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Winchester Model 1894 Questions
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February 17, 2024 - 8:04 pm
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I have inherited a Winchester Model 1894 with serial number 5844.  I understand most Model 94’s fire 30-30 WCF cartridge’s, but I still wanted to confirm that the firearm I have does shoot a 30-30 round.  The gun itself is not in great condition and much of its stampings are too worn to make sense of and it has no markings about the caliber of bullet it shoots.  I  am new to the scene of gun collecting and would like some help gaining as much knowledge of this firearm as possible, thank you.

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February 17, 2024 - 8:58 pm
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Daryn,

The odds are less than 6% that your Model 1894 is chambered for the 30-30 cartridge.  The vast majority of the early production Model 1894 rifles were chambered for the 38-55 or 32-40 cartridges.  Specifically, in the first 7,999 Model 1894s manufactured, (4,936) of them were 38-55s and (2,459) were 32-40s. There were just (424) 30-30s in the first 8,000 Model 1894s manufactured.  Do not attempt to shoot that rifle with any type of ammo without first verifying what it is actually chambered for.

Bert

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February 17, 2024 - 9:13 pm
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Thank you, that is good to know.  Is there any specific way you would recommend to figure out what it is chambered in?  I also wanted to inquire about the potential value of my Model 1894 if possible.  It has a 20 in octagon barrel but and is fully intact besides missing only its spring cover screw.  From what I understand about this firearm is that it was used in battle during the Mexican Revolution and was given to my grandfather as a gift a few decades ago, other than that tracking this guns history has been near impossible for me.  This gun does not seem like it is in shooting condition as is, but is not far from it. 

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February 17, 2024 - 9:19 pm
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Daryn Hanks said
Thank you, that is good to know.  Is there any specific way you would recommend to figure out what it is chambered in?  I also wanted to inquire about the potential value of my Model 1894 if possible.  It has a 20 in octagon barrel but and is fully intact besides missing only its spring cover screw.  From what I understand about this firearm is that it was used in battle during the Mexican Revolution and was given to my grandfather as a gift a few decades ago, other than that tracking this guns history has been near impossible for me.  This gun does not seem like it is in shooting condition as is, but is not far from it. 

  

You need to take it to a qualified gunsmith and have him determine which cartridge it is chambered for, and to determine if it is in proper mechanical condition to fire it.

Bert

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February 17, 2024 - 9:22 pm
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Okay, thank you.

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February 17, 2024 - 9:33 pm
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Pictures would tell us a lot.  If it is truly a rifle with a 20″ octagon barrel, it is possible that this gun was one of those confiscated in Mexico from the Poncho Villa era.  However, there is little if any chance of verifying this.  Many years ago the Flagler Gun Clinic in Florida bought a warehouse full of turn-in rifles, mostly model 1892 and 1894 Winchesters.  Many of these were 20″ short rifles.  These guns were, for the most part, in horrible condition.  Some of these were salvaged for parts, while some of the 1892 models being rebuilt and sold in .44 magnum caliber.  I still have an article in an old gun magazine from the time these guns were being offered by Flagler.  The article tells how they were found and shows piles of them on the floor as they were found.  On one of these guns, you can clearly see a bullet hole in the side of the buttstock.  Not saying your gun is part of this batch, but who knows.

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February 17, 2024 - 11:42 pm
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”I still have an article in an old gun magazine from the time these guns were being offered by Flagler.  The article tells how they were found and shows piles of them on the floor as they were found.  On one of these guns, you can clearly see a bullet hole in the side of the buttstock”

I want to see this article if you can dig it out! 

A man can never have too many WINCHESTERS...

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February 17, 2024 - 11:57 pm
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Daryn Hanks said
Thank you, that is good to know.  Is there any specific way you would recommend to figure out what it is chambered in?  I also wanted to inquire about the potential value of my Model 1894 if possible.  It has a 20 in octagon barrel but and is fully intact besides missing only its spring cover screw.  From what I understand about this firearm is that it was used in battle during the Mexican Revolution and was given to my grandfather as a gift a few decades ago, other than that tracking this guns history has been near impossible for me.  This gun does not seem like it is in shooting condition as is, but is not far from it. 

  

Yes, post some pics Daryn!

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February 19, 2024 - 6:36 pm
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Aussie Chris,

 

I finally found the article on the poncho Villa Winchesters.  It was in a long out of print magazine called Guns and Hunting, September 1964, page 51.  You might be able to find and read this article on-line.

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February 19, 2024 - 6:41 pm
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win4575 said
Aussie Chris,

 

I finally found the article on the poncho Villa Winchesters.  It was in a long out of print magazine called Guns and Hunting, September 1964, page 51.  You might be able to find and read this article on-line.

  

It can be downloaded from this source – GUNS Magazine GUNS Magazine 1964 Classic Editions – GUNS Magazine

Bert

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February 19, 2024 - 8:24 pm
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Bert,

The magazine was called “Guns and Hunting”.  It is not the same as “Guns” magazine.  All I have is the three page article, not the entire magazine.  It was published by Maco Corp., in N.Y., back in the day.

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February 19, 2024 - 8:44 pm
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win4575 said
Bert,

The magazine was called “Guns and Hunting”.  It is not the same as “Guns” magazine.  All I have is the three page article, not the entire magazine.  It was published by Maco Corp., in N.Y., back in the day.

  

OK, and thanks for the correction.  Can you scan it and send me a copy?

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February 23, 2024 - 7:52 am
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Very sorry for the late response kind of had to put my research on this topic to a hold for the past few days, however tomorrow morning I will be sure to update you’ll with pictures of the model 94.  I can confirm that the gun is in pretty bad shape to say the least, is aa 20in octagon barrel, and my grandfather (who I inherited it from, which he got from a friend in mexico) had swore that it shot a pistol caliber.  That had always confused me since I knew they did not make model 94’s in pistol calibers until later years, howevever win4575’s explanation would make a lot of sense if that truly was the case.  I will update the forum with pictures tomorrow in the morning to share more of the condition of it with you guys.  Thank you once again did not expect to come back to this post with all this information.  

 

Also, probably should’ve mentioned earlier but I am very unknowledgable on the topic of Winchester rifles and most other firearms in general.  This gun I inherited was the first ever Winchester I have ever held, but the history around it has inspired me to look even deeper into it.

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February 23, 2024 - 6:46 pm
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Here are the pictures. The only missing peice of the gun that I have found is the spring cover screw. All the internal mechanics seem to function just fine, obviously needs a lot of work on it though.

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February 23, 2024 - 7:08 pm
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It doesn’t need any work. Just stabilize it from further deterioration, and hang it over the fireplace.

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February 23, 2024 - 8:46 pm
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Daryn,

The serial number does appear to be 5844, and if that is correct, the rifle was manufactured in August of the year 1895.  Based on my research survey, nearly all of the Model 1894 rifles that were manufactured in that serial number range were 38-55 caliber.

Can you post pictures showing the first 6-inches of the top of the barrel directly behind the rear sight?  Also, a picture showing the muzzle face.

You are correct concerning the overall condition of the rifle… it is certainly in “rough” condition.  Both the barred and magazine tube have been shortened (cut down).

Bert

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February 23, 2024 - 10:37 pm
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Here you go Bert.  I can visibly but barely see a 3, followed by another number which I can now assume is an 8.  Other than that, the wear of this gun is shown and nothing else is able to be made out of it.

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February 23, 2024 - 10:46 pm
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Make sure you open the action and make sure there are no obstructions in the barrel or chamber. In any case, that’s a wall hanger IMO.

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February 23, 2024 - 10:52 pm
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Steven Gabrielli said
Make sure you open the action and make sure there are no obstructions in the barrel or chamber. In any case, that’s a wall hanger IMO.

  

Without a doubt this gun is a wallhanger, just trying to understand this gun as much as possible before it goes up on the wall for good.

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