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Shooting a 100 Year Old Model 94
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July 13, 2022 - 2:26 am
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I am in the market for an antique status Model 94. I have my eyes on one made in 1923. I do buy guns to shoot and shoot often. The gun appears to be in good condition, considering its age and the rifling is stated to be in good condition. But is having the intent to buy such a rifle to shoot regularly a bad idea? Is this a gun I should shoot once in a blue moon? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!        

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July 13, 2022 - 2:36 am
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You said your looking for a antique 1894 and the 1923 94 is not antique. To be antique it has to be made before 1899. A antique gun can be shot regularly as long as its in good condition. It also depends on the caliber, some caliber ammo is hard to find.

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July 13, 2022 - 3:05 am
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Oops! I used improper terminology. Just figured 100 years old would be considered an antique. So I’ll just rephrase it to be a 100 year old rifle. Learn something new everyday. 

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There’s something special (at least for me) about shooting an older Winchester. It’s the closest I can come to shaking hands with folks 4-5 generations ago. Sometimes when I appear to be alone on the range or with another like-minded shooter with 100+ year old Winchesters I know we’re not alone. It doesn’t always happen but it reminds me we are only temporary custodians of the Winchesters we love and cherish. 

 

Mike 

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July 13, 2022 - 3:35 am
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TXGunNut said
There’s something special (at least for me) about shooting an older Winchester. It’s the closest I can come to shaking hands with folks 4-5 generations ago. Sometimes when I appear to be alone on the range or with another like-minded shooter with 100+ year old Winchesters I know we’re not alone. It doesn’t always happen but it reminds me we are only temporary custodians of the Winchesters we love and cherish. 

Wow. That statement makes me want one even more now. Thanks or that great outlook!

 

Mike 

  

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July 13, 2022 - 5:08 pm
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RaptorAddict said
Oops! I used improper terminology. Just figured 100 years old would be considered an antique. So I’ll just rephrase it to be a 100 year old rifle. Learn something new everyday. 

  

Many don’t know about the legal status of antique guns.  Federal law dictates what is antique. The 30 WCF (30-30) is probably the easiest ammo to find and shoot.  I shoot pre 1899 guns and have a lot of fun.  The 94 made in 1923 would be a nice gun to shoot.  What caliber is this gun?  Is it a rifle or carbine?

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July 13, 2022 - 10:24 pm
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Chuck said

RaptorAddict said

Oops! I used improper terminology. Just figured 100 years old would be considered an antique. So I’ll just rephrase it to be a 100 year old rifle. Learn something new everyday. 

  

Many don’t know about the legal status of antique guns.  Federal law dictates what is antique. The 30 WCF (30-30) is probably the easiest ammo to find and shoot.  I shoot pre 1899 guns and have a lot of fun.  The 94 made in 1923 would be a nice gun to shoot.  What caliber is this gun?  Is it a rifle or carbine?

  

It’s a saddle ring carbine in 30 WCF. It definitely looks fun to shoot! Always curious though if it has any sort of accuracy. Rifling appears to be in good shape.

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July 14, 2022 - 5:41 pm
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RaptorAddict said

Chuck said

RaptorAddict said

Oops! I used improper terminology. Just figured 100 years old would be considered an antique. So I’ll just rephrase it to be a 100 year old rifle. Learn something new everyday. 

  

Many don’t know about the legal status of antique guns.  Federal law dictates what is antique. The 30 WCF (30-30) is probably the easiest ammo to find and shoot.  I shoot pre 1899 guns and have a lot of fun.  The 94 made in 1923 would be a nice gun to shoot.  What caliber is this gun?  Is it a rifle or carbine?

  

It’s a saddle ring carbine in 30 WCF. It definitely looks fun to shoot! Always curious though if it has any sort of accuracy. Rifling appears to be in good shape.

  

RaptorAddict said

Chuck said

RaptorAddict said

Oops! I used improper terminology. Just figured 100 years old would be considered an antique. So I’ll just rephrase it to be a 100 year old rifle. Learn something new everyday. 

  

Many don’t know about the legal status of antique guns.  Federal law dictates what is antique. The 30 WCF (30-30) is probably the easiest ammo to find and shoot.  I shoot pre 1899 guns and have a lot of fun.  The 94 made in 1923 would be a nice gun to shoot.  What caliber is this gun?  Is it a rifle or carbine?

  

It’s a saddle ring carbine in 30 WCF. It definitely looks fun to shoot! Always curious though if it has any sort of accuracy. Rifling appears to be in good shape.

  

Generally if the barrel still has rifling it will shoot OK.  If you hand load you can play with all of the components and find a load that your gun likes the best.  Good luck and have fun.

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July 14, 2022 - 10:36 pm
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Chuck said

RaptorAddict said

Chuck said

RaptorAddict said

Oops! I used improper terminology. Just figured 100 years old would be considered an antique. So I’ll just rephrase it to be a 100 year old rifle. Learn something new everyday. 

  

Many don’t know about the legal status of antique guns.  Federal law dictates what is antique. The 30 WCF (30-30) is probably the easiest ammo to find and shoot.  I shoot pre 1899 guns and have a lot of fun.  The 94 made in 1923 would be a nice gun to shoot.  What caliber is this gun?  Is it a rifle or carbine?

  

It’s a saddle ring carbine in 30 WCF. It definitely looks fun to shoot! Always curious though if it has any sort of accuracy. Rifling appears to be in good shape.

  

RaptorAddict said

Chuck said

RaptorAddict said

Oops! I used improper terminology. Just figured 100 years old would be considered an antique. So I’ll just rephrase it to be a 100 year old rifle. Learn something new everyday. 

  

Many don’t know about the legal status of antique guns.  Federal law dictates what is antique. The 30 WCF (30-30) is probably the easiest ammo to find and shoot.  I shoot pre 1899 guns and have a lot of fun.  The 94 made in 1923 would be a nice gun to shoot.  What caliber is this gun?  Is it a rifle or carbine?

  

It’s a saddle ring carbine in 30 WCF. It definitely looks fun to shoot! Always curious though if it has any sort of accuracy. Rifling appears to be in good shape.

  

Generally if the barrel still has rifling it will shoot OK.  If you hand load you can play with all of the components and find a load that your gun likes the best.  Good luck and have fun.

  

I reload and workup loads for long range precision. I do reload 30-30, but for some dumb reason, tweaking loads never crossed my mind with an old rifle. LOL! Good point! I’m just overthinking things I guess. Laugh

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July 15, 2022 - 2:11 pm
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Raptor, IMHO, there is nothing like shooting an old gun. I recently added a 1886 take down in45-90 to my humble collection and thanks to a fellow WACA member provided me with a bounty of ammo. The thing is so awesome to shoot I blows my mind. I would post the stupid little video but not sure how.  Btw, did I mention this gun was made in 1898? So my advice, find one, treasure it,and SHOOT IT!

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July 15, 2022 - 3:45 pm
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RaptorAddict said

I reload and workup loads for long range precision. I do reload 30-30, but for some dumb reason, tweaking loads never crossed my mind with an old rifle. LOL! Good point! I’m just overthinking things I guess. Laugh

  

With the rimmed cartridges you can’t do much with the case except trim it to length and play with neck tension. You still have to go through finding out which primers and powder work best.  Test primer seating depths and do a powder ladder test to find a node.  Then you can try different bullet seating depths.  I do a little of this on my old guns but I’m happy if I can get all my shots to shoot a 2″ group at 100 yds. using iron sights.  Not all my loads will do this though.

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July 16, 2022 - 12:34 pm
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Chuck said

RaptorAddict said

I reload and workup loads for long range precision. I do reload 30-30, but for some dumb reason, tweaking loads never crossed my mind with an old rifle. LOL! Good point! I’m just overthinking things I guess. Laugh

  

With the rimmed cartridges you can’t do much with the case except trim it to length and play with neck tension. You still have to go through finding out which primers and powder work best.  Test primer seating depths and do a powder ladder test to find a node.  Then you can try different bullet seating depths.  I do a little of this on my old guns but I’m happy if I can get all my shots to shoot a 2″ group at 100 yds. using iron sights.  Not all my loads will do this though.

  

You’re doing some fancy loading there Chuck.  With all my years of loading across a very large span of cartridges, I’ve never done anything with the variation of primer seating depths.  Wouldn’t really even know how to go about doing itConfused

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July 16, 2022 - 1:11 pm
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Thanks for all the input and thoughts fellas! It’s hard decision to pick which one, as all these old gems I’m seeing all have different characters. I find myself puting rifles in my watch list and wait for another to view and then see ones I liked get taken. Then shooting myself in the foot for waiting too long. Been an ongoing pattern. LOL! 

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RaptorAddict said
 I find myself puting rifles in my watch list and wait for another to view and then see ones I liked get taken. Then shooting myself in the foot for waiting too long. Been an ongoing pattern. LOL! 

  

Dont rush, you will know when the right one comes along. I had to figure out what trips my trigger, now I know and I generally only chase 1886’s. Especially if they’re in 45-90wcf. hard ammo to find but to me totally worth the effort. 

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steve004 said

You’re doing some fancy loading there Chuck.  With all my years of loading across a very large span of cartridges, I’ve never done anything with the variation of primer seating depths.  Wouldn’t really even know how to go about doing itConfused

  

I have a primer seating tool that is click adjustable and each click is .001″. I also have a gauge that can measure the depth of the pocket, the thickness of the primers and the depth the primer is seated.  Recent tests show that with my set up I need to seat my primers at least .008″ deep to get extreme spreads of less than 10 fps.  This ES is for 50 fired rounds.  Anything less than that the ES goes up into the mid teens.  Your ES and SD only tells you that your loads are consistent and loaded well.  Once you can load well you still have to figure out many other things to get a load that your barrel likes so it groups well.  My next tests will be neck turning.  You want your case necks to be perfectly round and all the same diameter.  You also want your necks thin enough to fully release the bullet while in the chamber when fired.  Measure a fired neck OD and compare it to a loaded neck OD.  Rule of thumb is you need about .005″ difference.  Take a fired case and see if your bullets will drop straight in.  If not you need to neck turn.  This and a lot more is what you have to do if you get into long range precision shooting. 

Our old guns don’t need all of the work I do on my target guns but some of it will help.

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I have found that my 30 W.C.F. rifles and carbines seem to group better with the 170 grain bullets over the 150 grain bullets.  Has anyone else found this to be the case?  Thanks.   RDB

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July 18, 2022 - 2:31 am
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rogertherelic said
I have found that my 30 W.C.F. rifles and carbines seem to group better with the 170 grain bullets over the 150 grain bullets.  Has anyone else found this to be the case?  Thanks.   RDB

  

I reload 170 gr, but never tried the 150 gr. My groups are within 4″ at 100 yards on a good day. I assume that’s pretty good. This is out of a 94 made in 1949. 

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July 18, 2022 - 3:18 am
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RaptorAddict said

Chuck said

RaptorAddict said

Chuck said

RaptorAddict said

Oops! I used improper terminology. Just figured 100 years old would be considered an antique. So I’ll just rephrase it to be a 100 year old rifle. Learn something new everyday. 

  

Many don’t know about the legal status of antique guns.  Federal law dictates what is antique. The 30 WCF (30-30) is probably the easiest ammo to find and shoot.  I shoot pre 1899 guns and have a lot of fun.  The 94 made in 1923 would be a nice gun to shoot.  What caliber is this gun?  Is it a rifle or carbine?

  

It’s a saddle ring carbine in 30 WCF. It definitely looks fun to shoot! Always curious though if it has any sort of accuracy. Rifling appears to be in good shape.

  

RaptorAddict said

Chuck said

RaptorAddict said

Oops! I used improper terminology. Just figured 100 years old would be considered an antique. So I’ll just rephrase it to be a 100 year old rifle. Learn something new everyday. 

  

Many don’t know about the legal status of antique guns.  Federal law dictates what is antique. The 30 WCF (30-30) is probably the easiest ammo to find and shoot.  I shoot pre 1899 guns and have a lot of fun.  The 94 made in 1923 would be a nice gun to shoot.  What caliber is this gun?  Is it a rifle or carbine?

  

It’s a saddle ring carbine in 30 WCF. It definitely looks fun to shoot! Always curious though if it has any sort of accuracy. Rifling appears to be in good shape.

  

Generally if the barrel still has rifling it will shoot OK.  If you hand load you can play with all of the components and find a load that your gun likes the best.  Good luck and have fun.

  

I reload and workup loads for long range precision. I do reload 30-30, but for some dumb reason, tweaking loads never crossed my mind with an old rifle. LOL! Good point! I’m just overthinking things I guess. Laugh

  

When 30-30 factory loads were $7.99/box I never gave a second thought to loading the round even though I loaded almost everything else I shot. Those days are gone, turns out the 30WCF is an adventure to load with dozens of good loads, bullets and powders well suited to the task. And yes, some of the benchrest techniques work for the lowly 30WCF.

 

Mike

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July 18, 2022 - 3:19 am
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RaptorAddict saidI reload 170 gr, but never tried the 150 gr. My groups are within 4″ at 100 yards on a good day. I assume that’s pretty good.

It is good, or at least typical, BS to the contrary.  Throw out all the groups that don’t meet your expectations, & you, too, can boast about your “MOA” shooter.

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July 18, 2022 - 3:34 am
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clarence said

RaptorAddict said

I reload 170 gr, but never tried the 150 gr. My groups are within 4″ at 100 yards on a good day. I assume that’s pretty good. This is out of a 94 made in 1949.

  

It is good, or at least typical, BS to the contrary.

  

I agree! Some of the older guns are quite accurate but old eyes and open sights sometimes prevent us from learning just how well some of these old rifles can shoot. Quite honestly, up until a few years ago a factory bolt gun was only expected to produce 3” groups with a modern scope. 

 

Mike

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