post '64 winchester 94 build


timber crasher
January 29, 2012, 12:32 AM
At a gunshow today a fella warned me to go with a pre '64 winchester 94 because the post '64 models "just don't hold up". In a week I'm having a 26 in. barrel installed on my 1970 manufacture 94,and plan on shooting it a lot more than I have in the past,once I "spruce it up".So,should I fork out a few more bills and get a pre '64? The advice is appreciated.

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January 29, 2012, 03:05 AM
The short answer is no.

The conventional wisdom quite a few folks live by tells you the pre 64 Winchesters are the better guns but really the post 64s are not that shabby either. Winchester changed production methods in '63. Among other things they streamlined the process to save money. True, they did cut some corners in the details like getting rid of cut checkering and the like. The Model 70 is the rifle that people got really emotional over. They got rid of controlled round feed and generally cheapened the overall product.

Something to consider though is that in '63 when Winchester changed some things around, they did not just do it willy nilly to save a few bucks. Their old machinery and tooling were wearing out to the point of producing rifles out of spec. If you want a pre 64 Winchester, you might as well get a pre 60 as there are numerous quality concerns that can be had with the later pre 64s. A problem which the early post 64s remedied quite well. With a post 64 you will get a rifle that will shoot tight groups with an action that cycles smoothly and last but not least, that rifle will in fact "hold up."

In a practical sense these days, owning a pre 64 can be an unnecessary luxury or even a novelty in a sense but it is no more a rifle for what a rifle is made for than a post 64. There are some details and a little finer craftsmanship with the pre 64s such as the cut checkering, nicer wood, and nicer appearance in general that makes these rifles more expensive. I think that expense is justified but once again, not necessary.

January 29, 2012, 06:41 PM
I love the irony of suggesting that a 45 year old gun will "just not hold up." Maybe that was a reasonable thing to suggest in 1965, but it would seem that time has disproved yet another rumor.

January 29, 2012, 07:45 PM
I would like to suggest that a forged steel receiver and a milled steel carrier is superior to castings and stamped sheet metal parts.

Thats how they did 94"s post 64.
Castings & stamped sheet metal parts that is.

However, you can't argue that it didn't work.
Even if the average 94 Winchester owner / deer hunter only shoots one box of ammo every 10 years or so.


timber crasher
January 30, 2012, 12:36 AM
Thanks for the information guys,you've quelled my fears.With attributes like milled receivers, cut checkering, and the like,I see why one would lean towards the earlier guns.It's strange that as much as I love this little lever gun,I have'nt shot that many rounds per year through it.I just didn't know what to believe.Looks like my little project will proceed undaunted! thanks

February 3, 2012, 12:19 AM
My 70's 94 works so well that I don't consider a pre64. I like the feel of it better. I think the debate over stamped and cast versus forged is a crock.

February 3, 2012, 07:44 PM
This sort of debate reminds me the safe of the German vs US made Sig pistols.

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