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1894 18-inch short rifle on GB
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February 16, 2022 - 4:56 pm
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On GI, not GB:

Wondering what the fellow WACA members think of this one.  It’s a cool looking little rifle, but there’s a couple things about it that has me scratching my head.  Would like others to evaluate it before voicing any concerns.

https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/rifles/winchester-rifles-model-1894-pre-64/scarce-winchester-model-94-18-inch-short-rifle-in-32-40.cfm?gun_id=101857351

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February 16, 2022 - 8:30 pm
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Very cool looking gun but the proof marks look different from one another and I don’t think the barrel markings are correct for that time period.

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February 16, 2022 - 8:52 pm
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I’ve been talking to another forum member here about this gun and said the same exact thing.  Was wondering if it could have been a parts cleanup gun, but it still doesn’t explain the differing proof marks since they should have been stamped at the same time with the same die.

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February 16, 2022 - 11:32 pm
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deerhunter said
I’ve been talking to another forum member here about this gun and said the same exact thing.  Was wondering if it could have been a parts cleanup gun, but it still doesn’t explain the differing proof marks since they should have been stamped at the same time with the same die.  

early barrel which held the blue nicely – later receiver which has almost no blue – by serial # obviously should have proof marks – non-matching proof mark on the barrel added later? Seeing what Bert has to say about this one will be my Wednesday evening entertainment.

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February 17, 2022 - 12:14 am
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Hello,

I think that the rifle (basically the forward end of) it is a fake.  The caliber stamp should be on the left side of the barrel at this pint in production.  The proof stamps are absolutely different.  And based on what I have seen on the 1892’s, for half octagon barrels the barrel address stamp should be totally to the left of the seam between the forend metal cap and the wood.  A few other little things.  Most of the gun show a fair amount of wear.  BUT, the rear sight elevator has NEVER(?) been moved.  Why are there wear marks on the magazine near the retaining band???

Michael

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February 17, 2022 - 3:46 am
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deerhunter said
On GI, not GB:

Wondering what the fellow WACA members think of this one.  It’s a cool looking little rifle, but there’s a couple things about it that has me scratching my head.  Would like others to evaluate it before voicing any concerns.

https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/rifles/winchester-rifles-model-1894-pre-64/scarce-winchester-model-94-18-inch-short-rifle-in-32-40.cfm?gun_id=101857351  

An excellent configuration, but a few too many questions for me. 

                                                ~Gary~

 

                                                                        DSCN0013.jpg                                                                                                        

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February 17, 2022 - 7:47 pm
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I believe Winchester had proofed barrels in stock and used them for new guns if needed. The proofed barrels could have come from guns dismantled for parts if the receiver failed at final proofing. Or a completed gun could have been scratched or damaged after final proof such that it could not be sold as is. If you think about it there are many ways Winchester could have a proofed barrel in stock. Then use it to build a special order gun. Only a detail inspection of the gun and parts will tell if it was made by Winchester or a good gunsmith. Every single Winchester made since 1907 is in the same boat. No letters to help us. The gun must stand or fall on its own merits. 

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February 17, 2022 - 8:49 pm
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CJS57 said
I believe Winchester had proofed barrels in stock and used them for new guns if needed. The proofed barrels could have come from guns dismantled for parts if the receiver failed at final proofing. Or a completed gun could have been scratched or damaged after final proof such that it could not be sold as is. If you think about it there are many ways Winchester could have a proofed barrel in stock. Then use it to build a special order gun. Only a detail inspection of the gun and parts will tell if it was made by Winchester or a good gunsmith. Every single Winchester made since 1907 is in the same boat. No letters to help us. The gun must stand or fall on its own merits.   

You raise some very good points, but in the end it’s still “guilty until proven innocent.”  Innocent will likely be difficult to prove and will it will always be a subject of skepticism.  Just my opinion…too bad because it’s a super cool configuration.  It would have looked really good next to my 1894 18-inch SRC.

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February 17, 2022 - 10:03 pm
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CJS57 said
I believe Winchester had proofed barrels in stock and used them for new guns if needed. The proofed barrels could have come from guns dismantled for parts if the receiver failed at final proofing. Or a completed gun could have been scratched or damaged after final proof such that it could not be sold as is. If you think about it there are many ways Winchester could have a proofed barrel in stock. Then use it to build a special order gun. Only a detail inspection of the gun and parts will tell if it was made by Winchester or a good gunsmith. Every single Winchester made since 1907 is in the same boat. No letters to help us. The gun must stand or fall on its own merits.   

From an article in the Spring/Summer 2001 issue of the collector by Rick Hill – entitled Definitive Proof Marks:

“Winchester practice was to add the proof marks to actions and barrels as they were finally assembled and delivered to the warehouse rather than at the time of component manufacture”.

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February 18, 2022 - 7:42 pm
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The caliber stamp on the rifle for sale looks like it was “etched” into the surface of the barrel and does not look like a typical stamped version of 32-40 markings.  The 2 digit is undersized and the bottom of the number is not curled correctly.

32-40-Fake.jpegImage Enlarger

Now compare that to the following examples:

EARLY-ANTIQUE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-1894-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101838019_13414_CDC3139C3AEEEE11.jpegImage EnlargerSPECIAL-ORDER-WINCHESTER-1894-TAKE-DOWN-CALIBER-32-40_101334015_13414_45026AA689EE8DCA.jpegImage EnlargerWINCHESTER-1894-32-40-SRC_101857203_519_7F9B6A8BC8DBCC71.jpegImage EnlargerWinchester-1894-32-40-W10866_101522138_96_454DB05EBC7A93C9.jpegImage EnlargerWINCHESTER-1894-RIFLE-IN-32-40-WCF_100837083_13414_F5080334111A87C2.jpegImage EnlargerWINCHESTER-MODEL-94-SRC-IN-32-40_101840614_13414_E646EEB66827AE80.jpegImage EnlargerWINCHESTER-MODEL-1894-32-40-WCF-BORE-EXCELLENT_101363836_1578_2E722CFCFBCA723E.jpegImage Enlarger

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February 18, 2022 - 10:02 pm
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Thanks for posting those comparisons Michael.  I agree there’s something funky going on with this one.  I have a couple 32-40s in the safe I’ll have to dig out and take a look at now.

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February 18, 2022 - 10:16 pm
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twobit said
The caliber stamp on the rifle for sale looks like it was “etched” into the surface of the barrel and does not look like a typical stamped version of 32-40 markings.  The 2 digit is undersized and the bottom of the number is not curled correctly.

32-40-Fake.jpegImage Enlarger

Now compare that to the following examples:

EARLY-ANTIQUE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-1894-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101838019_13414_CDC3139C3AEEEE11.jpegImage EnlargerSPECIAL-ORDER-WINCHESTER-1894-TAKE-DOWN-CALIBER-32-40_101334015_13414_45026AA689EE8DCA.jpegImage EnlargerWINCHESTER-1894-32-40-SRC_101857203_519_7F9B6A8BC8DBCC71.jpegImage EnlargerWinchester-1894-32-40-W10866_101522138_96_454DB05EBC7A93C9.jpegImage EnlargerWINCHESTER-1894-RIFLE-IN-32-40-WCF_100837083_13414_F5080334111A87C2.jpegImage EnlargerWINCHESTER-MODEL-94-SRC-IN-32-40_101840614_13414_E646EEB66827AE80.jpegImage EnlargerWINCHESTER-MODEL-1894-32-40-WCF-BORE-EXCELLENT_101363836_1578_2E722CFCFBCA723E.jpegImage Enlarger

Michael  

Michael – I have 2 94’s in 32-40 which letter – here is what the caliber stamps look like – note the dash between the 2 and the 4 is perfectly centered, not off centered like the gun for sale. Actually, the gun is pending sale so another gun that is not right gets tucked away by some collector that probably thinks it is correct. And, the proof marks were certainly not done at the same time or with the same die. As you noted previously, the front end appears to be faked. Too bad – it is a cool looking configuration but the difference in bluing wear to the receiver and the barrel take away a lot of the attractiveness of the gun – at least for me.

32-40.jpgImage Enlarger

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February 19, 2022 - 12:17 am
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twobit said
Hello,

I think that the rifle (basically the forward end of) it is a fake.  
Michael  

This would be my opinion as well.

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February 19, 2022 - 2:43 am
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Burt Humphrey said

Actually, the gun is pending sale so another gun that is not right gets tucked away by some collector that probably thinks it is correct. 

I have a confession to make that I am the one who had this gun sale pending and thanks to everyone on this forum thread from saving me from making a costly mistake. I have since canceled my purchase with the seller.  It’s definitely been a learning experience and am so glad for seeking advice before sending the check.  Gun should now be available if anyone is interested…

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February 19, 2022 - 1:00 pm
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Burt Humphrey said:

Michael – I have 2 94’s in 32-40 which letter – here is what the caliber stamps look like – note the dash between the 2 and the 4 is perfectly centered, not off centered like the gun for sale.

I will add your image to my files of caliber stamp examples for any future use.  Once you look at several examples the Merz rifle just look ever more “not correct”!  Thanks for posting the extra image.

Michael

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February 19, 2022 - 1:04 pm
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Deerhunter said:

I have a confession to make that I am the one who had this gun sale pending and thanks to everyone on this forum thread from saving me from making a costly mistake. I have since canceled my purchase with the seller.  It’s definitely been a learning experience and am so glad for seeking advice before sending the check.  Gun should now be available if anyone is interested…

I love to read things like this where we have saved someone from a mistake!  I am SO glad that you were able to backtrack on the “deal” and save yourself the sorrow.  

Be careful out there,

Michael

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February 19, 2022 - 1:20 pm
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I am going to add the sale images to this thread so that they can be archived for anyone who may find this rifle “down the road” and also stumble upon this thread.

Michael

SCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_0CB638AF8F30C3CC.jpegImage EnlargerSCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_0D7B348B71E4AD0A.jpegImage EnlargerSCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_3E28DAC90A295A75.jpegImage EnlargerSCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_4C2270153DD37ADA.jpegImage EnlargerSCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_5DCC5394B6F2FB96.jpegImage EnlargerSCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_11C820F51F70B7BF.jpegImage EnlargerSCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_17A94C9A3D9B5FF9.jpegImage EnlargerSCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_91ACF34F048627B0.jpegImage EnlargerSCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_18208C44A90274C9-1.jpegImage EnlargerSCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_566633FE5B3ACFE1.jpegImage EnlargerSCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_3695463D79178DD1.jpegImage EnlargerSCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_D1D31E297B6CEB62.jpegImage EnlargerSCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_DBBC281A701BFEE4.jpegImage EnlargerSCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_E622658363238DB3.jpegImage Enlarger

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February 19, 2022 - 1:27 pm
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One more little thing that I don’t like is the transition point from round to octagon.  If you look at the for sale rifle the transition along the flats is a straight edge.  Compare that to these example from 1/2 round 1892 barrels and notice that the transition occurs as a curved radius along the entire surface of the flats.  And I will make the point again that I have never seen a barrel address stamp centered on the right edge of the metal forend cap.  They are always moved further to the right as sown in the third example.

213317.jpgImage Enlarger217771.jpgImage Enlarger217830.jpgImage Enlarger

Compare to this from the rifle in question.

SCARCE-WINCHESTER-MODEL-94-18-INCH-SHORT-RIFLE-IN-32-40_101857351_13414_5DCC5394B6F2FB96-1.jpegImage Enlarger

Michael

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February 19, 2022 - 1:32 pm
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Good calls guys.

B

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February 19, 2022 - 1:41 pm
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Great information and a great learning tutorial!

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