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Winchester Model 64 Condition - Need some help!
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December 2, 2023 - 6:42 pm
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Hi fellow Winchester collectors and fans – 

I am new to this forum, and relatively new to Winchester lever action rifles. So far I have an ‘Antique’ Model 94 (from the 70s) that I picked 6 months ago and absolutely love! It is in ‘as new’ condition, CCH receiver, with saddle ring, etc… it is one of the prettiest guns I have seen!

I need some help with assessing the condition of a rifle I am considering – I found a Model 64 at LGS, with SN dating it to 1940. I took some pictures yesterday and posting here, hoping fellow members can help me properly grade the gun, and determine if it is something I should buy.

Given what you see, how would you grade this (83 yr old) rifle? I collect S&W and Colt revolvers and am not used to assessing the wood / stocks of rifles – those appear pretty beat up but again, I need some help – I am a lot more comfortable with revolvers that don’t have as much wood…

Thank you in advance and I hope everyone is having a great hunting / holiday season!

Slav

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December 2, 2023 - 6:57 pm
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The serial number IDs it as an October 1936 production Model 64.  The pictures show a rifle that has been dragged through the brush on many a hunting trip.  Accordingly, the graded condition is below the “collector” level.  If you are looking for a classic hunting rifle, I would not offer more then $900 for it.

Bert

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December 2, 2023 - 7:39 pm
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Thanks Bert – the above is very helpful, and in line with my assessment – at best a classic ‘shooter grade’ but not a ‘collector’ piece. It is priced at $699, so it is not expensive by any model 94/64 standards, and below what you suggested, so it may be a good buy then?

I printed your discussion topic on what to look for when evaluating an old Winchester – thank you very much! I will use it when I go back to make my final decision on the rifle tomorrow. Is there anything else I should look for more specifically given what you saw on the pics?

As to the production date, I found this source that will put this rifles’s SN (1116461) in 1940. Is there a more accurate source you may be referring to (as you suggested October’36)?

I would love to pin the date for my other model 94 (‘the antique’, post-64 model) – it has SN 4679790, which I had looked up as produced in 1979 according to the above source, would that be accurate? Also, I noted no WP mark on the CCH receiver – would this be normal for later rifles?

BTW, I added some pictures of it here – I know it is not a pre-64…but what it cannot make with history, it makes with looks, I think…that ‘antique’ look is so pretty IMHO.

Thank you again, Bert, and anyone else who shares their thoughts on the above!

Slav

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December 2, 2023 - 7:50 pm
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Bert H. said
The serial number IDs it as an October 1936 production Model 64.  The pictures show a rifle that has been dragged through the brush on many a hunting trip.  Accordingly, the graded condition is below the “collector” level.  If you are looking for a classic hunting rifle, I would not offer more then $900 for it.

Bert

  

Thank you, Bert – much appreciate your response!

Slav

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December 3, 2023 - 2:34 am
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Tzvetoslav Lakov said
As to the production date, I found this source that will put this rifles’s SN (1116461) in 1940. Is there a more accurate source you may be referring to (as you suggested October’36)?

Thank you again, Bert, and anyone else who shares their thoughts on the above!

Slav

The date of manufactured that I provided to you was derived directly from the actual Winchester serialization records.  The source you cite contains the copied information taken from the erroneous published date of manufacture book written by George Madis.

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December 3, 2023 - 2:40 am
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Bert H. said

Tzvetoslav Lakov said

As to the production date, I found this source that will put this rifles’s SN (1116461) in 1940. Is there a more accurate source you may be referring to (as you suggested October’36)?

Thank you again, Bert, and anyone else who shares their thoughts on the above!

Slav

The date of manufactured that I provided to you was derived directly from the actual Winchester serialization records.  The source you cite contains the copied information taken from the erroneous published date of manufacture book written by George Madis.

  

Thank you Bert! Yes, I did fins another source you had posted in a different forum that gave me the 1936 year.

Final question – based on the pictures I posted on the model 64, does it look like it may have been re-blued or the stock been refinisheid? 

If all original, I think I am going to get it and enjoy it as occasional shooter for steel silhouettes (I don’t hunt)…it is a cool looking rifle for sure! Cool

Thanks again!

Slav

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December 3, 2023 - 2:48 am
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Where are the pictures?

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December 3, 2023 - 2:51 am
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sb said
Where are the pictures?

  

I had pasted a link in the first post, but I am reposting the link.

Thank you in advance!

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December 3, 2023 - 3:05 am
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I found them.  Thanks.

If you’re happy with that condition, you probably won’t find another for a much better price.  It shows signs of use and some neglect.  There looks like there may be a crack in the stock at the toe.

 It might even clean up and look a little better.  The 32 isn’t as popular as the 30 with most collectors but it has a following.

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December 3, 2023 - 3:30 am
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sb said
I found them.  Thanks.

If you’re happy with that condition, you probably won’t find another for a much better price.  It shows signs of use and some neglect.  There looks like there may be a crack in the stock at the toe.

 It might even clean up and look a little better.  The 32 isn’t as popular as the 30 with most collectors but it has a following.

  

Thanks sb! Good eye – that might be a crack on the toe, I will look more closely when I go back to the store tomorrow.

And yes on the caliber – the 32 WS is not readily available, I would also prefer if it were 30 WCF but I assume I will be able to find 2-3 boxes that will last me.

Did you see any signs that may suggest a re-blue? The barrel looks in good shape outside overall, setting aside a couple of scratches on it, and I could not see signs of a polishing, or smoothened lettering, but I am not an expert…

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December 3, 2023 - 3:49 am
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I can’t tell for sure but the wood may have some extra finish added.  The metal looks original to me.

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December 3, 2023 - 4:40 am
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Tzvetoslav Lakov said

Bert H. said

Tzvetoslav Lakov said

As to the production date, I found this source that will put this rifles’s SN (1116461) in 1940. Is there a more accurate source you may be referring to (as you suggested October’36)?

Thank you again, Bert, and anyone else who shares their thoughts on the above!

Slav

The date of manufactured that I provided to you was derived directly from the actual Winchester serialization records.  The source you cite contains the copied information taken from the erroneous published date of manufacture book written by George Madis.

  

Thank you Bert! Yes, I did fins another source you had posted in a different forum that gave me the 1936 year.

Final question – based on the pictures I posted on the model 64, does it look like it may have been re-blued or the stock been refinisheid? 

If all original, I think I am going to get it and enjoy it as occasional shooter for steel silhouettes (I don’t hunt)…it is a cool looking rifle for sure! Cool

Thanks again!

Slav

  

Levergun silhouettes looks like a fun game, am guessing that’s what you want to use it for? 

 

Mike

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December 3, 2023 - 5:01 am
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Tzvetoslav Lakov said

Bert H. said

Tzvetoslav Lakov said

As to the production date, I found this source that will put this rifles’s SN (1116461) in 1940. Is there a more accurate source you may be referring to (as you suggested October’36)?

Thank you again, Bert, and anyone else who shares their thoughts on the above!

Slav

The date of manufactured that I provided to you was derived directly from the actual Winchester serialization records.  The source you cite contains the copied information taken from the erroneous published date of manufacture book written by George Madis.

  

Thank you Bert! Yes, I did fins another source you had posted in a different forum that gave me the 1936 year.

Final question – based on the pictures I posted on the model 64, does it look like it may have been re-blued or the stock been refinisheid?

If all original, I think I am going to get it and enjoy it as occasional shooter for steel silhouettes (I don’t hunt)…it is a cool looking rifle for sure! Cool

Thanks again!

Slav

I do not believe that it has been reblued (refinished).

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December 3, 2023 - 1:54 pm
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TXGunNut said

Tzvetoslav Lakov said

Bert H. said

Tzvetoslav Lakov said

As to the production date, I found this source that will put this rifles’s SN (1116461) in 1940. Is there a more accurate source you may be referring to (as you suggested October’36)?

Thank you again, Bert, and anyone else who shares their thoughts on the above!

Slav

The date of manufactured that I provided to you was derived directly from the actual Winchester serialization records.  The source you cite contains the copied information taken from the erroneous published date of manufacture book written by George Madis.

  

Thank you Bert! Yes, I did fins another source you had posted in a different forum that gave me the 1936 year.

Final question – based on the pictures I posted on the model 64, does it look like it may have been re-blued or the stock been refinisheid? 

If all original, I think I am going to get it and enjoy it as occasional shooter for steel silhouettes (I don’t hunt)…it is a cool looking rifle for sure! Cool

Thanks again!

Slav

  

Levergun silhouettes looks like a fun game, am guessing that’s what you want to use it for? 

 

Mike

  

yep, that’s what I was thinking, Mike – it would be a great gun for occasional shooting at steel silhouettes – won’t be dragging it through the woods to cause further cosmetic damage to it but will use it for what it is intended for – throwing 170 gr. bullets down the range at 2,000 FPS+ speeds…;-)Laugh

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December 7, 2023 - 2:30 am
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Slav,

Although I don’t have Bert’s eye or anything like his experience, after looking at the photos I concur the metal finish is original. I also think the buttstock’s factory lacquer finish is original although, because of its apparent greater shine, the forearm may have been wiped down with an oil based varnish (e.g. Birchwood Casey’s Tru-Oil) but not rubbed out properly.  There are two things I really like about the gun: First, the screw slots have not been messed with, as far as I can see.  Second, the wood is still proud of the metal at their various junctions.  Combined, those two things indicate (to me, anyway) a blacksmith has likely not tried to disassemble and in the process distort or damage the fairly complex lockwork of these guns.  If the bore is in nice shape – and it could be since the gun was serialized well after 1927 when Remington Kleanbore primers made their appearance – what you’re looking at is a pretty much all-original M64 that’s been used but not badly abused. I’d bet a donut it’s been carried a lot more than it’s been shot, too, like most high power sporting rifles.

Done with some knowledge and discretion, the wood scratches can be steamed out and spot-refinished. It isn’t necessary or desirable to take the stock down to bare wood and lose the remaining factory finish. The lacquer is cured and can be improved with one of several wipe-on hardening oil varnish products that can consolidate well with what’s left of the factory lacquer. What it takes is patience and discretion, using a large number of thin coats, each allowed to dry thoroughly and then knocked back with some 4-0 wool.  Rub out the final coat with a little pumice in oil.  What you can wind up with is a very nice, subdued satin finish that won’t entirely conceal its history but will still be quite handsome and reasonably authentic in appearance. 

I would resist the temptation to reblue the metal but rather wipe it down with one of the higher-tech anti-rust compounds (e.g. BreakFree CLP) that will get under the rust in any pits and eventually break a lot of it loose. BreakFree is what I’m familar with but there are others.  The tendency of BreakFree and similar compounds to get underneath and uproot bright nickel finishes will do the same trick to oxidized steel, beneficially.  

If I were buying this M64, I’d take it to a gunsmith I trusted to carefully disassemble, de-junk and clean and lubricate its lockwork and other inner components. That done, I think you’d have something to use and be proud of.  Certainly worth what the store is asking…with room for the gunsmith’s fee. 

And you will have rescued a piece of firearms history — a good thing to do.  My ten cents, anyway. 

(added 12/7/23)  P.S.  From the closeup photo of the front sight ramp and hood, it looks like the hood is a genuine WRA #3277 hood, which is correct for the Model 64 and those are not easy to find these days.  I”d guess the front bead in the dovetail is probably the original factory bead, matching the rear WRA open sight.  So, it looks like the sighting equipment is original factory stuff, too.  Always a plus. 

(added 12/7/23)  P.P.S. There is definitely a crack in the toe of the stock, and if the line is visible from the opposite face of the stock, it’s more than a little likely that triangular piece of Walnut was split off and re-glued.  As we all know, that damage is a risk that comes with handsome steel buttplates when the rifle is dropped butt-first onto a hard surface from any height beyond a very few inches.  Once we accept the gun is not pristine, I think that typical repair just adds to the warmth and charm of the piece. Assuming the repair is sound and doesn’t need to be redone, just spot refinish over the line. If there is any depth at all to the repaired line, wipe some pore filler into it first and then spot refinish.  I suggest black TimberMate, a product of Oz that works well.  Whatever you do, don’t try to match color to the wood in order to “hide” it.  It’ll hide about like a sore thumb….

- Bill 

 

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