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Another very interesting GB Auction w/possibly factory sling swivels
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March 24, 2017 - 4:44 pm
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WINCHESTER 94 30-30 CARBINE

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/631989093

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March 24, 2017 - 11:39 pm
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Some things strike oddly about this carbine.  Maybe it is just the lighting in the photos that is steering me wrong.

Pic #32: Forearm band screw-hole concave/refinished?

Pic #51: Forearm band screw shows wear, but band appears pristine? 

Pic #70: Dings on receiver behind locking bolt.

Pic #71 & 82:  The left side of the hammer seems to have had the edges ground/filed?

Lever corrosion but none on receiver.  Left side of forestock dings and scratches but none on barrel.  Front band worn but no wear on back band.  Muzzle and front of magazine hard dings.

Stocks have seen at least a steel wool pad?

Seems the carbine had a sling on it and the buckle/fastener below the forestock band marred the wood.  Had to have been used a bit to cause that much scraping.  No carry wear on the receiver nor on the upper tang.

I’m not a carbine guy, have studied rifles–the signs are much the same.  If I’m reading them correctly, I’d turn away from this sale.

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March 25, 2017 - 3:38 am
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FromTheWoods:

 

Thanks for giving the piece such a thorough going over.  Although I did look at all of the pictures, it was kind of quick like.  My first impression was that the bluing is bright and thinning and that the wood finish is all original.  I’ll have to take a closer look at it tomorrow morning and post up some more thoughts.

 As you probably know, this seller has an excellent reputation and seems to be an expert when it comes to his descriptions.  As for the sling swivels possibly being factory original as he has mentioned…I don’t know, because I have not seen an upper swivel like the one on this carbine in any of my reference material.  I am hoping that Bert and some other folks will comment on this point for me, and anyone else who might be wondering the same thing.

 

James

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March 25, 2017 - 4:32 am
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James,  I wasn’t aware of the sellers reputation and knowledge.  I’m still attempting to learn the signs of a fine piece and those of one that has been altered.

Prior to typing those questions and observations, I hesitated, thinking I didn’t want to taint the auction with “negative waves” by doubting the carbine’s originality.  Often on forums the negative aspects of a posting are hashed out before the positives wake folks up to the proper view of things.

I’ve begun to look quite closely at Winchesters on auction sites.  The most expensive rifle I’ve purchased happened to be one that none of us on this forum noticed had been altered.  By the time I noted that the rifle had a problem, I felt too much time had gone by for working with the seller.  That seller has a good reputation too.  I’m certain he would have helped with the problem, but I’m choosing to keep that rifle.  I’ll get it working properly and one of my sons will love to have it.  And after I’m dead (Yes, that happens to some of us.) after that, when my family shoots and hunts with it, they will not care that Dad paid a bit much for it.

So I’m still learning, attempting to recognize and judge the qualities of finer Winchesters.  I’d bet a box of .38 WCF cartridges that for on-line sales, without being able to hold the Winchester to take a good look at it, I’ll make a few more mistakes!

For on-line sellers, I have two lists:  those who are honorable, and those who I’d rather not purchase from.  I’ll add this seller’s name to the honorable group.

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March 25, 2017 - 4:25 pm
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Looks very good to me, only statement I’ll take issue with is where he suggests that it may have never been carried. It has indeed been carried by someone who was very careful, with the possible exception of the time the sling buckle or something else damaged the forearm. The markings on the left side of the hammer are consistent with rubbing against the receiver. My brother has been hunting with a Model 70 his wife gave him soon after they married over 35 years ago. It’s gone hunting with him almost every year since, often multiple trips. It would easily grade 98%. It looks as good as the new Super Grade I gave him several years ago. Some guys take very good care of their rifles and I think this carbine was owned by someone who was very careful and meticulous. Maybe I should buy this one for my brother, he and the former owner are surely kindred spirits.

I would like to know about the sling swivels, or at least get an informed opinion.

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March 25, 2017 - 4:44 pm
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Good Morning FTW,

Let me begin by noting that I do not consider myself an expert on describing a gun’s condition but, like you, I am somewhere on that plane of 0 to 50+ years experience, for example, where Bert and some of the other old timers were a long time ago.

Picking up where I left off last night about the upper sling swivel.  The seller makes note that, “There are correct Winchester carbine slings (possibly factory installed, see pic.#93).”  and although I am familiar with the integral circular sling swivel that came on one type of nose caps as shown in picture #93, that picture does not show a distinct circular flange like you can see in auction pictures 11 and 19, and that threw me until I realized that it is not shown on the picture of the nose cap either, but I must admit that I really do like the looks of it. 

I agree with you on the lighting aspect in that that sometimes images are distorted one way or another, and I think this is in play in some of the many photos in his auction.  Also, the dings you mention that are shown in picture 70 appear to be typical and what one might expect from such an old rifle.  I believe your point about the wear on the bottom of the forend might well be correct!   Yes, this rifle does show some use as I see it, too, but not enough to show typical receiver or tang wear from handling.  The corrosion on the lever that you mention looks like it all started with some flaking and I’d not be too concerned about the receiver not showing any of the same, even though the barrel, for example, appears to show some minor freckling.

Again, the oil finished wood does appear to be all original with extra figure in it as the seller notes.  In fact, the color and grain of the wood on his carbine looks very much like that on my pre-war.  

On the whole, I think this is a beautiful carbine and should the sling swivels be blessed by the powers to be as factory original in their opinion…then someone will have a fantastic collectible.  Heck, I’d like to own it anyway, but spending 2000 dollars only to have someone say it has nothing more than shooter value (read 6 to 800 dollars max), or remain silent, with their expert opinion is not helpful at all.  Beautiful Winchester, though!!!

James

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March 25, 2017 - 5:03 pm
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TXGunNut said
Looks very good to me, only statement I’ll take issue with is where he suggests that it may have never been carried. It has indeed been carried by someone who was very careful, with the possible exception of the time the sling buckle or something else damaged the forearm. The markings on the left side of the hammer are consistent with rubbing against the receiver. My brother has been hunting with a Model 70 his wife gave him soon after they married over 35 years ago. It’s gone hunting with him almost every year since, often multiple trips. It would easily grade 98%. It looks as good as the new Super Grade I gave him several years ago. Some guys take very good care of their rifles and I think this carbine was owned by someone who was very careful and meticulous. Maybe I should buy this one for my brother, he and the former owner are surely kindred spirits.

I would like to know about the sling swivels, or at least get an informed opinion.  

TXGunNut,

Same here on getting an informed opinion on whether or not the swivels were factory installed or not, because that is going to drive the price of this gun up or down as some people see it.  It appears to me at this point in time that the upper swivel is going to be a factory part, but like I said, the circular flange does not appear on page 93 like it shows on his carbine.

James

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March 25, 2017 - 5:12 pm
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That flange bothers me as well but the pics from Madis’ book (p600) may depict earlier versions. Hard to say from the text accompanying the pictures. 

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March 25, 2017 - 5:13 pm
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FromTheWoods said
James,  I wasn’t aware of the sellers reputation and knowledge.  I’m still attempting to learn the signs of a fine piece and those of one that has been altered.

Prior to typing those questions and observations, I hesitated, thinking I didn’t want to taint the auction with “negative waves” by doubting the carbine’s originality.  Often on forums the negative aspects of a posting are hashed out before the positives wake folks up to the proper view of things.

I’ve begun to look quite closely at Winchesters on auction sites.  The most expensive rifle I’ve purchased happened to be one that none of us on this forum noticed had been altered.  By the time I noted that the rifle had a problem, I felt too much time had gone by for working with the seller.  That seller has a good reputation too.  I’m certain he would have helped with the problem, but I’m choosing to keep that rifle.  I’ll get it working properly and one of my sons will love to have it.  And after I’m dead (Yes, that happens to some of us.) after that, when my family shoots and hunts with it, they will not care that Dad paid a bit much for it.

So I’m still learning, attempting to recognize and judge the qualities of finer Winchesters.  I’d bet a box of .38 WCF cartridges that for on-line sales, without being able to hold the Winchester to take a good look at it, I’ll make a few more mistakes!

For on-line sellers, I have two lists:  those who are honorable, and those who I’d rather not purchase from.  I’ll add this seller’s name to the honorable group.  

 

FWIW, I think you did good by taking a lot of time to address specifics in a respectful manner.

I’m sorry to hear about your less than positive experience regarding your most expensive rifle, especially when no one on our forum noticed the alteration.  I’ve done that before, too, a couple of times when I did not get a direct answer from the seller.

I’m certain that you have this seller on the right list!!!

James

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March 25, 2017 - 5:32 pm
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I try to keep an open mind but quite honestly I’m hesitant to buy online. I know it’s a necessary evil at this point so I’m working on it. I’m pretty sure that good & honest sellers occasionally miss something just as the ones with less than stellar reputations occasionally have a very nice, honest gun to offer. I don’t have the experienced eye some around here have and have missed important clues even given the opportunity for a hands-on inspection. Threads like this one represent good learning opportunities, thanks for posting it, James.

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March 25, 2017 - 7:23 pm
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Thanks for addressing the qualities of this carbine.  Now, I’d surely like to hold it and take note of what can be used as a guideline between a well cared for piece and one that has been altered.

The thing that still strikes me as odd is the hammer.  The receiver wear is not what I was looking at. On both sides where the back of the thumb area of the hammer meets the main area of it, there is a filed? bevel to the edges of the main curve.  Haven’t seen that on a hammer before this.  Also the sharpness is gone from the under-the-thumb left side of the hammer.  Some hammers in this area have a slight bevel; this one looks exaggerated.  It is no ugly problem with the carbine, I just would like to know if it is normal and I just haven’t noticed before now, or if it is an after-factory modification.

The lighting/photography does play tricks.  The two bands change their looks between differing angles of pictures.  Lever changes distinction too.   

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March 25, 2017 - 8:51 pm
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FromTheWoods said
Thanks for addressing the qualities of this carbine.  Now, I’d surely like to hold it and take note of what can be used as a guideline between a well cared for piece and one that has been altered.

The thing that still strikes me as odd is the hammer.  The receiver wear is not what I was looking at. On both sides where the back of the thumb area of the hammer meets the main area of it, there is a filed? bevel to the edges of the main curve.  Haven’t seen that on a hammer before this.  Also the sharpness is gone from the under-the-thumb left side of the hammer.  Some hammers in this area have a slight bevel; this one looks exaggerated.  It is no ugly problem with the carbine, I just would like to know if it is normal and I just haven’t noticed before now, or if it is an after-factory modification.

The lighting/photography does play tricks.  The two bands change their looks between differing angles of pictures.  Lever changes distinction too.     

Good eye and good point.  I see a beveled edge on the hammer spur in picture number 86.  I checked my 1938 prewar and on the right side of the hammer spur where the sharp edge meets the hammer body there is the slightest bit of a bevel that shows tiny machine marks for a fraction of an inch before forming a sharp edge along its length, but for me to see it I had to use a very bright light and magnifying glass to pick it up.  Other than that, the hammers on my 94’s have sharp edges.  Even with this in mind, I don’t see a problem since it is uniform in shape from beginning to tip…but I could be wrong.  Here, again, it would be nice to have other folks comment on this point.

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March 25, 2017 - 8:54 pm
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TXGunNut said
I try to keep an open mind but quite honestly I’m hesitant to buy online. I know it’s a necessary evil at this point so I’m working on it. I’m pretty sure that good & honest sellers occasionally miss something just as the ones with less than stellar reputations occasionally have a very nice, honest gun to offer. I don’t have the experienced eye some around here have and have missed important clues even given the opportunity for a hands-on inspection. Threads like this one represent good learning opportunities, thanks for posting it, James.  

Thank you very much, and my hanks to you for getting involved!

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March 25, 2017 - 11:09 pm
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The Carbine in question is very nice… other than the aftermarket sling attachments.  The rear sling attachment is positively an aftermarket piece.  Winchester inlayed the base into the stock just like they did for the Model 64s of the same time frame (1938 in this Carbine’s case).

The wear on the left side of the hammer seems a bit excessive in comparison to the rest of the gun, but I believe that it was caused by a tight fit between the hammer and the receiver frame.  I do not see any evidence of filing or other intentional metal removal.  In regards to the rear barrel band, it was refinished after the sling swivel mount was added.  The recessed hole for the screw head shows positive signs of dishing as a result of being buffed & polished before being reblued.

Bert

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March 26, 2017 - 1:23 am
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Thank you, Bert.

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March 26, 2017 - 3:57 pm
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Bert H. said
The Carbine in question is very nice… other than the aftermarket sling attachments.  The rear sling attachment is positively an aftermarket piece.  Winchester inlayed the base into the stock just like they did for the Model 64s of the same time frame (1938 in this Carbine’s case).

The wear on the left side of the hammer seems a bit excessive in comparison to the rest of the gun, but I believe that it was caused by a tight fit between the hammer and the receiver frame.  I do not see any evidence of filing or other intentional metal removal.  In regards to the rear barrel band, it was refinished after the sling swivel mount was added.  The recessed hole for the screw head shows positive signs of dishing as a result of being buffed & polished before being reblued.

Bert  

 

It is a very nice carbine, Bert, and thanks for weighing in and corroborating FTW’s comments about the dishing of the subject screw hole.   Good eye, FTW!   This is the sort of discussion that makes learning about Winchesters worthwhile and I greatly appreciate everyone’s participation.  I simply have not seen an upper sling swivel and band assembly like this that was a factory product, have you Bert?   Either way, Bert, in your estimation what would a pre-war in this condition bring…typical shooter value or?

I have asked the seller why he thinks the upper sling swivel and band assembly on his very nice Winchester is a factory product.  Hopefully, I will hear back from him or he will respond on this thread, since I did mention that we are discussing it. 

James

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March 26, 2017 - 4:49 pm
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jwm94 said

 

It is a very nice carbine, Bert, and thanks for weighing in and corroborating FTW’s comments about the dishing of the subject screw hole.   Good eye, FTW!   This is the sort of discussion that makes learning about Winchesters worthwhile and I greatly appreciate everyone’s participation.  I simply have not seen an upper sling swivel and band assembly like this that was a factory product, have you Bert?   Either way, Bert, in your estimation what would a pre-war in this condition bring…typical shooter value or?

I have asked the seller why he thinks the upper sling swivel and band assembly on his very nice Winchester is a factory product.  Hopefully, I will hear back from him or he will respond on this thread, since I did mention that we are discussing it. 

James  

James,

The front barrel band was modified after the fact for the sling swivel mount.  It is not a factory piece.  In regards to your question about the value, I personally would not look at it twice as a “collectable” Winchester.  The butt stock has been permanently altered (damaged), and the rear barrel band would need to be replaced with one that matches the wear on the front barrel band.  As a “shooter” grade gun… $750 top end.

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March 26, 2017 - 5:48 pm
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Bert H. said

James,

The front barrel band was modified after the fact for the sling swivel mount.  It is not a factory piece.  In regards to your question about the value, I personally would not look at it twice as a “collectable” Winchester.  The butt stock has been permanently altered (damaged), and the rear barrel band would need to be replace with one that matches the wear on the front barrel band.  As a “shooter” grade gun… $750 top end.

Bert  

Thanks again, Bert, as it is really nice to know your professional opinion.  This assembly is the primary reason as to why I felt this auction was so very interesting, since high conditioned pre-war carbines, even with this alteration, are enjoyable to see.  Whoever buys it is going to have one hell of a nice shooter.

James

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March 26, 2017 - 9:38 pm
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I spoke with the seller over the phone and he agrees with Bert.  His primary interest lies in older lever guns, and he knows that Bert has a great deal of technical knowledge about the Winchester 94, for one.   I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with the man, and look forward to doing so again!

Very interesting discussion.  Thanks to all, again!

James

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March 27, 2017 - 12:01 am
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Bert,

Just wanting to confirm your opinion on the butt stock as being permanently altered; am assuming you are referring to the addition of the swivel?

also, on the rear barrel band it looks like the screw is the wrong size to me.  kind of exacerbates the difference even though the band is not original.

thanks,

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