"Pre-64" Winchester Model 94 30-30 -- so what?


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W.E.G.
December 14, 2009, 08:44 PM
I notice several Model 94's listed on Gunbroker as "Pre-64."

So what?

I know the Pre-64 BOLT-ACTION Winchester Model 70 is much-desired due to disliked design-changes that occurred in 1965.

Does the LEVER-ACTION Model 94 also have changes that occurred in 1965 which would make the Pre-64 guns per se more desireable?

As an aside, anybody care to hazard a guess on the value of a 1968 Model 94, that has been receiver-drilled for a scope mount, and is in generally good (definitely not very good, or excellent) condition?

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ARS1911
December 14, 2009, 09:10 PM
If I am not mistaken the pre 64 model 94 is more disireable because it is of better quality than rifles made after 1964. As I understand it in 1964 winchester changed their manufacturing process to make the rifles cheaper and easier to make. I do know that my pre 64 94 has better fit and finish than my dads circa 1992 model 94.

jimmyraythomason
December 14, 2009, 09:15 PM
Yes there is a difference between Model 94s made before and after 1964. Numrich Arms catalog has seperate parts lists for pre and post '64 models. I don't know what those differences are but they are there. I know a Winchester Model 94 enthusiast will be along shortly to point out those differences.

jmr40
December 14, 2009, 09:18 PM
The pre-64 model 94's were better made as well as the pre-64 model 70's. The differences were not as great, and no one noticed as much, but they are better and will bring a little more. I have a 1958 model 94 and the difference is amazing compared to the guns made in the late 60's. I got mine before prices went crazy. While they are better made, I think they are overpriced for what you get today. I understand they are bringing the 94 back in the next year or so. Probably will be made in Japan.

Actually the changes were made in 1964. I am no expert, but have been told that quality actually went downhill gradually after WW-2 and the pre-war guns are actually the prized guns. Those made between the war and 1963 are considered good guns and shooters, not the collectables made earlier.

Big_E
December 14, 2009, 10:07 PM
I have a Model 94 made in the late 80's that I inherited. It functions great and is one of my favorites in my collection. I haven't handled a pre 64 but I know post 64's will get the job done.

Gonna take mine hog hunting soon!

Horsemany
December 14, 2009, 10:22 PM
Pre 64 94 = every part machined from bar stock and a receiver that doesn't need to be iron plated to be blued.

spittle8
December 14, 2009, 10:38 PM
I have a buddy who might be headed to the pen, and if that happens I'm buying his pre-'64 '94. Actually, I guess I'm buying it eventually regardless as he is in debt due to legal fees. It is an exceptionally handsome carbine. The difference in quality between pre-'64 Model '94's and post-'64 rifles is obvious just by handling them. The pre-'64's were drop forged or some-such as well, whereas the newer rifles were made more cheaply. Something to consider.

DPris
December 15, 2009, 01:01 AM
New 94s ARE being made in Japan.
Denis

Horsemany
December 15, 2009, 08:26 AM
I wonder if they'll retain that silly safety? Japanese made repros Winchester was having done were outstanding quality. I am confident the fit and finish on a gun made in Miroku will be a well made rifle.

Vern Humphrey
December 15, 2009, 08:42 AM
Actually, the Model 94 was the test bed for "re-engineering." It was changed in '63, not '64. So if you want a "real" Model 94, you want one made prior to 1963.

Heck
December 15, 2009, 08:57 AM
Here is an excerpt from an article by Chuck Hawks

Surely among the most beloved firearms of all time are the Winchester pre 1964 Model 94 carbines. These graceful little rifles are a study in functional walnut and steel. With nearly perfect lines and balance, they became the best selling sporting rifles of all time.

Unfortunately, by the early 1960s the production costs of the traditional Model 94 with all of its forged steel parts had risen dramatically. Winchester executives realized that soon the Model 94 would have to be priced beyond the reach of the average hunter. This is exactly the fate that befell the classic Mannlicher-Schoenauer carbine, and eventually spelled its doom.

To save the Model 94 and restore a reasonable profit margin, Winchester redesigned the action for cheaper manufacture, substituting stamped sheet metal and roll pins for parts previously machined from forged steel. The steel buttplate became plastic and a less durable metal finish was substituted for the traditional bluing. The new guns still worked and shot just fine despite their aesthetic flaws, but the credibility of the Model 94 took a serious hit, and examples manufactured prior to the 1964 changes became instant classics.


I love my 42' mfg model 94. I wouldn't trade it for three post 64's

SaxonPig
December 15, 2009, 10:46 AM
Heck nailed it. Stamped parts and crappy finish became the norm in 1964 (serial 1,650,000 I think).

Got this one (1954) off GunBroker a few years ago for $165. Even in well used condition the pre-64s will usually command a significant premium over a newer one. Any 94 made before 1900 will bring big bucks.


http://www.fototime.com/C9C41AF62CC34E0/standard.jpg

jimmyraythomason
December 15, 2009, 11:26 AM
According to Numrich Arms the change came with serial numbers 2,700,000 & ^ and the affected parts(hammer,main spring,trigger, lower tang and associated parts) are NOT inter-changable between them. There was another change after serial numbers 4,580,000. Leaf mainspring was replaced by a coil spring.

DPris
December 15, 2009, 02:40 PM
The Miroku 94s have the tang safety and angle ejection.
Denis

Horsemany
December 15, 2009, 03:54 PM
The Miroku 94s have the tang safety and angle ejection.
Denis

I was afraid of that. I guess I'd be surprised if they could drop the safety in todays world of litigation. They'll be better than the last few years of New Haven guns for sure.

Bronx
December 15, 2009, 04:08 PM
I was afraid of that. I guess I'd be surprised if they could drop the safety in todays world of litigation. They'll be better than the last few years of New Haven guns for sure.
I've got a Miroku 1892 on the way, made this year for the shot show. Top tang safety and top eject. Miroku makes the Citori shotguns as well. Gorgeous fit and finish on the 1892's I tried. Action was like silk as well.

gotmine
December 15, 2009, 04:17 PM
This came from my father and has only had about forty rounds through it. Solid as a rock and quite accurate. I slew a small buck with it when I was fifteen....Now it sits and gets looked at from time to time to ensure it gathers no rust.

Bronx
December 15, 2009, 04:23 PM
FYI/Question.....It's my understanding that all the Mikuro made stuff is forged receivers and that forged receivers have again been the norm since 1986. Other than sentimental/ collector's value what would be the point of buying a pre-64 if that is indeed the case?

Malamute
December 15, 2009, 05:44 PM
As a working gun or shooter, there isnt too much practical difference, tho some people just appreciate the earlier guns, and classic quality.

The tang safety isnt a huge issue, it can be ignored, used, or removed and a silver plate inlaid in it with your initials or something. The rebounding hammer guns had some problems with light hits/poor ignition, and the cross bolt safety guns had an ugly cone shaped divot carved out of the side of the receiver. The later guns are angle eject also, making it simpler to scope them, but if you dont want a scope, they "look funny" to many of us.

Bronx
December 15, 2009, 06:05 PM
Thanks Malamute.

Malamute
December 15, 2009, 06:07 PM
The Miroku guns I've owned have been outstanding quality. I wouldnt hesitate to buy one if its what you want, and the price works for you.

chevyforlife21
December 15, 2009, 06:17 PM
weg: you have 2600 posts but didnt know why the old 94's are better? lol. the 94 is one of the most popular guns and most folks hate post 64's. sorry if im comeing off rude here but thats kinda common knowledge to even most newbies. then again maybe your a pistol guy or tactical only type.

Badlander
December 15, 2009, 08:15 PM
Ask W.E.G. aout FAL rifles. Try to stump him>

Cosmoline
December 15, 2009, 08:19 PM
the 94 is one of the most popular guns and most folks hate post 64's. sorry if im comeing off rude here but thats kinda common knowledge to even most newbies.

It's not quite so simple. The 94's went through a series of changes, 1964 was just one phase. IIRC Winchester introduced MIM parts and that odd chrome-like blue to the receivers in 64. But the basic design was NOT changed for the 94 levergun as it was for the Model 70's. There were incremental changes made over the next decades, and some of the "improvements" of 64 were abandoned. There are some really excellent deals on "sleeper" 64's made in the 70's and early 80's because people don't realize this. There was an excellent post tracking the precise changes over on leverguns forum which I'll try to find and post.

By far the most significant changes came when Winchester was bought out by USRAC in the 80's. It was shortly after this change in management that the 94's ejection was changed and a safety added. IMHO those changes all but destroyed the good things about the 94, which should have neither external safety nor scope. I've had some very nice 94's from the 70's but the AE models are another matter. They are substandard fun guns that can't hold a candle to true Winchesters of any year.

So the real question to ask re. 94 Wins is whether the subject rifle is a true Winchester or just a USRAC

Bronx
December 15, 2009, 08:38 PM
They are substandard fun guns that can't hold a candle to true Winchesters of any year.



What about the safety, which can be bypassed, makes the newer Mikuro Winchesters "Substandard" fun guns? They've also gone back to a forged receiver with top ejection. Again, considering that Mikuro is known for a high quality product can you point to anything specific that makes the originals any better? Action is now the same, receivers are forged.

Cosmoline
December 15, 2009, 08:44 PM
I was referring to the USRAC guns made prior to the demise. The special runs made by Mikuru are another matter--and another price category!

Bronx
December 15, 2009, 09:10 PM
I was referring to the USRAC guns made prior to the demise. The special runs made by Mikuru are another matter--and another price category!
Ok....So the Mikoru stuff is a different category.....Thx

DPris
December 16, 2009, 03:22 AM
Bronx,

The MIROKU 94s (pay attention to the Model numbers) so far are limited to the two commemoratives I mentioned, in .30-30 caliber.
One of the men involved in the transition of the MODEL 94 from the US to the MIROKU plant in Japan told me the Japanese MODEL 94s carry over the tang safety, the angle eject, and the rebounding hammer from the USRAC plant in New Haven.

Pre-'64 MODEL 94s did not have those features, and many of us do not like them. Many of us feel the older MODEL 94s did not need a safety that can accidentally activate itself & cost you either a deer or your life if you need to fire a shot in a hurry. Most of us feel there's no need for the Angle Ejection since it's a relatively small percentage of MODEL 94 owners who mount scopes on them. The rebounding hammer requires additional springing to push the hammer back to its at-rest position after it's dropped, which in turn requires a stronger hammer spring to ensure reliable ignition since on those rifles with that feature the hammer needs more energy & force as it drops to overcome the rebound resistance and transfer that energy to the firing pin. The rebounding hammer design has been known to cause misfires in what used to be an extremely reliable and simple design, and the heavy hammer spring also affects the weight of the trigger pull.

While it's true that the MIROKU-made MODEL 94s (and previous runs of MODEL 86 and MODEL 92 leverguns) use forged receivers and are high-quality guns, they do most certainly not use the same action of the older Pre-'64 Winchester MODEL 94.
MIROKU leverguns are very well made, better than what the USRAC plant was putting out when it closed, but they're relatively limited production, considered to be nostalgic replicas more than working guns, and are priced relatively high.

You are confusing domestic MODEL 94s with MIROKU-made MODEL 92s. Again-the actions are not the same.
The MODEL 94 was the one that went through the manufacturing changes after 1964, with the cheaper parts and non-forged frames. The domestic MODEL 94 returned to forged frames in the 1980s.

The MODEL 92 has not been manufactured in the US since WWII.
MIROKU MODEL 92s have always had forged frames. Earlier MIROKU-made leverguns produced for Browning didn't have the current safety and rebounding hammer setup. Recent MIROKU MODEL 86s, 92s, and now 94s do.

The point in buying a US-made Pre-'64 is that quality was usually better than DOMESTIC MODEL 94s that followed, and they didn't have the unwanted features that were later incorporated into DOMESTIC MODEL 94s and CURRENT MIROKU MODEL 94s.

Denis

Oro
December 16, 2009, 06:25 AM
As a working gun or shooter, there isnt too much practical difference, tho some people just appreciate the earlier guns, and classic quality.

+1. By now, the thread has some hard facts that should show the changes were fairly small and not of a shattering nature. I have examples from both periods. All are equally accurate. The best handling/looking and by FAR the smoothest operating is a 1980 model "XTR" model. Granted this was a slightly "premium" model, but excellent quality could come in a pre- OR post- '64 model.

If a buyer wants a gun to shoot and enjoy, post-64 models will provide the same function and shooting satisfaction.

DPris
December 16, 2009, 02:14 PM
Well....possibly, for some. :)

Another "bonus" of the rebounding hammer system is that since it requires a heavier hammer spring it also affects the amount of energy required to cycle the lever. I have two rebounders and neither is as easy to cycle as my '51 Model 94. The bolt has to cock the hammer as it travels back, which creates resistance, and it has to travel along riding on top of the hammer as it continues to the rear. When you have a stronger hammer spring, the bolt encounters more resistance, and you have to put more energy into the lever.

Other subtle changes include more angular edges on the levers and a squarish receiver bottom on later versions of the 94s.
Neither may be very noticeable to most shooters, but the earlier 94s had more rounded edges inside the finger section of the lever, and a rounded receiver that just feels better in the hand if you actually carry one much.

For the casual user, recreational shooter, and those not familiar with what was incrementally lost in the classic Model 94 .30-30 after 1964, the differences may not be very important.

Later USRAC guns were perfectly serviceable, and the return to forged frames was welcome, but they were just not the same in many areas as the Pre-64 Model 94s.
Good guns, but the Pre-64s were gooder. :)

Another thing to keep in mind is that by the time the USRAC plant closed, equipment was pretty much worn out, and the quality was slipping.
So, prior to 1964 you could count on consistent quality and performance, after 1964 it was variable depending on which period a given gun was made during.

Denis

Edited to add that later 94s are famous for lever rattle due to loose tolerances in thickness, while my '51 has no lever rattle.
One of my rebounders has a thin washer that fits around the pivot pin hole (from the factory) to act as a bandaid in reducing the rattle. It would seem that the levers could have been punched from slightly thicker stock to address this, but the USRAC plant never did, as far as samples I've seen go.

H&Hhunter
December 16, 2009, 03:42 PM
As an aside, anybody care to hazard a guess on the value of a 1968 Model 94, that has been receiver-drilled for a scope mount, and is in generally good (definitely not very good, or excellent) condition?

WEG.

If it's in decent shape it's worth about $5-700 depending on how good and what year it was built.

rcmodel
December 16, 2009, 04:21 PM
I think that's high for one that has been drilled for a side mount.

That completely ruins any collector value it might have had, and it's just another 94 shooter now.

rc

Almond27
December 16, 2009, 04:44 PM
$500 to $700 is way too high

CZguy
December 16, 2009, 05:02 PM
$500 to $700 is way too high

Doesn't that really depend on whether you're buying or selling. :D

H&Hhunter
December 16, 2009, 05:53 PM
I missed the part about it being drilled for side mounts. Yep you are in the 3-$400 range. Question though Why did this thing go for two pages before anybody answered his question about price and now everyone is a friggin M-94 value expert!;):D

So if 5-700$$ is "way" to high what would you experts say it's worth?:cool:

Malamute
December 16, 2009, 09:48 PM
"....anybody care to hazard a guess on the value of a 1968 Model 94, that has been receiver-drilled for a scope mount, and is in generally good (definitely not very good, or excellent) condition?"


A post 64 gun (1968) should be about a $300-$400 gun tops. In fairly well used condition, a bit less than top value. These are the ones that a few short years ago were $175-$200 guns, until the 94's were dropped (or as was the common saying, "Winchester went out of business"). There have been some optomistic souls that have been pricing them higher, but I think that they havent sold many, and the prices are coming back to more realistic levels. I've still seen many NIB commemoratives from the 60's that were priced at $500-$550 at the summer Winchester shows in Cody. Why a used gun from the same period would be worth more is beyond me. I still see pre-64's in fair condition selling for $450-$600 depending on condition. The higher level of original condition guns go for a bit more, but good shooter grade guns can be had in that range, even a few pre-war carbines.

I'm curious if our gun in question is indeed "drilled and tapped", or if it just happens to have a scope base installed using the original holes, and was assumed it had been D&T'ed? Weaver and others made bases after 64 that used existing holes, so to remove, all that would be needed was 3 scews to replace those taken out for the scope base install. If it has additional holes, value would be less than an unmodified gun, around $200-$275. Unless you really want a side mount scope and don't mind the alteration.

BusMaster007
December 16, 2009, 10:11 PM
The REAL snobs want 'pre-WAR'.

I always ask: "Which ONE...?!" :neener:

H&Hhunter
December 16, 2009, 10:35 PM
Take a look.

http://www.gunsamerica.com/Search/Category/767/2/Guns/Rifles/Winchester-Rifles-Modern-Lever/Model-94/Pre-64.htm

SlamFire1
December 17, 2009, 11:48 AM
I would rather have a color case hardened pre war Marlin 36 to a Winchester M1894 of any vintage.

SwampWolf
December 17, 2009, 03:44 PM
Later USRAC guns were perfectly serviceable, and the return to forged frames was welcome,

You know, I've heard this before (that 94 frames/receivers were not forged after 1963 until 1983 or so) but I have never seen the evidence, even though I've spent some time researching the question. I'm aware that the manufacturing process was cheapened for several years following 1963 (i.e., stamped carriers and followers instead of milled ones, a finish applied that was impossible to reblue, etc.) but the idea that Winchester went to cast or something different than forged frames is a claim that I've yet to see the proof of.

If anyone can substantiate this allegation with empirical evidence (as opposed to anecdotal hearsay like "I heard", "Everybody knows", "I read", etc.), I'd certainly be interested in learning the truth of the question.

Horsemany
December 17, 2009, 03:50 PM
The difference I'm aware of in the receiver is a different type of metal that needed to be iron plated before it would accept hot blue. Evidence of this can be seen on gunbroker. 94's of this era (64'-83') are common with bluing coming off in flakes. You will never find the flaking phenomenon on a pre 64.

I don't know if they were forged or not.

jimmyraythomason
December 17, 2009, 04:18 PM
How do you "iron plate" a '94 receiver and why can't an "iron plated" receiver be re-blued(using conventional methods)?

DPris
December 17, 2009, 06:33 PM
Call the Browning/Winchester Service Department number & ask.

When I was considering doing some frame alterations on one of my 94s several years ago, my gunsmith was not aware of the change from the older frames back to normal forged frames, and refused to do the alterations. The bluing on the Post-64s was based on the iron plating under it. If you mill, file, scrape, polish, or otherwise dig through the plating, you can't reblue the base metal to match the rest of the frame when you're done.

I had to tell him what the Winchester people had told me: By the mid-80s the frames were returned to normal forgings and could be treated like Pre-64s and Post-85s. (The Winchester guy couldn't give me the exact cut-off date off hand.)

I have not asked what the specific steel formulation of the immediate Post-64 Model 94 frame was, all I know is that it would not take regular bluing.
This is not a rumor.

If you need "proof", call the SD & discuss it with them. If you get somebody who doesn't know, ask for somebody who does.

Denis

Horsemany
December 17, 2009, 07:15 PM
Good answer Denis. That's how I understand it too.

SwampWolf
December 17, 2009, 07:43 PM
I had to tell him what the Winchester people had told me: By the mid-80s the frames were returned to normal forgings and could be treated like Pre-64s and Post-85s. (The Winchester guy couldn't give me the exact cut-off date off hand.)

I have not asked what the specific steel formulation of the immediate Post-64 Model 94 frame was, all I know is that it would not take regular bluing.
This is not a rumor.

"Normal" forgings and abnormal (?) forgings are still forgings. And the fact that receivers made from 1964 or so to whenever (1983?) could not be reblued has already been recounted and most wouldn't consider it a rumor. I have heard that the receivers during this time era were composed of "coated graphite steel" whatever that means.

jimmyraythomason
December 17, 2009, 07:49 PM
I know that 94 receivers made after the '63/64 change could not be blued in the conventional fashion. I have had "fair" success using Brownell's Oxynate 84. A better solution was to blue the barrelled receiver and then use Gun-Kote or similar on the receiver.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 17, 2009, 07:50 PM
Be that as it may (higher actual quality), like I've been telling my buddy, some day the "geezer bubble" is going to pop, for better or worse (slowly deflate is more like it), and he'll be out tons in wealth due to paying inflated prices on old Winchesters. He collects them.

Horsemany
December 17, 2009, 08:36 PM
Be that as it may (higher actual quality), like I've been telling my buddy, some day the "geezer bubble" is going to pop, for better or worse (slowly deflate is more like it), and he'll be out tons in wealth due to paying inflated prices on old Winchesters. He collects them.

I couldn't agree more. It's starting already. Winny prices have been steady for the last 5 years really. The AR tacticool rage hasn't helped. Eventually most collectors sentimental of the old Winnies will be gone and so will the market. This phenomenon was well documented with the model A's. Within a 5 year period the bubble burst after all the guys buyin em were gone.

This all doesn't change the fact that the older ones are better though.

DPris
December 17, 2009, 08:40 PM
Swamp,
I've heard the term sintered applied to those receivers, which was an early powdered metal casting technology.
Winchester was experimenting with a handful of DA revolvers in '62/'63 made with sintered frames, but dropped those in about '63. That, among other things, sorta lends credence in my mind to the cast frame idea with the 94s.

When I said normal forging the term was used to set those frames apart from whatever construction materials were used in the '64-'85 period. I'm not certain those frames were forged at all.

Again- if anybody's sufficiently interested in defining the material down to its atomic structure, call Browning/Winchester, and ask for somebody who actually works on the guns, not just a parts technician.

Far as I'm concerned, 94s made during that 20-year period used frames that were not the same as the frames before & after, and while they're functional as noted, I'm one of several people who doesn't want one.
I consider them inferior, which doesn't mean they're junk, it just means to me they're a lesser grade gun.

The fact that the 94 was returned to the forging we see on later guns also tells me that the management of the old USRAC felt the same. That could have come from consumer complaints as well as from repair facility figures on guns returned.

My opinions of the affected 94s are strictly my own & not intended to knock anybody's gun or preference.

My entire participation in this thread has been to try to explain to Bronx & others what the differences are between various eras and makers of Winchester Model 92 & 94 Winchester leverguns.

Denis

CZguy
December 17, 2009, 10:40 PM
Far as I'm concerned, 94s made during that 20-year period used frames that were not the same as the frames before & after, and while they're functional as noted, I'm one of several people who doesn't want one.
I consider them inferior, which doesn't mean they're junk, it just means to me they're a lesser grade gun.


That was well said...............and I concur.

W.E.G.
December 17, 2009, 10:50 PM
this one:

http://i857.photobucket.com/albums/ab137/Coldiron/guntruckandbook003.jpg

SwampWolf
December 18, 2009, 04:43 PM
When I said normal forging the term was used to set those frames apart from whatever construction materials were used in the '64-'85 period. I'm not certain those frames were forged at all.

I think all Model 94 frames were forged, one way or another, but I don't know which is why I asked the question. The answer is not especially important to me but inquiring minds want to know ;). My research goes on. :)

dispatch55126
December 18, 2009, 05:07 PM
I have a 1928 Model 94 that my grandfather bought. It still shoots great and has a peep sight that screws into the side of the frame.

DPris
December 18, 2009, 05:40 PM
OK, Swamp, to save wear & tear on your button-pushin' finger, I called Midwest Gunworks who handles service & repairs for "Winchester" on pre-safety Model 94s and asked if the '64-'83 receivers were cast. :)
The emphatic response was "Oh yeah, they're cast."

If you want the precise steel composition you can dial 'em yourself. :)
I'll even give you the number: 636-475-7300, but I won't pay for the call. Some things you just have to take personal responsibility for.... :D
Denis

BushyGuy
September 10, 2010, 01:37 PM
i have a model 94 AE with cross bolt safety and i dont think it looks ugly, i think the ones without the cross bolt look "too plain" but everyone has different opinions.

i wouldnt buy the name Winchester from a freaking Japan company, they are spitting on a piece of American History which belongs in America not "tonka" made toys.

it wont be long all the gun manufactureres will be coming form Japan, Tiawan, and China, we wont have any heritage left to carry on the legacy.

Kernel
September 10, 2010, 03:20 PM
^^^
Tonka was founded as an American toy company from Minnesota. "Tonka" means "great" or "big" in the language of the Sioux indan tribe.

beeenbag
September 10, 2010, 03:28 PM
I know one thing... the finger lever pin stop screw from a pre 64 will not fit in a post 64, it will fall right thru causing you to have to take the whole action back apart. Ask me how I know :D

CaptainCrossman
October 11, 2010, 04:03 PM
"W.E.G.
Member
Join Date: September 26, 2006
Location: all over Virginia
Posts: 4,056

"Pre-64" Winchester Model 94 30-30 -- so what?
I notice several Model 94's listed on Gunbroker as "Pre-64."
So what?
I know the Pre-64 BOLT-ACTION Winchester Model 70 is much-desired due to disliked design-changes that occurred in 1965.
Does the LEVER-ACTION Model 94 also have changes that occurred in 1965 which would make the Pre-64 guns per se more desireable?
As an aside, anybody care to hazard a guess on the value of a 1968 Model 94, that has been receiver-drilled for a scope mount, and is in generally good (definitely not very good, or excellent) condition?"



old thread, but good point- looking over a 1990's model 94, it appears that Winchester backpedaled on many of the Olin-era quality changes later on. The link plate in front of the lever once again hinges on a pin, not a screw- and the screw in the bottom of the plate visible from the bottom is there again, just like the pre-64. Opening the action, the shell carrier is once again a forged piece that was obviously heat treated because it's a dark color- and the gun has solid roll pins in it again. But it has a somewhat odd looking, cumbersome crossbolt safety that makes the hammer bounce back when dry firing it. Anyway I think that Winchester got so many complaints during the 1970-80's, they said "oops" and made the guns better later in the 1990's.

It's too late now, because the model 94 is by-by, it's market share was gobbled up by the Henry, Marlin, Ruger, the high end Browning, and the Italian import replicas like Uberti. There's just not enough market for a Winchester lever gun to make a decent profit right now.

they'll bring it back someday though, watch and see, and they will sell again- the brand has a lot of market recognition and virtually invented the lever action rifle as we know it, they'll wait a while then bring out a limited edition with a high price- if they can get the costs down while still making them in USA, we'll see lever action Winchesters again

just not in the present economy

CaptainCrossman
October 11, 2010, 04:21 PM
Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
member


Join Date: November 14, 2007
Posts: 13,153

Be that as it may (higher actual quality), like I've been telling my buddy, some day the "geezer bubble" is going to pop, for better or worse (slowly deflate is more like it), and he'll be out tons in wealth due to paying inflated prices on old Winchesters. He collects them.




The problem is, a lot of the older generation don't know how to use a computer, and don't realize that the market has changed on many of the old guns.

Vern Humphrey
October 11, 2010, 04:21 PM
Actually, the Model 94 was the testbed for the new Winchester manufacturing practices, and the "revised" Model 94 came out in '63, with the "revised" Model 70 coming out a year later.

I didn't know the Model 94 had been changed, and bought a new one at the Post Exchange at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in late '63. The only problem I've had with it is that over time the blueing has naturally worn quite a bit, and a friend borrowed it and reblued it as a favor -- and the bluing didn't take.

I kinda wish I'd gone to a pawnshop and bought a used Model 94, but too late now.

SSN Vet
October 11, 2010, 10:55 PM
so if the union takeover (USRA Co.) of Winchester's New Haven operation only contributed to the demise of Winchester quality.... how does the UAW owning GM bode well for the Silverado?

Time will tell....

AKElroy
October 11, 2010, 11:22 PM
This is a good thread to resuscitate. I have two 94's, a top eject made in 1974 and a very recent crossbolt safety made at the very end of the crossbolt run. As for pre-63' quality, I can't comment.

I can say the quality of the wood and trigger are FAR higher on the 1974. The trigger is clean & light, and the stock is highly figured walnut nicely finished. The metalwork on both is equal. The trigger on the recent gun is the worst of any rifle I own, to the point where I sent it to J. Earl Bridges for an action job. I am looking forward to getting it back. The wood on the newer gun is birch or beach; not exactly awe-inspring, but it still has that awesome balance & feel.

If J. Earl does his advertised magic, I may just invest in a walnut replacement.

From what I have read, I think the changes in quality from the 70's to today are greater than from 63' to 65'.

Malamute
October 12, 2010, 12:18 AM
The crossbolt safety doesnt have any relation to the rebounding hammer effect, they are different safety devices. Both may be present on one gun, but are separate devices. Many of the rebounding guns developed troubles with consistant ignition and needed to be "adjusted" to make the rebound side of the hammer strut less pronounced, or, as many guys have done, find a half cock lower tang assembly and replace the whole thing. Trigger pulls are generally improved noticably with just that step, tho the rebounding trigger pulls are generally pretty dismal compared to the half cock safety guns. Trigger pulls can be worked on fairly easily, but the rebounders are harder to get good trigger let offs on.

As for as the jap made Winchesters, they've been better fit and finished than anything that's come out of the Winchester factory since at least the early 60's, if not earlier. There's no comparison to taiwan or china. Whether you like things made in Japan or not, Miroku makes outstanding quality guns and has for many years. Handle some Browing Citori shotguns, Browning 1886's, 1895's or 92's, Winchester 101's or others made by Miroku, and it will be apparent.

I don't like that Winchesters quality had been slipping since the second World War, but it's just simple fact if you look at them over time. Disparaging Miroku because of Winchesters slide doesnt make sense tho. I resisted them for a long time because they're Japanese, but the simple fact remains, they make excellent quality guns. You can't buy anything near similar condition in an original 1886 Winchester for anything near what a Browning 1886 costs, and the steel is better in the Browning/Miroku 86's. I only regret I didnt buy one sooner. I've had mine for neary 20 years.

the canidian
January 28, 2011, 09:08 PM
I have a winchester model 94 30wcf number 1564424. I was wondering if someone could tell me how old it is and how much it is worth?

GCBurner
January 28, 2011, 09:41 PM
This link will tell you when it was made: http://www.savage99.com/winchester1894_dates.htm

What it might be worth if you want to sell it is pretty subjective, and depends mostly on what condition it's in.

PapaG
January 28, 2011, 09:51 PM
It has all been covered above. 64 and later Winchesters were all cheapened. I have a 1952 Model 70 and a 1968 model 94. The 70 looks, feels, and wears like a fine piece of machinery. The 94, while it does have a solid walnut stock, has a receiver of some kind of crappy metal that won't take a blue, and a rattly sound that dad's old 32 WS 94 from the fifties didn't have.
I had a late version of the 70, made in the 90s and it was a pretty good gun, unlike the 670s, 770s and other crap versions made after 63. It would shoot groups right along with the 52 version.
1200s, 1300s, 1400s and 1500s were all cheap versions of fine earlier guns. As a matter of fact, the 1400 was rated by Field and Stream as one of the worst guns ever (bottom 5)...I didn't think they were that bad but they weren't Model 12s, or even Super X's. (I know, theSuperXs are later but they are fine guns nevertheless.)

GuysModel94
January 29, 2011, 01:41 AM
For those of you who aren't old enough to remember Jack O'conner (america's great rifleman) and editor of Outdoor Life; he wrote a scathing article (this was pre-internet years) about the Model 70. Winchester took his critique to heart and made all the changes he wanted. He later retracted his first impressions but know one seems to remember that. There were two changes in the Model 94, receivers were no longer hand milled from steel, they were made from a steel alloy which didn't hold the bluing as well as pure steel. My 1973 out shoots my uncle's 58, probably because the CNC machinery used to make the barrels could cut to tighter tolerancs.

FYI: Jack killed everything on this continent and all the grazers in Africa with Model 70 calibered in 270 Win., who really needs a MAGNUM!!!

DPris
January 29, 2011, 02:42 AM
There were other minor changes besides the receiver material, and nobody used CNC to produce barrels in 1973. :)
Denis

jim in Anchorage
January 29, 2011, 03:37 AM
Be that as it may (higher actual quality), like I've been telling my buddy, some day the "geezer bubble" is going to pop, for better or worse (slowly deflate is more like it), and he'll be out tons in wealth due to paying inflated prices on old Winchesters. He collects them.

So this means I can buy civil war Henry's dirt cheap? Because the original user's are long gone?

CraigC
January 29, 2011, 10:06 AM
Yep, I do believe a computer powerful enough to run CNC machinery back in 1973 would've filled a large warehouse and cost millions of dollars. If it would've even been possible. ;)

Art Eatman
January 29, 2011, 10:09 AM
More than enough...

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