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Winchester Model 54 Carbines
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Elk Co, PA
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May 20, 2024 - 6:18 pm
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I have been keeping my eye out for a Model 54 carbine in 270 WCF for a few years now and have yet to come across one. It is stated that they were available from 1927-1936, but I can’t seem to find any production numbers on them for models and calibers. Has there been any further development of such production numbers for Model 54s? Are 54 Carbines in 270 really that rare? The surveyed 54s in David Bichrest’s book show that they definitely do exist I just have yet to find one! 

Side note: I believe the Model 54 is an extremely underrated Winchester. Every one that I have owned has been top notch as far as quality is concerned.

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May 20, 2024 - 6:48 pm
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I’d like to find one too. Only one I’ve ever seen is owned by a friend. 

A WACA member had a 270 Carbine for sale a couple years ago. Think it had a scope on it.

My sense is that they are few and far between.

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May 20, 2024 - 7:08 pm
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kurtm2323 said Every one that I have owned has been top notch as far as quality is concerned.
  

Bottom-metal included?  Contemporary gun writers minced no words about it.

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May 20, 2024 - 7:24 pm
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clarence said

kurtm2323 said Every one that I have owned has been top notch as far as quality is concerned.

  

Bottom-metal included?  Contemporary gun writers minced no words about it.

  

As far as the action itself is concerned. The bottom metal, trigger, and safety are lacking. Feeding, extraction, and ejection are so smooth without hiccups.

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May 20, 2024 - 7:43 pm
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Hard to beat an all original M54 with condition, nothing is lacking

Absolutely no problem with a blind mag here

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May 20, 2024 - 8:22 pm
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Tedk said
Absolutely no problem with a blind mag here. 

Not only the blind mag that was criticized, chiefly it was the BB-gun trigger-guard.  OK for a “budget” rifle like the Savage Hi-Power, but that gun sold for substantially less than a 54.

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May 20, 2024 - 10:33 pm
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They do  exist. I actually have owned one for more than a decade. It is far from perfect but the 270 WCF bore is excellent with sharp lands.

It dates to 1927 I believe and came from MT a couple of decades ago.

 

 That said, then it gets interesting as it is considered an NRA Short Rifle with checkering, NRA stock from the period. Bichrest mentions them.

It was a rifle with use, including a Buehler safety. I have taken a few whitetail bucks with it, and the rifle has grown to be

a companion.

It is like the pre-war Model 71s in the Canadian backwoods or Alaska outback: their owners cannot be pried away from them…

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May 22, 2024 - 1:27 pm
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450 Fuller said
They do  exist. I actually have owned one for more than a decade. It is far from perfect but the 270 WCF bore is excellent with sharp lands.

It dates to 1927 I believe and came from MT a couple of decades ago.

 

 That said, then it gets interesting as it is considered an NRA Short Rifle with checkering, NRA stock from the period. Bichrest mentions them.

It was a rifle with use, including a Buehler safety. I have taken a few whitetail bucks with it, and the rifle has grown to be

a companion.

It is like the pre-war Model 71s in the Canadian backwoods or Alaska outback: their owners cannot be pried away from them…

  

Those NRA Short Rifles look like the best of both worlds, modern stock design with a handy barrel length. I just assumed they would be harder to find than a carbine!

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May 22, 2024 - 4:07 pm
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They are rare in 270, particularly. I have owned M-54 carbines in 30-06 with the slightly grooved fore end portion of the stock.

 

The .270 with a 20 in barrel retains much velocity, while the 30-06 seems to lose out quickly unless light bullets ;like  the 150 gr version. In Alaska I carried one with 180-200  gr Noslers just in case of the ever-present bears. I would really rather be carrying a Model 71 with heavier 250 gr bullets or-same rifle in 450 Alaskan-which I own.  But whatever you are carrying becomes your “bear rifle” in the Canadian-Alaskan bushvelt.

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May 22, 2024 - 8:33 pm
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David Bichrest’s Model 54 book includes his survey list of close to (1000) M54s.  Not a huge sample, and certainly biased towards the rare and/or special order rifles, but it tends to bear out the notion that 270 WCF wasn’t a particularly popular chambering in the 20-inch barrel versions of the M54.

Of the Carbines (uncheckered stock with finger groove fore end and Nickel Steel barrel) he lists by serial number (23) in 30 GOV’T’06 and only (7) in 270 WCF.  The other “popular” carbine chambering was possibly 30 WCF, as he recorded (16) of them.  

There are fewer NRA Short Rifles (checkered NRA style stock with integral forged ramp CMS barre) in his survey than carbines.  But he lists (13) in 30 GOV’T’06 compared to (3) in 270 WCF.  

So it’s probably somewhere in the vicinity of 3 or 4 : 1 in favor of the 30 GOV’T’06 versus the 270 WCF…  Laugh  I’ve never seen a 270 Carbine/Short Rifle either…

Lou

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May 23, 2024 - 1:03 pm
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The Model 54 Carbines, like the full length rifle were not particularly popular in 30 WCF. Hunters and collectors, unless both-tend to lose sight of the pragmatic side of the 1920s-early 30s. Money was very tight after 1929 during the depression. People who did look for a rifle found used versions, when available. The 30 WCF M-54 became a little more popular according to Frank De Haas in his Bolt Action Rifles book: owners sent rifles or carbines to gunsmiths for re-chambering to 30-40 Krag. Griffin and Howe did some work on Model 54s to suit their owners. I have an original M-54 in 22 Hornet. An NRA Short Rifle in 22 Hornet would be an interesting item.

This NRA Short Rifle has both a scope mounted and Buehler early safety, indicating the Montana rancher I obtained it from was a pragmatic hunter and it spent some time with his family. Would that I had gotten more history on this little rifle.

DeHaas mentions that there were never M-54 separate  actions offered by Winchester nor were there a great amount of original safety or other M-54 parts. Even less currently. I have been contacted more than once on this M-54 NRA  .270 WCF version-but I probably will hang on to it as much due to its practicality as to its  rarity.

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May 23, 2024 - 2:05 pm
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 The 30 WCF M-54 became a little more popular according to Frank De Haas in his Bolt Action Rifles book: owners sent rifles or carbines to gunsmiths for re-chambering to 30-40 Krag.450 Fuller said

Can’t see the financial justification unless a 2nd-hand .30 WCF could be bought cheaply enough to cover expense of re-chambering; even then, the result would be a rifle inferior to a 54 in .30-06. 

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May 23, 2024 - 4:25 pm
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Lots of people looking for a M54 30 W.C.F.

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May 24, 2024 - 2:39 am
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Model 54 carbines in 270 are scarce. But I believe the 54 carbine is a lot handier in the bush than a model 71.  The 30-06 loaded with 220 gr bullets is quite adequate for bear and other creatures.The carbine was designed as a no frills work gun , theNRA short rifle does balance a bit better .Carbines were also available with the first  model rifle stock and feel very comfortable in the hand. Tom

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