pre-64 lever action

jbett98

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This is from your internet friend Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In 1964, to save money on production costs, Winchester ceased machining certain small parts for the Model 94. The new cartridge lifter was made of stamped sheet metal instead of being machined out of solid steel, and hollow roll pins were used in the action instead of solid steel pins. While the rifle's function, safety or accuracy was not adversely affected, the changes were conspicuous and came as Winchester made far more fundamental changes to its flagship Model 70 rifle. The changes were widely reviled at the time, perceived as a retreat from quality production across the company's whole range, and Winchester's reputation for making quality firearms was seriously damaged. Winchester would undo many of these short cuts in 1992, after modern CNC methods of automated production made many of the originally-machined parts affordable to produce once more. This, however, proved insufficient to sway public opinion. Many users would only use rifles made before 1964 (pre '64).,[5] and Winchester firearms made before 1964 command a markedly higher resale value on the gun market to this day.
 
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As I recall, in 1964, Winchester appointed a fella to the board that was associated with Singer sewing machines. This fella now heading the board said that Winchesters would now be made like sewing machines. With stamped parts and inexpensive tech. This period of Winchesters from 1964-1971 are horrible. In 1971, they fired Singer sewing machine guy and the rifles are made with higher quality but not equal to the pre-64 levers.
 

nwwoodsman

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I have one made in 1967, which from what I've heard should make this rifle about as functional, reliable and accurate as a blunderbuss. Here's what I can tell you. The receiver appears to be made out of some alloy that can't be blued. Found that out when I tried to touch it up. Mechanically it functions just fine. Cycles fine and goes bang when I pull the trigger. 2 inch groups at 100 yards with peep sights and an eye ball that's getting a little fuzzy. Guess it's just a matter of what a person wants inside their gun. I don't think most people will be able to tell the difference between a pre or post 64
 
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In the last year alone I bought a 1955.1954 and a 1946 flat band from a form member. The 1954 just went to my best friend who was born in that year. 54 like new was $350. The 55 was 95% at $375. And lastly the 46 flat band was 60% with wonderful patina {Old look} for $430.
They are a better place to put your money than a post 64. I love any year 94 winchester. Pre 64 Plain jainers get $350-$400. Depending on features and condition that price can go up. Way up! And I will buy a $350 gun in good shape on site.
It dose feel a little better to own pre 64's. Not that I can put down anything on the later guns. Yes the later guns are made cheeper. But you wont notice that shooting it. I have some very smooth action 80's and 90's winchester 94's. I allso have a very new pre 64 that is a bit tight and ruff to cycle. Just needs some rounds through it. None of that realy maters. People will allways want and pay more for a pre 64. So thats what I try to buy.
I dont think less of a guy with a post 64. I just think more highly of a guy with a pre 64. Look for guns in origonal condition. Don't settle for altered guns. I don't want Bubbas work. I want Winchester. But if the gun has not been drilled or scared. I want it. Normal even wear is fine. As long as its 100% functional. I Like 50% finish on the receiver. If it's worn evenly and is the result of normal use. Keep in mind, price must go along with condition. But generaly fair wear is OK. I and other people seam to allow wear on a lever winchester rifle more so than allmost any other gun. Some like myself prefer it[to a point]. Let the altered ones walk. Unless you want a shooter or the price is realy good! Sadly some of the parts are so expencive it's often worth pullin apart a nice rifle to sell the parts. Some colectors want only the best near perfect guns. I won't settle for altered rifles, but want my rifle over the fireplace to talk to those that look at it.
Here are two I bought this year. I would love to see yours.
 
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I have one made in 1967, which from what I've heard should make this rifle about as functional, reliable and accurate as a blunderbuss...
Anyone who suggests that a post 64 Model 94 is not reliable or accurate is mistaken. The stamped parts inside are cheap looking and the painted finish is funky but the rifles still drop deer reliably.
 
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Yes that is a very good price for a correct pre 64. I wish I could find them all at that price. Still I will pay up to about$400 or so for a nice one. I will let them walk if there much over that.
I like post 64 model 94's too. They are still good guns. I think there are many great deals out there in post 64 model 94's. My .375 is every bit as smooth as my pre 64's. And the finish is like black glass! Wood is acidently high grade I think. And dont forget the 9422's. My 9422 magnum legacy is my favorite rifle next to my 30 carbines.
 
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A few things in response to some of the posts made here. First, for those of you wanting a quality gun without the pre-64 price, I would suggest looking for a gun made in 1965 or 1966. These are what are referred to as transitional guns. These guns often have pre-64 parts in them, as those parts were used up before they switched to the new cheaper parts. I have owned several of these guns and found them to be just fine.
Winchester has subjected their receivers to multiple different treatments since 1964 that cause issues when re-bluing. This includes black oxide finishes, wash finishes, and I believe some painted on finishes. I've hot blued receivers only to have them come out of the oil cure looking like they'd been dipped in copper. Most of the time, I've simply rust blued the receivers and had them come out very nice. It's just a bit longer and more involved process...
 
I have two model 94's one from about '51 and another from about '71, the latter is new, never been loaded the first has dome reasonable wear, but the stock has a big ugly gouge, so I should replace the furniture.
 

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