Winchester Model 94, safe to shoot?

My dad has a fairly old Model 94, he's had it since he was young. Based on the serial number we believe it was made in the 1930s. He doesn't shoot it very much because when he does, the primer gets pushed out of the case just a little bit. Not a whole lot, maybe the thickness of a fingernail, but he says because of this it's unsafe to shoot it.

I've always been curious as to what might cause this, and if it truly makes it unsafe to shoot.

If it matters it's chambered for 30-30 Win, and we're not sure if it has the original barrel on it or not. It's an octagonal barrel that looks to be a factory one, but we're not sure if it's the original one for this gun, looks like it may have been replaced at some point.


Howdy, Pit.

A lot of the old Winchester levers show this on the primer when fired. A very lot. Even some that aren't so very old. Doesn't have to be a '94: 86's, 71's, '92's, etc. may show this.

Should be no problem at all, if it is moderate as you describe. What you have is a bit of excess headspace as a result of wear, and the fact that these guns lock up at the rear of the bolt instead of the front.

If you handload, this primer backing out thing can be reduced or eliminated by partial sizing of the brass, resulting in the gun headspacing on the shoulder of the previously fired brass. You will notice that fired brass out of this gun has assumed the true shape of the chamber, and differs slightly from unfired cartridge brass.

If you are still a bit worried, have a smith check it out. If it were mine, I'd go kill a deer with it. Whatever ya do, don't let a smith tell you the gun's become junk and he'll take it off your hands.

Then again, the gun could be junk. Want me to take it off your hands?
i would definitely be careful excessive headspace can be a real problem.if it is a new barrel it may not have been headspaced any rate, be careful and watch for pressure signs.

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