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Thread: Win 94 action question

  1. #1
    Boolit Master c1skout's Avatar
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    Win 94 action question

    I just picked up a pre-64 model 94. I went out and shot a few rounds with it today and it seemed to function fine with the Winchester 150gn factory load I used.

    I made up a dummy round this afternoon and was watching the action while cycling the dummy through, and I noticed that the cartridge just gets flung up in the action to where the bolt pushes it into the chamber, then the bolt snaps over the rim when the action locks shut. Is this how it is designed to work? This is my first lever gun so I'm not familiar with the workings. My bolt guns feed the rim into the extractor before closing so this looks strange to me.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Yep,there is a spring loaded pusher in the front of the bolt that pushes the round from deep in the back of the lifter,and when the bolt closes, that spring pressure keeps everything tight and closed.......the tradeoff is that the round is pushed ahead of the extractor. There is also a small catch in the lever link to keep the lever closed..

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Always work it like you mean it. 94's will balk if you baby them. I've been shooting them for 49 years so I think I'm familiar. I love my pre 64 30-30!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Lever actions. Quite similar to today's push feed system observed in a bolt gun. Controlled round feed: is a entirely different system of loading.
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    AZ Pete's Avatar
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    Bought my 94 used in 1960. Cycle the action with authority, as Texas by God said.


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  6. #6
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    turn it upside down and work it.
    you'll see how things really work.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    When I first got one, i thought something was wrong with mine, cause it did the same thing. I removed the extractor and polished the end so it be easier to snap over the shell as it closes. But I still have to do like Texas said, work it like you mean it!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master dikman's Avatar
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    Just curious, c1skout, what calibre is it?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master c1skout's Avatar
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    30-30 (30wcf) . Hopefully this cold snap ends soon so I can get some more shooting time with it.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master dikman's Avatar
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    Thanks, nice one. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. The reason I asked was because I have one in .44-40 and it does not cycle well (a known issue with 94's), so I figured yours had to be a rifle calibre.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    I always thought the 94 was closer to a controlled round feed than other designs in the sense that the case rim slides up under the extractor before it goes into battery, rather than the extractor snapping over it like a Marlin.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master quail4jake's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Yep, that's a good description of how a '94 works, rough and sloppy. Cycle briskly and try it upside down...once. I like '94s but it rates under the '86/'92 and well below Marlins. Solid top, side ejection...
    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master AllanD's Avatar
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    I don't know about the pre-64 Winchester '94s or any other models but my post-64 lifts the shell up to the bolt face and the rim slips under the extractor.

    I'm not a huge Winchester fan and to be honest I bought my '94 because it was CHEAP and Had a steel tube Weaver K4 bolted to it and I wanted that steel tube weaver to put onto my 1895 Marlin because my 50-year-old eyes were starting to have trouble with the Williams micrometer sights in typical hunting light.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    That's how mine works, the rails under the bolt guide the cartridge into the chamber. I've always found the 94 to be a sure feeding rifle.
    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 c1skout's Avatar
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    I got to try some cast hand loads today. I used the Lee 150f and IMR 4227 (16.4 and 17gn) and shot a 50yrd 5-shot group of 1.4" with the 16.4gn load, and a .99" 5-shot group from the 17gn load. These were running in the 1600fps range at an outside temp of 17. My Lyman book shows 21gn as a max so I'll keep testing and see if they get any better, but I'm happy so far! I burned up the rest of a box of factory ammo at 100yds too, so I have more empty brass to load. The factory ammo goes about 2" at 100, I'm pretty sure I can better that with the reloads.

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by quail4jake View Post
    Yep, that's a good description of how a '94 works, rough and sloppy. Cycle briskly and try it upside down...once. I like '94s but it rates under the '86/'92 and well below Marlins. Solid top, side ejection...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I get that you like Marlin over Winchester but by what standards are you putting an 86/92 over the 94?

  17. #17
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c1skout View Post
    I got to try some cast hand loads today. I used the Lee 150f and IMR 4227 (16.4 and 17gn) and shot a 50yrd 5-shot group of 1.4" with the 16.4gn load, and a .99" 5-shot group from the 17gn load. These were running in the 1600fps range at an outside temp of 17. My Lyman book shows 21gn as a max so I'll keep testing and see if they get any better, but I'm happy so far! I burned up the rest of a box of factory ammo at 100yds too, so I have more empty brass to load. The factory ammo goes about 2" at 100, I'm pretty sure I can better that with the reloads.
    Sweet! My .30-30's all do great with the Lee boolit and 29-30 grains IMR 4895 if you ever get a chance to try it.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    True, the Winchesters don't work upside down. But you shouldn't shoot guns while skinning cats or other gymnastics!
    The 1886 and 1892 are smoother working than the 1894. But the 94 had real power and flat trajectory in a compact action and the former Browning designs were discontinued while the 94 hunted on. I think Marlins are better too but my 94 Win does what I want to do with a lever action just fine.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I have tried working the action of my 70s era 94 upside down occasionally. If you do it fast, mine will cycle. I aint upside down a lot however. I normally cycle the action bout a medium speed, but with authority. It aint the smoothest action, but its a heck of a lot better than the angle eject action 94 I had previously. There is things I dont like about the 94, but there is things that I do. Chiefly, its light weight and fast handling coupled with a cartridge of moderate powder. It aint perfect, true. But for me is special.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    My wife had a Winchester 94 given to her by her Grandfather when he passed. It was nothing special, a gun he picked up cheap from a buddy, with no sentimental value so she sold it. Good shooter, it was a Anniversary Land of Lincoln commemorative and none of our kin ever lived in Illinois. I have a Marlin 1894 in 41 Magnum, no comparison. Dad has a Winchester and a Marlin, both great shooters. The Marlin was built in 1899 according to the serial number, with a 24" Barrel. Safe Queen now. Now the wife's Winchester in 32-40, that is a whole nuther story! Tang sight, Schutzen 'front' grip, the whole she-bang! That's a keeper!
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