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February 4, 2021 - 12:43 am
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My son just received an 1894 from his great grandfather. While admiring the rifle, my son and I decided to see if we could determine how old it was as great grandpa eluded to the fact that the guy he bought it from would be over 112. The serial is a 68xxx number. It is I believe a standard sporting rifle chambered in .30wcf. it has a 3 leaf rear sight, and a front sight with two positions. One is a ring with a little pin, and the other position when the ring is flipped down appears to have a little ivory dot on it. 

 

The wood appears to be fairly decent, but aged, no cracks,only a few scratches. The receiver still has bluing on the lower 1/2 the top is slightly bare. The barrel, and mag tube are actually pretty nice yet.  The bore is very nice, as is the action. The hammer and lever almost look to have color case hardening, as well as the loading gate. Curious if there is anyone with info they could share as to how many 30-30 rifles were actually produced the same year as this.

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February 4, 2021 - 1:17 am
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The partial serial number you mention (we prefer complete serial numbers be posted) indicates that your Model 1894 was manufactured in the year 1899… 121-years ago. If you want to know the exact date it was manufactured, the Cody Firearms Museum records office can provide you with a factory letter (for a modest fee) – https://centerofthewest.org/explore/firearms/firearms-records/

The lever, hammer, and crescent butt plate were factory case color finished. The loading gate was Nitre blued. Winchester manufactured a total 26,207 Model 1894 rifles & carbines (mostly rifles) in the year 1899. Approximately half of that number were made in the 30 W.C.F. (a.k.a. 30-30) cartridge.

Bert – WACA Historian

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February 4, 2021 - 2:00 am
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Thank you! Sorry the complete number is 68272. Is the loading gate bluing almost a bright blue around the edges? There are traces of blue that remind me of the color that hot steel turns.

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February 4, 2021 - 3:12 pm
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[email protected] said
Thank you! Sorry the complete number is 68272. Is the loading gate bluing almost a bright blue around the edges? There are traces of blue that remind me of the color that hot steel turns.  

S/N 68272 was manufactured in mid September 1899.  Yes, Nitre bluing is a bright blue, and Winchester used it on the loading gates.  With typical use, must of the bright blue would wear off the central area of the gate, leaving behind a halo around the edges.

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