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Why did Browning design the 1894?-
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December 23, 2016 - 5:44 pm
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Forgive my ignorance (new forum member here), but I was wondering if anyone knew why Browning designed the 1894?

I ask because the 1886 and 1892 were already on the market and very popular and it seems like a no-brainer to simply apply the double-lug ’86/’92 design to the 30 WCF.  No issue with receiver length.  What else would require a complete re-design?

Thanks!

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December 23, 2016 - 8:15 pm
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This may sound flippant, but the answer in my mind, is “because he could”.

John M. Browning was a true genius, with a very creative and fertile mind. Additionally, he had a very good financial arrangement with Winchester for his designs and patents.

Bert

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December 23, 2016 - 8:43 pm
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Thanks Bert,

As a newbie, I appreciate all insights, so certianly no offense taken.

While not to disparage any ’94 enthusiasts (I actually have a nice 1955 version), continuing with the very successful and very strong double-lug, closed recever design seems like it would have been easier and more logical.  Go with what works, right?  Instead, Browning designed a single lug, more open receiver design for the 30-30.

i was just wondering if the 30 WCF or 32 WS presented some new challenge that could not be accommodated with the ’86/’92 design (ie the ’76 couldn’t really handle the 45-70 cartridge and therefore the ’86 was developed, or Winchester wanted a lever gun that could shoot 30-06 etc, so ’95 was developed.

Just curious more than anything.  Perhaps it was less expensive for Winchester to produce.

Thanks,

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December 23, 2016 - 9:00 pm
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I actually may have answered my own question.

I just compared the 30-30 and the 45-70 and they are, generally speaking, the same length cartridges.

I would think that that would mean the 30 WCF would need a receiver the size of an ’86.  If, however, the public wanted a more handy, lightweight rifle like the ’92 that could be chambered for the 30/32, a new design (the ’94) would have to be put forth.

Just a theory….

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December 24, 2016 - 2:13 am
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Bert H. said
…Additionally, he had a very good financial arrangement with Winchester for his designs and patents.
Bert  

Wouldn’t be surprised if that was the chief motivating impulse!  Maybe striking a better deal than on his previous designs.  Seems evident that as time went on, he felt he deserved a larger share of the pie–hence his refusal to accept the company’s offer on his autoloading shotgun.  (To Remington’s profit!)

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December 24, 2016 - 2:40 am
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The Model 1894 was designed to withstand the much higher pressures developed by smokeless powder in bottleneck cases.  30 W.C.F. loads with jacketed bullets can approach 40,000 CUP while 45-70 Governments loads of the day were in the 20,000 to 25,000 CUP range.

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December 24, 2016 - 2:44 pm
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Wincacher said
The Model 1894 was designed to withstand the much higher pressures developed by smokeless powder in bottleneck cases.  30 W.C.F. loads with jacketed bullets can approach 40,000 CUP while 45-70 Governments loads of the day were in the 20,000 to 25,000 CUP range.  

.348 WCF is also listed at 40,000 CUP.  Never had a Model 71, but isn’t it the ’86 action with better steel and heat-treating?

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December 24, 2016 - 3:31 pm
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Plus, the Model 1894 weighs more that 2 lbs. less than the Model 1886.  Easier to carry in the field or in a scabbard.

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December 24, 2016 - 6:18 pm
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Best answer I have is because that’s what John Moses Browning did; from childhood until he died he designed firearms. His father was a gunsmith (and inventor) and young John grew up in his shop. His first gun came from his father’s scrap pile. In those days the world of firearms was changing rapidly and JMB was a big part of many of those changes. Browning was a creative genius driven to design firearms, some of his designs went from conception to working prototype in a matter of days. It’s hard to imagine what my little collection would look like if JMB had decided to design farm implements rather than firearms.  

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December 24, 2016 - 8:24 pm
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Just to get back on point and hopefully close the thread –

From what I can gather, the 1886 action was more than strong enough for the 30-30, but the buying public at the time was leaning towards lighter, handier rifles (enter the 1886 Extra Light, etc), so that probably wasn’t really the best option for Winchester. While the 1892 action was strong enough as well, it could not accommodate the longer 30-30 cartridge.

Enter the solution – Browning’s 1894, with a distending lever action much like the 1895, allowing a longer cartridge to successfully load into a shorter, more compact receiver.

My original (incorrect) assumption was that the 30-30 was short enough to fit in the 1892, which it is not.  From what I can gather, the 1894 was born out of the need to accommodate this cartridge.

Sound reasonable?

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December 25, 2016 - 6:07 pm
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Can we even imagine a world without the Model 1894? This very well could have affected the success of Winchester as a whole in the years to come. When most folks think of Winchester, they think of the ’94.

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December 25, 2016 - 7:23 pm
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pdog72 said
Can we even imagine a world without the Model 1894? This very well could have affected the success of Winchester as a whole in the years to come. When most folks think of Winchester, they think of the ’94.  

Honestly, I never had much affection for this model–so clunky compared to ’86s and ’92s.  And yet (modified) they remain in production, which in this high-tech age rather amazes me; not cheap, either!

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December 26, 2016 - 4:55 am
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My original (incorrect) assumption was that the 30-30 was short enough to fit in the 1892, which it is not.  From what I can gather, the 1894 was born out of the need to accommodate this cartridge.

Sound reasonable?

Steffan

 

Yes. Technically Wincacher’s answer is what you were probably looking for, IMO the 1894 was built around a new class of high performance (for the day) cartridges in a handy package. The 1886 was a bit too big and bulky and the 1892 and 1873 were too small and not up to the pressures of the new smokeless powder cartridges. In fact, the 1894 was a little before it’s time as the 30WCF ammo that most folks associate with the 1894 wasn’t available when the rifle was introduced and neither were the nickel steel barrels needed to stand up to the demands of smokeless powder. The first 1894’s were chambered in 38-55 and 32-40.

I don’t know how much influence JMB had on the development of the 30WCF but I believe he had at least some input or was at least very aware of the round when he designed the 1894. I know he designed a few cartridges but I can’t recall reading anyone giving him much credit for the 30WCF.

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