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Thread: 1978 Winchester 94 on the way

  1. #1
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    1978 Winchester 94 on the way

    Went to the fun store Friday to look around and they had a nice Winchester 94 .30-30 in stock. It is in really nice shape other than a few scratches in the wood and a small chip in the toe of the stock. This rifle is straight old school: no rebounding hammer, angle eject, or manual safety. The serial dates it to the same year I was born so into layaway jail it goes. Yes, I'm a gen-Xer who would rather have a nineteenth century design lever action than a plastic and aluminum autoloader! This will be the sixth one in my stable.

    So, do 94's of this vintage tend to get along with boolits? This rifle will wear a receiver sight like God intended and hopefully it will like 28 grains 4895/Lee C309-150-RF as my Marlins do.

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    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by FergusonTO35; 07-16-2017 at 02:51 PM.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Probably like the lee 170 mine do also the ranchdog 165 /Ed

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Rainier's Avatar
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    Sweet looking rifle! Always nice to get a new boolit luncher. I've never loaded for the 30-30 but I'm pretty sure there might be one or two folks here that do and... I suspect they'll point you in the right direction.
    Good luck with her and most importantly... Have Fun!
    "Truth is treason in the empire of lies" Ron Paul

  5. #5
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    Thanks, I sure will. I've always loved 94's but Winchester's awful quality control burned me on the first one I had, a 2002 model bought brand new. I figger if this one rolled off the line the same year I did it's gotta be good!
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    My 30-30 is from 1968-- which is the same design as the 1978 version (post 64 but before all the safety changes). It shoots very accurately and loves cast. I use a Williams receiver peep sight. It should be a great shooter.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    "God" intended a tang sight.
    Not on a 20" barrel with full mag tube. I hunt with lever actions on my feet in the thick woods so a tang sight offers no advantage anyway.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Congrats on the rifle, I've had a few of them through the years, but never kept them, cause I prefer Marlins.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    If you fit the boolits to the grooves just like anything else, you will be fine.
    Nice rifle BTW.
    I love my 94's! I have 5 right now. My oldest is from 1898 and my newest is from the 80's.
    I like to buy stripped receivers and put the old levers back into action.
    Enjoy it and make sure to give a range report when you get out.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    Will do. I actually prefer Marlins but I sure do like the 94. The first one I had was bought brand new in 2002. It was a good shooter and accounted for many deer. Unfortunately the build quality was so bad you would swear it was made by Chrysler in 1979. Yawning wood to metal gaps, the front sight was pointed to 11:45, and the action was so loose it would open by gravity. Life is too short to put up with that nonsense so down the road it went. My Mossberg 464 is certainly not perfect but still miles ahead of that one.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I suspect you will find that a 1978 Win 94 is right up there with the 1950s 94s. At least my 1978 vintage 375BB is not embarrassed to stand beside it's 1956ish "Grandad". Winchester got it together and had fixed the shortcomings of the early post 64 rifle by 78. My 375 has become my favorite levergun, and I'm a bit of a prewar/pre64 snob
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Yes. Very accurate. Mine (traded it) shot the Ranch Dog designs very well. Still available from NOE. I know, they were originally designed for Marlins but my Win 94 shot 2 moa with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FergusonTO35 View Post
    Not on a 20" barrel with full mag tube. I hunt with lever actions on my feet in the thick woods so a tang sight offers no advantage anyway.
    I agree...no tang sight will ever disgrace one of my lever guns.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rking22 View Post
    I suspect you will find that a 1978 Win 94 is right up there with the 1950s 94s. At least my 1978 vintage 375BB is not embarrassed to stand beside it's 1956ish "Grandad". Winchester got it together and had fixed the shortcomings of the early post 64 rifle by 78. My 375 has become my favorite levergun, and I'm a bit of a prewar/pre64 snob
    Honestly, Winny earned the bad reputation of the post-64 guns. I don't think the average hunter cared one way or another about the new push feed but they sure noticed the new Friday afternoon workmanship they were expected to plunk down hard earned money for. In 2002, I made $8.50 an hour and the 94 Ranger I bought cost me more than a week's take home pay. I knew it was a Walmart grade rifle and not an heirloom but dang, Ray Charles wouldn't have let that one go out the door. I still have a bad taste in my mouth over that rifle. The new Winoku 94's I have seen are very nice, and are priced like it too. Not many $8.50 an hour tire shop rats buying those!
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    I sure would like to add a .375 to the stable. Strangely, you see the Marlins around here much more often than the Winchesters in this cartridge.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FergusonTO35 View Post
    Not on a 20" barrel with full mag tube. I hunt with lever actions on my feet in the thick woods so a tang sight offers no advantage anyway.
    Oh Man My 94 with the Tang sight are over 100 years old and that tang sight on a 20''carbine is / was most important for me in the wood of Montana getting
    those White tails LoL All I and my family have ever used The good Old Lever Gun !!!!!

    Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FergusonTO35 View Post
    Honestly, Winny earned the bad reputation of the post-64 guns. I don't think the average hunter cared one way or another about the new push feed but they sure noticed the new Friday afternoon workmanship they were expected to plunk down hard earned money for. In 2002, I made $8.50 an hour and the 94 Ranger I bought cost me more than a week's take home pay. I knew it was a Walmart grade rifle and not an heirloom but dang, Ray Charles wouldn't have let that one go out the door. I still have a bad taste in my mouth over that rifle. The new Winoku 94's I have seen are very nice, and are priced like it too. Not many $8.50 an hour tire shop rats buying those!
    If it were that bad...WHY...WHY...WHY... did you buy it?

    Honestly...were you that foolish.

    Say what you want...most Winchester rifles were of pretty good quality...they were not the junk that you make them out to be.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Fergusonto35........ for the post '94s I'd get a 38-55 barrel ! 20 0r 26'' commemorative barrels work well !!! I've done a few and they are hard to hang on to !!!
    Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  19. #19
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FergusonTO35 View Post
    Honestly, Winny earned the bad reputation of the post-64 guns. I don't think the average hunter cared one way or another about the new push feed but they sure noticed the new Friday afternoon workmanship they were expected to plunk down hard earned money for. In 2002, I made $8.50 an hour and the 94 Ranger I bought cost me more than a week's take home pay. I knew it was a Walmart grade rifle and not an heirloom but dang, Ray Charles wouldn't have let that one go out the door. I still have a bad taste in my mouth over that rifle. The new Winoku 94's I have seen are very nice, and are priced like it too. Not many $8.50 an hour tire shop rats buying those!
    Hahaha You should Buy a 1894 Winchester !!!! I bought my 32'' barreled 38-55 set triggered gun for ????more than a Years wage of yours !!!! I loved it I wanted it and it came home with me WoW and that was more than 30 years ago !!! LoL I was Nuts but I'm glad now

    Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  20. #20
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    I just naievely assumed an NIB gun would be perfect. A learning experience I suppose. No, not all of them were junk, I never have said that. What I meant was that far too many went out the door with defects that even a modicum of concern for quality and pride of workmanship would have not permitted. We aren't talking about guns that blow up or are completely unuseable. Things like proper wood to metal fit, bluing that doesn't flake off, actions that are reasonably tight, barrels clocked right. No excuse for any of these things at any price point!
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check