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Interesting 1894 Rifle
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November 4, 2022 - 2:46 pm
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Good morning–

Im a M70 guy but was gifted an 1894 rifle by my wonderful non-shooting brother in law last weekend. His grandfather lived in Minneapolis all his life, and worked for NSP probably from the 20’s to the 60’s. At his passing he left my BIL three firearms. A M12, a M61 and an 1894. When he got the rifle 20 years ago or so, I remarked that it was a very interesting very neat rifle, and that I could just picture the old guy in his youth sitting on a stump somewhere north of Chisholm waiting for a buck to walk by. Fast forward to last weekend when I visited my BIL and he came out with it, and said, “This doesn’t mean much to me, but I remember it did to you, so I want you to have it.” Lucky me.

The 1894 is a 26″ octagon barrel, half magazine, pistol grip and shotgun butt in 30-30. It has an aftermarket but period correct IMHO front sight, a tang sight and a god awful side plate for a scope mount. The S/N is 903xxx. Ive had a few people tell me it was put together from parts including a M64 and I guess that could be. I tend to have doubts as I think the barrel markings and sight locations are correct for the S/N. It has a hole on the underside of the barrel near the muzzle and a dove tail with a brass insert on the underside as well.  So it seems the barrel was configured for a full magazine. Perhaps they all were, I have no idea. The Winchester Collectors calendar on the wall shows a 1894 SRC with pistol grip and a S/N of 400xxx, so they made pistol grips before the 64 came out. If anyone is interested in figuring out what we have here, I’m glad to hear what people think. 

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November 4, 2022 - 2:49 pm
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November 4, 2022 - 3:06 pm
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They did make pistol grip configurations long before the model 64.  However, they are somewhat different than the 64.  The “bend” in the lower tang and and lever is sharper on the 64.  The lower tang, lever, and buttstock appear to be model 64 parts.  

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November 4, 2022 - 3:12 pm
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Compare the lever & lower tang on your gun to the one at this link

 

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/952328572

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November 4, 2022 - 3:44 pm
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Thanks I did notice that same thing. All the examples I’ve seen predate this gun by a significant amount. I do own a 64, I’ll have to dig it out of the safe and compare it. I appreciate the guidance!

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November 4, 2022 - 5:54 pm
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Brett,

The barrel is correct for the serial number range, and it originally was mated to a full length magazine tube.  Winchester did not mill the bottom of the barrel for a magazine tube retaining ring and screw if the rifle was ordered and equipped with a shorter magazine tube.  I also agree that the butt stock was made for a Model 64 Standard rifle.  

The partial serial number you posted indicates that your Model 94 was manufactured approximately mid-year 1920, nearly 13 years before the Model 64 was introduced.  With a complete serial number, I can pin down the date of manufacture.

Bert

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November 4, 2022 - 7:06 pm
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Well at least the receiver was made in 1920! LOL. Assembled…who knows when?KissKissKiss

Thank you for the lift on this. I sure appreciate the interest and the information!

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November 4, 2022 - 10:14 pm
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You can never know for sure but I think a previous owner saw a model 64 and decided he wanted one.  It was probably pretty inexpensive (compared to buying a new 64) to get a model 64 lower tang, lever, and stock and convert his.

The filler in the magazine tube hanger slot looks like a hanger that has been converted to the filler.  Seems like a neat job too.

I think I might be tempted to put the full mag tube back in.

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November 4, 2022 - 10:26 pm
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Its kinda tempting to put it all back together as it was. Hard to imagine going to this level of work to do all this in the first place. A new M64 would have to have been less expensive. Weird.

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November 4, 2022 - 10:35 pm
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What’s done is actually pretty easy to do.  The extra holes in the receiver make it difficult to justify much restoration.

Putting a full length tube on it would be pretty cheap but it may mean more to you to just keep it the way it is.

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November 5, 2022 - 12:44 pm
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I’ve seen quite a few rifles where Model 64 and Model 1894 parts were mated together in different ways to make one rifle.  I even owned two if I recall correctly.  I recall one was a very high condition .25-35 M64 complete front end mated to a grey M1894 receiver and buttstock.  I bought it as a shooter and sold it as a shooter.  But… given the way the gun world works, I strongly suspect that .25-35 M64 front end ultimately ended up swapped out with a .30 WCF barrel on a M64 rifle somewhere.  

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November 5, 2022 - 2:21 pm
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A point of interest regarding the ‘magazine tube hanger’ dovetail.  It is not a standard dovetail, but a “rotary dovetail”.  Not everyone is aware of this fact and I have a hunch more than one has been damaged trying to remove the hanger.   RDB

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