I’m brand new to this forum and wanted to get an opinion from the experts about a 94 SRC in 38-55. I was referred by Bert (thanks Bert!) and got hooked when he referred me to this sight on the subject of the 94/95 variant carbines. I was lucky enough to pick up one of those carbines (in excellent 85-90% condition) a couple of months ago not really knowing about their significance. Anyway, back to this SRC in question. It is a very late production gun (especially for this caliber) that the seller states is 1941 production, but according to Red Book serialization, puts it in the 1940 range. It does have the mysterious "W" below the serial number. It seems to be in nearly new condition with light wear marks from the saddle ring and a little wear on the lever. The stocks look excellent with good fit. Does this gun look legit with original finish on the wood and metal? How common is this configuration for a gun produced so late? I thought the 38-55 caliber was discontinued in 1929–maybe a parts clean-up gun? I’m curious to find out about the front sight, too, since no picture is presented. I’m thinking this would have the post front sight, but is a ramp front sight a possibility? It’s a bit on the pricey side, too. When you’re talking that much money, you want to be sure it’s a good one. Your opinions will be much appreciated.
July 8, 2012
April 15, 2005
First order of business… what is the complete serial number (I can not make it out fully)?
There are a few things that need to be cleared up.
1. Winchester officially discontinued both the 32-40 and 38-55 calibers for the Model 94 as of January 1938 (announced in their catalog).
2. Saddle rings were discontinued as a regular production item in 1932, though they were less common than the Eastern Carbine configuration starting in June of 1929. Saddle rings were a special order option through the start of WW II.
Now, as for that SRC, it is my belief that it is factory original with the possible exception of the barrel, and even it could be original. I very much believe that when Winchester discontinued the 38-55 in January of 1938, that at least a few barrels remained on hand, and were eventually used for parts clean-up. There is a very good possibility that this SRC is legitmate, but I would want to inspect it closely, and check the barrel date. If the 2-digit year number on the barrel is something in the mid 1930s, I would be inclined to believe that it is legitimate. I strongly suspect that it has the traditional post style front sight versus a ramp style (due to the No. 44 rear sight), but I would not be surprised by either style.
In regards to the fit & finish on it, there is nothing about it that would lead me to believe that it is not factory original. In fact, everything I see on the receiver frame screams "original". More specifically, the saddle ring and stud are perfectly oriented, the bitter ends of all the screws are still rounded and they have the typical bluing wear, and the "W" stamp has the expected graying on the periphery (outer edges) of the stamp. The stocks look good to me.
As for the seller, he has had a number of faked 38-55 Model 55 and Model 64 rifles for sale in the past few years, and this gun needs some extra scrutiny, but I would not be willing to summarily dismiss it without first knowing what the exact serial number is, and knowing what the barrel date is.
WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
January 26, 2011
I personally do not like the way the buttstock fits,in the the photo of the right side, the stock travels below the receiver, and it just isnt tight enough anywhere along the receiver on either side, and even along the upper tang it fits but it doesn’t look flush.And i also don’t like the color of the wood very much,it,s to light.The receiver it self looks perfect….This seller has had to many rare caliber 94,s 55,s and 64,s that weren’t factory for sale in the past for me to believe this one is factory
I just got off the phone with the seller. Apparently, the gun has been shipped to someone in Texas to look at. He said it had the post front sight with a blade, but that’s all the information he could give me since the gun wasn’t in the shop. Is anyone on this forum the person that this was shipped to?
March 20, 2009
November 17, 2012
I appreciate everyone’s input on this rifle. I’m getting a little bit of a bad vibe about things not adding up completely without being able to verify it in person. With other members sharing instances of this seller selling fraudulent guns in the past gives me a really bad taste in my mouth and am not willing to shell out six grand with too many potential open-ended issues. I think Bert’s advice of examining the date stamp underneath the forearm would help answer the legitimacy head on, but it’s highly unlikely we’ll get anything from the seller on that. Also, who’s to say the barrel stamps can’t be faked either. With that in mind, here’s another few examples that just seem "too good to be true" (at least to me) from this seller. How would anyone be able to come across such mint condition guns if there wasn’t a little bit of funky something going on. In this case, the sellers past fishy reputation means a lot.
September 29, 1993
No, I have 35 carbines but none like this one! Don’t believe that I ever will either. Take a look at the butt-stock. That style went out of production around serial number 1130000 in June of 1936 when the serrated steel butt-plate was introduced.
Too many "coincidences" for me……………
WACA Life Benefactor Member
NRA Life Member
I compared the Winchester red letter roll stamp on the seller,s rifle to the model 61 roll stamp shown in Ned Schwings reference on page 61,and the top of the letter s and t are very close together on the seller,s rifle and in the reference book there is a much greater separation.