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Winchester model 94 in 32win

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by J. Parker, Dec 1, 2016.

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  1. J. Parker

    J. Parker Member

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    Hey good folks,
    I'm interested in a pre-64 Winchester model 94 in 32 winchester. I want a shooter and not a collector piece. Any pros or cons with a pre-64 model 94?

    ~Thanks, John
     
  2. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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    The .32 WS was chambered in the Mdl 94 in 1901, The reason being there were handloaders with tons of Black Powder to use up. The new .30-30 was a smokeless powder round with a one a 1/12 twist rate.
    Winchester saw the Mdl. 94 rifle not selling. They then offered the .321" bore with a 1/16" twist rate to shoot both black and smokeless powder. The .32 WS was never as popular as the .30-30. One reason was the throat wear in the .32 WS caused a loss in accuracy. The other was only 2 bullet weights were available at that time for the .32 WS.
    http://gundata.org/cartridge/71/.32-winchester-special/
     
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  3. J. Parker

    J. Parker Member

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    Thank you, I appreciate all that. Although 30-30 ammo is more plentiful there were three common bullet selections but also the Hornady folks have gotten on the bandwagon with their offering. Thanks again.
     
  4. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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    You are most welcome.:) The Pre 64 Mdl 94 is the classic American firearm. It's flat receiver and balance makes it a favorite. The working Cowboy likes the way it rides under his right leg on horseback. The Eastern Woods Rover carries the light medium range carbine on the woodland trails.

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/win_pre_64_M94.htm
     
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  5. RovinOn

    RovinOn Member

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    I have one made in 1926 and it has served me well!
     
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  6. J. Parker

    J. Parker Member

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    WOW!:what:
     
  7. zb338

    zb338 Member

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    My first centerfire rifle was a Winchester model 94 in .32 Winchester Special caliber. Those
    old Winchesters killed thousands of deer back in the day. Caliber wasn't a big deal it didn't
    matter if it was a 30/30 or a .32 Spc.. I still have one and it is accurate enough to kill deer
    within it's range. I got it from a guy who killed a ton of deer with it.
    Zeke
     
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  8. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    I'm hunting this season with a 94 eastern carbine in 32 special. It was made in 46-48 as it has the flat barrel band. A handy little rifle that has more than a few "miles" on it but still shoots fine with the Winchester,(go figure..), factory loads.
    We'll see how it goes come Saturday.
     
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  9. Bullseye

    Bullseye Member

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    Mine would be one of the last rifles I would sell. Also one of the first I bought. Just love that thing.
    There were an awful lot more 30-30's made than 32 Win Spl 94's
    Mine is from the 1950's .. I think 1954 without checking.

    and I might add .... I would be somewhat picky on condition if possible. You don't want one in excellent condition because of the price but you don't want one with any problems either.
    Pick a good looking one that hasn't been drilled for scopes or sling posts.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
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  10. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    I have one made in 1942 (.30-30). It's still going strong. Shoots just fine. So many times I've wished old rifles could talk, to tell us where they've been and what they've done.

    I found mine at a local gun show a couple of years ago. Paid $500 for it and it's in really, really nice shape...

    If you find a nice pre-'64, it will be something you can keep and pass on!

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    I have one from the early 1920s, a saddle ring carbine that my great-grandfather bought or was given as a young man. It was given to me upon his passing and I intend that it should stay in the family from generation to generation.
     
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  12. Steve Cover

    Steve Cover Member

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    Why a 32 instead of the standard 30 cal.?
     
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  13. J. Parker

    J. Parker Member

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    Actually, as of today I've chosen a JM stamped Marlin 336 30-30. IMO, a better choice as far as ammo is concerned and I liked the Marlin a little better.
     
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  14. Steve Cover

    Steve Cover Member

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    I was just wondering.
    The M94 in 32 Special has a much slower rifling twist designed to better support the black powder loads that it was designed for.
    In my opinion, for cast bullets, a 32 Special would be a good choice, even to the point of experimenting with paper patched bullets.

    Steve
     
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  15. sharkman

    sharkman Member

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    I have a M94 in .32-40 made about 1905 (Sorry, can't remember exactly) Dad bought it from a neighbor late 1970's for $100. I inherited it, had it restored by Doug Turnbull (Trust me, it needed it. Barrel completely shot, cracked wood, mag tube appears to have been cleaned with steel wool-no exaggeration, a few other flaws so let's not get into THAT discussion about restorations...)

    Bottom line: Now a beautiful rifle, handles great, spot on accurate. Can't go wrong with an early M94......
     
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  16. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    The 32 Special and black powder myth is one of those stories that gets repeated so many times it passes for received wisdom.

    A little history is in order.

    Before the 1894 came along there were the 38-55 and 32-40 black powder cartridges sharing the same parent case. The 32-40 became the darling of what we would today call the bench rest crowd who were using it in single shot rifles. Being the sort they were they did every conceivable thing they could to get the last iota of accuracy. One of those things was a rather slow twist rate.

    When the 1894 came along it was chambered for these two cartridges and since Winchester already had the set up for slow twist 32 caliber barrels they kept making them that way. Around 1895 they necked the 38-55 down to 30 caliber, loaded it with smokeless and we had the 30 WCF or 30-30, the first US smokeless sporting cartridge. However, the smokeless powder was harder on barrels so the 1894 in 30-30 had a nickel steel barrel and sold for a premium over the 38-55 or 32-40.

    Around 1901 the 32 Special was introduced. Originally loaded with about a 10% edge on the 30-30 in horsepower. It was a smokeless cartridge from the get go and never intended to be loaded with black powder. Winchester used the same barrel equipment so the 32-40 single shot, the 32-40 Model 1894 and the 32 Special all shared the same twist rate.(Winchester did sell an aftermarket sight calibrated for black.) The point to be noted is that the 32-40 will outperform the 32 Special when both are loaded with black powder and the 32-40 rifle sold for less money. So black powder was never really in the 32 Special plan. Winchester touted it has having a bit more authority than the 30-30. (It would never match the 30-30 if loaded with black powder.)

    Second part of the myth is the 32 Special losing accuracy with a worn barrel. This arose between WWI and WWII when Winchester found themselves with a bunch of the old smaller diameter 8 mm bullets. They decided to get rid of them by loading them in 32 Specials. They worked well in a good barrel, but being undersized, they lost accuracy in a worn barrel. The 32 Special has labored under this for years. Given a properly sized bullet the 32 Special is every bit as accurate with a worn barrel as a 30-30.

    As for no difference between them. Originally the 32 Special had a performance edge, not huge, but enough to say it was there. Over the years powders have improved and the factory loaded 30-30 has enjoyed the benefit of those improvements. For some reason known only to the factories, the 32 Special has not been upgraded as much so today the factory loaded 32’s performance edge over the 30-30 is very slight indeed. When hand loaded it can again produce that 10% edge over the 30-30.

    For the sake of full disclosure, I have two 1894 carbines, one 30-30 and one 32 Special. I have in the past bought a bunch of 32 Special ammo at gun shows for a song. So for me at least, 30-30 is easier to find but 32 Special is cheaper.
     
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  17. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    I know your question was for the OP but I bought my 94 in 32 Special as an "homage", so to speak, to my late cousin Art. He loaned me his 94 in 32 Special the first time I ever ventured forth alone on a deer hunt. A long, long time ago.
    Didn't get a deer back then but I'm carrying it this season as my hunting rifle. Maybe tomorrow will be the day..?
     
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  18. Steve Cover

    Steve Cover Member

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    Thanks for the info.
    I stand corrected

    Steve
     
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  19. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    While at a local gun show a while back I came across a bolt action rifle in 32 Special. Not much to look at but dirt cheap. It is my habit to circulate all the way around before I buy any thing. By the time I got back it was gone. Would be interesting to play with it and see what it would do, since I already had 32 Special ammo and it was cheap.
     
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  20. zb338

    zb338 Member

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    There are plenty of 30/30s and .32 Specials in gun shops and at almost any gun show. Some of them
    are in really good shape and capable of still being used long after this crowd is dead and gone.

    Zeke
     
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  21. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    But then we have this,

    [​IMG]


    I think theres more to the inaccuracy claims than using incorrect bullets. I believe the 32 spl has rifling grooves that are about half as deep as the 30 cal grooves (trying to remember where I saw the rifling depth information *Edit: see below). Yes, using a bullet that fits helps quite a lot, though theres just not as much to work with with shallower rifling lands/grooves. At some point, somethings going to give. The later editor of Cartridges of the World did some work with a couple worn 32 spl guns, and somewhat refuted the earlier claims in COTW about the inaccuracy, and "couldn't hit a flock of barns" with worn 32 spl guns, but they also used what is essentially oversize bullets in one case I believe. They got results, but the bores were worn. Cleaning older guns can help a lot in some instances also. 50 years of half-done cleaning with jacket fouling building up is probably part of the problem with many older guns that are "shot out".

    RE "eastern carbines", the term doesn't have any application after the point the so-called saddle ring carbines ceased. The "eastern carbines" were otherwise identical to the saddle ring carbines, but didn't have the ring. After the point the identifying characteristics of the SRCs ceased being made in the late 20s or early 30s, the resulting carbine was just a carbine, and somewhat sadly, lost much of its former character. They look pretty much the same (other then the earlier ones still had the long fore end wood) through the post 64 period and until about the end of production, with some ventures into some "unique" locations and types of sights and barrel band locations and barrel/mag tube lengths in the ranger series.

    * Edit: The SAAMI info for 32 Win Spl shows a bore diameter of .315, and groove diameter of .320, giving a rifling depth of 2 1/2 thousandths. SAAMI info for 30-30 shows bore diameter of .300, groove diameter of .308, with a rifling depth of 4 thousandths. I don't recall where I was first reading and noticed the difference, but SAMMI info shows it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
  22. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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    Wow! I just enjoyed your post on this thread so much. The facts and experiences with the American Iconic Mdl. 94 are all classic. How many of you fellows started out with a Red Ryder BB gun? I did.:)

    red ryder.gif
     
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  23. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I used to do that, but missed a clean pre-64 model 64 for about 1/2 regular current price, and a WWII Colt 1911A-1 for about m2/3 current price. If I see a real deal, I just grab it if I can, if I find something I like more, it can still make good trade stock or sell later.
     
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  24. whatnickname

    whatnickname Member

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    Very interesting information provided by Unspellable. Thank you. The .32 WS V. 30-30 argument is about as old as the 270 V. 30-06...frankly I'm not sure that the difference that actually exists between either of the two is not more on paper than it is practical. By today's standards, there are far more effective rounds than either the 32 WS or the 30-30 for deer hunting. Not detracting from either cartridge...I have eight model 94s and two Rossi clones of the model 92. I think the popularity of the 32 WS and 30-30 rounds has more to do with the popularity of handy little rifles that have been made to fire them...principally the model 94. The 94 and its predecessors have always been working rifles. Its hard to find the pre-64 rifles in good condition for that reason ( I have 4 of them...two late 40 vintage rifles and two early 50s vintage rifles) For a rifle to throw in the truck and ride around, it does a good job of taking care of general shooting needs from dealing with the occasional coyote to handling other pests. The distances tend to stretch out quite a bit in Oklahoma, so when I deer hunt I usually opt for something that shoots quite a bit flatter, with more punch and outfitted with a scope. Once in a while when I get into heavy cover I will use a 94...the shots will always be quite a bit closer. As to the 32 WS V. 30-30 argument...what ever floats your boat! Used within their limitations, I seriously doubt that what ever gets shot with either of these rounds is going to show you any practical difference in the end result. I have been told that in the Northeast the 32 was once more popular...who knows why? More myth than anything else would be my guess. As for the pre-64 / post 64 issue, the pre-64s will always be the holy grail...particularly the rifles that were made prior to 1950. Around 1953 Winchester began making rifles with the receivers drilled and tapped for rear aperture sights. If that configuration is important to you, go for a mid-to late 50s vintage rifle. Post 64, Winchester opted for more "advanced" manufacturing techniques. Like all the classic guns, the model 94 was becoming too expensive to manufacture. Winchester either had to reduce their costs or go out of business (which they ended up doing any way, but, that's another story). The post 64 rifles were pretty well made. The receivers were black chromed. I have no idea as to why. What I do know is that it is impossible to re-blue a post 64 model 94. You can leave the barreled action in the tank all day and when it comes out the blue will wipe off with a rag. Winchester, to my knowledge, never said what alloy they were using or why they made these changes. I would be interested in knowing that story myself if someone can share that information (Unspellable perhaps?). I personally like the 30-30 because bullets and reloading components are more readily available.
     
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  25. witchhunter

    witchhunter Member

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    A handier rifle I have not found. I have owned a few of these and i still have a 32, 25/35s and a couple of 30/30s. I like the 25/35 the best though. They are my favorite caliber in 94. This thread started out as a guy wanting to buy a 94 in 32. Now he has a Marlin in 30/30. All of these rifles and all of these calibers have one thing in common, they are all great handling short range deer killers. May they live on forever! I loaned my partner one in 32 over 30 years ago and he says he will return it when he finds one of his own. It appears he has one of his own already!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
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