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Winchester 94 manufacture date
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December 15, 2022 - 6:27 pm
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I have a Winchester 94 in 32 Special with serial number 1257728 which I think was manufactured in 1942. Can anyone verify this? Thanks.

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December 15, 2022 - 10:56 pm
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Your Model 94 Carbine was actually manufactured late in the year 1940.  It most likely has a “W” stamped below the serial number (see the attached pictures)… can you please verify for me if it does have the “W” stamped on it.

Bert

1250504-W.jpgImage Enlarger1251317-W.jpgImage Enlarger1252002-W.jpgImage Enlarger1252248-W.jpgImage Enlarger1253036-W-M64-Sptg-Rifle.jpgImage Enlarger1253878-W.jpgImage Enlarger1255374-W.jpgImage Enlarger1258956-W.jpgImage Enlarger

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December 15, 2022 - 11:33 pm
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Yes, there is a W below the serial number.

Thanks

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December 15, 2022 - 11:58 pm
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I would like to add a photo but can’t figure out how to. Are there instructions somewhere?

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December 16, 2022 - 12:20 am
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pine_worker said
I would like to add a photo but can’t figure out how to. Are there instructions somewhere?

  

As a Guest on the WACA website, you can only post a URL to your picture(s) hosted on a different website.  The other option is to send the picture(s) to me in an email, and I can post them for you.  We (WACA) only allow paid registered members to directly upload and post pictures. This prevents all of the Spam junk from being posted by foreign countries (China, Russia, India, etc.).

Bert – Admin

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December 16, 2022 - 12:53 am
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 Bert,

 I like the pictures of the serial numbers. Having so many in one serial number range sure would help proving originality if required. T/R

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December 16, 2022 - 2:33 am
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Thanks, Bert. I just emailed you a photo.

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December 16, 2022 - 3:26 am
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TR said
 Bert,

 I like the pictures of the serial numbers. Having so many in one serial number range sure would help proving originality if required. T/R

  

It certainly does help.  Currently I have (100) pictures of “W” marked Model 94/64 guns in the known serial number range.  The two attached pictures are the current near book-end numbers that I have verified.  Currently the known S/N range is 1203590 – 1267572.  I do not suspect that there are very many outside of that serial number range, but just in case, I will keep tracking them for the time being.

Bert

1204451-W.jpgImage Enlarger1267492-W.jpgImage Enlarger

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December 16, 2022 - 3:31 am
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pine_worker said
Thanks, Bert. I just emailed you a photo.

  

And here it is…

1257728-W.jpgImage Enlarger

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December 16, 2022 - 5:23 am
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Bert,

Forgive me please if this has been answered previously, but what is the significance of this W marking?

Did it stand perhaps for Winchester?

Curious 

Thank you as always,

Mike 

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December 16, 2022 - 5:34 am
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[email protected] said
Bert,

Forgive me please if this has been answered previously, but what is the significance of this W marking?

Did it stand perhaps for Winchester?

Curious 

Thank you as always,

Mike 

It was simply a quality control test.  Winchester had just adopted a brand new bluing technique & formula to alleviate the flaking problem that plagued all of the firearms manufactured from the late 19-teens through most of the 1930s.  In that era, the bluing did not adhere very well to the steel on the receiver frames, and when struck or even handled, it popped off the steel in ugly looking spots & blotches.  The “W” was struck after the bluing process was complete to verify that it did not flake off the receiver frames.

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December 16, 2022 - 4:18 pm
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Fascinating. Thank you Bert. 

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December 17, 2022 - 2:38 am
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Bert and others,  Don’t you mean the W was struck to verify the bluing did NOT flake off, vs verifying it did flake off?

Tim

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December 17, 2022 - 3:55 am
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I guess I also wondered why they needed to test the bluing on 60,000+ 94/64 rifles along with all the other models they did this on? Seems like they could have proved their success with a much smaller pool of examples. 

                                                                               ~Gary~

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December 17, 2022 - 4:47 am
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Bert H. said

It was simply a quality control test.  Winchester had just adopted a brand new bluing technique & formula to alleviate the flaking problem that plagued all of the firearms manufactured from the late 19-teens through most of the 1930s.  In that era, the bluing did not adhere very well to the steel on the receiver frames, and when struck or even handled, it popped off the steel in ugly looking spots & blotches.  The “W” was struck after the bluing process was complete to verify that it did not flake off the receiver frames.

  

Bert, as usual, is exactly correct.  It does get confusing a bit since the pre-war inspection stamps were generally (but not always) numbers and the post-war inspection stamps were letters (but again, not always).  However, in this case, Winchester chose a pre-war letter which was not already used by an individual inspector (since they were currently using numbers), ironically (and confusing 75+ years later), it happened to be a lower case “w”, which has muddied this issue for the layman since in many minds/instances “W” means Winchester.  Not the case in this example.

Best Regards,

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December 17, 2022 - 4:52 am
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And again, pdog72, I am beat to the punch by my ineptly slow typing skills…..

My hands are frozen since I am in Toronto currently but you are “as of typing” 10 more degrees below freezing than me so “No excuse Sir”.

I have always wondered the same thing.  Since there were metallurgical testing differences between some of the .22 caliber receivers (and I assume between some of the center-fire caliber) rifles were significant, I have wondered why the “testing” occurred on different receivers (of the same composition between calibers), as an Engineer (and test technician), this makes no sense to me unless there were other heat treat or finishing variables which I am not aware (and it seems likely there were).  

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December 17, 2022 - 5:08 am
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tim tomlinson said
Bert and others,  Don’t you mean the W was struck to verify the bluing did NOT flake off, vs verifying it did flake off?

Tim

  

The “new” type of bluing process was stamped with a “w” so if it had a problem, Winchester knew it was not the “bluing” but something else in the process.  A classic case of troubleshooting where each variable is removed one at a time.

And, end of story, it WAS the bluing type (and part of the process) which was ultimately corrected.

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December 17, 2022 - 5:22 am
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pdog72 said
I guess I also wondered why they needed to test the bluing on 60,000+ 94/64 rifles along with all the other models they did this on? Seems like they could have proved their success with a much smaller pool of examples. 

  

I have pondered that exact question, but have not come up with any reasonable answer to it.

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December 17, 2022 - 5:54 am
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Bert H. said

pdog72 said

I guess I also wondered why they needed to test the bluing on 60,000+ 94/64 rifles along with all the other models they did this on? Seems like they could have proved their success with a much smaller pool of examples. 

  

I have pondered that exact question, but have not come up with any reasonable answer to it.

  

Me too (in case you did not get that from my loquaciuos response).  Best Regards,

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March 12, 2023 - 3:54 am
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pine_worker said
I have a Winchester 94 in 32 Special with serial number 1257728 which I think was manufactured in 1942. Can anyone verify this? Thanks.

  

I also have a 1951 94 in 30-30 and a 1956 94 also in 30-30. The ‘56 I bought in 1962 for $40, my first deer rifle. Always looking for another 94, preferably a pre-64.

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