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Model 94 25-35 Action Locks up when fired
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May 8, 2022 - 3:18 pm
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I recently acquired a 1944 Winchester Model 94 Carbine 25-35 WCF after buying a recent production that I was not happy with. When I went to shoot it the reloads from the later gun would not chamber but I did have some loads that were loaded with new brass, and yes, I didn’t think to bring some factory rounds. I did manage to get a few rounds fired but the action wouldn’t open. While I did run a patch through the bore I never really cleaned the chamber.

So, after my Redding dies as well as RCBS dies wouldn’t resize the brass, Hornady dies did. i also have a Wilson gauge. I resized all of the brass pulled bullets and re-did all of the reloads. Did a chamber drop-in dropout check. This is the basic back story. And I also cleaned the chamber.

Friday we went and shot some long guns anxious to shoot the 25-35 I brought some factory Winchester and some Hornady Leverevolution. Fire the gun and the action freezes up, even with the factory ammo. I had reloads loaded with the Remington 86 grain bullet these seemed to work okay.

Yesterday I disassembled the 94 looked things over did some stoning with a fine stone etc., put it back together and tried the action with out the hammer in place. Worked fine with a new cartridge, my dummy round made with new case, but the fired brass would chamber and jam up the action. When I deprimed the fired brass the action seems to work just fine.

Now I know the model 94 has a tendency to push the primers out at least most of the ones I’ve had did, but I never had one jam up like this.

I’m probably going to order some headspace gauges but I have my doubts about headspace being the issue.

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May 8, 2022 - 4:48 pm
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Ken.

You mention that it is a “1944” Model 94 Carbine. Based on the original factory records, Winchester did not manufacture any Model 94s in the years 1943 and 1944. With the serial number, the actual date of manufacture can be determined.

I cannot speak to the problem you are experiencing.

Bert

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May 8, 2022 - 5:10 pm
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IMG_0656.jpgImage EnlargerKen Windeler said
I recently acquired a 1944 Winchester Model 94 Carbine 25-35 WCF after buying a recent production that I was not happy with. When I went to shoot it the reloads from the later gun would not chamber but I did have some loads that were loaded with new brass, and yes, I didn’t think to bring some factory rounds. I did manage to get a few rounds fired but the action wouldn’t open. While I did run a patch through the bore I never really cleaned the chamber.

So, after my Redding dies as well as RCBS dies wouldn’t resize the brass, Hornady dies did. i also have a Wilson gauge. I resized all of the brass pulled bullets and re-did all of the reloads. Did a chamber drop-in dropout check. This is the basic back story. And I also cleaned the chamber.

Friday we went and shot some long guns anxious to shoot the 25-35 I brought some factory Winchester and some Hornady Leverevolution. Fire the gun and the action freezes up, even with the factory ammo. I had reloads loaded with the Remington 86 grain bullet these seemed to work okay.

Yesterday I disassembled the 94 looked things over did some stoning with a fine stone etc., put it back together and tried the action with out the hammer in place. Worked fine with a new cartridge, my dummy round made with new case, but the fired brass would chamber and jam up the action. When I deprimed the fired brass the action seems to work just fine.

Now I know the model 94 has a tendency to push the primers out at least most of the ones I’ve had did, but I never had one jam up like this.

I’m probably going to order some headspace gauges but I have my doubts about headspace being the issue.  

Did you measure the base to shoulder distance before and after firing?  Remove the primers first on the fired cases.  You need to take some of the factory fired brass and when resizing move the shoulder down a couple thousandths farther than the loaded factory cases.  You need to use a caliper and a case comparator.  Maybe your chamber is tighter than normal?

Sorry about the picture location.

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May 8, 2022 - 5:23 pm
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The Seller on Guns International had it listed as 1944. I didn’t think that was correct either because as you posted Winchester didn’t make any in 43-44. According to this web site it is 1945 and iirc the barrel dates to 1941. I guess I need to post some pictures. Serial #1344XXX

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May 8, 2022 - 5:31 pm
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  Ken,

 When you do get the case out after firing does it have a slight bulge? Then after resizing does it fit?  Bulged chamber? Maybe the 86gr load is light enough to keep from fire forming the case. T/R

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May 8, 2022 - 5:41 pm
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Ken Windeler said
The Seller on Guns International had it listed as 1944. I didn’t think that was correct either because as you posted Winchester didn’t make any in 43-44. According to this web site it is 1945 and iirc the barrel dates to 1941. I guess I need to post some pictures. Serial #1344XXX  

Ken,

1344000999 were all manufactured in October 1945, shortly after Winchester resumed post WW II production.  Currently I have several 25-35 WCF Carbines documented in my research survey document as follows;

1344501, 1344655, 1344680, 1344730, and 1344730. It appears that Winchester did a clean-up of pre-war production 25-35 barrels.

Is your Carbine one of them I have already documented?  If not, please provide me with the complete serial number so that I can add it to my research document.  Based on the October 1945 production date, it should have a blank (unmarked) upper tang and not be drilled & tapped for a tang sight.  A “41” dated barrel would be correct, but please confirm it for me.

Bert

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May 8, 2022 - 8:19 pm
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Bert H. said

Ken,

1344000999 were all manufactured in October 1945, shortly after Winchester resumed post WW II production.  Currently I have several 25-35 WCF Carbines documented in my research survey document as follows;

1344501, 1344655, 1344680, 1344730, and 1344730. It appears that Winchester did a clean-up of pre-war production 25-35 barrels.

Is your Carbine one of them I have already documented?  If not, please provide me with the complete serial number so that I can add it to my research document.  Based on the October 1945 production date, it should have a blank (unmarked) upper tang and not be drilled & tapped for a tang sight.  A “41” dated barrel would be correct, but please confirm it for me.

Bert  

Bert,

The serial number is 1344538. I’ll have to take the forearm loose and see if I can see the barrel date but I’m pretty sure it is “41.”

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May 8, 2022 - 8:29 pm
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TR said
  Ken,

 When you do get the case out after firing does it have a slight bulge? Then after resizing does it fit?  Bulged chamber? Maybe the 86gr load is light enough to keep from fire forming the case. T/R  

The cases fired in the newer 25-35 which I sold I could not resize with Redding or RCBS dies, and I have no idea why. but the hornady dies resized the brass to the minimum dimensions using the L. E. Wilson case gauge.

The rounds fired in this 25-35 will rechamber and there is nothing that looks odd. But if I rechamber a case with the primer protruding the action jams up. If I deprime using the universal decapping die the fired case works okay.

I am beginning to think the issue is mechanical as the extractor groove in the barrel doesn’t quite line up with the extractor groove in the receiver The extractor looks like it is or was binding there. I took the extractor out and filled the side some and the action smoothed up some.

I’ve never had to work on a pre-64 Model 94 before, but when factory ammo creates an issue I’m like hmm.

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May 8, 2022 - 9:06 pm
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 Ken,

 I recently got bored at a local gun show and came home with a 1894 25-35 rifle. When I bought it the seller threw in a partial box of new ammo. Looking at the fired cases, the primers had just pushed back a tiny bit. I cut a deal that included return privileges if the gun didn’t feed, fire, and eject. It works fine and the primer thing doesn’t make any difference. With the 86gr bullets they don’t move and with 117gr still good at 23grs of 3031. Nice accurate and fun gun. T/R 

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May 9, 2022 - 2:08 am
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Ken Windeler said

The cases fired in the newer 25-35 which I sold I could not resize with Redding or RCBS dies, and I have no idea why. but the hornady dies resized the brass to the minimum dimensions using the L. E. Wilson case gauge.

The rounds fired in this 25-35 will rechamber and there is nothing that looks odd. But if I rechamber a case with the primer protruding the action jams up. If I deprime using the universal decapping die the fired case works okay.

I am beginning to think the issue is mechanical as the extractor groove in the barrel doesn’t quite line up with the extractor groove in the receiver The extractor looks like it is or was binding there. I took the extractor out and filled the side some and the action smoothed up some.

I’ve never had to work on a pre-64 Model 94 before, but when factory ammo creates an issue I’m like hmm.  

That is a new S/N for the research survey.  The date of manufacture for your Carbine is 10/18/1945.  Does it have the serrated steel butt plate (horizontal grooves), or the flat checkered steel butt plate?

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May 9, 2022 - 5:05 pm
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It is not uncommon at all for the primers to back out a couple thousandths.  I measure my cases after every firing and if I forget to de prime first I will get a longer measurement.  I load every week so I mess up occasionally.  How old is your brass?  Are the primer pockets getting loose?  When you seat the primers do some seat easier than others?  

I measure the base to case shoulder length to keep track so I know how much they grow when fired and how much to bump them back during resizing.  After a couple of firings your cases should expand to fill the chamber.  Take a measurement.  After this you should move the shoulder back about .002″ by adjusting your sizing die.  Your chamber may be on either edge of the SAMMI spec?  If over pressure is not the issue then the cases may be expanding in length too much.  Are all the cases under the max overall length?

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May 10, 2022 - 3:06 pm
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It is beginning to look like a chamber issue. The end of the body of the chamber as well as the shoulder looked like it was brushed with a heavy brush of some sort. I do not think I did it as the only brush I used was a revolver chamber brush and it would have scratched the whole chamber. Yesterday I noticed some circular marks on the brass so I’m going to try and polish the chamber with a Flex Hone.

Here’s some pictures of my Model 94:

Image Enlarger” />https://i.imgur.com/L9aTPoV.jpgImage Enlarger

https://i.imgur.com/ZEjaDJ8.jpgImage Enlarger

https://i.imgur.com/6XXVkT7.jpgImage Enlarger

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May 11, 2022 - 1:59 am
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Ken,

Thanks for the picture of the barrel date.

Bert

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May 11, 2022 - 2:17 am
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Nice carbine, Ken. I was hoping the extractor fit was your issue. Good luck with the flex hone. Never used one of those but I have had a gunsmith set a barrel back a thread or two and re-cut the chamber. 

 

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May 11, 2022 - 3:25 am
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Bert H. said
Ken,

Thanks for the picture of the barrel date.

Bert

  

Bert,

You’re welcome. Checkered flat steel buttplate, stock is refinished, no tang markings or tang sight mounting hole.

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May 11, 2022 - 4:40 am
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Ken Windeler said

Bert H. said

Ken,

Thanks for the picture of the barrel date.

Bert

  

Bert,

You’re welcome. Checkered flat steel buttplate, stock is refinished, no tang markings or tang sight mounting hole.

  

Interesting that it has the flat checkered steel butt plate.  The vast majority of the 1945 production Carbines were manufactured with the pre-war serrated steel butt plate.

Thanks again for the information.

Bert

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May 18, 2022 - 7:49 pm
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I think I’ve found the problem. The headspace gauge will not go into the chamber. It does on my 30-30. According to Brownell’s, Clymer, Forster and Midway the 30-30 gauge is for the whole family of cartridges based on that case.

https://i.imgur.com/qD410tu.jpgImage Enlarger

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May 19, 2022 - 8:41 pm
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Size your case so the shoulder is moved back until it will chamber.  You need at least .002″ of head space.  The 32-40 and the 38-55 do not have a shoulder.  The others do. The OD of the 25-35 body at the junction of the shoulder is smaller than all the rest. About .368″ as compared to the 30 WCF which is about .393″.  Maybe the head space gauge is too fat or it is not made to fit the smallest chamber?

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May 19, 2022 - 10:36 pm
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Chuck said
Size your case so the shoulder is moved back until it will chamber.  You need at least .002″ of head space.  The 32-40 and the 38-55 do not have a shoulder.  The others do. The OD of the 25-35 body at the junction of the shoulder is smaller than all the rest. About .368″ as compared to the 30 WCF which is about .393″.  Maybe the head space gauge is too fat or it is not made to fit the smallest chamber?

  

Factory Winchester ammo is undersized according to my Wilson headspace gauge, when fired I cannot open the action. My resized brass chambers, when fired the action will not open.

Clymer lists all of the cartridges based on the 30-30, or 32-40 case for this gauge.

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May 20, 2022 - 12:00 am
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I think I’m understanding why this carbine was offered for sale.

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