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Thread: Ways to improve accuracy with a win model 94?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Ways to improve accuracy with a win model 94?

    Hey everyone, after having to sell my two pre-64's back in November I managed to pick up another one from 1955. Not quite as clean as they two I had but seems a solid shooter, best group was 1 5/8" today with a temp of 31degrees, shooting 150 gr. federal, average was around 2". I am pretty happy with this, but always looking to improve accuracy, any tips on things I can do to tighten up my groups, do these generally shoot better with cast boolits, and any recommendations of weights to try?
    Thanks,
    Adam
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I guess if that was mine, and it was doing that well at 100 yds., I'd be a happy guy. If your two previous rifles did better, then you've lived a blessed life, 'cause target rifles just isn't what they were designed to be. There are things that can be done to improve accuracy on one that shoots very poorly, but yours isn't one of them.

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Gebirgsjager View Post
    I guess if that was mine, and it was doing that well at 100 yds., I'd be a happy guy. If your two previous rifles did better, then you've lived a blessed life, 'cause target rifles just isn't what they were designed to be. There are things that can be done to improve accuracy on one that shoots very poorly, but yours isn't one of them.
    I had another 55' win 94, that someone had carved the stock up some, that one was a shooter for sure, the other one was LNIB from 1962 and ill say i never shot it, so not sure how it would have shot. It was clean as a whistle though.

    mostly looking for some cast loads to try, feel like some lower pressure, heavy boolits would be fun.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have a .38-55 and it shoots better with the boolit being crushed in to the rifling with the lever. Without that, they hit sideways. Then again, mine was made in 1899.
    The only amendment the Democrats support is the 5th.

  5. #5
    Moderator Emeritus


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    Start with a receiver sight.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    That's above average for any 94 carbine I've ever shot especially with regular sights. That's great that it is drilled & tapped for peeps so get one and a blade front and see what she'll do. My old 94 as a 30-30 shot cast and jacketed about the same at 50yds but jackets were truer at 100yds. For me.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by slips73 View Post
    Hey everyone, after having to sell my two pre-64's back in November I managed to pick up another one from 1955. Not quite as clean as they two I had but seems a solid shooter, best group was 1 5/8" today with a temp of 31degrees, shooting 150 gr. federal, average was around 2". I am pretty happy with this, but always looking to improve accuracy, any tips on things I can do to tighten up my groups, do these generally shoot better with cast boolits, and any recommendations of weights to try?
    Thanks,
    Adam
    Seriously ??? you are shooting two inch groups at 100 yards with open iron sights on a 65 yr old saddle gun using bog standard factory ammo and you want more????
    If that was a '73 they woulda engraved 1of 1000 on the barrel and it would be worth half a million bucks at auction

  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    Seriously ??? you are shooting two inch groups at 100 yards with open iron sights on a 65 yr old saddle gun using bog standard factory ammo and you want more????
    If that was a '73 they woulda engraved 1of 1000 on the barrel and it would be worth half a million bucks at auction
    Not necessarily, it seems this is a good shooter, so I was looking for some loads to try that people find are accurate, I enjoy squeezing every bit of accuracy out of my rifles.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by slips73 View Post
    Not necessarily, it seems this is a good shooter, so I was looking for some loads to try that people find are accurate, I enjoy squeezing every bit of accuracy out of my rifles.
    Dont mind me - I'm just jealous of anyone still got eyes good enough to do that with open sights - 20 years ago I could do it. Keep tellin meself if I burn enough powder it'll come back - its workin a little bit - gonna take a LOT of powder tho.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Ginsing's Avatar
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    My current 94 is a 1952 model. It has a fairly short throat but shoots cast about as good as jacketed.
    A 1.5" to 2.5" group is about all I can get out of it so you got a shooter for sure.
    The #1 cast bullet for all my 30-30 has been the "improved" ranch dog 165 gr. Mine dresses out at about 172 gr with check and PC. Another one that shoots particularly well in my '94 is the RCBS 180 gr FN. Mine dresses out at around 200 gr
    Both powder coated and sized at .311" and driven hard by h4895 or varget
    As usual check your barrel band screw for binding. Fit with a Williams aperture sight and a thin blade front sight will help.
    Best I can do with the stock irons is about 3"-4" so if you are getting under 2" groups your eyes are certainly better than mine.

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    +1 on the thin front sight. Skinner sights sells these.
    Also consider a target with greater definition, contrast.

    1Papalote

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Gianni View Post
    Start with a receiver sight.
    This. I can shoot anything with a peep much better than open sights.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    Personally I agree with the others in that a 94 that groups that well is a jewel. As it is the "saddle carbine" with the barrel bands you may want to remove any pressure from the bands kind of like free floating a barrel. Gun smith I knew would get paid to sight in rifles before deer season. He would take the 94's and only shoot them once or twice and then let them cool down before the next shot.

    I had a Marlin 35R that would walk to the right when the barrel heated. I took off the fore end and did some heavy sanding to relieve pressure as the fore end fit too tight. Got it so it was good enough for a couple of shots or so. 5 shot groups don't prove a heck of a lot on a hunting rifle like these levers. There's a lot of truth to the old saying "one shot we eat, two shot maybe we eat, three shots nothing".


    DEP

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    1 5/8'' is a pretty fair group for factory ammo. You most likely would be able to better that with handloading.
    Remington or Hornady 150grn soft nosed bullets on top of IMR 3031 or Win 748 powder just under max loads did the trick for me. I could not get 3031 powder at one time, and switched to 748, and stayed with that powder for all my 30-30 reloads. The right loads put me at 1'' groups, or just over for 3 shot groups off a bench at 100yds. Always took me 20 or so rounds for me to get the right feel for the rifle, then after that, not too difficult to get good groups consistently. 5 or 6 shot groups, that's another story. Positioning of the rifle and the right grip were the most important factors.
    The 170 gran Hornadys and Remington bullets shot fairly good, but best group size was always 1/4'' to 3/8'' larger.
    Better bullet may help. If you want to try for the best groups , I would give the hornady 155hpbt bullets a go on top of a near max load of 748 powder. They probably will not cycle through the action, and being pointed I would not put them in the magazine, but load them individually into the top of the action.
    I have an aftermarket octagonal barrel on mine with a 10'' twist, and with hornady 168bthp'S, it outshoots any other bullet I have tried. A very noticeable difference, 1/4'' better groups.
    As other have said, try a receiver sight, that maybe the best gain in accuracy.
    I used to shoot 300 rounds of 30-30 over a weekend, maybe 5,000 or more per year. Practice is always good to get feel and the best accuracy out of any gun.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    I've found that the surest way to improve the accuracy of ANY rifle with 2-piece stocks is to shoot it properly.

    i.e.

    1) Never allow any metal or wood part of the rifle to touch anything except a portion of your body.

    2) Grasp the forend tightly with the off hand's back resting atop the front rest and pulling down & back hard during the shot(s).

    3) Grasp the buttstock wrist tightly with the trigger hand, leaving the trigger finger free to move, while pulling the buttstock solidly back into the shoulder during the shot(s).

    4) Ensure that the toe of the buttstock does not contact the benchtop or rear rest during the shot(s).


    I've found that if the forend contacts the front rest, the rifle will bounce away from the rest ever so slightly - but enough to throw the shot just that little bit away from the POA - ditto, if the buttstock contacts either the bench top or a rear rest.


    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    I agree with everything pietro just said. I've been doing it the way for years, I didn't come up with it myself though.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
    The BHN Deformation Formula, and why I don't use it.
    How to find and fix sizing die eccentricity problems.
    Do you trust your casting thermometer?
    A few musings.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I saved this article as something I'd like to experiment with one day. Not sure I could chop on a pre-64 for the sake of my curiosity alone but there re plenty of later rifles that rent collectible that I may pick up to tinker with one day

    .http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/chapter23.htm

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    I must agree it will be difficult to improve that, but Mic McPherson has many tips in his book on Accurizing Rifles. They mainly address the forend fit and attachment.

  19. #19
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks everyone all good information.

    I knew there was something I was forgetting about shooting lever guns from a bench, I think I shot my best groups as well, with the forend gripped in my hand. I shot this group with the forend resting on a sand bag, that will be the next thing I try.

    Also re: the comment on 170 gr bullets, I have also noticed atleast in any 1894 I have owned that they don't shoot as good as the 150 gr bullets.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    It ain't broke don't fix it .

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