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Winchest 1894--Who Would You Trust for Restoration?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Commander Crusty, Feb 12, 2009.

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  1. Commander Crusty

    Commander Crusty Member

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    I have a 38-55 Winchester model 1894 built in 1897. I was refinished 50 years ago and has little collector value (but great sentimental value as it belonged to my late father). The gun is mechanically sound, and I'd like to shoot it more but the trigger is very stiff and the rifling is about gone.

    Who would you trust to stone the action, restore the rifling and maybe add a factory style peep sight?

    Also, for recreational shooting (maybe short range deer hunting), would you replace the barrel, re-line the original barrel or just shoot the darned thing and enjoy it as is?

    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    There is next to no way to "restore" the rifling, short of rebarreling it.

    The relatively high-pressure cartridge makes relining it very questionable.

    Probably the stiff trigger is more a result of dirt & no lubrication then anything else.
    Any gunsmith worth his salt should be able to strip & clean the action properly and relube it.

    As for stoning the action?
    It is already as stoned as it is likely to get after 112 years of use.
    Any further stoning would constitute undue wear!

    rc
     
  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Many old guns have sleeved barrels. However, it seems the ones I've seen tend to have smaller bores and/or larger barrels. It would be worth asking.
     
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Badger makes direct replacement barrels, threaded and chambered, but only a machine finish.

    Buffalo Arms carries them
    http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/2,195.html
    I don't see one for your vintage rifle, but they could surely get you one. And maybe recommend somebody to put it on.

    Clean up the action, trigger job if it is not just crud, finish everything to match... it won't be cheap. But you can probably find somebody who will do less and charge less than a Turnbull museum quality fake.
     
  6. FredT

    FredT Member

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    I vote for Turnbull. I have seen his work. It is simply the best. Hawk, that is an absolutely gorgeous 94 in that pic. Thanks for posting that, it put a smile on my face.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Rim-fire, black-powder small bores, and smokeless centerfire revolver calibers.

    http://redmansrifling.com/relining_prices.htm

    http://home.earthlink.net/~oregunsmithing/id9.html

    I am not aware of anyone lining high-pressure center-fire rifles.

    The only way it can safely be done is to turn down a full size barrel blank, then drill & ream the old barrel until it is just a thin shell with the markings still intact.

    rc
     
  8. Chukpike

    Chukpike Member

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    I would not recommend Redmans. Just recently got back a Remington model 4 rolling block he relined. He machined the end of the barrel and left the bare metal unprotected. He did not even run a piece of fine emery paper across the finished machining to remove burrs, as I found out when I ran my finger across it. He removed almost every bit of rounding the barrel had, which wasn't much to begin with. He also moved the front sight.

    May be someone else can tell me why it was necessary to machine the barrel end, he wouldn't.

    When I asked him about it, he basically told me I was being picky and he did not want to be bothered.

    In the attached photo you can see a slight light brown discoloration on the right side of the sight where it joins the barrel. That is how much the sight was moved to the right, about an eighth of an inch.

    Barrel 01.jpg click on photo to enlarge

    Before anyone says anything about spoiling a 1919 Remington rolling block as a collectors piece, it was my grandfathers and was passed down and I want to shoot it.
    Remington Model 4 07.jpg

    It is a breakdown model.
     
  9. salvo

    salvo Member

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    Chukpike, obviously he removed the front sight to facilitate relining, he also squared the muzzle to the bore, I can also see that he did a nice crown. You'll need to adjust the front sight after relining any ways. Most older octagon barrels came from the factory looking just like yours.
    I have never used Redmans, but I would sight it in and shoot it before you condemn the work.
     
  10. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    How is it shooting now? I have a 94 in 32-40 that the bore at best could be called"poor" I was VERY surprised with how it shot of the bench-2 inch at 100. What more could I ask of a 32-40?
     
  11. Cohibra45

    Cohibra45 Member

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    I believe like everything else it comes down to how much money are you wanting to spend on the rifle.

    If I had the budget, I would go for Doug Turnbull. He and his shop do the very best in my opinion, especially refinishing. They are also a first rate shop for the re-barreling and reworking of the inner workings of the rifle. They are expensive, but, I believe you actually get more than you pay for. When you get your rifle back, it will look and function better than new and that's a fact.

    Good luck on your search.
     
  12. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    If it were me and it belonged to my dad I wouldn`t touch a thing. I`d clean it up for sure but no restoration.
    He hunted with it that way and enjoyed it.... so should you. IMO.
     
  13. mothernatureson

    mothernatureson Member

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    38-55

    clean her up, and shoot the thing. You will probably have pretty decent accuracy, even with worn riflling. 38-55 is a darn accurate caliber. Ive a buddy with a winchester hi-wall, or low wall , cant remember which. That thing is a nice shooting rifle. Any of those 94 winchesters chambered in the blackpowder rounds seem to have poor bores. I know the 32 winchester model 94, they tend to be worn from use, and accuracy is not very good. You will just have to try it and see before making permanent mods. good luck

    mothernatureson
     
  14. Chukpike

    Chukpike Member

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    Salvo, he did not crown the barrel end. It is hard to see in the photo but he did not even touch the machining with fine emery paper to remove burrs. His reply was "he does not crown hexagon barrels". He could have also stated why he moved the sight, when I asked questions. But he did not.

    My opinion is just that, an opinion. And I am sticking to it. It is the opinion of someone who spent close to $300.00.
    I know enough about machining practices to know moving the sight was not necessary to chuck the barrel in to a lathe. I also believe a proper centering, while drilling the bore for the reline, would not cause a major change being needed to the front sight. The proper drilling of the original bore would hold the original sight alignment. The amount of sight alignment would reflect how much the drilling was off original center.
     
  15. salvo

    salvo Member

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    How does it shoot?
     
  16. Reid73

    Reid73 Member

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    That would be my choice.
     
  17. Chukpike

    Chukpike Member

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    Won't be able to take it out for a few weeks.
     
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