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Winchester 1894 1912

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Captain Kangaroo, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Captain Kangaroo

    Captain Kangaroo Member

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    . IMG_20200314_112424.jpg
    Hello all, recently started getting into lever actions- just Marlins so far. I found this really nice looking 94 in 30-30 (marked 30 WCF) and was hoping someone here could help identify if it was original/unrestored. The serial number puts it at 1912 and it's condition is incredible if it's on original condition. Thanks a bunch for any help you can offer. Here's a link to the photos of it I have: https://imgur.com/a/Wtc1lmM
     
  2. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    Beautiful rifle. From the limited pictures, I would say the metal is original but the wood is possibly refinished. Maybe someone else will chime in.
     
  3. JT-AR-MG42

    JT-AR-MG42 Member

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    CK, What are they asking for the gun?
    I'll ask if you have more detailed photos available. Several interesting features on this one.
    The barrel is 20"?
    It would have been a special order in that configuration. The wood under the butt or metal on the tang might be numbered for such an order if
    it was done at the factory and a factory letter or work order copy might be located.

    The optional case hardened hammer, lever, and fore end cap also all point to a special order.

    From the available photos, I would need to be able to pull the gun apart to make a firm decision as to originality of finish.
    That said, sunlight is the worst thing there is for casehardening. A gun from 1912 would have kept the case colors intact only
    if it spent most of it's life in a darkened area, like a closet.
    FWIW, the few photos show what appears (to me) to be an as new model 94 that was special ordered from the factory over 100 years ago.

    That is why I would be curious as to asking price.
    JT.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
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  4. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I would be shocked if that gun was untouched, just given its age. Unless, as stated above, it was stored in a museum vault for its entire life. If, as I suspect, it has been restored/refinished, then its value is greatly diminished. hat isn't to say, however, that it's a bad gun; the blueing work in very well done. I too would be interested in what value the seller puts on it.

    BTW, how is the inside of the bore?
     
  5. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    Nice rifle. I'm no expert on 1894s, so take my comments with a lot of salt.

    As others have noted, several things point to either a factory special order or a very well done conversion from rifle to carbine length barrel. The curved butt plate, fore end cap instead of barrel band, and the octagon barrel are normally rifle features.

    If the wood was refinished, it was a good job. I've seen obvious examples of refinished stocks where too much was sanded off and the metal is proud of the wood. This does not seems to be the case with this example.

    I'm a member of the Winchester Arms Collectors Association. They have been very helpful with information. Also, the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has Winchester records and may be able to provide information on your rifle. They charge for letters, but certainly worth it in this case, IMHO.
     
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  6. Captain Kangaroo

    Captain Kangaroo Member

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    Hey all, thanks for the replys he's asking $895 for it and the bore is filled with dust.
     
  7. JT-AR-MG42

    JT-AR-MG42 Member

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    Ck,
    Can only say that I would pick it up immediately.
    And maybe post more photos.
    LOL on the price! It was on the tag in your photo all along.

    JT
     
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  8. Captain Kangaroo

    Captain Kangaroo Member

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    Yeah I went in there today and got it for $848 out the door! I'll take some more photos this afternoon and share them. Is it best to do an album on another site or should I try to embedded them or what?
     
    1976B.L.Johns. likes this.
  9. Captain Kangaroo

    Captain Kangaroo Member

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    One of the first things I did was check on that, from what I was reading the cutoff date for letters with warehouse papers that have additional information such as configuration and where it was sent to is 1907 and this one is 1912 from what I read on the serial number.
     
  10. Captain Kangaroo

    Captain Kangaroo Member

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    I've got a set of wheeler gunsmithing screwdriver set and I think I'll disassemble it. What am I looking for internally? Markings on the wood under the tang? Anything else?
     
  11. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Here's a rifle in original finish that rode in a saddle scabbard from MO to WY. Spent some time cowboyin' and then back to MO. Bout wore the front sight bead plumb off.
    Winchester94.jpg
     
  12. Captain Kangaroo

    Captain Kangaroo Member

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    Alright I've got some more photos here: http://imgur.com/a/kCH4ViO
    I was loosing light when I took these will probably take more earlier in the day tomorrow.
     
  13. JT-AR-MG42

    JT-AR-MG42 Member

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    CK,
    Thanks for the additional photos.
    I just cannot see any blueing discrepancies (such as overzealous polishing around or on the stamped markings)
    that would make me think refinish.
    As Coyote mentioned (and your additional photos show) the wood is all ever so slightly proud of the metal as it would have been new.

    I have seen quite a few humped up Winchesters over the years, but I have never seen a 94 that has been case colored when attempting
    to enhance the value with a re-finish.
    And normally, a 'restoration for re-sale' (as fakes are called) puts a percentage of wear onto a 108 year old gun.
    In other words, the re-storer just gives people what they expect to see.
    Putting slight wear on case-hardening is much harder than blueing because one needs to dull and mute the colors.

    The photos you show exhibit none of the above. I really believe the gun is straight.
    Definitely send off to Cody using the money you got off on the gun to supplement the cost of the letter/research.
    If the gun had been bought and returned to Winchester for re-configuration, then a work order was generated
    and often, but not always, major parts on the rifle would be numbered (hidden) for re-assembly.

    Thanks again for sharing, JT
     
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  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Have you had a 94 apart before? Those Browning/Winchester guns are a bit tedious to get apart and back together.
     
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  15. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Captain Kangaroo

    I'm certainly not even close to being an expert on such things but from your photos it sure looks like your Winchester 1894 is the real deal! Congrats on a most excellent acquisition!
     
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  16. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    And the "Short Rifle" configuration is a real prize.
     
  17. Captain Kangaroo

    Captain Kangaroo Member

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    I did my Marlin's and was assuming they would be similar. I watched a YouTube video and I couldn't be more wrong. I think I'll take for the forestock and the buttpad and buttstock off to look for more markings. I found another small number marked on the lever internally it's a 39 with a dot below and the marking behind the trigger is a .32 I don't know what these mean. I've seen some auction photos of 94s of similar age with a similar mark behind the trigger but they've always been to blurry to make out. IMG_20200329_113409~3.jpg
     
  18. JT-AR-MG42

    JT-AR-MG42 Member

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    CK,
    I'll go with Jim and suggest that if you have not had a bunch of them apart in the past?

    Then this is not the gun to learn on.
    My assumption (and I know what that makes me) was that you were familiar with them.

    Leave it be for a moment and look at it this way.
    Pulling the gun apart before you know the availability status of a Cody letter serves no purpose.
    For 8 and a half, the gun was a great price in that configuration even if it had been refinished.

    My rule has always been that my level of concern goes up in relationship to the degree of remaining finish,
    and looking at your photos had the alarm bells ringing, but I could see nothing wrong.
    Again, I call the gun straight.

    Get the letter.
    The rifle as it sits now is worth is easily worth twice what you paid for it (unless the bore is toast) as a top end shooter.
    If the factory letter shows it was shipped as/re-worked to the short rifle set up?, then 'twice what you paid'
    becomes 'four times what you paid' as the starting price were you looking to move it.

    JT
     
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  19. Captain Kangaroo

    Captain Kangaroo Member

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    You've been a great help JT, I really appreciate it! I'll be sure to share whatever I get back from Cody. I agree I'd better stay away from disassembling it. I was thinking of keeping it but if it ends up being an actual short rifle I'll be parting with it, can't justify a gun worth that much that isn't in my wheelhouse.
     
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