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Rebluing a Winchester 94 reciever YES or NO

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by superpelly, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. superpelly

    superpelly Active Member

    I bought a Winchester 94 (production 1980) for $150. The receiver is in really rough shape, the stock and forearm are in great shape along with the barrel . All the original bluing is gone on both sides of the receiver, and the color is now this ugly grayish stuff. Any way of rebluing? Will the rebluing hold? Any experiences ? thanks
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Winchester had problems blueing those receivers. Because of the steel alloy they used, the receivers would come out purple. So they would plate the receiver with another metal and then blue over that. It used to be said that the only good way to refinish these receivers was to return the gun to the factory. Unfortunately that is no longer an option. :(

    I would call Brownells at (800) 741-0015 and ask for Dave Bennetts. Thereafter you'll get some good advice you can bank on. :)
  3. xd45gaper

    xd45gaper Well-Known Member

    from a collectors point of view NO. the 94 is no longer in production so it would be up to you. im sure winchester made a billion model 94's through out the years. so it would be safe to say you could fix that one up and buy another if you want to start a collection lol.

    i would defently go with a hot dip blue and not mess with the cold stuff. besides it has charcater with all that ugly grey stuff!! lol:cool:
  4. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    i agree with getting it hot blue dipped. same time i was not aware of the blueing problems from winchester. when i first read the post i thought. what did the original person do to the gun. how was it cared for. Reason i ask. i have a model 94 thats about 18 years old. purchased brand new. all the blueing still looks brand new. same time i know that the rifle probably has had over 10000 rounds put through it. so im just a little curious on the treatment of this firearm.
  5. xd45gaper

    xd45gaper Well-Known Member

    i think the new rifles they where putting out here recently had a crappy blueing job compared to the older rifles, i have a 1980s serial number Model 70XTR and side by side next to a brand new model 70 classic the blueing on my rifle was 100X better.
  6. superpelly

    superpelly Active Member

    Other than the receiver, the gun is in great shape. Just don't know if I want to mess with the receiver or not. The price of the gun was right. I did shoot it and it functions great.
  7. chestnut ridge

    chestnut ridge Well-Known Member

    I have read that Winchester started making the 94 receivers out of
    "graphitic steel." That sounds like cast to me. They iron plated the
    receiver and blued the plating. It was not a very durable finish.
    There was also some rifles finished in "black chrome plating" on the
    Perhaps some of the dura coat finishes would be of value here.
  8. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member

    I had a mid 80's Trapper that needed refinishing and ran into the "it wont take the blue properly" thing too. I had it parked instead, and I'm glad I did. Whole gun was a nice, almost black park that was very durable and utility use friendly.

    I picked up an old, well worn 1950's '94 later on and parked it in my buddy's garage, along with a bunch of other stuff. (Once we started, nothing was safe. :) ) It too came out great. Its a great finish for a rifle that gets used.
  9. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Well-Known Member

    Everybody, My gunsmith pointed out to me that if you notice, the receiver and barrel are two different colors of blue. The reason for this is that while the barrel is blued, the receiver- being the aforementioned steel alloy- is painted. This type of gun paint comes in four or five colors... blue, black, gold... anyway, you heat the oven up to about 300degreesF, paint it, and cook the deal. You can reassemble the rifle as soon as it's cool enough to handle.
  10. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member

    I have another Trapper of the same era that is nicely blued and it matches the barrel almost, if not perfectly. Some of them do show a different color blue between the receiver and barrel, but I think this is due to the different metals as mentioned.

    I'm sure mines not painted. I have seen a couple of guns that were painted by my local smith, using bake on paint from Brownell's, and they didnt look to bad, but they did look painted.
  11. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Well-Known Member

    There are 'smiths out there that will do it. I think one of them hangs out here on the 'smithin' board. I was going to send him mine, but sold it. But yes, it can be done, but you have to use the same bluing as you do on stainless. I think it was about $100 for the receiver and barrel. Personally, I'd just have everything bead blasted and use some of the spray and bake finishes available.
  12. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    Old Fluff--I thought that by the early 80's Winchester had gone back to normal steel receivers on the '94. I've had a late 60's '94 with the chromed steel receiver and one from right before the USRAC takeover. The second one appeared to have perfectly normal milled steel receiver, not MIM.
  13. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    So far as I know, Winchester never made receivers using a MIM process, but some were investment cast. In and of themselves the cast receivers weren't a problem, but the steel alloy tended to come out purple or turn that color after a short time. During earlier days Ruger had a similar problem with their single action frames.

    Apparently at some point Winchester (as well as Ruger) worked themselves out of this - most likely by either changing the bluing process or the metal in the receivers or frames, or both.

    Those Winchester receivers that were blued over plating tend to look flat, and turn a uniform gray color over time. The one mentioned first in this thread seemed to meet that description. If Winchester was still around, a serial number check would have provided a quick answer on any particular gun. As it is I have no idea who might have that information. I suspect however, that a call to Dave Bennetts at Brownells would be productive for anyone with a Model 94 that needed to be refinished. Those made before 1964 aren't in question.
  14. Tequila jake

    Tequila jake Well-Known Member


    Unless it's rusting away, I would leave it as is. I have a 94 made in 1976 and there is a fair amount of discoloration on the receiver and the bluing is worn pretty thin in other places. The previous owner said he thought the discoloration is from bloodstains. The stock has a few dings here and there, but the bore is excellent and it functions just fine. So, I'm going to leave mine as is and say it has "character."

    Tequila Jake
  15. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Well-Known Member

    If you are tied to the gun emotionally then it is worth it to YOU. I have a 1978 Model 94 that looks brand new I paid $250 for last year. You can find 94's at gun shows for really reasonable prices. I wouldn't say that it is WORTH spending the money over buying another in much better shape as far as value goes. Whatever you do, enjoy the heck out of it and move ahead! :)
  16. chestnut ridge

    chestnut ridge Well-Known Member

    Found this information.
    Winchester 1894 receivers between 2,770,000 and 5,024,957 (1964-1981)
    were machined from a graphitic steel casting and will not accept normal
    blueing. Serial numbers 3,185,692 to 3,806,499 (1968-1972) were black
    chrome plated, and 3,806,500 to 5024,957 (1972-1981) were iron plated.

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