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Caliber considerations 1894
December 3, 2019
9:47 pm
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Ct
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From what I’ve read, collectors prefer 38-55 in the 1894 model. Would this still hold true if the 38-55 was Post 1900 or Post 1910, & it’s equal in 32-40, 25-35, or 30WCF was Pre 1900 ?

AG

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Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd

December 3, 2019
10:12 pm
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With bores as with boars, BIGGER is always better!

December 3, 2019
10:42 pm
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Ct
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Thanks Clarence. Just wanted to confirm. 38-55’s get an extra look when finding 94’s for sale. They will be my last to go if I ever thin the 94 herd.

AG

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December 3, 2019
11:53 pm
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I might be attacked for commenting on this one, but everyone I know really "lights up" on a sweet 32-40, in condition...

D.

December 4, 2019
12:06 am
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Ct
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Well I wouldn’t turn down a fair price on any 32-40 either DM. I’ve got a 25-35 & 32-40 octagon rifles that several people have tried to acquire from me so I know where you’re coming from. I
will still keep a 38-55 of equal value over the other two calibers.

AG

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December 4, 2019
12:17 am
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AG said
Well I wouldn’t turn down a fair price on any 32-40 either DM. I’ve got a 25-35 & 32-40 octagon rifles that several people have tried to acquire from me so I know where you’re coming from. I
will still keep a 38-55 of equal value over the other two calibers.

AG  

Yes, I agree - I once had a 38-55 - Nickel Steel - Octagon Barrel - 94 Mfg. 1906 - and it was the most accurate 94 I ever had.

Foolishly, I sold it before I realized that it should have been a "keeper". Live and learn...

D

December 4, 2019
12:33 am
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AG said
From what I’ve read, collectors prefer 38-55 in the 1894 model. Would this still hold true if the 38-55 was Post 1900 or Post 1910, & it’s equal in 32-40, 25-35, or 30WCF was Pre 1900 ?

AG  

If you are a collector you should buy what you like.  The 38-55, 32-40, 30-30 and the 32 WSPL are all variations of each other.  If you are a dealer an antique 38-55 is most desirable.  The 30-30 and 32-40 are 2nd choice.  I am a collector and have all of these in one gun or another except the 32 WSPL.  They all are good calibers that shoot well.

December 4, 2019
12:57 am
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I have the same chuck. All but 32WS. I had a 32WS but sold it & often wish I had it back to compliment my collection. It was a round barrel & I only collect octagon or 1/2 octagons now but would still take iit back. Had the smokeless rear sight(ugly looking thing) also.

AG

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December 4, 2019
1:01 am
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AG said
From what I’ve read, collectors prefer 38-55 in the 1894 model. Would this still hold true if the 38-55 was Post 1900 or Post 1910, & it’s equal in 32-40, 25-35, or 30WCF was Pre 1900 ?

AG  

Frankly, you are comparing an Apple to Oranges (at least in my opinion).  Specifically, a Pre-1899 (Antique) Model 1894 is worth more than the same exact rifle that is classified as "Modern".  Specifically, if you have a 32-40 or 25-35 "Antique" in identical configuration and condition to a "Modern" 38-55, the 32-40 or 25-35 rifles are worth more $$$.

Further, too many people do not know the truth about the caliber production numbers.  As published in the 1995 ARMAX survey, the caliber production through serial number 353999 was as follows;

1.  30 WCF - 162,658

2.  38-55 - 80,741

3.  32-40 - 40,023

4.  25-35 WCF - 36,999

5.  32 WS - 31,025 (not introduced until October 1901).

In my research survey of serial numbers 354000 - 1012753 (end of year 1927), the numbers are as follows;

1.  30 WCF - 3,109 or 53.99%

2.  32 WS - 1,055 or 18.32%

3.  25-35 WCF - 594 or 10.31%

4.  38-55 - 528 or 9.17%

5.  32-40 - 472 or 8.20%

What the survey indicates, is that the 32-40, 38-55, and the 25-35 are the least common calibers from mid 1907 through the end of 1927.  Of the three, the 38-55 has a higher value in identical condition and configuration, and this is proven when auction hammer prices are examined.  That stated, if I was a diehard Model 1894 collector, I would snap up any decent condition 32-40 I could find.  In addition to being the least common of the Model 1894 cartridge offerings by raw production numbers, it was also the most popular export caliber.  A large number of the Model 1894s exported to Australia were 32-40s (by a wide margin over the other calibers).

Bert

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December 4, 2019
1:18 am
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Thanks for the info Bert. I’ve even taken a snap shot of your post to photocopy & add to my reference materials. 32-40’s back at the top of the chase list with the 38-55

AG

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December 4, 2019
1:32 am
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I don’t cull 1894’s, I collect them. 🙂 Seriously though I’ve been staying away from 32-40’s and 25-35’s because I still think I need to shoot any gun I own. Recently I caved in on the 32-40 when an 1885 in that chambering followed me home and the 25-35 is looking better all the time. Personally I prefer the 38-55, 32WS and 30WCF (in no particular order) but if the right 32-40 or 25-35 comes along I’ll be tempted to add it to my little collection. The numbers Bert posted above tell us why we don’t see them often.

 

Mike

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December 4, 2019
5:01 am
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Just to add another piece of data to the discussion -

With only 1894 short rifles considered (anything under 26"), these are the findings from my small survey which spans 1894-1941. Very similar to Bert's results shown above with 32-40 being most scarce. Keep in mind, there are very few examples out past 1918 in my survey. Also agreeing with Bert, antique status always weighs in heavy on desirability for most.

Total 25-35 30 6.11%
Total 30 WCF 338 68.84%
Total 32 WS 58 11.81%
Total 32-40 20 4.07%
Total 38-55 45 9.16%
~Gary~

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December 4, 2019
3:35 pm
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I sold my .38-55 a while back. I may still have the number for you survey guys. I'm surprised at the number of .25-35's I have. One of the is from 1895. I have a couple in the take down configuration. I really like that caliber. I took my first Blacktail deer with one in a carbine way back in the 60's. 

Shoot low boys. They're riding Shetland Ponies.

December 4, 2019
3:53 pm
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 I may be corrected but  I believe in the U.S. that the 32-40 is considered an antique  by the B.A.T.F. being an obsolete cartridge, regardless of the year of manufacture. At least it's an antique for importing purposes at Customs. I guess everyone has their preference, mine being 25-35, I can still use it in southern Ontario where they have a .27 caliber restriction for rifles in the field and it will dispatch any of the game in this area (whitetail, coyote,fox, etc).

W.A.C.A. life member, Marlin Collectors Assn. charter and life member, C,S.S.A. member and general gun nut.

December 4, 2019
8:27 pm
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Henry Mero said
 I may be corrected but  I believe in the U.S. that the 32-40 is considered an antique  by the B.A.T.F. being an obsolete cartridge, regardless of the year of manufacture. At least it's an antique for importing purposes at Customs. I guess everyone has their preference, mine being 25-35, I can still use it in southern Ontario where they have a .27 caliber restriction for rifles in the field and it will dispatch any of the game in this area (whitetail, coyote,fox, etc).  

No gun made after 1898 is an antique in the US no matter what the caliber is.

December 4, 2019
8:38 pm
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TXGunNut said
I don’t cull 1894’s, I collect them. 🙂 Seriously though I’ve been staying away from 32-40’s and 25-35’s because I still think I need to shoot any gun I own. Recently I caved in on the 32-40 when an 1885 in that chambering followed me home and the 25-35 is looking better all the time. Personally I prefer the 38-55, 32WS and 30WCF (in no particular order) but if the right 32-40 or 25-35 comes along I’ll be tempted to add it to my little collection. The numbers Bert posted above tell us why we don’t see them often.

 

Mike  

Why would you not shoot a 32-40 or a 25-35?  The 32-40 and the 38-55 were both used for target shooting.  I had a 94 in 25-35 but it was stolen.  Only owned one 30-30.  Traded it for a very fancy Colt pistol.  

December 5, 2019
4:19 am
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Chuck-

Every cartridge I load is an adventure, sometimes expensive. I tend to buy loading dies and a supply of brass for each “new” cartridge. Sometimes I buy a semi-custom bullet mould or two and possibly sizing dies and/or gas checks. Each new cartridge costs me from $150-500 to get started and I load (and cast) for well over a dozen cartridges. The fun part is that every cartridge involves load development. Some are pretty straightforward, some are still works in progress after years of trial and error. I have enough loading projects to keep me busy for several years so it’s best if I avoid adding new cartridges...but it still happens. 😉

 

Mike

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Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
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December 5, 2019
4:52 am
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Henry Mero said
 I may be corrected but  I believe in the U.S. that the 32-40 is considered an antique  by the B.A.T.F. being an obsolete cartridge, regardless of the year of manufacture. At least it's an antique for importing purposes at Customs. I guess everyone has their preference, mine being 25-35, I can still use it in southern Ontario where they have a .27 caliber restriction for rifles in the field and it will dispatch any of the game in this area (whitetail, coyote,fox, etc).  

Positively not true per U.S. Federal Code.

Bert

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December 5, 2019
6:34 pm
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Now I must re-iterate direct from the Gun Control Act.     The G.C.A., title 18, U.S.C. #921(a)(16), defines "antique firearm" as:(A) any firearm( including any fire arm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) MANUFACTURED IN OR BEFORE 1898, or (B)any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or(ii) USES RIMFIRE OR COVENTIONAL CENTERFIRE FIXED AMMUNITION WHICH IS NO LONGER MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES AND WHICH IS NOT READILY AVAILABLE IN THE INDUSTRY CHANNELS OF COMMERCIAL TRADE OR (C) any muzzle loading rifle, shotgun or pistol designed to use black powder, etc..      The GCA specifically exempts "antique firearms " from the definition of "firearm" and therefore, the importation of antique firearms is not regulated by the GCA.             It goes on to say the onus is on the person to provide documentation or proof of the afore said, but it does say firearms requiring obsolete ammunition are classed as antique and not subject to the GCA. Traveling across the border with My display or trade itemsI carry a copy of the GCA, pertaining to "antique Firearms and I have had this discussion many time with U.S. customs officials and they have had to agree with Me. I certainly welcome any comments

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December 5, 2019
6:59 pm
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With all those disjunctive "or"s in there, it seems I could make up a gatling gun to fire that old ammo, reload myself and have an antique. Laugh

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