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Model 94 XTR 375 Big Bore Serial Number BB040542
January 25, 2018
5:39 am
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I am new to posting but I have recently purchased a Winchester Model 94 XTR 375 and the serial number is BB040542.  I have looked all over the internet to try and find out when this rifle was manufactured.  I can't find any listing  of Winchester lever action model 94 rifles that start the serial number with BB.

What am I doing wrong?

Pat Matracea 

January 25, 2018
5:56 am
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Pat,

There is no published DOM for them. The BB stands for Big Bore. I think they were made in the early 80's.

Bob

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January 25, 2018
10:15 am
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MODEL 94 BIG BORE

.307 Win. (disc. 1998), .356 Win. (disc. 1998), or .375 Win. (disc. 1987), or .444 Marlin (new 1998) cal.,

January 25, 2018
12:04 pm
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 From what I remember the .375 Big Bore 94 was introduced in 1978.The .307 and .356 sometime later.

January 25, 2018
2:32 pm
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I think they were introduced sometime in the mid '80s. I have a .307 that i bought new in 1989. As posted 3  big bores all came out about the same time .307, .356, and .375.

January 25, 2018
4:22 pm
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HI JOE,

 

The BB series began in 1978 and applied to the top eject version of the Big Bore. At the introduction of the angle eject models in 1983 some angle eject Big Bores are found with an "AE" prefix and these numbers are found either in the original position or the new angle eject position on the lower frame rail. They run from AE0001 to about AE19000. After that all Big Bore models are serialed sequentially with the other 94s. It is suspected that any AE prefixed serial number examples in the original position are 375s and the AE serial sequence and the position changed with the introduction of the 307 -- the 375 was included with the location change examples and serialed with all 94s after the introduction of the new calibers (307/356) until it was discontinued in 1987.  

Have you contemplated the cost of feeding this beast or are you a reloader????

 

Regards,

B

January 26, 2018
5:05 am
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Welcome to the forum, Joseph!

We generally focus on the pre-64 Winchesters but I think I may be of some assistance. I believe your rifle was indeed built in the early 80's as Bob opined; I purchased BB047411 new on 8/25/1982. And yes, Robert, feeding one of these beasts is an undertaking. Luckily I stashed 100 new 375 Winchester cases 20 or 30 years ago and Lyman still makes their excellent 375449 mould so I'll be able to shoot it all I care to. 😉 It was my first Winchester levergun, I guess I'll always have it.

If you reload, Joseph, I believe you can use 38-55 cases but I'd stay with the 2.08" cases even tho the 375 was supposed to be 2.02". I don't know if the longer 2.125 38-55 brass will chamber but from what I can gather all the 375 Big Bores were chambered a bit long and the 2.08" cases will work fine. The 375 cases were a bit thicker but I have it on good authority the modern production 2.08" 38-55 cases will handle the pressure but as always, approach maximum loads with caution. A chamber cast would be a very good idea to confirm dimensions. Hornady used to make an excellent 220gr FP bullet for the .375 but I don't know if they still produce it. Seems I stashed a few of them awhile back and haven't kept up with current availability. 375 Winchester dies are available from RCBS last I heard. Load data in the Lyman manual is spot on IME.

Verify and use the above data at your own risk. I own both .375 and 38-55 rifles and treat them as different cartridges and use only correct headstamp brass for safety reasons. Do NOT load bullets over .377 into cases intended for your .375 as they are intended for .38-55's and will likely cause pressure issues in the tighter 375 bore.

If you're not a reloader, Joseph, PM me and I'll try to find the name of a commercial loader. He has quite a bit of experience with this round but I can't recall his name.

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February 13, 2018
12:43 am
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I acquired a 94 Big Bore in .375 myself a few months ago in a trade. Being a handloader, I can deal with ammunition but it's not all that easy.

The rifle came with 50 or 60 Winchester cases but I have no idea how many times they have been fired. Primer pockets are still tight and no split cases yet, so I think they are good for a while. I also located some new Jamison brass...high priced, but good stuff that should last a long while.

Bullets are another problem. I shoot cast in all my handguns but prefer jacketed bullets in all my rifles. I believe Hornady has discontinued their [220-grain?] bullet which was suitable for the .375W and there just isn't that much available elsewhere either, at least not from the major manufacturers. I did locate this bullet maker:

https://vollmer-bullets.myshopify.com/collections

His products look good and seem to get good reviews.

I went another route myself. I did some experimenting with the Speer 235-grain .375 bullet intended for use in the .375 H&H. With the lead nose filed flat and flush with the jacket, the meplat is the same diameter and some of the bullets Vollmer is offering. To verify that these modified bullets would be safe for use in a tubular magazine, I loaded a dummy round with a bullet, a live primer, and NO powder and kept it in the first position in the magazine. Every time I fired the rifle during load development I made sure a live round was in the tube behind this dummy round. After approximately 55 rounds were fired I examined the live primer in this dummy round. It showed no signs of impact under recoil from the nose of the round loaded immediately behind it in the magazine. Based on that experiment, I consider this safe.

With this modified Speer bullet I was able to attain about 2075 fps using Alliant Re7. I have yet to shoot any game with this, but not for lack of trying. I simply have not seen a hog while carrying my .375 as of yet, but I do believe the bullet will perform at ranges up to about 150 yards, which is probably further than I'll ever shoot with it. I hunt hogs in mesquite thicket and ranges will likely not exceed 50 yards. If I do find that the bullet fails to expand, I will try the Vollmer offering in 255 grains. I am sure that one would be a hammer.

January 13, 2019
7:22 am
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Scottski
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28 gauge said
 From what I remember the .375 Big Bore 94 was introduced in 1978.The .307 and .356 sometime later.  

My older brother bought one brand new in the summer/fall of 1981, so your info. seems to be accurate. The 1978 date is correct with the introduction of the "XTR" line of Winchesters, which the Big Bore 94(375), was. Also I don't believe handloading spitzer bullets to replace round nose ones will result in recoil detonation. It doesn't make sense with all the hand loaders out there that somebody or several somebody's wouldn't have blown stuff up by now. It's a myth, like saying you can't mix synthetic motor oil with conventional oil in a motor, or running 7.2.2 Dolby Atmos sound into a 7.1 amp. will cause it to "blow-up". Don't get me started on spark plugs and car tires, you ever heard the one about halogen lights attracting giant carnivor...

January 13, 2019
5:28 pm
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Scottski-

Labeling the possibility of a pointed bullet causing a primer (and in turn, a live cartridge) to fire in a tubular magazine a “myth” is a dangerous position to take on a public forum. I have read unconfirmed reports of these events complete with gory pics and the ammunition manufacturers certainly believe it’s possible so I’ll heed the warnings against spitzer bullets in tubular magazines. Ammo manufacturers have much better resources and equipment than I or almost anyone I know.

Considering the probable proximity of my left hand and left eye to “ground zero” during such an event it’s simply not worth the risk and I won’t advocate anyone else taking that risk. Just because the event is difficult to duplicate doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Considering the cartridge and magazine dimensions the BB94 would be a prime candidate for just such an event. Combine that with the physics of a magazine full of rounds, the recoil of a heavy 375 Win load and the light weight of the rifle and the possibility increases. Still not very likely but as we all know, stuff happens.

 

Mike

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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
January 13, 2019
6:39 pm
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I agree with Mike 100%.  I have hunted with pointed bullets in a lever gun but I have one in the chamber and only 1 in the magazine.  I don't plan to be the canary.

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