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Hello. I just found this website and what a great resource it seems to be.
I shot my first deer back in the early 1980s with a model 94 32 Winchester special. The rifle was my moms. She and my dad hunted together in Colorado where they lived before I was born. I know she killed several elk with the rifle. She may have bought it new but I don’t know for sure both her and dad have passed away but I know she had it in the 60s. The rifle is in great shape and I have it but it is so sentimental to me I don’t want to use / abuse it.
I found a rifle for sale that seems virtually identical to mom’s rifle and I bought it. The seller said it is a 1947 flat band. I don’t really don’t know much about them. Anyway it has a weaver side mount scope on it with four holes drilled in the side of the receiver. I assume these kill any collector value of it but I don’t really care I bought this thing to use.
What is the best way to deal with these holes? I know they make screw plugs but I was thinking something more permanent like possibly welding them up and then cerakoting the rifle? Seems almost sacrilege to do this to a pre 64 but with the holes drilled it isn’t really pristine anymore right? I want to make this rifle my go to gun. We have a small ranch and I want to carry it in my truck and use it to shoot hogs and varmints that I encounter while at the ranch.
Quite frankly, the easiest (and least expensive) way to deal with the holes is to put plug screws in them. Welding up the holes will require stripping down the receiver frame to bare bones before you start, and then properly dressing up both the internal surface and external surface of the welds, and then refinishing the receiver frame before reassembling it.
With the serial number(s), I can pin down a relatively accurate date of manufacture for both of your Model 94s.
WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
Anyway it has a weaver side mount scope on it with four holes drilled in the side of the receiver. I assume these kill any collector value of it but I don’t really care I bought this thing to use.
May I suggest that you think about what you’re saying: “I bought this thing to use.” If that’s true, why do you care about the holes? Or removing the side-mount, which makes it a more effective hog-killer?
Thanks for the replies.
The serial number on this one that I just bought is 1444532. The other one is in the safe I will have to dig it out when the family isn’t asleep.
I did buy the gun to use but I want it to look nice and be something I can be proud of. To me the holes just look tacky and the side mount scope is goofy to me. I want iron sights on it like the other rifle. Is it functional as is ? Sure but I have a little money to spend and what I want is this rifle fixed up where I am proud of it. It sounds weird as it isn’t the rifle of my parents but it sure reminds me of it and that is why I want it nice.
I just think drilling the side mount scope on there was a dumb move but it probably seemed like a good idea at the time. I don’t want to make a similarly dumb move so I am just checking before I do something stupid modifying this 70 year old rifle.
Am I correct in assuming that with these holes the gun really doesn’t have much collector value and it would be reasonable to just to use / modify it in whatever manner makes me the happiest?
Yes, that is a correct assumption.
WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
I just think drilling the side mount scope on there was a dumb move but it probably seemed like a good idea at the time.
It was a common but clumsy method of scope mounting at the time, but unavoidable on top-ejectors, & also reflected the superstitious belief of some who couldn’t entirely bring themselves to “trust” a scope. The best side-mounts held the scope in rings that pivoted from the top to the side of the rcvr.
Really are only two choices, plug screws or complete refinishing. Problem with the plug screws would be the contrast between their hot-blued finish, more black than blue, & the blue of the rcvr. Stripping them, then re-bluing with cold blue can produce a better match, but requires some skill to get it just right.
The carbine is, like your mother’s a .32 Special?
I agree completely with the advice you’ve received so far. Think of it this way, there are already plenty of screws in a M94 receiver. You have four extra but for a hunter/shooter I wouldn’t give it much thought at all. It’s not a collector gun but you probably were able to get it for a non-collector price. Another advantage is when you take it hunting, you don’t have to worry about it as you might with an all original piece. Were you to try and fix it up as you describe, it would be less desirable to me than as it sits now.
I too, agree with all the sage views reflected here, but most directly as succinctly according to Clarence’s Post #3. Noting fundamentally contradictory manifestations of shooter versus collector aesthetics rifle!
My own personal side observation. Buy Winchester levers for wonderful, historic classic-classy ‘hole free’ aesthetics of original/vintage equivalent sight applications. Perhaps too even ‘gently modified’ as yet vintage shooters! Such not including optics ‘grafted on’ effect!
Consider nice Marlin levers early fifties forward Models 336 or early seventies forward revised 1895. Both as scope top & centered design, factory holes accommodating. Pure and unadulterated ‘side eject’ without ad man marketing ‘angle’! The fairness-mandated self-disclosure of ‘non-hunter’, biased perspective here.
Also analogous of wider pesonal views. Of “low rider” adaptions to vintage cars or “Boom, Boom & Wrap as something yet to be labelled “music”.
Grumpy old man here… Just in case you hadn’t noticed! 🙂 🙂 🙂
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