Used Winchester 30-30 question

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by jason97496, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. jason97496

    Cottage Grove, Oregon

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    I was looking at a couple of Winchester (I think model 94) lever action rifles. They were $100 different in price. With my uneducated eye, I could not find that much difference between the two.

    I was hoping that someone could give me some advise on what to look at when buying a used lever action rifle.

    Thank you
  2. M.Link

    M.Link Guest

    I've been told to really check out the bore on older, used 94s. Also, pre 1964s are much preferred. They are machined instead of stamped (and cast I think).
  3. claypigeon


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    Post 64 model 94's tend to lose their blueing and rust/pit. They used a cheaper metal and it didn't hold the blueing as well or something along those lines(this is just the reciever I believe). Of course with the older ones comes the issue of wear bore and such from heavy use.
  4. M.Link

    M.Link Guest

    I think it may be winchesters old bluing process or something, not the metal. I have had a few different model wichesters and bluing was poor on them too. I think if anything, the metal was better back then. It was all machined, not stamped. Post 64s are good rifles too, don't get me wrong. I inharited a post 64 from my grandpa, no issues or bad things to sat at all, great rifle!
  5. andy*

    Everson Wa

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    In addition to the usual things like the bore and bluing etc... In the pre-64 realm of 94s price difference could be for a pre war, a saddle ring carbine, a eastern carbine, a long forearm, a flat band carbine ,the list could on.
    If you are looking for a shooter than I would suggest going with the one you like the best and enjoy it. If you are looking for a investment/collector gun then do your homework and check out some Winchester books.
    RIFLE magazine a few years ago had a issue devoted to the lever action rifle in America. It is still available online I think.
  6. Throckmorton

    Florence,Ore ah gone
    Well-Known Member

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    I don't see bore wear as much of an issue with a model 94 if it's a 30-30.At the relatively slow fps of that cartridge,a neglected bore 'could' be a problem,but they sure won't get 'shot out' at the slow speeds that bullet is traveling.
    The new AE...angel eject models are more 'scope friendly if your prone to using scopes..I have to...and the post '64 modles are supposed to 'rattle' more when carrying in the woods. Looser/sloppy tolerances maybe ?
    Maybe ask the seller why the price difference. ?
  7. Spitpatch

    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Well-Known Member

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    Price difference was most likely the result of one gun being "Pre-64", and another being "post-64" manufacture. All pre-64 model 94's (in decent shape) are desirable to collectors.

    In 1964, Winchester was forced to change manufacturing processes in order to save money. Parts that were machined and hand fitted previously became stamped or otherwise constructed in cheaper fashion. The lever system was also modified, and these later guns exhibit that in a rattling effect when opened. (Old ones rattle too, but not like these).

    In 1972, Winchester finally heard all the screaming from customers, and overhauled the '94 again, bringing back the machined elevator and the pin they'd removed from the lever system. This was a vast and significant improvement, but the reputation of the "Pre-64" Winchesters, and their hand-fitted machined quality has not perished. Hence their desirability to collectors.

    If all you want is a good .30-30, and you are committed to a '94, look for a post-72 gun. If you want almost a certain guarantee that you can get your money out of the gun anytime in the future, find a nice pre-64. (You will pay probably 30-40% more.)

    If what you want is a good .30-30 lever gun, in my opinion the Marlin 336 is actually a better hunting gun. Extremely accurate, friendly to scope-mounting if that is your desire, and they are all made very well.
  8. CreepingDeath

    Albany, Oregon
    Active Member

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    Well said. :thumbup: To hunt with or not to hunt with? I have a 1971 100yr. anniversary model 336 that just sits in the safe because I don't want to hunt it. Got it from an uncle who took some nice South Dakota whitetail with it. I do put 20rds through it every other year and it shoots great. Like said above Marlin makes a good lever action. If your looking for a good hunting lever action I'd give it some thought. CD

    Wickiup Junction
    Well-Known Member

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    No doubt the Marlin is probably the 'better' rifle but don't pass on a good Winchester if the deal is right. I'll agree with Spit on the post '72 guns. I had a 1977 Winchester that was tight and extremely accurate but there are some great pre 64's and older ones if you take your time. I almost bought a 1942 94 last year that was in excellent shape and I will be taking a look at a 1910 made 94 in 25/35 sometime soon the seller says is in excellent condition - it had better be for his asking price! The last new Winchester I bought was a 94 'Trapper' model in .357 and after several years of using it flooded with gunslick and a recent complete tear down and some 'fine tuning' it is now glass smooth and reliable. Earlier this year I made a trade deal with a forum member on a 1968 Buffalo Bill Commemorative and it is tight and shoots well but it has suffered more from lack of use and while it appears almost new I think it only got an occasional (and quick) cleaning on it's internals and has what appears to be the original shipping grease inside with lots of dust and grime. Just do your homework on Winchesters if that is what you want and be careful. Many early 94's saw hard use and are unsafe to shoot - not due to strength issues but mostly worn internals. A few years ago I knew A guy who was hunting with a family hand me down 94 from about 1929 and upon return to his vehicle it slipped half-cock and fired - through his vehicle and rear tire with no spare!

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