Winchester 94 with Blackpowder??


April 13, 2012, 11:12 PM

I have a Winchester 1894 Leveraction rifle in .25-.35 calib., that was manufactured 1898 that I would like to shoot. BUT, I am affraid of shooting smokeless powder through her. Although everything looks good.

I was thinking of loading Pyrodex P behind a 90 grn. bullet.

How do you Guys feel about that - is it a wise decission??

Looking forward to hearing from all of you!!


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April 13, 2012, 11:58 PM
It seems like a fairly small diameter bore to reload using powder that will leave significant residue.
It's parent case is the .30-.30 Winchester, and Hodgdon has plenty of free reloading data that provides relatively low pressure loads for it. The pressure produced by loading a 90 grain bullet with the 3 smokeless powders that they list for it are very low: Trail Boss, Titegroup and Clays.

Reloading Data Center:

Winchester Model 1894 .25-35 WCF Rifle

Carl N. Brown
April 14, 2012, 01:17 AM
Afraid of shooting smokeless powder in a .25-35 Model 1894 Winchester of 1898 manufacture?

The Model 1894 was introduced for smokeless powder, the .30 WCF aka .30-30 Smokeless was introduced in 1895 and by 1898 manufacture for smokeless loads should have had all the bugs worked out. There is no reason to be afraid of reasonable smokeless handloads.

There is every reason I suppose to want to shoot BP or substitutes in a '94 and I am with that 100%: we had folks at the club who shot BP or Pyrodex in Winchester 94s. But being afraid of smokeless in a '94 was not a reason to use BP.

April 14, 2012, 02:10 AM
The .32 Win Special was designed for either, but otherwise most 94's were smokeless from the start.

For the .25-35 just stick with published data and follow the usual protocols for inspecting a rifle of that vintage. First off make sure it still is .25-35 after all this time, check the internals well and make sure you've got a sound locking lug. Start with the lower end of published data but don't go too low.

April 14, 2012, 09:03 AM
When the 1894 came out it was only chambered for two blackpowder calibers, .32/40 & .38/55. The .30/30 chambering came in 1895 as a smokeless round. The .25/35 has always been a smokeless cartridge, so as long as your rifle is in good shape there are no worries in using either factory ammo or sensible reloads.

April 14, 2012, 03:57 PM
If you are a reloader. Then i would be using Trailboss. Trailboss is the best powder to use for light loads low recoil. Hands down Trail Boss. Trail boss is a smokeless powder that is totally cowboy friendly especially in older rifles and handguns.

April 14, 2012, 04:06 PM
Perhaps you could use Triple Seven, that might be more like the semi-smokeless loads of the day. Of course you should have a qualified gunsmith inspect the firearm before you try and shoot it but I think you'll be safe given it was designed as a smokeless firearm.


April 14, 2012, 11:16 PM
Load IMR 3031 in mine all the time here.

April 14, 2012, 11:23 PM
It's a smokeless powder 25-35 94.

Shoot smokeless powder in it.


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