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Winchester M94 in 16" or 20" ?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by no_morelipfrom_you, Sep 28, 2004.

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  1. no_morelipfrom_you

    no_morelipfrom_you Member

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    I've been eyeing the Model 94, and will be looking for one (along with a Hi-Point 9mm Carbine) at the next gun show here in Oct.

    Now I've searched through the forums here for as much info as I could find on the M94, and I've decided on a Winchester 30-30. Thank you, btw, for helping me to reach that decision. :D

    That leaves the question: Trapper or Ranger? More specifically, 16 inches or 20?

    Since the 30-30 is a rifle cartridge, I would guess that it has a lot to benefit from that extra 4" of barrel on the Ranger model. Or maybe the 30-30 has already exhausted its potential at the end of 16".

    I am sure there is a point of diminishing returns, and I dont know where that point is. Can anyone shed some light on the issue? Thanks.
     
  2. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

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    if it was me, i'd only go with 16 barrel if it was chambered for a pistol caliber. i'd stick with the 20 inch for rifle calibers. the .30-30 has a fairly limited range already, no need to handicap it evern further with the 16 inch barrel. thats just my opinion.

    Bobby
     
  3. bernie

    bernie Member

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    I have had 16 and 20 inch rifles. I prefer the 16" personally. They carry nice and work well. I have a buddy that used his 16" barrelled .30-30 Winchester last year to kill a deer DRT. The extra 4" will give you some more velocity, but in a real world lever gun situation, I do not know that it is a real advantage. The things that I do like about the 20" barrel is longer sight radius and more weight up front.
     
  4. one45auto

    one45auto Member

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    Don't ask for my help, because I couldn't decide either. That's why I bought two, a Winchester Model 94 Trapper (16") and the short-lived 20" Winchester Legacy (they no longer offer that particular model with the twenty-inch barrel), both chambered for the .357 Magnum. Of the two, I have to confess that I find myself handling and shooting the Trapper more. There's just something about that short barreled lever gun....

    Still, that 20" is nice also.....decisions, decisions....:D
     
  5. Pete1953

    Pete1953 Member

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    I have been struggling with that same decision, 16 vs. 20. Although I am leaning toward the Marlin. The issue is one of the extra round in 30-30 with the 20". That could come in handy for SD.
     
  6. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    Go with 20"...

    The Win M94 is a slim light weight rifle even in a 20". Chopping 4" of the barrel won't make a significant difference in weight.

    4" might make a difference in a SD or HD defense situation but there's lots of better choices out there for those events than a lever gun.

    In the field with heavy brush, undergrowth, low hanging branches etc it is just barely conceivable that a 16" bbl gun might be more handy but I really doubt it.

    In 30-30 that extra 4" of sight radius and extra muzzle velocity is significant. Why give that up and get little to no gain in other areas?
     
  7. Penman

    Penman Member

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    Take a look at the safety on the rifles. The earlier ones used the half cock notch for a safe carry. Newer rifles will have a cross bolt safety on the side of the receiver. This was a lawsuit special, and I don't like it-there's a chance that it could be activated unintentionally. The most recent versions have a sliding safety on the tang, and I think that's a much better location.
     
  8. no_morelipfrom_you

    no_morelipfrom_you Member

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    Excellent points. I think I will go with the 20"

    Maybe some day I can afford to get a trapper chambered in 44. mag and I'll have both :D

    I was totally unprepared for how ADDICTING this is. There should be a warning on this site. "WARNING: Purchasing a gun is an addictive habit and could be hazardous to your financial health."

    I think I read somewhere in these forums that 1 inch of barrel = roughly an additional 50 fps of velocity. But it was said in reference to pistol calibers.

    So would the 30-30 go about 200 fps slower when shot from the trapper? Or does the formula change for rifle calibers?
     
  9. no_morelipfrom_you

    no_morelipfrom_you Member

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    I guess nobody knows the answer to that question. :confused:
     
  10. jeff-10

    jeff-10 Member

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    I personally prefer the 20 inch over 16. The Trappers look and feel kind of odd to me. What kind of velocity difference is there in a 16 inch compared to a 20 inch 44 magnum?
     
  11. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    The velocity loss from the 20" to 16" bbl is approximately 125fps.

    About the same as the gain from a 20" to 24" bbl.

    The .30/30 is actually a relatively efficient cartridge. Even cutting the bbl lenght to 10" as with the T/C Contender dosen't drastically cut the velocity.

    The amount of velocity loss with the .30/30 is less with the 170gr vs. the 150gr bullets. However, the 170 is only running about 2,100fps from the 20"bbl in most factory loadings. The 150's run about 2,275 except for the Winchester Supreme "Power-Plus" loading which runs about 2,400 from a 20" bbl.


    Many years ago, Remington had a listing in their catalog referencing velocity loss per inch of barrel reduction from listed cartridges/velocities.

    It was a function of muzzle velocity:

    1500-2000fps approx. 20fps

    2500 to 3000 approx. 30-35fps

    3500 to 4000 approx. 50-60fps

    (not exact, but a close approximation from my memory, and personal experience)
     
  12. DHart

    DHart Member

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    I have a bunch of 20" lever rifles and once I had a Trapper (16") in my hands, my twenty-inchers started getting quite ignored. I have to agree with others who have said that there is something about a 16" Trapper that is remarkably wonderful... very appealing, handy, comfortable, and enjoyable. And I think they look awesome! As far as power goes, there is plenty of that for my needs with the 16" barrel. In the way of Trappers I have:

    Winchester 94 .44 mag.
    Winchester 94 .45 Colt
    Winchester 92 .45 Colt
    Legacy/Rossi 92 .454 Casull/.45 Colt

    I am now a full-on Trapper addict. While I prefer the 92 action to the 94 in general, my two new Win 94 Trappers are wonderful, reliable, great running, and very enjoyable little rifles... I consider them awesome rifles and a great bargain for $350.

    Winchester '94 16" Trapper - .44 Magnum
    [​IMG]

    But if you can afford a new Winchester/Miroku 92 Trapper in .45 Colt... you will have a very fine gem indeed.

    Winchester/Miroku '92 Ltd. 16" Trapper - .45 Colt
    [​IMG]
     
  13. no_morelipfrom_you

    no_morelipfrom_you Member

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    It appears the thing to do is to go handle both and then make a decision. :)

    Thanks for the info everyone.
     
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