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"Pre-64" Winchester Model 94 30-30 -- so what?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by W.E.G., Dec 14, 2009.

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  1. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    I notice several Model 94's listed on Gunbroker as "Pre-64."

    So what?

    I know the Pre-64 BOLT-ACTION Winchester Model 70 is much-desired due to disliked design-changes that occurred in 1965.

    Does the LEVER-ACTION Model 94 also have changes that occurred in 1965 which would make the Pre-64 guns per se more desireable?

    As an aside, anybody care to hazard a guess on the value of a 1968 Model 94, that has been receiver-drilled for a scope mount, and is in generally good (definitely not very good, or excellent) condition?
     
  2. ARS1911

    ARS1911 Member

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    If I am not mistaken the pre 64 model 94 is more disireable because it is of better quality than rifles made after 1964. As I understand it in 1964 winchester changed their manufacturing process to make the rifles cheaper and easier to make. I do know that my pre 64 94 has better fit and finish than my dads circa 1992 model 94.
     
  3. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Yes there is a difference between Model 94s made before and after 1964. Numrich Arms catalog has seperate parts lists for pre and post '64 models. I don't know what those differences are but they are there. I know a Winchester Model 94 enthusiast will be along shortly to point out those differences.
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The pre-64 model 94's were better made as well as the pre-64 model 70's. The differences were not as great, and no one noticed as much, but they are better and will bring a little more. I have a 1958 model 94 and the difference is amazing compared to the guns made in the late 60's. I got mine before prices went crazy. While they are better made, I think they are overpriced for what you get today. I understand they are bringing the 94 back in the next year or so. Probably will be made in Japan.

    Actually the changes were made in 1964. I am no expert, but have been told that quality actually went downhill gradually after WW-2 and the pre-war guns are actually the prized guns. Those made between the war and 1963 are considered good guns and shooters, not the collectables made earlier.
     
  5. Big_E

    Big_E Member

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    I have a Model 94 made in the late 80's that I inherited. It functions great and is one of my favorites in my collection. I haven't handled a pre 64 but I know post 64's will get the job done.

    Gonna take mine hog hunting soon!
     
  6. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    Pre 64 94 = every part machined from bar stock and a receiver that doesn't need to be iron plated to be blued.
     
  7. spittle8

    spittle8 Member

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    I have a buddy who might be headed to the pen, and if that happens I'm buying his pre-'64 '94. Actually, I guess I'm buying it eventually regardless as he is in debt due to legal fees. It is an exceptionally handsome carbine. The difference in quality between pre-'64 Model '94's and post-'64 rifles is obvious just by handling them. The pre-'64's were drop forged or some-such as well, whereas the newer rifles were made more cheaply. Something to consider.
     
  8. DPris

    DPris Member

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    New 94s ARE being made in Japan.
    Denis
     
  9. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    I wonder if they'll retain that silly safety? Japanese made repros Winchester was having done were outstanding quality. I am confident the fit and finish on a gun made in Miroku will be a well made rifle.
     
  10. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Actually, the Model 94 was the test bed for "re-engineering." It was changed in '63, not '64. So if you want a "real" Model 94, you want one made prior to 1963.
     
  11. Heck

    Heck Member

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    Here is an excerpt from an article by Chuck Hawks

    Surely among the most beloved firearms of all time are the Winchester pre 1964 Model 94 carbines. These graceful little rifles are a study in functional walnut and steel. With nearly perfect lines and balance, they became the best selling sporting rifles of all time.

    Unfortunately, by the early 1960s the production costs of the traditional Model 94 with all of its forged steel parts had risen dramatically. Winchester executives realized that soon the Model 94 would have to be priced beyond the reach of the average hunter. This is exactly the fate that befell the classic Mannlicher-Schoenauer carbine, and eventually spelled its doom.

    To save the Model 94 and restore a reasonable profit margin, Winchester redesigned the action for cheaper manufacture, substituting stamped sheet metal and roll pins for parts previously machined from forged steel. The steel buttplate became plastic and a less durable metal finish was substituted for the traditional bluing. The new guns still worked and shot just fine despite their aesthetic flaws, but the credibility of the Model 94 took a serious hit, and examples manufactured prior to the 1964 changes became instant classics.


    I love my 42' mfg model 94. I wouldn't trade it for three post 64's
     
  12. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    Heck nailed it. Stamped parts and crappy finish became the norm in 1964 (serial 1,650,000 I think).

    Got this one (1954) off GunBroker a few years ago for $165. Even in well used condition the pre-64s will usually command a significant premium over a newer one. Any 94 made before 1900 will bring big bucks.


    [​IMG]
     
  13. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    According to Numrich Arms the change came with serial numbers 2,700,000 & ^ and the affected parts(hammer,main spring,trigger, lower tang and associated parts) are NOT inter-changable between them. There was another change after serial numbers 4,580,000. Leaf mainspring was replaced by a coil spring.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  14. DPris

    DPris Member

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    The Miroku 94s have the tang safety and angle ejection.
    Denis
     
  15. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    I was afraid of that. I guess I'd be surprised if they could drop the safety in todays world of litigation. They'll be better than the last few years of New Haven guns for sure.
     
  16. Bronx

    Bronx Member

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    I've got a Miroku 1892 on the way, made this year for the shot show. Top tang safety and top eject. Miroku makes the Citori shotguns as well. Gorgeous fit and finish on the 1892's I tried. Action was like silk as well.
     
  17. gotmine

    gotmine Member

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    1957 model '94

    This came from my father and has only had about forty rounds through it. Solid as a rock and quite accurate. I slew a small buck with it when I was fifteen....Now it sits and gets looked at from time to time to ensure it gathers no rust.
     

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  18. Bronx

    Bronx Member

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    FYI/Question.....It's my understanding that all the Mikuro made stuff is forged receivers and that forged receivers have again been the norm since 1986. Other than sentimental/ collector's value what would be the point of buying a pre-64 if that is indeed the case?
     
  19. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    As a working gun or shooter, there isnt too much practical difference, tho some people just appreciate the earlier guns, and classic quality.

    The tang safety isnt a huge issue, it can be ignored, used, or removed and a silver plate inlaid in it with your initials or something. The rebounding hammer guns had some problems with light hits/poor ignition, and the cross bolt safety guns had an ugly cone shaped divot carved out of the side of the receiver. The later guns are angle eject also, making it simpler to scope them, but if you dont want a scope, they "look funny" to many of us.
     
  20. Bronx

    Bronx Member

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    Thanks Malamute.
     
  21. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    The Miroku guns I've owned have been outstanding quality. I wouldnt hesitate to buy one if its what you want, and the price works for you.
     
  22. chevyforlife21

    chevyforlife21 Member

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    weg: you have 2600 posts but didnt know why the old 94's are better? lol. the 94 is one of the most popular guns and most folks hate post 64's. sorry if im comeing off rude here but thats kinda common knowledge to even most newbies. then again maybe your a pistol guy or tactical only type.
     
  23. Badlander

    Badlander Member

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    Ask W.E.G. aout FAL rifles. Try to stump him>
     
  24. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    It's not quite so simple. The 94's went through a series of changes, 1964 was just one phase. IIRC Winchester introduced MIM parts and that odd chrome-like blue to the receivers in 64. But the basic design was NOT changed for the 94 levergun as it was for the Model 70's. There were incremental changes made over the next decades, and some of the "improvements" of 64 were abandoned. There are some really excellent deals on "sleeper" 64's made in the 70's and early 80's because people don't realize this. There was an excellent post tracking the precise changes over on leverguns forum which I'll try to find and post.

    By far the most significant changes came when Winchester was bought out by USRAC in the 80's. It was shortly after this change in management that the 94's ejection was changed and a safety added. IMHO those changes all but destroyed the good things about the 94, which should have neither external safety nor scope. I've had some very nice 94's from the 70's but the AE models are another matter. They are substandard fun guns that can't hold a candle to true Winchesters of any year.

    So the real question to ask re. 94 Wins is whether the subject rifle is a true Winchester or just a USRAC
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  25. Bronx

    Bronx Member

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    What about the safety, which can be bypassed, makes the newer Mikuro Winchesters "Substandard" fun guns? They've also gone back to a forged receiver with top ejection. Again, considering that Mikuro is known for a high quality product can you point to anything specific that makes the originals any better? Action is now the same, receivers are forged.
     
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