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Neglected old Winchester 94

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by NavyGeo, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. NavyGeo

    NavyGeo Member

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    A few months ago I purchased a "for parts" Winchester Model 1894 chambered in .32 Winchester Special. The serial number dates the rifle to 1951.

    The wood is pretty much gone. There is heavy putting on the barrel, but not so much on the receiver. With one critical exception the action is articulatable. That critical exception is the Breech Bolt. It is positioned about 1/4" "open", but will not move ar all. I'm doing pretty good removing rust, but just can't free the Breech Bolt up. I don't see any ammunition inside the action. Any suggestions as to how I can free the action?

    IMG_20210219_160133.jpg IMG_20210219_160152.jpg
     
  2. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    Give it a good soaking with Kano Kroil, re-applying as often as you think about it. It might take a week or so, but eventually things will loosen up. Try tapping the bolt forward and back, using a brass or aluminum drift punch. The lever cannot be removed until the bolt can be closed to line up the retaining pin with the take down hole.
     
  3. Jeff62

    Jeff62 Member

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    E634A8F8-7A35-4DA2-867D-2605395E9A1E.jpeg
    This may help you envision parts interaction. #40 Is a precise fit. If that isn’t smooth you can’t cantilever the bolt back.
    I had fun working on my old 94. Enjoy
     
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  4. NavyGeo

    NavyGeo Member

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    I've been soaking; it spent 24 hours in vinegar, then 24 hours in auto transmission fluid. I have no way to push the action open. The action is only 1/4" open. My plan is to return this old survivor to working order, retaining as many of its original parts as safely possible. If successful, it will then undergo a magazine's worth of "proof testing" covered in sandbags and remotely-fired. IF SUCCESFUL(...!!!), It will be sighted in and used as a deer gun!
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
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  5. Stan Rosen

    Stan Rosen Member

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    My friend used to make a mix of kerosene, transmission fluid, and something else I forget. Let the rustiest, crudiest, nastiest steel sit in it for a week, and it will free up a bit.
     
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  6. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    The missing ingredient in Stan Rosen’s formula is acetone. This is essentially the Ed’s Red formula. It works very well but Kroil does too and it is ready to use right out of the can.
     
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  7. Stan Rosen

    Stan Rosen Member

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    Thank you so much. I was wracking my meager brain for the missing ingredient. Senility is a bitch.
     
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  8. film495

    film495 Member

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    just cause it is what I've had on hand, and closest to me, I've used a 50/50 mix of mineral spirits and whatever oil is closest.
     
  9. Obturation
    • Contributing Member

    Obturation Contributing Member

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    I'll bet it's mechanically jammed , oil probably won't do it. I could see if it were closed and rusted shut but being out of battery isn't a normal way a gun would be set down to rust for 50 years.

    I'd work toward getting it closed so you can take it down. Put pressure upward on the locking piece and forward pressure on the bolt at the same time. Maybe put the gun in the freezer (or outside if it's like it is here) for a couple hours, may help shrink everything down a hair. I'm going to take a guess that there's a serious mechanical failure inside.

    I guess you could put a brass rod down the barrel and drive the bolt back while someone puts pressure on the lever but if you get it open , might be tough to get it closed again. 94s aren't simple guns, I have taken mine apart a couple times and it's fiddly .

    Good luck, I like the thread. I'm working on a badly worn marlin 1892 right now myself. Home gunsmithing is tough but worth it
     
  10. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    Ed's red user here too. To the OP i hope your project is a success.
     
  11. MI2600

    MI2600 Member

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    Kroil is your friend. Just don't be impatient.
     
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  12. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    Kroil/heatgun Kroil/heatgun Kroil/heatgun
     
  13. PonyKiller

    PonyKiller Member

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    Pb blaster is still good, but old school GM heat valve spray is take no prisoners.

    My 94 win 30-30 was tight enough I had to press the muzzle to the floor to operate, but it moved. Patience. And good luck
     
  14. Bayou52

    Bayou52 Member

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    Another vote for soaking in Kroil. It never disappoints...

    I hope you can make it serviceable. I have a 1947 Win model 94 in 32 Win Special. Also known as the “flat band”. A very fine rifle and shooter.

    Bayou52
     
  15. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    I hope it works out. Nice to see an old rifle saved.
     
  16. NavyGeo

    NavyGeo Member

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    Thanks to all of you. I've let it soak for a few days in very ugly mineral-spirits(so old it came out of the bottle like vanilla milkshake) and automatic transmission fluid. If it won't move today I'll try to get it back into battery and then attempt to disassemble it. I appreciate the advice so far, and as long as I can get that damned breech-bolt out this gun IS going to come back to life!

    I've made another posting for another gun. I'm mentioning it here because I'm looking for a few parts for a Harrington & Richardson Model 1900 12 Gauge. Please check it out if you or someone you know has a parts bin!

    Rick
     
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  17. Bayou52

    Bayou52 Member

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    Good going, Rick. Lots of luck in resuscitating that old girl. You appear to be motivated, for sure.

    Here’s a pic of the 1947 vintage flat band model 94 in 32 Win Spl:

    IMG-20170918-181346.jpg

    Bayou52
     
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  18. NavyGeo

    NavyGeo Member

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    Thanks for sharing Bayou52. That's a nice rifle! Does "flat band" relate to the barrel-band near the muzzle or to the fore end band? My M94 doesn't have the fore end band(that wood is gone), but it appears to have the same type of barrel-band. I was thinking about using a browning solution to refinish my M94 as the metal is so badly pitted in places and there doesn't appear to be any original finish. I have to get new wood anyway, so the stock and fore end will look relatively 'good' anyway.
     
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  19. Bayou52

    Bayou52 Member

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    Hi, Rick -

    Yes, the flat band name refers to the flat shape of the forward barrel band. This rifle was one of the first to come off of the commercial post-war manufacturing line after Win retooled following the war. The flat band was used only on 1947 and 1948 models before the convex shape was brought back, as I’ve read.

    The rifle was sold to me 4 years ago by an elderly neighbor who received it as a 14th birthday gift from his father in 1947. He had to go into a nursing facility sadly. He remains there today. He was a Pennsylvania deer hunter and told me he took about 75 deer with this rifle. Even more sad is that due to the virus, I can no longer visit him...

    Bayou52
     
  20. NavyGeo

    NavyGeo Member

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    If he has a window-apartment maybe the staff will let you 'visit' from the outside? I know how tough it is, but the homes are so susceptible to illnesses, not even considering the danger of CoVID! If you can find an inexpensive chromebook have the staff give it to him and show him how to use it; then you can video-visit.

    Rick
     
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  21. Bayou52

    Bayou52 Member

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    Thanks for the tips, Rick!
    Bayou52
     
  22. NavyGeo

    NavyGeo Member

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    I wasn't able to move the breech bolt forward or backward, so i'm going to stuff it in the freezer for a few hours then heat it gently with a propane plumber's torch. I'll repeat this through the day to see if I can unstick it.
     
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  23. Bayou52

    Bayou52 Member

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    Please let us know how that goes! I’m interested, for one...

    Bayou52
     
  24. Big Bore 44

    Big Bore 44 Member

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    I had a thunk.:thumbdown: Remove the mag tube and see if there is a blockage under the lifter. Another possibility is a broken lifter.
     
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