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Thread: Winchester 1894 magazine tube hanger repair

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Winchester 1894 magazine tube hanger repair

    Good afternoon all. There is an all original 1901 manufacture Winchester 1894 available locally. It is chambered in 38-55, and I have inspected it in person. The bore is frosted, but the rifling is strong. The action needs to be cleaned, and it has some buggered screws, but that's not a big deal to me. It has a marbles tang site as well.

    The finish is almost entirely patina, but no rust. Just a good, solid example of a Winchester 1894.

    The main issue I am concerned about is the dovetail on the barrel for the magazine tube hanger is wallowed out. The magazine tube hanger is loose in it and makes no contact with the dovetail. Basically the magazine tube is not secured at all to the barrel by the hanger. My question is, is this something that can be repaired, or would I need a new barrel? Any ideas on the cost to fix or rebarrel? The rifle is priced under $400 so if the repair cost is reasonable then I'd still be interested in buying it.

    Thank you in advance for any advice!

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    don't know about the 94 but my 92 hanger rotates into the barrel and is not a dove tail

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The 94 does the same. With this example, the slot the hanger rotates into, the edges/lips do not make contact with the hanger. You can rotate it, slide it, etc and it makes no contact with the edges of the slot cut into the barrel. Looking at pictures on the interweb, it looks like the slot the hanger is supposed to rotate into has very worn edges so there is technically nothing to rotate into and hang on, lol.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    It may be the same as a 92 I have, it appears someone tried to drift the hanger out like a standard dovetail, and that didn't work. As far as fixing, I haven't tried yet, but I'm hoping some judicious peening may be enough to put some metal back where it needs to be......unlikely though. It sounds like yours is wallowed out too far for peening to help.

    Welding some metal to the hanger to refit may be an alternative, that's getting into more costly areas and for sure destructive to the patina. That doesn't matter in my case as the carbine looks like it was dragged behind a horse for a few miles and has no patina. But, I think the dovetail itself is probably well hooped and new metal is gonna have to come from somewhere.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    Remove the magazine tube and clamp the barrel onto a solid surface with the errant dovetail "up".

    Using a heavy hammer and a solid metal drift pin, make a few blows (no love taps) onto the barrel surface just in front/rear of the dovetail slot until the fit tightens up.

    When all else fails, the insertion of a thin shim on there will usually take up any slack.

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

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    IMHO you should have bought that, hope it there tomorrow. That will probably shoot fine as is, repair or replace over time. Epoxy can do wonders until the right part is found.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    It’s serial number is 95,xxx. It’s a cool REAL Winchester, just a caliber I’ve never fooled with and the hanger issue had me concerned. It has a round barrel so I believe that makes it a sporting rifle. I might get it, but I’d really rather have an older 1873 in 44-40, or a newer japchester in 45 colt.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    The mag hanger is dovetail but not a strait cut. sometimes peening on ether side will hold it in. It can also be soldered in. The solid frame receivers have a pin to hold the mag tube, takedowns do not have the pin. Dovetail ring twist in from the bottom with a right hand twist. I have made a few over size rings in the past when the dovetail can't be repaired. I use a 3/4" 60 degree cutter for cutting new dovetails when making new barrel for Winchesters ( 9/16" cutter for model 1890, 06, 61 and 62)

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you for all the information so far. This one has a pin through the hanger and is not a take down.

    Do any of you think it is worth buying if under $400?

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love Life View Post
    Thank you for all the information so far. This one has a pin through the hanger and is not a take down.

    Do any of you think it is worth buying if under $400?
    Under $400 I would certainly buy it!

    Peening and shimming the dovetail in the barrel as John described should tighten up the mag tube hanger just fine. On mine John replaced the original Bubba-buggered magazine tube hanger with a new one, which I think he might have scratch built, having an oversized dovetail which he fitted up solidly. I sent John a 1908 manufacture 1894 Winchester in .30-30 which I bought at an estate sale which had thoroughly shot-out bore. He relined the barrel to .35 cal. with 1:16" twist and chambered in .35/.30-30 which I absolutely love! My favorite woods rifle. I shoot only plainbased cast bullets and split the difference ballistics-wise between a .32-40 and a .38-55. I mostly shoot 245-260-grain bullets cast from Roto Metals 1:30 tin-lead at black powder velocities around 1350 fps. I find the gun perfect for West Virginia farm varmints and mountain hunting on deer sized game at typical woods ranges less than 100 yards. I have found I can push the plainbased bullets to about 1600 fps using about 30 grains of IMR301, 4895, 4064, RL15, or Varget with a 1 grain tuft of Dacron and pea sized dab of white lithium grease under the base of the bullet and this load shoots flatter for open farm fields when I may need to shoot at game out to 150 yards or so and they don't lead. But the great majority of my loads are about 9 grains of Bullseye with no filler, adjusted for the particular bullet to obtain 1330 +/-30 fps, which seems a "happy"
    spot for my rifle.

    A compressed case full of Goex 3Fg and SPG lube also shoots well. The Devil made me do that

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    Last edited by Outpost75; 03-04-2020 at 10:56 PM.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love Life View Post
    Thank you for all the information so far. This one has a pin through the hanger and is not a take down.

    Do any of you think it is worth buying if under $400?



    In the condition you've described, my hand would be grabbin my wallet so fast, it would just be a blur.......of course, I'd whine about the hanger first, but under $400 is tough to beat.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love Life View Post
    Thank you for all the information so far. This one has a pin through the hanger and is not a take down.

    Do any of you think it is worth buying if under $400?
    Theres another way to do this
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    reverse the top picture, one is going west, other one is going east
    Sweat solder a retainer / recoil ring onto the magazine tube so it fits neat in the forend cap (kinda like the end plug of a short button mag does) then it no longer matters how the barrel mount hanger functions (or not) - I did a 26inch barrel 92(in the picture) and my Uberti 1876 repro in an effort to stop these guns from walking shots vertical as the barrel heats up shooting blackpowder - the 76 has the front barrel band removed completely and its working fine - also have a short barrel 44/40 setup the same - no front band - its even better on the shorty.

    The recoil band needs to be file fitted at the top to clear the barrel.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Some of the late models have the mag tube ring silver soldered to the barrel.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    As usual, you all are a wonderful source of information. I'm heading to look at it again today.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    Some of the late models have the mag tube ring silver soldered to the barrel.
    Yes!
    I have a Oliver F Winchester comemmorative - checked it out last night - definitely NOT a dovetail and solid as a rock - that one does not walk its shots up the target either!!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    cutting a new oval dovetail in a Winchester model 61 barrel.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    cutting a new oval dovetail in a Winchester model 61 barrel.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That looks straightforward - how do you cut the matching male part - lathe?
    Tricky thing to hold too ?

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    That looks straightforward - how do you cut the matching male part - lathe?
    Tricky thing to hold too ?
    Have not made them for a while. A special jig in the lathe for the dovetail and then the rest is done with a dividing head in the mill. Much easier to just buy them at Wisner's. They have oversize ones for the 22 rifles but not for the larger calibers.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    Have not made them for a while. A special jig in the lathe for the dovetail and then the rest is done with a dividing head in the mill. Much easier to just buy them at Wisner's. They have oversize ones for the 22 rifles but not for the larger calibers.
    hmmm 32/20 that someone "bubba'd" - its functional but untidy - importing gun parts (regardless how innocuous they are) to this country is a major pain for a private person (dealers too but they at least know the procedure and can offload the cost).
    I would rather spend time in the workshop than filling in paperwork for idiots - proly make the thing in less time than the BS take me.
    next winters project!
    Thanks for your couple of tips - might not have seemed like much but I think it was enough.

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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"
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