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How to identify a factory made short rifle 1894?
October 16, 2019
10:41 am
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September 16, 2019
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Hi everybody,

I recently came across an offer of a 1894 .30-30 short rifle. Since I already own a (later) cut down "short rifle" model 1876 I would love to know how I can make sure it is a factory made short rifle. Is the length of the forearm (i.e. shorter than standard rifle forearm?) the only thing I should pay attention to? So far I was not able to get a SN etc. ...

Thanks for your help guys!

October 16, 2019
11:57 am
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Kingston, WA
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The length of the forend stock is not a reliable indicator of the originality, as some of the 20-inch factory short rifles had full length forestocks on them.  The more important indicator is (1) a factory letter; (2) the measure distance from the muzzle face to the front sight dovetail slot, (3) the distance from the muzzle to the magazine tube retaining ring slot, (4) the physical shape & finish on the muzzle face', and (5) the exact length of the barrel.

Bert

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October 16, 2019
4:21 pm
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Bert, I'm totally outside all of this with never such happy prospects giving rise to comparable concerns. 🙂
That said, the question occurring, where to find the authoritative data reflecting correct measurements from which to make such comparison? Would there in fact be more than one 'cast in stone' set of data, or might such elements themselves have morphed over SR production era? Would there be various discrete sub-models of the SR reflecting independent measurements within the species?
Excuse please if this is "ho hum" Model 94 collector knowledge, but inquiring mind with academic bent here.
Thanks!
John

October 17, 2019
3:20 am
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Kingston, WA
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iskra said
Bert, I'm totally outside all of this with never such happy prospects giving rise to comparable concerns. 🙂
That said, the question occurring, where to find the authoritative data reflecting correct measurements from which to make such comparison? Would there in fact be more than one 'cast in stone' set of data, or might such elements themselves have morphed over SR production era? Would there be various discrete sub-models of the SR reflecting independent measurements within the species?
Excuse please if this is "ho hum" Model 94 collector knowledge, but inquiring mind with academic bent here.
Thanks!
John  

John,

From the beginning of production in October 1894 to the end of production in 1938, Winchester was reliably consistent with how they manufactured the "rifle" barrels for the Model 1894 (and all other models for that matter).  The measurement specifications were (and are) extremely reliable in determining authentic factory work from the "Bubba-smiths" that inhabit the world.  My knowledge of the correct measurements comes from "hands on" inspections of several thousand specimens over the past 40-years. I am not aware of any specific published "authoritative" document with the information, and personally, I believe that is a good thing, as the knowledge would then be to accessible by the nefarious scumbags that prey on the unsuspecting & unknowing collectors.  I typically prefer not to openly post this information so as to make it more difficult for the forgeries to occur.  If you would like the information, contact me via a PM.

Bert

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
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October 17, 2019
4:27 pm
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Thanks Bert! Overcoming your modesty, I think what you're saying is that some matters get into the "art" aspects of what's commonly termed "judgmental expertise". The trained eye and decades of experience interpreting. Rather like many professional areas, opinions & conclusions not to be reduced solely to empirical measure.
I do appreciate that matter and particularly in wider context, such as sharing your time, energy and expertise to benefit other Win collectors. (Even patience with those of us yet referencing such non-tech gun nomenclature terms as "pointy end"! :))
Best!
John

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