I just purchased a Winchester 94 30-30 that was built in 1956. The gun is in fair-good shape. The bluing looks a little to good to be original but not perfect. The stock needs refinished.
I would like to restore the rifle but would like to have it checked out by a gunsmith first to make sure it’s safe to shoot and no internals need replaced.
I don’t know and gunsmiths that has any experience in the Pre 64 94’s. Anyone have any suggestions?
Joseph, I’ve purchased and disassembled 14 pre 64 94’s over the past few years and have found that most haven’t been “Properly” cleaned sense new. The firing pins were ceased in about half because of 60+ years of old oil, dust,bellybutton lint and dead skin that finds its way into Everything.
Try to NOT sand the stock and forearm. First, remove both and use a good stripper and a plastic scrapper (I used old credit cards) to remove old finish. Oil the stock with a premium wood oil (Not Tru Oil) and rub it in, several times. The little nicks and scrapes sometimes adds to the natural patina and use of the 94. They were purchased as tools and not to collect. Hopefully yours is Black Walnut, No stain necessary.
I spend an hour and about 10 toothpicks cleaning the slots of the screws and around the heads before touching them with the Proper screwdriver (Hollow ground Only) with just a few proper tools and patience they come apart pretty easy. John Browning was a Genius!! I would have to say that unless someone along the line has done something stupid, you will not have to replace any internals. Hopefully yours has not had a butcher touch the screws with their “Universal” (one size fits all) screwdriver. You can purchase new pre 64 screws at Homestead parts. I’ve attached a photo of 4 that have been stripped and oiled without sanding.
This is one sample stock that was clear coated (Poorly) and had dings and dents. I stripped it and oiled it only. The forearms were bought off eBay stripped and oiled. The one on top in the pic has great figure to it IMHO but they all look good to me. I know now why Winchester stained the stocks. It would be difficult to match a stock to the forearm in the top pic. It was a way to even out the color but I’m a natural kinda guy.
Thank you Bobbys94.
I purchased some of the John Kay Winchester Oil to redo the wood with. I’m just waiting for some free time to start that project. I also bought all new screws for it but haven’t installed any of them. I still need to track down an original flat checkered meta butt plate for it. The previous owner installed a recoil pad that is ugly and dried out. I bought an aftermarket plastic W9inchester one to put on until I find a decent original style one.
I’m still undecided on having it reblued or not. The current finish isn’t to bad, but I like pretty rifles.