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Thoughts on an early 1894 32WS
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Bismarck, ND
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January 26, 2022 - 2:14 pm
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A local gun store has a 1903 vintage Model 1894 rifle (sn 187xxx) in 32 Winchester Special.  It has an octagon barrel and a “smokeless sight” whatever that is.  The rifle appears to be in good original condition, though I didn’t have time to look it over in detail.  They have $2199 on it, which seems pretty high to me.  I don’t need another rifle, but I think this one would be a nice companion to my dad’s 1948 vintage 1894 carbine, also in 32 WS.  I would appreciate any thoughts people have on this.  

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January 26, 2022 - 2:59 pm
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Originality and condition should dictate your decision.

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January 26, 2022 - 6:27 pm
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Tedk said
Originality and condition should dictate your decision.  

I agree with Ted.  We really need pictures to give you our opinions on the gun’s originality and condition.

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January 26, 2022 - 8:16 pm
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If this was my rifle, I certainly would post photos.  I took two photos yesterday for my own reference.  However, I am not comfortable going back to the man’s shop and taking multiple pictures of his rifle and posting them online. Some of his inventory is listed on Guns International, but not this rifle.  If he adds it to GI, I will post a link here.  

Last night, I found a few similar looking 94’s on GI in the $1500 range, which leads me to think his asking price is a little high.

As I mentioned in my original post, I was also curious about the “smokeless sight”.  From what I can determine, the 32 WS was always loaded with smokeless powder, so I don’t know why they would label the sight that way.

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January 26, 2022 - 8:31 pm
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The 32 WS was actually marketed by Winchester to shoot smokeless or black powder.  Read the attached forum thread.

https://winchestercollector.org/forum/winchester-sights/32-w-s-sight/

Don

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January 27, 2022 - 12:15 am
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deerhunter said
The 32 WS was actually marketed by Winchester to shoot smokeless or black powder.  Read the attached forum thread.

https://winchestercollector.org/forum/winchester-sights/32-w-s-sight/

Don  

There’s a lot of very interesting .32 Special information in that thread!  I found several pieces of information I did not know.  I must have missed it first time it came around.

Even though the .32 Special didn’t make much sense as far as a needed cartridge offering, it seemed needed enough for Remington to bring out their .32 Remington.  It’s amusing how I’ve always viewed the .32 Remington as a completely nonsensical cartridge but I haven’t had the same bias against the .32 Special.  While I’m on the topic of unneeded .32’s… I think the .32 Winchester Self Loading has the rest beat.

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January 27, 2022 - 2:55 am
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deerhunter said
The 32 WS was actually marketed by Winchester to shoot smokeless or black powder.  Read the attached forum thread.

https://winchestercollector.org/forum/winchester-sights/32-w-s-sight/

Don  

Thank you very much for the information.  I am continually impressed by the depth of knowledge among serious Winchester collectors on this forum.  I don’t need another rifle, but I think I’ll take another look at the 1903 32 WS next week.

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January 27, 2022 - 4:34 pm
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John in Bismarck said

Thank you very much for the information.  I am continually impressed by the depth of knowledge among serious Winchester collectors on this forum.  I don’t need another rifle, but I think I’ll take another look at the 1903 32 WS next week.  

What does that have to do with anything?  WinkLaugh

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