Need information about Top eject Winchester


August 12, 2007, 10:28 AM
Hello all, its been awhile since I had some free time to enjoy some good firearm talk! I need some information, and I could not think of a better place to ask. A guy I know, has a Winchester lever action that he wants to get rid of, and I was hoping someone here could tell me something about it, and whats a good price?

The rifle was described to me as "A Winchester 94, no crossbolt safety, Ranger model, 30-30, Top Eject not side eject, never fired, no scratches etc". I took a look at the rifle, this thing litterally looks like it was never pulled out of the case.

My question is this. This rifle will be used for plinking, possibly some deer hunting, but it would be once a year at most. How accurate are these 94 levers? Also, would this be a newer rifle, or are we talking a rare older rifle? I think he said they only made this model in this configuration for a short time, but I can't really remember. Finally, can a scope, or some other sort of sighting system be used on these top eject models, or will they get in the way?

I will probably be keeping it iron sights, but I would still like the option.

I was told by this guy, that the rifle was worth upwards of 700 in its condition, but he would sell for 400-500 since I was a "nice guy, and a cooworker." :p

Any info would be great, thanks in advance!

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Father Knows Best
August 12, 2007, 11:13 AM
I'm no expert, but I know a little about these. The Ranger models were first introduced in the early to mid-80s, I think, and discontinued just a few years ago (I think 2006 was the last year). Angle eject was introduced in 1984. It is extremely unlikely that you have a valuable pre-64 on your hands. If you do, it will be readily distinguishable from a post-64 by any number of features, but the easiest way to confirm is the serial number. If the serial number is below 2,700,000 it is a pre-64.

I would say that $400-500 is a fair price for this rifle. The 80s vintage model 94's are quite well built - certainly better than the late 60s and early 70s guns that got a bad reputation.

August 12, 2007, 05:27 PM
Ya, Like I said, I don't know much about the rifle, other than that its a Winchester 30-30, lever, top eject, has never been fired, pre-cross bolt safety and the box looks OLD! As long as im not getting walked over on the price, it appears to be a nice rifle. Can optics be added, or is it irons only because its top eject? Thanks Father knows best, I appreciate the info.

Vern Humphrey
August 12, 2007, 05:41 PM
You can add an optical sight, but you need an offset mount, which puts the scope to the left of the receiver. A better and more traditional choice (in my opinion) would be a tang sight. Midway sells the Lyman #2 tang sight for the Model 1894 Winchester for $74.99. Product number 546-9541. 1-800-243-3220

August 12, 2007, 05:50 PM
While it is probably 80s you shouldn't overlook the possibility that it is older. Best to get the serial number and come back here. Post the number without the last 2 digits eg 123456xx. The older it is the better the 400-500 price is, and I think it is good already. If you get lucky you will not want to use the gun but sell it to a collector, buy another rifle for your purpose (if you like this lever action style maybe a Marlin 336 which is much easier to mount a scope on), and still have a nice chunk of change left over.

August 12, 2007, 06:21 PM
I have a Win. .30-30 and it is very accurate. I wouldn't worry too much about a scope. Seriously, I don't see why people put scopes on lever guns, they aren't really the best 100+yard guns anyway so a scope is pointless.

Father Knows Best
August 12, 2007, 08:37 PM
Well, I agree that you shouldn't scope a lever action (other than maybe a Savage 99), but not because lever action rifles aren't accurate. Lever actions can be and often are VERY accurate. It's just that the beauty of the lever action is its handling. Rifles like the Winchester 94 are compact, lightweight, and quick handling. You can get off multiple shots in rapid succession if you need to, and without the weight and complexity of a semiauto. Adding a scope just adds a lot of weight and complexity and compromises the handling.

Besides, the 30-30 is an intermediate range cartridge. It is extremely unlikely you will be taking shots longer than 150 yards or so. A good peep sight is all you need.

August 12, 2007, 11:39 PM
If I remember my Ranger 94s from the early eighties correctly, the rifle will feature a 21" barrel which extends past the magazine tube by an inch or so, full six shot magazine, and hardwood stocks instead of walnut.
They were sold by Sears, K-Mart, and JC Penny, maybe Wal-Mart too,
Retail was $149.95 in most places and you could buy them on sale for $125-135.

$400.00 retail today would be a good buy considering people are snapping these rifles up any time they come available since Winchester kinda sorta died.

August 13, 2007, 08:35 AM
Didn't get the SN, but he did say it was a 1991, in original box w/ all the papers and ammo from 91.

Sounds like a killer deal to me, but it kind of sucks. Amazing deal, but I am gonna want to use this rifle, ruining the collector status. Guess I got some thinking to do, thanks guys.

Father Knows Best
August 13, 2007, 12:47 PM
If it's a 1991 Model 94, then it has no significant "collector value." If you buy, then you are buying it to use it, and $400-500 would be a fair price.

August 13, 2007, 01:43 PM
install a Lyman tang sight. I have one on my 94 Win, pre war, and it shoots great. The 30-30 is not a long range cartridge anyway so to improve on your shooting accuracy, practice......chris3

August 13, 2007, 01:54 PM
just a note about the Ranger models, the front sights are NOT the same as the sights on the normal '94. they are a different height. you can use the same rear sights but no one makes an aftermarket front sight for the Ranger. believe i've searched high and low. i have one similar to what you describe but its an angle eject. (got it for $190 with a scope a couple years ago :D ) i ended up with a Williams FireSight on the rear and the stock front sight. it shoots excellent! the Ranger was the lower priced no frills '94. no hooded front sight and Birch furniture instead of Walnut. i can't believe the value of '94s nowadays. i feel pretty lucky to have gotten mine when i did and for what i paid. i don't think i'll ever get rid of it. i've wanted one since i was a little kid. its the quintessential American Rifle. everyone should have one. good luck, you'll love it if you get it.


August 13, 2007, 03:08 PM
A 1991 will be a good gun. What you want to watch out for
are the 1964 thru 1981 Winchesters. The company was on a
slide. They loosened the specs. and outsourced overseas.

They're pretty easy to spot. Open the action, let the lever hang
at the bottom of it's travel. Tap on the lever. If it flops around
like a dead fish and wobbles side to side, I wouldn't pay 500 for
it. I have one in my collection that I bought in 1970 and haven't
fired it since the 70's.

The employees bought the company in 1981 and began producing
a nice rifle, but I'd make sure I got an 82 or later. FN bought
USRAC (as the employee owned company was called) in 1989
and kept the name. They continued producing quality until they
just recently shut down US production. They're meat is the now
popular "black guns" but they may bring back the lever as
market whims change. Who knows? But I think US production is
gone forever.

USRAC brought out the side eject in 1982 and introduced two new
calibers the .307 lever rifle and the .357 magnum Ranger carbine.
The .357 harks back to the old days and the 1873 in pistol cartridges.
It's very popular with collectors and cowboy action shooters. The .307
is basically a .308 Winchester with thicker case walls and .30.30 rim.
Its a fine hunting round and very accurate. It even uses the same
reloading dies as the .308 although the shell holder is .30.30 and
powder capacity reduced due to the thicker case walls. So load data
is different. Don't try using a Lee neck sizer either. Since FN shut
down production the side ejects are a rare find, especially in .357 or
.307. Even the model 70's in popular calibers, especially .308 are
scarce and the prices keep going up.

I personally wouldn't scope a top eject, but that's for aesthetic
reasons. There is hardware available to side mount one or place
an IER or LER scope forward of the action. You best believe I have
a scope on my .307 SE though and I wouldn't sell it for significantly
less than $2000 these days.

When your looking at used levers always check the rifling near
the muzzle. People often wear it away cleaning one without a
guard. IMHO a 1991 .30.30 is easily worth $500 in good shape.

I realize I've said more than you ever wanted to hear but I love
talking about Winchesters.

August 13, 2007, 05:43 PM
Awesome, thanks guys. Thats just what I needed to hear. If I do scrap some cash together and buy this rifle, it will be to be a shooter, and not a safe queen. As much as I like nastolgic items, I don't have the time, patience, or money for it :)

Also, about the scope, I was just curious if it was a possibility, thats all. I understand that this will not be a mountain top to mountain top rifle, that was more just a personal question on possibility :)

Thanks again, as soon as I get some cash together I will take him up on it. Looks like my trumpet may need a new home... :p

August 13, 2007, 08:19 PM
Jasson:do not scope the 94.not because you cant but I did and could not get my eye anywhere near scope.took it off wasted money.your head has to be flowting in air to see.:uhoh: :confused: :)

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