Winchester 94 barrel swap


April 23, 2004, 12:39 PM
Picked up a winchester 94 trapper in 44mag, and was wondering if anyone knows how dificult it would be to swap it for a 45 colt barrel/
seems like everything else shoule be the same...what are the procedures/obstacles in removing a winchester barrel?
any help is most apreciated.

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Jim K
April 23, 2004, 02:15 PM
Same as any other barrel except you first have to remove the attachments for the magazine tube. Then you need a barrel vise and receiver wrench, plus headspace gauges for the .45. You might need a reamer as well, as the headspace will likely be too short. I doubt many gunsmiths have the needed equipment for the 94, as replacing barrels on those is "once in a blue moon" work.

FWIW, I would stick with the .44 Magnum; if you want a lighter load, use .44 Special. The .45 Colt rim is quite small and has given some extraction trouble in carbines. (The rim is small so they could get six into the cylinder of the original gun for it, the Colt SAA. It had a rod ejector, so the tiny rim didn't matter.)


May 12, 2005, 03:38 PM
I figured I'd hijack this thread rather than start another. My question is along the same lines.

I have a Winchester Model 94 Trapper in .357 (16" barrel), the angle eject kind. I was wondering,

1) is it possible to swap out to a longer barrel but same caliber, and then back?
2) does it require a gunsmith to change the barrels, if possible?
3) if it's possible and a gunsmith is not required, is it still *recommended* for a gunsmith to make the modification?

I don't know that you gain anything from having the longer barrel with that caliber, I'm still reading up. But if you do, and the barrel can be had cheap, and you can make the swap with small to medium effort, it'd be nice to have the option. I'm using a Williams Peep sight on this gun, so probably have to adjust that for each barrel, etc.

Thanks for viewing and info.


May 12, 2005, 08:11 PM
Barrel changes are gunsmith only jobs.

Gun barrels are NOT just pieces of threaded pipe that can be screwed on and off at will.

The tooling isn't cheap, and attempting to do barrel work without the correct tooling is a fast and certain road to a ruined and/or unsafe gun.

In many guns, the new barrel will not screw in with the sights at 12:00, so a lathe is needed to cut the barrel shoulder back until it does.

Unless you're going to be doing this a job or intend to do a bunch as a hobby, you're much better off having a qualified gunsmith with the tools to do it.

Is it possible to change back and forth?
Yes, and No.
Yes it's sort of possible, BUT barrels are torqued in place, and every time the barrel is torqued up, it will go in a little further.
This means the sights will soon be off set to the left, and the headspace will be off.

So while it's POSSIBLE, it really isn't practical.

May 12, 2005, 10:48 PM
I figured it was more trouble than it was worth, Better off to get a T/C for something like this. Thanks for the info.


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