Winchester 94 firing pin - sprung or not?


White Horseradish
December 28, 2007, 04:05 PM
I have a Sears-branded Winchester 94. Despite the brand name, it is a real-deal Winchester, so this is a Winchester question.

I got it used and haven't fired it yet. Getting sick the day before your planned range session sucks big time. I was dry-firing it to get used to the action and i noticed that the firing pin slides in and out of the bolt under it's own weight. That made me think - if it falls all the way forward, how would the hammer hit it?

So, is there supposed to be a spring holding the firing pin back? I wouldn't be surprised if the previous owner lost it, the rifle has obviously been messed with.

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Grandpa Shooter
December 28, 2007, 04:07 PM
I would look very carefully at it if the firing pin is simply sliding forward and back. It needs some tension on it to operate correctly.

Mal H
December 28, 2007, 05:16 PM
No, it's a free-floating firing pin. It's when the firing doesn't seem a little sloppy back and forth that you should worry about it - it needs a little cleaning.

What keeps it to the rear for the hammer to hit it? Why, the primer in the cartridge! Sounds a little scary, but it isn't a problem at all. It's been like that since, oh, 1894! (And earlier).

White Horseradish
December 28, 2007, 06:25 PM
Sounds a little scaryNot to me, what with the SKS and Makarov I am well familiar with. :)

That makes complete sense, and I didn't see it because I was not loading ammo in it, just dry-firing. I was concerned because when I got this gun it had a horrific feed problem with the last round in the mag, which turned out to be a follower installed backwards. That sort of thing really speaks to the skill of the last guy to take a screwdriver to it.

December 28, 2007, 06:41 PM
And stop dry-firing it, or you will need a new firing pin.

Winchester lever-guns don't take kindly to dry-firing.

December 28, 2007, 09:50 PM
Mal H is absolutely correct. I have a 94 and noticed the same thing. Once you rack a cartridge in the chamber the pin then rests against the primer. And since the pin then only has fractions of an inch to move the gun won't fire unless struck. My dad has a pre64 and I have a 1982 model 94, the one thing I noticed was that when my dads is loaded that the hammer rests against the pin whereas mine has a gap between the hammer and pin. So I don't know how safe my dads is when carrying loaded??

Just a little something that came to my attention.....


Mal H
December 28, 2007, 10:10 PM
And stop dry-firing it ...Right. Without a primer to hit or a snap-cap, the firing pin is peening the inside of the breech, and itself. Keep dry firing to an absolute minimum without using snap-caps - or at least dry fire downwards so the firing pin isn't hit by the hammer. Of course then you're peening the rear of the action with the hammer, and dry-firing in that position is of little use anyway.

White Horseradish
December 28, 2007, 10:59 PM
Yes, sir! Got it. No more dry-firing. :)

I didn't realize this would hurt a 94.

December 29, 2007, 09:54 AM
"My dad has a pre64 and I have a 1982 model 94, the one thing I noticed was that when my dads is loaded that the hammer rests against the pin whereas mine has a gap between the hammer and pin. So I don't know how safe my dads is when carrying loaded?? "

Your gun has a rebounding hammer, that is, it automatically comes back to the halfcock position, tho the actual half cock is different than older guns, and is more secure.

Your dad should NOT be carrying the gun with the hammer all the way down on a live round under any circumstances. A blow to the hammer when carried down on the live round can fire the gun. It is possible to fire it by dropping it also. There is a half cock notch in the hammer that is a safety. It is best used by lowering the hammer carefully all the way down, then pulling it back till it clicks into place, the rearward motion done without touching the trigger so the sear will engage the half cock notch completely. The old type half cock is not completely secure IF you pull real hard on the trigger, you can break the sear tip off, or crack the half cock notch in the hammer, and the gun can fire. A hard blow to the back of the hammer when in half cock position can also do either of those things.

The older guns with half cock safeties are best carried with an empty chamber until ready to shoot or nearly ready. There isn't much of a time issue with this, but if you are huntng from a stand, it may be a problem with the noise.

I prefer the older guns. I've never had a problem with them, but I generally carry them chamber empty unless ready for a shot.

You have been advised correctly, you will break the friing pin from dry firing. I've done it. The tip will break off. They will generally last a lifetime if not dry fired. Since you've already been dry firing it, I'd buy a spare firing pin and have it around. You'll probably never need it, but it's nice to have a part in hand when you need it rather than wait a week or two. You can drill a small hole in the stock under the butt plate and always have it with you.

December 29, 2007, 12:30 PM
Hi Malamute:

Know of a source for a W94 top eject standard model firing pin?

Brownells and Gun Parts Corp are out.

Factory is shut down.


Mal H
December 29, 2007, 01:38 PM
Midway shows they have some in stock, not original Winchester, but a good OEM FP: Glend Arms firing pin (

December 29, 2007, 02:28 PM
Great lead Mal H, tks.

Brownells has added the same line (Glend Arms) since I last checked too.

Does anyone know if the firing pin design changed in pre/post '64 W94's?

Mal H
December 29, 2007, 02:35 PM
I don't think it did, but not positive.

The wording of the item blurb seems to imply that it is for both era firearms:
"Glend Arms Firing Pin Winchester 1894, Pre-64 94, 55, 64". Since both "Winchester 1894" and "Pre-64 94" are separated by a comma. Then again, I may be reading too much in a simple ad copy.

December 29, 2007, 05:35 PM
I had the exact same question on a new to me M94 white horseradish. Glad you asked-I wasn't about to try and disassemble the thing to look at it!

December 29, 2007, 07:10 PM
Did you try Winchester? I'm not sure if they still have parts in stock or not. I called them a couple months after they supposedly closed, (which wasn't true) and they said they had a 10 year supply of parts on hand. If they don't have any parts, find out who bought them. It's common for a big jobber to buy all the inventory when a model is discontinued.

As far as Winchester supposedly closing, they did NOT close, (as in go out of business). They closed one plant, the one that made model 1300 shotguns, model 70's and model 94's. They still have a web site, they still answer the phone, they still make ammo, they still make other gun models. Call them first for parts.

I have firing pins for pre-64 and post 64 94's. They are different, but an earlier type may interchange with a later one. That may be what the aftermarket makers are doing. The earlier guns had a cross pin in the rear. I can't see any reason an early firing pin wouldn't work in a later gun, but a later pin wouldn't work in an early gun unless you left out the cross pin, or cut the groove for the cross pin. Earlier firing pins are heavier, later ones are thinned down, almost skeletenized looking, but looks like the major OD of the later pins are the same as earlier ones. Any decent gunsmith could make one on a lathe from the proper steel.

December 29, 2007, 08:01 PM
Malamute makes a good point, I made a poor assumption. Brownells no longer sells Winchester parts like they do for most other manufacturers, I assumed that meant the parts were no longer available.

My situation is complicated by residing in Canada. Because of the ITAR regulations/law in the US, exports of gun parts to other countries requires US exporters to jump thru more hoops to comply with *US* law.

Winchester's web site indicates that they have an arrangement with a Canadian gun parts reseller for Canadian residents. That likely means it is not a simple or quick matter to just order up a part like I could if I were residing in the US. Since I was planning against possible *future* spares need, I was hoping for a quick and easy answer.

A local supplier regularly places orders with Brownells. They have an advance pipeline of the correct US paperwork running to make that possible, so it's probably easiest for me just to get my requirement plugged into that process.

I had tried that earlier when I first heard the US Winchester plant was being closed, but by the time the wheels turned, Brownells no longer had access to the desired OEM spares.

To facilitate the purchase of spare parts, we have established several parts distribution centers.

Western Gun Parts, Ltd.
18124-107 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5S 1K5
Phone: 780-489-5711
Fax: 780-489-5717

December 30, 2007, 12:27 AM
Are firing pins regulated? I know there's a list of regulated parts. Receivers are the main parts as far as I know.

I know a guy on leverguns forum from Canada that gets parts sent up. He said he didnt have any trouble getting parts from the states.

I've dealt with Western, they are fine to deal with. They should have parts in stock. I did order firing pins(Browning), wonder if it would matter which way they went over the border?

December 30, 2007, 09:21 AM
US export regs:

123.17(a) Minor components Components and parts for Category I firearms are exempt from licensing requirements when the total value does not exceed $100 wholesale in any single transaction. Barrels, cylinders, receivers (frames), or complete breech mechanisms require a license.

Firing pins would be among the exempt items.

Importation to Canada is not the primary issue, exporting from US is the issue. Many US vendors won't even do exports because they don't want to deal with the classifications and paperwork.

In the other direction, Canada doesn't have any significant regulation of exports of non-receiver firearm parts.

Western's presence on the internet is minimal, which makes them more difficult to deal with. They still use paper catalogs, no web order pages.

December 30, 2007, 09:32 AM
I don't recall exactly how I ordered from Western, but it seemed simple. I didn't have one of their catalogs. I called on the phone and believe I just told them what I wanted (make, model, and part description, maybe by manufacturers part number), and they said if they had them or not, and what the price was, and they showed up in less than a week.

December 30, 2007, 04:21 PM
You're confusing some things.
Winchester (gunmaker) is no longer in existance.
Olin Corporation (Winchester Ammunition & owner of the Winchester brand name) is still running.
There is no Winchester firearms company & has not been for some time. The domestic Winchester marked guns have been made for several years by the USRAC plant in New Haven, under ownership of FNH in Belgium who also had the licensing agreement to use the Winchester brand. Browning has done everything else with the domestic Winchester guns, including marketing & service. Browning is also owned by FNH. FNH closed the US USRAC plant.
Browning is still actually handling Winchester parts & repairs, I believe they do it in St. Louis. Browning now holds the licensing agreement with Olin Corp to allow foreign-made "Winchesters" to be imported & marketed.
There is a Winchester firearms website presence, but it's actually handled by Browning.
I ordered two new firing pins for my 94s after the USRAC plant closed & was also told there were enough parts available to support the guns for ten years.
If you need firing pins, you might try "Winchester"/Browning.


December 30, 2007, 06:27 PM
Dipris is right.the win plant in conn as I understand was worn out.FN has a plant in Japan where they intend to make the 94 as they make the win 95 and shotguns.not the 1200/1300 class.they were making that in HINGHAM Mass,been there.the mod 70 will be made in Columbia SC where the AR4 is made.:uhoh: :confused: :banghead:

December 31, 2007, 09:13 AM
Denis, I know all that you posted, and agree. Most of that is old news, and not related to the plant closing. I was oversimplifying.

I continually hear that "Winchester went out of business" when they closed their plant that made the 3 models mentioned. As you know, Winchester, in whatever form it was in before that plant closed, is still in existance. They closed one plant, not disapeared from the face of the earth, as so many seem to believe.

If "Winchester closed", it was, as you said, 20 some years ago, not 2 years ago. But in the sense that most think of them, they are as open today as they were 2 years ago

December 31, 2007, 11:52 AM
Right now, Winchester exists solely as a brand name, period. :)
At least, prior to the USRAC plant that produced those three models for FNH in this country being shut down, there was a physical plant in New Haven where Winchester was located for many years that wasn't Winchester but did have ties to the older Winchester company.


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