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What would you do with this Winchester?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Rustyjack, Jun 11, 2011.

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  1. Rustyjack

    Rustyjack Member

    Jun 11, 2011
    Hello...my first post here so hope it's in the right forum.

    I have an early Winchester model 1894 rifle with a low 4 digit serial number.
    It's in 38-55 cal w/octagon barrel. It's nothing more than a wallhanger, as someone, sometime, hacked it by cutting the barrel and magazine down from it's original 26" length. It has no finish left but still functions and shoots OK.
    I'd like to restore it to original configuration.

    What are the chances of finding an original octagon barrel in 38-55 in any condition? I would rather not use a Numrich 38-55 replacement, but seems that's all I've been able to find.

    Would it be very wrong to use a .30 cal barrel? I know that's not proper for the year.
  2. El Mariachi

    El Mariachi Member

    May 3, 2011
    So Cal & Baja
    First off, before you do anything, is to check the provenance on that girl and make sure she wasn't altered by someone famous.

    Or better yet, by someone infamous....:cool:
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    A lot of old Winchester lever-action rifles were cut off for one of two reasons.

    For one, maybe the owner always wanted a saddle carbine in the first place?

    But a more likely reason is, cleaning rod muzzle wear destroyed any semblance of usable accuracy unless he liked key-holing bullets.
    So they chopped the barrel back far enough to get good rifling at the muzzle again.

    You might eventually find a usable barrel by checking the gun auction sites.
    Here is a round one that sold not too long ago.

    But the actual chance of finding one that old that isn't corroded like a smoke stack chimney is pretty slim.
    Black powder & corrosive primers weren't too kind to them if the owner didn't do a lot of cleaning every time they fired a shot.

    And if he did, he probably wore the muzzle rifling out with his cleaning rod and cut it off to make it shoot good again!

  4. Gordon

    Gordon Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    central Kali.
    Even in the condition as noted it would be better to clean things up some as they are preserving any patina's ect. Unless you want to go a Turnbull level of restoration. Just IMHO :) :)
    A Cowboy action shooter might really like that for steel knock downs! Adjust the sights to put 255 grain wide flat points out the muzzle at 1400 fps to 50 yards and it would be waaaaaay kewl!:evil:
  5. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Kalif Kollective
    1.) Buy a copy of Rifle magazine and contact all the barrel guys that advertise. There are some who specialize in octagonals. The ads are small and spread around the magazine so look on each page.

    2.) Call Doug Turnbull and ask him about gunsmiths who do old Winchesters. He'll know a few who are not restorers.

    3.) Contact these folks: http://www.gmriflebarrel.com/catalog.aspx?catid=ClassicTaperedOctagon and ask who will install their new barrels?
  6. RugerMcMarlin

    RugerMcMarlin Member

    Apr 19, 2011
    Hunt with it! Other wise Doug Turnbulls your guy. Oh BrocLuno beat me:)
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