres no #'s, but ive done a little more research and what i have found leads me to believe that this rifle was under the 100,000 mark making meaning it was built in 1897 or before. Please anyone, correct me if im wrong. Damn, I love history and firearms

December 19, 2006, 03:56 AM
Oh wow. It may well be. A true antique special order! You may want to pay for an expert appraisal and get some insurance on it. If it is what it appears to be, the value may be far greater than $1,000. I wonder if there's a SN stamped under the tang as well.

December 19, 2006, 04:00 AM
I tried over at Leverguns but didn't get much tonight, i guess i will check in with those guys tomorrow

December 19, 2006, 04:27 AM
Can you give a pic of the underside of the receiver. I'm curious if there's scratching there or if it's smooth. If the SN was there, and the metal wasn't ground too badly, it should still be possible to tease it out.

December 19, 2006, 05:40 AM
Can't help with the ID, age and value; but that is some beautiful wood. Nice patina on the metal too. Very nice overall - I wouldn't even think about selling it if I were in your position.


December 19, 2006, 06:14 PM

Ranger 40
December 19, 2006, 06:39 PM
No Ser# modern Cartg. rifle, it is now classed as Contraband. It would be illegal to transport or own. If you were ever checked by an officer of the law the gun would be taken from you. You could be charged with a felony involving firearms which is not good. I am not expert take this for what its worth.:confused:

December 19, 2006, 06:46 PM
It looks like you've stumped the experts on the leverguns forum as well. Now I don't feel so bad. The tang marks may help answer some questions, but it doesn't look like that four digit number would be the SN. Can you see any traces of numbers on the receiver? As they noted, there are ways to get the number back up if it was just filed. The numbers are stamped, and leave their ghost deep into the receiver's metal. But it would mar that patina.

December 19, 2006, 06:55 PM
I have definitely tried to see something there, but nothing. Where the receiver rounds ( where the #'s should be ) you can see that the metal looks a little more rough or different, its smooth but 100 years might just smooth out some file marks. I just have no idea:confused:

December 19, 2006, 06:57 PM
I am not expert take this for what its worthI believe you are incorrect. As far as I know, since 1968 it's been illegal to manufacture a firearm without a serial number or alter an existing serial number - but not illegal to own a firearm that has no serial number (since many were not historically serial numbered).

Father Knows Best
December 19, 2006, 06:59 PM
No Ser# modern Cartg. rifle, it is now classed as Contraband. It would be illegal to transport or own. If you were ever checked by an officer of the law the gun would be taken from you. You could be charged with a felony involving firearms which is not good.
Not necessarily. It is illegal to possess a firearm from which the serial number has been altered, obliterated or destroyed. It is NOT illegal to possess a firearm that was legally manufactured and sold without a serial number, and serial numbers weren't legally required until relatively recently (1968?).

Winchester generally applied serial numbers to all of their rifles, so that's worrisome. But if this one really never had a number, then it's not illegal to possess it now.

December 19, 2006, 07:06 PM
Don't jump to any conclusions about the legal situation. If the initial thoughts are correct, this thing isn't a "firearm" at all, but an antique. And a rare special order one at that.

Moreover, if the SN was filed it's still *there* stamped into the grain of the steel, it's just not visible. It can be teased out if it become absolutely essential.

Brad Johnson
December 19, 2006, 07:09 PM
I'll give you $50 for it right now and won't even complain about the chunk gone out of the buttstock.



December 19, 2006, 07:13 PM
Now there is a small chip, but most of that open space is where the buttplate fits in. But you know, this rifle has never been a safe queen, mabe she should be but i use her now and again and have a few dents and dings to prove it:)

December 19, 2006, 07:22 PM
Maybe this was the first year of production rifle..... A Salesman Sample???? It sure is pretty...... And worth keeping...... Take it to the Antique Road Show when it comes to town....

December 19, 2006, 07:48 PM
i have a friend with a 94 made in the first month and it had a 3 didget number. the 30wcf wasnt chambered untill 1895 when the nickle steel barrels were introduced.a 4 didget number wil be in 1895.there is a forum,leverguns that has a lot of knowledgable members.have no idea where the numbers should to serial #s,after 68 all guns were required to have numbers,any gun made before 68 without are legal,usually 22 rf guns.any guns made with numbers that have been altered or removed are illegal. that is one heckuva nice value is one thing,sentimental value is a lot more.

Ranger 40
December 21, 2006, 02:10 AM
If you own a firearm that takes modern ammo with out a serial number. You need to check {GCA 1968] Title 18 US Code Sections 921-929 Sec. 5842 Identification of Firearms Sec.5861 Prohibited Acts Parts [G] [H] {I]. You may want to go right to part [I] in the case of the 94 WCF. Any violation of this rule carries 10 years and $10,000.00 dollars in fines.
You may want to check this out. Prohibited Acts part [I].:scrutiny:

December 21, 2006, 02:39 AM
Stop fear mongering! If needs be the SN can be raised up again. If it's an antique it's out of their jurisdiction anyway.

Ranger 40
December 21, 2006, 10:28 AM
This is not fear mongering, it is foolish to post guns like this on the internet. Check with any FFL , you can not raise numbers or erase numbers. This gun is not protected by the Pre-1898 rule. No number you don't know when it was made. If you are interested in helping fellows out on this site, you need to educate yourself. You are putting out bad advice.

December 21, 2006, 03:20 PM
Well Ranger I apprecaite your advice, and you have made me a little paranoid. I guess i'll put her in the way back of the safe and leave it there, not worth 10k and 10 years. I only posted this for a history of the rifle and to see if any 94's were produced with out serial #'s.
Thanks everyone for the help

December 21, 2006, 04:28 PM
As an FFL holder myself, I have several pre-1968 rifles that bear no serial numbers. They weren't obliterated, filed-off, or otherwise modified, and are perfectly legal to own or sell. Why? They came from the manufacturer without serial numbers, period. Lest we forget, serial numbers were not required by Federal Law prior to 1968. The fact that serialed guns exist prior to 1968 was simply internal to the gun manufacturers themselves, it was not law.

If the serial number has in fact been modified on that early Winchester Model 1894, then Cosmoline is correct. The latent number can indeed be raised by some fairly simple forensic techniques. As the former manager of a government forensics laboratory myself, it was and remains a commonplace tool, Hollywood and that CSI show notwithstanding.

December 21, 2006, 05:40 PM
Indeed, please do NOT deep six a fantastic piece of history because of what some newbie tells you on the net! I think your next move should be to consult an expert rifle appraiser, esp. one with experience in Winchester. He should also be able to direct you to someone who can raise the SN if needed.

December 21, 2006, 07:52 PM
the pix show a 4 didgit number,not clear but there.just occured to me,may be the last 4 numbers.they are on the fore end arent they?

January 6, 2007, 11:36 AM
i have a friend with a 94 made in the first month and it had a 3 didget number. the 30wcf wasnt chambered untill 1895 when the nickle steel barrels were introduced.a 4 didget number wil be in 1895.

A four digit number is a first year built in 1894. Even 5 digits into the 14xxx are 1894 builds. I own an early 1894 built in 1894.

January 6, 2007, 03:57 PM
For what it's worth. Happened to be channel surfing one day and caught a glimpse of a rifle on Antiques Roadshow, ok lets watch a minute. It was a very old Marlin Takedown half round/octagon. Very heavily engraved 1 of 500 I think. Inherited. the estimate? 7000$

Yours? 4 digits, at least?

Don't sell what you can't replace.

Grandpas 1940 era Savage 220/219, 30-30 w/20gauge extra barrell is not safe to shoot, needs a new part made, rebluing...worth 50$ at best
I'm getting buried with it...

:evil: My nephew thinks he's getting it when I die. And he would have till he let his then girlfriend now wife tell him he can't go shooting with me anymore.
(Yeah, she keeps 'em both in a jar)

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