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What to look for when considering a 1894
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June 27, 2023 - 1:00 pm
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I have many lever actions but looking to start my venture down the Winchester 1894 path.  I am looking at one this evening that is chambered in 30wcf and was made in 1913 (I called and confirmed with Winchester).  It is certainly used but in good condition.  No cracks in the wood, no rust or pitting on the receiver or barrel, tight action, the screws all look good, etc.  I didn’t measure the barrel yet but it looks to be a 26″ barrel maybe.  The steel plate is on the butt. Has a full octagon barrel. It doesn’t appear to have been refinished.  

Being new to looking at these, my question is……………..what should I be looking for when considering this one and others in the future?  Anything to stay away from, length of barrel needs to be measured?

When looking at the sell prices of these on Gunbroker, in this condition, they seem to be in the $900 – $1200 range typically.  Seem right?  

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June 27, 2023 - 2:08 pm
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Hello Abe,

What is the serial number on the Model 1894 you are looking at? The current entity that is calling itself “Winchester” is not the same company that manufactured the original Model 1894, and the information they have and use is erroneous in regard to dates of manufacture.

The standard barrel length for the Model 1894 Sporting Rifles was 26-inchs. A decent condition Sporting Rifle with a 26-inch octagon barrel should be approximately 2X the dollar amount that you mention (somewhere in the $1,600 – $2,500 range). In regard to your question “what to look for”, that is a rather long list. There are simply way too many variables that can affect the collector value of those old Winchesters. My recommendation is to find and develop a friendship with someone who can mentor you while you gain the knowledge needed to not get taken to the cleaners when you find a Model 1894 that interests you.

Bert

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June 27, 2023 - 3:16 pm
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Thank you Bert, I appreciate it!  The serial number is 667226

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June 27, 2023 - 3:49 pm
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Abe Stamper said
Thank you Bert, I appreciate it!  The serial number is 667226  

The correct date of manufacture is April 1914.

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