WINCHESTER MODEL 1894 SIGHTS
A Sight Reference for the Rifle and Carbine: Project Overview
I will be continuing to post a reference to sights used on Model 1894 rifles and carbines using text and quality images of the actual sights on the actual guns. The end goal is to create a place where we can find images of the correct sights for the guns of the period. I’ll be referring to the manufacturer catalogs of the period by Winchester, Lyman and Marbles, etc., and all other written reference I can get my hands on. Most importantly I will be using information from you, my fellow collectors.
I want to show period sights correct for the guns they are on. I will also show them alongside images and literature of the period in some cases. The information will be posted right here on the WACA forum for everyone to access as it’s being compiled. You can deliver feedback right here by replying to the post below.
I welcome anyone interested to contribute to the project. If you have any Model 1894 rifles or carbines made between 1894-1932, and you are interested in submitting some images and information, please email me the details. I’m always interested in seeing some of the more rare individual sights too. Please email me at: [email protected]
Thank you to everyone who has helped out with this so far with submissions and answering questions! Thanks Rob Kassab for getting it into The Winchester Collector magazine. Thank you to Bert Hartman, Chris Hartman and Rick Hill who have specifically helped me with this extensively.
For reference you might look for original or reproduction catalogs, some reproductions available here: http://www.cornellpubs.com/old-guns/historic-winchester-arms.php
I would also advise anyone interested to find a copy of “Old Gunsights: A Collector’s Guide, 1850-1965” by Nick Stroebel and “The Sight Book” by George Madis.
Please check out the links below.
WINCHESTER MODEL 1894 SIGHTS
Updated to PDF format. May take a few seconds to load, but navigation seems faster and image quality is better than the Word version. Make sure you have “plug-ins” enabled on your internet browser if there are any problems. You can also hit the download button that should be on the upper left when you go to the link. The images are clearer viewing the downloaded file on my computer anyway.
August 1, 2009
March 23, 2007
Thanks for the replies.
If any one has any questions go ahead and ask away anytime too.
Picture taking for this doesn’t have to be as elaborate a set up as you might think either. I set up a gun on my shooting bag and take decent pictures indoors in winter when the light is good.
February 13, 2012
Thanks everyone for the submissions so far and the interest.
I added a collection of old sight advertising to the project also. Please check it out. It’s a work in progress and I’d always be happy to add some new information.
I’m starting to add some new information up in the contents. Please check it out.
Thanks guys for the submissions. I’d like to have at least seven for each “chapter” before I put something up. Watch for edits and added material. Also please let me know if you have any trouble viewing the files.
I’d also be happy to get pictures of individual sights any time too. I plan to keep expanding the period advertising and sight picture section.
This last weekend I was able to find a nice Lyman No.1 rear for one of my 1894s and also a couple of vintage Marble’s Side Light Discs with No.1 apertures (not the new Marble Arms ones) for the Marble tang sights. However, I was really lucky to obtain this: a 1902 Lyman Gun Sights catalog with all pages nice, clear and intact. Extra bonus was being from 1902, one of the years where I can’t get a reproduction yet. I also posted one of the pages relevant to the Model 1894 Winchester.
I was fortunate this last week to take a trip to Merz Antique Firearms in neighboring Minnesota and photograph sights from quite a few 1894s. I thank LeRoy and his excellent staff there for helping me out with this project. I appreciate their efforts very much. Saw some dandy Winchesters available from their website:
This new information, along with some other new additions, will be filtering into the project contents above over the next few days and weeks. 1908-1915 has already been updated with some new images and information.
Also edited and added information to 1900-1907 tonight.
And also edited and added a picture to the project preview too.
Added something for 1916-1923.
4/7: added some 1924-32 information.
Happy Easter Sunday!
Tonight I installed the beginning of the 1894-99 chapter. I’d very much like to get some more images of guns and sights added to what is here now. Long term I am hoping these "chapters" combine for over a hundred guns. I’ll be adding a few shortly and also hope to hit the road again and collect some more images. I’m also looking forward to adding to the advertising collection. That stuff is very valuable for information on sight producers other than Winchester.
There are some minor sight details that I’d be very happy to get some discussion on from others. I was under the impression for awhile that the PAT.NOV.4.02 on the Winchester Sporting Front Sights had something to do with the set screw. Then I started thinking about the sights with the PAT.NOV.4.02 and no screw and then of course the many sights with screws and no PAT date stamp.
I found a lot of pre-1902 guns with screws too. And post 1902 guns with Winchester Sporting Front Sights without screws. Some of these were auction guns and I didn’t seek permission to use those images here.
One thing I did find revealing was carefully reading the 1902 patent here and according to this particular one the date has little to do with a set screw application at all, but mostly the use of the "tin tipped" and/or metal bead fronts.
I have yet to find any specific dates in Mr. Stroebel’s or Mr. Madis’ books for the screw. Maybe I missed it so someone please let me know.
I don’t believe the sight illustrations used in Winchester catalogs of the period were updated as fast as the actual sight designs were implemented. I’m not just basing this on the Sporting Front Sight images, but several others as well.
I’ve talked to several guys that have dealt sights and parts for many years on this subject and others related to these sights. The best way to put it is that they have very strong opinions on the subject of sights, often contradicting each other and the written works. So I’d really welcome some new ideas or discussion here from anyone else. I personally think as of now they could have had the screw in the 1890s, but is much more common post 1900.
Thought I’d give another update on the project.
Due to the late spring here I’ve been fortunate enough to take the time and hit the road again to photograph some really great Winchester sights. Hopefully I will be adding some new material to the project on a regular basis for the near future. I posted some pics of a few that will be making their way into my work. I added a couple to the 1894-1899 section tonight.
Gentlemen, if you are reading this I thank you again for the welcome and the opportunity to photograph some great guns.
January 22, 1999
Good Morning Brad,
Nice work being done on the Winchester Sights and the pictures are great.
I especially like the above picture of the Full Buckhorn Winchester Sight, you don’t see to many of those, are they listed in the records as being shipped with the rifle?
Enjoy the Day,hokie
"I Would Have Rather Lived Through The Industrial Revaluation"
"Instead of The Space Age"
The Twilight Zone
I will ask the owner if he will let me do a search on it. I wrote up a little on that one in the 1894-99 section. It would be interesting to know. More experienced collectors than me would probably have an idea if that would show up in the records.
It’s a sight I haven’t seen a lot of so far either.
Thanks for the kind word.
Very herlpful project, especially for someone new to collecting like me. I ran across an interesting model 1894 on GI. Ser no 121xxx !/2 Rd 1/2 Octagon Barrel, Takedown, 26", 38-55 Good Bore, Cresent Butt, Lyman Tang Sight, Has a rare Daniels rear sight.
Have you ever heard of a "Daniels rear site"?? Was this made by Winchester? Could it be original to the rifle? I asked the owner about it and he’s looking for the Cody information on the gun and is supposed to call me.
Here is an copied image from a 1908 ad:
I noticed one or two for sale on ebay in the last six months when I was looking. Sometimes I’ve seen part of one for sale. I have limited understanding on this one. I’m pretty sure the Charles Daniels sight was not manufactured by Winchester. A few people have told me that they are rare, and would be rarely found on Winchesters…but can be. I would really investigate the wear patterns and crud buildup around the sight along with blueing underneath. Not sure how often the factory records are going to mention a sight like that.
I don’t know the history of Charles Daniels’ sights. I can’t imagine they were made for a real long time. I’ll try to find some more info. I know it’s mentioned in the back of The Sight Book as a possibility.
To anyone who may be emailing me in the near future with sight information:
I’m in the process of moving these last few weeks. While I’m back and forth I’ll check, but when I get back to the home farm it may be awhile before I have internet again. I’ll reply as soon as I can.
I’m glad the sight project is helping you out.
I don’t get to a lot of gun shows. I go when I have the chance. Never been to a big one. I think there are others in the same boat. One of my goals is to show the sights on a few hundred 1894s here. Not to say this sight is right and this sight is wrong. I want to show guns that have a good chance of having original sights. That is when others can hopefully determine for themselves what is right and what is not. Maybe have a discussion. This project should be a gun show for the person who wants to see sights any time of the day, seven days a week. I’m very grateful for the contributors who are making it happen with submissions and the collectors who let me handle their guns for the project.
One bonus of getting into sights is finding decent ones for yourself. I was lucky to find a fellow collector who wanted to sell a few good ones, including a couple Lyman No. 5 fronts. One had the lower base height, which seems to be more common, and one had the higher base. That one is just right for the 1894 rifle in .30 WCF that I like to shoot a lot. This gun didn’t have factory sights on it when I got it. Just the same as a guy would have done 100+ years ago in the same spot; I put something on there that I liked…and they are a pleasure to use with a tang sight. Saving the other one for another gun that needs it someday.
I was able to add a handful of guns to the project tonight. 1900-1907 is up to 30 pages so that’s good. Getting some guns in the project from all different locations and collections has been extremely helpful. Thank you to those that have helped so far.