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1894 trapper carbines
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March 12, 2014 - 2:38 pm
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Of the 14" to 19" range of barrel lengths on 1894 trapper carbines, what would the desirability ranking be from top to bottom from a collector’s standpoint (assuming the same condition, caliber, etc.)? Do the ones (ie. 15") that require a BATF letter command a premium even if they may be more plentiful than the 16" to 19" versions? Or does rarity take precedence? I saw an "expert" on Antiques Roadshow appraise an 1894 trapper with a 15" barrel and BATF letter for $4,000 to $6,000. He went on to mention that it commands a premium over the "legal" 16" and 18" carbines. This didn’t seem quite right with me since the 15" version is likely to have the highest production numbers. Just wondering what the real experts on this forum think.

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March 12, 2014 - 3:25 pm
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Hello,

Based on the ARMAX survey of the first 353,999 Model 1894 rifles there were in the saddle ring carbines:
19 rifles with 14" barrel lengths
272 rifles with 15" barrel lengths
104 rifles with 16" barrel lengths
2 rifles with 17" barrel lengths
12 rifles with 18" barrel lengths
0 rifles with 19" barrel lengths

I would expect that from this information the valuations for similar condition carbines would be inverse to these production numbers. Once a 15" rifle has a BATF letter it is just as legal to own, and therefore does not factor into the valuation.

Michael

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March 13, 2014 - 6:44 am
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Just my personal opinion

I have seen quite a few 15 & 16 inch trapper carbines, and have owned a couple.

I currently do not have a 14, 17,18 or 19 inch 94 trapper carbine in my collection.

Those seem harder to find, and for a collector that needs/wants one for their collection, then they are generally willing to pay a premium.

V/R

Mike

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March 13, 2014 - 9:36 am
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Thanks guys–looks like we’re on the same page. I’ve learned to take the on TV experts/appraisers with a grain of salt. To an uneducated audience, they seem real impressive to listen to. As I learn more and more about this hobby, it’s amazing to me how inaccurate they really are. On this episode of Antiques Roadshow, the "expert" went on to say that a 16" to 19" 1894 trapper would be worth about half of a BATF cleared 15" 1894 trapper. Some of the experts on this forum ought to submit resumes to some of the producers of these shows so they can build some accuracy and credibility. I keep waiting for someone like Bert to appear on Pawn Stars to authenticate that former George Washington owned 1873… Laugh 🙄

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March 15, 2014 - 5:48 pm
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[quote=" I keep waiting for someone like Bert to appear on Pawn Stars to authenticate that former George Washington owned 1873… Laugh :roll:[/quote]

Hmmm, Bert and Chumlee,……I don’t see that working out

                                                                               ~Gary~

                                                                                                                                                                              94-SRR.jpg

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March 15, 2014 - 9:46 pm
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Gary,

Maybe not, but the old man and I would hit it off great (he is a retired Navy Chief).

Bert

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March 27, 2014 - 1:45 am
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twobit said
Hello,

Based on the ARMAX survey of the first 353,999 Model 1894 rifles there were in the saddle ring carbines:
19 rifles with 14" barrel lengths
272 rifles with 15" barrel lengths
104 rifles with 16" barrel lengths
2 rifles with 17" barrel lengths
12 rifles with 18" barrel lengths
0 rifles with 19" barrel lengths

I would expect that from this information the valuations for similar condition carbines would be inverse to these production numbers. Once a 15" rifle has a BATF letter it is just as legal to own, and therefore does not factor into the valuation.

Michael

With this known factor of the Winchester Model 1894-94 Trapper (short barrel) Carbines being able to get confirmation of originality.
How many have been found outside of this serial number range and been confirmed?
Just Wondering, hokie

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March 27, 2014 - 9:27 am
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Hokie

Without factory documentation there is no way to confirm originality of a particular rifle/carbine; at that point you can only rely on an “expert” opinion, and as we all know, expert opinions tend to vary depending on which expert you ask.

Compounding this, I suspect that once barrels shorter than 16 inches became illegal, Winchester disposed of most of the “trapper” barrels as scrap, more than likely bought up by companies specializing in surplus gun parts such as Numrich, Stoger, Dixie Gun Works, Hearters etc., who resold these at just above scrap prices. I imagine some of these barrels have been placed on standard carbines.

I currently have two 14 inch 92 carbine barrels that had never been installed on a frame.

I also suspect that once legislation started going thru the political process, Winchester assembled a higher percentage of trappers, much in the same way that AR-15 manufacturers focused on manufacturing frames prior to the 1994 crime bill. I believe that the 1929 St Valentine’s Day Massacre was the catalyst that spurred the CCA of 1934, so gun companies had some forewarning.

I have seen a few mid/late 20s trappers.

What I still find surprising is the disparity between the number of 1892 and 1894 trapper carbines produced; there are 3-4 thousand of 1892 trappers in the letterable range, yet with 1894s only a few hundred.

Of course there are a bunch of fakes out there, but luckily the carbine barrel is one of the most difficult to fake correctly, if you know what to look for.

V/R

Mike

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March 27, 2014 - 9:47 am
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Mike,

I think that we have briefly discussed this in the past, but for everyone else’s sake, it is my believe that the primary reason that there are a lot more Model 1892 Trappers versus Model 1894 Trappers is due to the cartridges that they were chambered for. The low power 44 WCF cartridge is much less affected by the shorter barrel length on a Trapper than the high power 30 WCF cartridge is.

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March 27, 2014 - 10:23 am
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hokie said
With this known factor of the Winchester Model 1894-94 Trapper (short barrel) Carbines being able to get confirmation of originality.
How many have been found outside of this serial number range and been confirmed?
Just Wondering, hokie

Mark,

In partial answer to your question, I have thus far surveyed (79) Model 94 Trapper Carbines in the 1000000 – 1090560 serial number range with barrels shorter than 16-inches. Of that number, just (6) of them have not been blessed by the BATF.

I have not put any effort into identifying how many were made in the 354000 – 999999 serial number range. That stated, per the ARMAX survey, there were (291) 14 & 15 inch Trappers made in the 1 – 353999 serial number range. Assuming a linear production in the 354000 – 999999 serial range, we can extrapolate that an additional (531) 14 & 15 inch Trappers were made. That would bring the estimated total to (822) Model 1894 Trappers made through January 1st, 1927. Based on what I have surveyed in the 1,000,000+ serial number range, my estimate is that approximately a total of (1,000) were made from October 1894 through late 1933. Currently, serial number 1090560 is the highest serial number I have recorded with a sub 16-inch barrel (it has a 14-inch barrel), and it went through the PR on 6/12/1933. I doubt that there were more than a scant few of them made after that date.

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March 27, 2014 - 12:01 pm
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Bert,

Do you have any post serial 353,999 survey data / estimates regarding the 16", 17", and 18" 1894 trapper carbines? My most recent purchase is an 18" trapper serial# 949121 in 25-35WCF (it finally arrived after being in the USPS system nearly 3 weeks).

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March 27, 2014 - 12:06 pm
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I have an idea of the process for clearing a rifle or carbine having a shorter than 16" barrel through the BATF, never had to do it and dont have any ambitions of ever buying such a firearm. For those rifles or carbines having shorter than 16" barrels, I assume that you send the firearm to the BATF to get their blessing.

I guess my question is, if the firearm is outside the letterable range, does the BATF verify that it is factory original, or does it matter??. The reason why I ask is at the one of the Cabelas stores I recently visited, they have a 14"or 15" (cant remember which) octagon barrel rifle they are claiming to be original (which it is not by any stretch of the imagination–barrel and tube have obviously been cut) and they claim it has an accompanying letter from the BATF clearing the firearm. Their statement to me was "We have a letter from the BATF verifying it is original" If this is the case, how can you rely on the cleared serial numbers for shorter than 16" barrel rifles and carbines provided by the BATF with regards to what is actually out there that is factory original, vs. what is not?

Just curious and trying to understand the value or validity of what is provided by the BATF with consideration given to the example above.

Thanks.

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March 27, 2014 - 12:26 pm
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Ok Bert,
I guess I have to rephrase my question.
It’s not only a Winchester Carbine with a 16" barrel or shorter. It was directed to all Winchester Model 1894-94 Trapper Carbine Barrel lengths shorter than standard 20" barrels.
The original post was 14" to 19" Trapper Carbines. I read deerhunters post about the same question 16"-17"-18". I also read your reply to my post and thank you for doing so, between serial number 353,999 and 1,000,000 still has to be surveyed?

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March 27, 2014 - 12:35 pm
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deerhunter,
you got it, thats the rifle. They also had a 94 carbine with I think a 15" barrel they are claiming to be original as well.

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March 27, 2014 - 1:24 pm
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Chris

I’ve sent a couple to the ATF, and have helped a few customers out as well.
Basically you send it to an ATF office in WV explaining that you would like the firearm removed from the NFA, and added to the C&R list.

I’m pretty darn sure that they don’t disassemble the firearm at all. My gut feeling is that as long as it’s the right age, not full auto or a bazooka, they really don’t care. They realize that the firearm is in the collectors market and is likely to remain there indefinitely.

I’ve only seen one carbine returned W/O acceptance, the gun was so rusted that the ATF couldn’t make out the serial number, thus could not enter the SN into the C&R list it was a 15 inch trapper and the gun was retuned intact.

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March 28, 2014 - 11:31 am
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deerhunter said
Bert,

Do you have any post serial 353,999 survey data / estimates regarding the 16", 17", and 18" 1894 trapper carbines? My most recent purchase is an 18" trapper serial# 949121 in 25-35WCF (it finally arrived after being in the USPS system nearly 3 weeks).

Don,

No, I do not. I have several listed in my database, but I have not intentionally looked for them.

Bert

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March 28, 2014 - 12:15 pm
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hokie said
Ok Bert,
I guess I have to rephrase my question.
It’s not only a Winchester Carbine with a 16" barrel or shorter. It was directed to all Winchester Model 1894-94 Trapper Carbine Barrel lengths shorter than standard 20" barrels.
The original post was 14" to 19" Trapper Carbines. I read deerhunters post about the same question 16"-17"-18". I also read your reply to my post and thank you for doing so, between serial number 353,999 and 1,000,000 still has to be surveyed?

okiedokie,hokie

Mark,

In answer to your last question, Yes, the serial range 354,000 – 999,999 has not been surveyed to the best of my knowledge.

Bert

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October 15, 2021 - 1:16 pm
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Anybody seen or owned a 17” trapper model 1894 ?

A quick google search found this 1892 from RIA back in 2018 but nothing in m1894.

https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/74/3030/rare-17-inch-barrel-winchester-model-1892-lever-action

RickC

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January 4, 2022 - 7:16 pm
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I was going to follow up with, although there’s only two known 1894 trappers in 17″, and nobody on this forum has ever seen one(or replied they saw one) if I were ordering one back in the day, I would have probably ordered & prefer the 14″ trapper for looks alone. The 17″ certainly has the rarity factor but, considering I was buying it to use, my choice first to last would be 14″, 15″, 16″. Jmo. Anyone else have a preference aside from known production numbers and a 100yrs later?

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