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Winchester 94 carbine, opinions/evaluations wanted
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December 22, 2023 - 2:05 am
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I walked into a local gun store, saw this on the consignment rack, and made a deal for it.  According to the forum tool, it was manufactured in 1907. Most of the bluing is gone except for under the sight and in crevices, but the sight intrigued me and I didn’t pay much for it so I took it home.

The wood fitment is good, and most of the crews are in good shape. I don’t know if it left the factory with the Lyman sight on it – was it an option or added later?  I assume that since it is a 1907 I can get a letter from Cody…..  wondering if it is worth it or not. I can tell you that there is significant blue under the sight arm, so if not from the factory it has been on the gun a long time. The front sight looks un-original to me, and the front band screw appears to be a rivet or silver-soldered – that looks weird, too.

What do you all think?

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December 22, 2023 - 2:27 am
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John,

It was a saddle ring carbine but the ring was removed when the Lyman 21 Receiver sight was installed. The front barrel band should have a screw and not a rivet. The front sight is a Sheard, not sure if one of those could have been special ordered or not. This 94 is too late to fully letter, (has to be under sn353999). The only information a letter would tell you is the date the serial number was applied.

The most interesting thing about this carbine is that it is has the error patent date of August 14, 1894, it should be August 21, 1894. Some model 94’s of this vintage left the factory with this error date. I’m not sure how many.  Bert would have more information on the error dates.

Also, the placement of the barrel proof mark seems to be in an odd location.

Al

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December 22, 2023 - 2:59 am
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I think the Lyman 21 was added outside of factory and has the wrong screw in the of sight and missing the small lever, that said it’s a nice used old SRC. You can find the correct mounting screw, lever and pointer on Ebay sometime, theirs a guy that makes repos

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December 22, 2023 - 3:14 am
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Not a great collector grade Winchester but it has more character than the safe queens bringing the big bucks today. I like it, I think you did well bringing this one home. For some folks it’s a grey gun, I think you’re touching shaking hands with history when you pick up this carbine. It had me at “Lyman 21”. 

 

Mike

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December 22, 2023 - 3:25 am
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tionesta1 said Also, the placement of the barrel proof mark seems to be in an odd location. 

Certainly, it is, but as use of this proof mark was relatively new in 1907, my interpretation would be that the worker who struck it was making his best guess as where the correct placement should be; no reason to doubt “originality,” in other words.

I find these owner “improved” guns (if skillfully done) much more interesting than the strictly stock ones, so don’t allow any short-sighted purist to put it down on that account.  Esp, any gun with a Lyman 21, even one incomplete as this one, I rate as a cut above the same gun with standard sights.

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December 22, 2023 - 3:33 am
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For some folks it’s a grey gun, I think you’re touching shaking hands with history when you pick up this carbine.TXGunNut said

  

Absolutely!  The point many “factory original” purists are too narrow-minded to perceive.

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December 22, 2023 - 3:49 am
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TXGunNut said
……I think you’re touching shaking hands with history when you pick up this carbine

  

Speaking of history, I pulled the butt plate on this carbine and found a fairly significant amount of hair trapped between the metal wood interface. Gotta wonder about that.

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December 22, 2023 - 4:56 am
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The Lyman no. 21 was positively added after the fact.  The original rear sight that was mounted in the dovetail slot was a 3-leaf express sight. The placement of the Proof mark stamp on the barrel is actually quite common on the Model 1894 SRCs that were manufactured from late 1906 through early 1908 and equipped with the 3-leaf express sight.  Thus far I have documented (79) Model 1894 Carbines with the August 14 patent date error marking.

Bert

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December 22, 2023 - 5:14 am
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Bert – is mine #79, or now #80?

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December 22, 2023 - 7:25 am
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John D. said
Bert – is mine #79, or now #80?

  

#79.

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December 22, 2023 - 11:50 am
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I think a Lyman No. 21 on a ’94 carbine is super cool.  If it were mine, I would be very motivated to find the correct screw and lever for the sight.

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December 22, 2023 - 2:03 pm
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steve004 said
If it were mine, I would be very motivated to find the correct screw and lever for the sight. 

So would I, but won’t be easy to find. Maybe previous owner was having trouble with the lever loosening under recoil & put the screw in to hold it tighter, though that eliminated the best feature of the 21, fast adjustment.  Still, I’d rather have the gun “as is” than the way it left factory.

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December 22, 2023 - 4:14 pm
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steve004 said
I think a Lyman No. 21 on a ’94 carbine is super cool.  If it were mine, I would be very motivated to find the correct screw and lever for the sight.

  

Bob Knapp sells correct reproduction parts for the Lyman 21 and 38 sights.  Of course, any new parts would have to be finish-matched (aged) to look right on a gun with little or no original finish. Mark

Lyman Parts for #21 and #38 Sights | Winchester Bob – Custom built parts for vintage Winchester arms 

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December 22, 2023 - 5:28 pm
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My SRC # 306366, shipped 7-13-1906, has the proof mark in front of the 3 leaf express sight with the platinum line. It too has had the front sight changed. This carbine is about a 95%er. It’s a 30-30. Real nice carbine.  Big Larry

 

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December 22, 2023 - 5:42 pm
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Mark Douglas said

steve004 said

I think a Lyman No. 21 on a ’94 carbine is super cool.  If it were mine, I would be very motivated to find the correct screw and lever for the sight.

  

Bob Knapp sells correct reproduction parts for the Lyman 21 and 38 sights.  Of course, any new parts would have to be finish-matched (aged) to look right on a gun with little or no original finish. Mark

Lyman Parts for #21 and #38 Sights | Winchester Bob – Custom built parts for vintage Winchester arms 

  

Thank you so much for that link, I will contact him right away.

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December 22, 2023 - 5:47 pm
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Big Larry said
My SRC # 306366, shipped 7-13-1906, has the proof mark in front of the 3 leaf express sight with the platinum line. It too has had the front sight changed. This carbine is about a 95%er. It’s a 30-30. Real nice carbine.  Big Larry

 

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Larry,

Does it also have the August 14 patent date error marking?

Bert

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December 22, 2023 - 6:23 pm
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It’s in the back of the safe. I will have to dig it out.   Big Larry

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December 22, 2023 - 6:27 pm
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Since this is my first brush with a Lyman 21, I’m not sure what parts to order from Bob.  It looks to me like it is missing most all of the mounting stuff – lever, bushings, screws, etc.  I do know from reading this forum that it is the correct model for a ’94, as it is stamped “DA” on the obverse side.

Also – I see that it is adjustable for windage, but for the life of me can’t figure out how to make the adjustment.

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December 23, 2023 - 12:35 am
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I spoke with Bob today on the phone. He has the parts, and as an aside can re-install the saddle ring and post while allowing the Lyman 21 to still function correctly. As an added bonus, if I ship the gun to him he can install it all and age the parts to match the patina of the gun. Between parts and shipping to/from, I’m looking at about $200 more or less.  Hmmm…….

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December 23, 2023 - 12:48 am
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John D. said
I spoke with Bob today on the phone. He has the parts, and as an aside can re-install the saddle ring and post while allowing the Lyman 21 to still function correctly. As an added bonus, if I ship the gun to him he can install it all and age the parts to match the patina of the gun. Between parts and shipping to/from, I’m looking at about $200 more or less.  Hmmm……. 

Suit yourself, but removing that stupid & useless ring was the best improvement made on the gun.  Ring or no ring, the gun will never pass muster with those obsessed with “factory original,” so if you’re considering doing this with that intention in mind, it won’t help.

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