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Thread: Very Old Win 94 38-40

  1. #1

    Default Very Old Win 94 38-40

    I have a friend who is has cancer and wants to sell a Win 94 in 38-40 that his great uncle used to herd cattle in west texas. His uncle gave it to him when his uncle was 80yrs old and that was some yrears back that he gave it to my friend. Now the stock is rough and the butt stock is loose but the metal is in very good shape and the bore believe it or not looks 90-95%. He wants to sell it but we don't know how to find out the age of this the rifle. Do you know how to find out?





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  2. #2

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    Is that a 92 and not a 94? I don't have the resources at hand, but you can work from the model and serial # to get at the date of manufacture. Anyone point him at the source?

  3. #3

    Arrow Dating the 94

    There is a list of serial numbers in the back of BLUE BOOK OF GUN VALUES that should give you the year of manufacture.If you don't have a blue book give me the serial number and I will look it up for you.There are alot of winchester collectors out there that will pay pretty good money for old winchester 94s so do the research before you put a price on it. Hope this helps and we will put your friend on our prayer list..Ronnie

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Is that a 92 and not a 94? I don't have the resources at hand, but you can work from the model and serial # to get at the date of manufacture. Anyone point him at the source?
    Yes I believe so, I am not much on this.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
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    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
    There is a list of serial numbers in the back of BLUE BOOK OF GUN VALUES that should give you the year of manufacture.If you don't have a blue book give me the serial number and I will look it up for you.There are alot of winchester collectors out there that will pay pretty good money for old winchester 94s so do the research before you put a price on it. Hope this helps and we will put your friend on our prayer list..Ronnie
    I will get the number and send it to you.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  6. #6

    Arrow Serial number

    Will be glad to help. Ronnie

  7. #7
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    Nice old rifle there, BT. If a 38-40 it would be a '92 but I can't tell in the picture. They made over a million of them. Not so many in 38-40 as the 44-40. If it is a '94 then maybe a 32-40 more, that is a valuable caliber also.

    You could try this site oldguns.net

    Just type in the s/n.
    Last edited by Murphy; 09-10-2007 at 11:38.
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  8. #8
    New member George's Avatar
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    Default 38-40

    The screw pattern on the right side of the frame looks like a Win 92 rifle. If the caliber designation on the barrel is 38 WCF it would be a 92 with the model designation on the top tang. There are several sources for date of manufacture including oldguns.net. I you decide to shoot it... a mild load of Trailboss (5 gr.) under a soft cast original style 180 gr .401 diameter bullet primed with a large pistol primer works well.

  9. #9
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    It is a model 92, the pictures are vary clear, all chambering from the factory were all pistol calibers and ctgs for this model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    It is a model 92, the pictures are vary clear, all chambering from the factory were all pistol calibers and ctgs for this model.

    Yeah, I can see it's a '92. But someone called it a '94 so...
    Actually all of the calibers chambered in the Win'92 were rifle calibers, first and foremost. They came from the model '73 as the 44 WCF, 38WCF, 32 WCF and in the '92 model in 1895 the 25 WCF was added and in 1930 a few were made in 218 Bee. My dad had a model 92 in 218 bee. The fact that someone chambered revolvers in some of the original '73 calibers just made them handier.

    Colt chambered the model P in 38-40 (38 WCF) about 1880, The model 73 had been available in 38WCF for a couple of years. The 38 WCF is our first forty caliber "handgun" cartridge with it's .400-.401" bullet diameter. So it was really a 40-40, but it was only loaded wth 38 grains of powder so it is actually a 40-38. But in any case calling it a 38 and putting it in a handgun ushered in the era of 38 caliber pistols which has lasted for about 120 years and culminated with the 357 Magnum.

    I would guess based on what I've seen sell, and heard about from friends, that this rifle is worth about $2500. What do you guys think.

    George, you'd know much better than I, you see more of these. This rifle in this condition and caliber is very rare. Certainly most were in 44-40, but still the demand is higher for the 44. I don't see many for sale in 38-40 caliber.
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  11. #11
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Thank you Murphy for the walk down your great grand father's memory lane.

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    Smile

    Did I detect a note of sarcasm in that remark, Al?

    When was this one made BT, don't keep us in suspense any longer.
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    BT,
    You can plug the serial number into http://armscollectors.com/sn/windates.htm and get a pretty good idea of when it was made.

  14. #14
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Dern it Murphy, I knew you where going to do this to me. So here goes.

    It is all kind of self explanatory when you recall a little history of WINCHESTER. The year was 1878, the place was Ogden, Utah. The cast of characters includes the president of WINCHESTER and a young fellow that was having some success selling his single shot rifles. The reason for his trip to Ogden was that the company was in big trouble with the buying public over their latest rifle the model 1876. The problem was the rifle just could not stand the pressures of bigger bore ctgs. The young fellow in Ogden had a rifle that Like the little engine that could, it could. WINCHESTER knew they were loosing sales to a lot of there competition.

    They paid 10,000 big bucks and went back east, with the new rifle and left behind a mighty happy family of gun makers.

    This rifle was of course we know as the model 1885. Well it was not long before that young fellow was on his way east to sell some more of his work to the eastern suckers after he and his brother worked out another prototype. This time WINCHESTER broke there butts going for their wallet, as it was a lever action that could handle all the big stuff, this rifle was the one we now know as the model 1886, in fact it was so strong that when two years later them French fellows came up with that passing fad smokeless powder, they did not have to change the design one little bit (material yes).

    Now some folks have looked at the model 1892 and seen a strong likeness between the two actions.

    Yeah I know for all you real gun buffs, I've left out a lot of more interesting history, but for them, heck they already know it anyway. For the unwashed among us, I leave the fun of the learning on you!

    That the Murphy left out the fact that 1873 was Winchester's first center fire rifle, and was not far from the last rimfire they made the 1866. Now a days we have a little more what some would call more powerful ctgs and we would look at the rifles that shot these small ctgs more along the lines of pistol ctgs.

    Maybe they had this kind of debate when they were still peddling the Volcanic with it's caseless projectile?

    What say you Murph?

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    Al,

    To you,sir, I tip my hat. I am outdone both in both elegance and substance. That was a fine history lesson of how Mr. Browning pulled Oliver's butt from the bowels of ruin. I fear today we would not know the Winchester name had it not been for the profound genius of John Browning.

    There were buffalo on the plains in those days, the 1870's, and as fine as the Winchester '73 was, the stretched version of it could not handle the buffalo cartridges of the day. Oliver should have taken Horace Greely's advice and gone west to Ogden sooner. The Utah trip set the wheels in motion for the big '86 and even though the buffalo didn't hang around long enough in any number to be a real test bed, the 1886 made it's mark. The model 71 is evidence of the durability of the Browning design.

    Marlin's big 1881 safely housed the great 45-70, the first such repeater, and that had to hit the old shirt maker below the belt. This set about a series of one-up-manships between the two makers and we are the richer for it. You'll notice several 'firsts' with the J.M.Marlin company just slightly ahead of Winchesters comparable models. The 1892 did however beat Marlin to the punch ahead of the 1894, also chambered these same desirable "pistol" rounds. Companion guns, handy carbines for saddle and trail. We still like them today and the Marlin 1894 is still a top notch rifle.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  16. #16

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    The model 92 in 38 W.C.F was made in 1913
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  17. #17

    Arrow MDL 92 Winchester

    BT I see you have already dated the rifle and I did get your PM according to my books the old rifle could easily be worth a couple of thousand and probably more in the right auction hope all goes well for you two and we will keep you both in our prayers.You would think a nation with the resources of ours could find a cure for cancer if the really wanted to. Good luck and may God bless..Ronnie

  18. #18
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Murphy: It was not Ollie that was the president of WINCHESTER at the time, but the name was Bennet (I think) my memory for this kind of trivia has gone to thunder with age. I have wondered through three book cases of references to find my copy of John Moses bio. (so many books, so little time), three down and four more to go, this is just gun related stuff of course, I try and keep that separate from fly fishing, dog training and other is crap. Any how, old Ollie was spending his declining years counting his millions and enjoying what was left of his life. In fact the families only real association with WINCHESTER after this was to spend the money from the projects that Ollie had made from the company. His son William died a year after daddy Ollie, and his only daughter some 20 years before.

    William was the guy that married the crazy woman that did the crazy house in California. Definitely a woman of vision, as she could see even way back then that California would be the epiacenter of the land of the fruits and the nuts even way back then, so to speak.

    You see old Ollie was a guy that only knew a good deal when he saw it and didn't know squat about firearms. But knew how to take advantage of a good deal when one came his way and picked up The Volcanic Arms company when S&W was having money problems with it.

    Of course he was smart enough to have people around him to make things go Like Henry and later on King. This got him to fly when the war years came on as he was able to market to a number of state and individuals who where doing up there own volunteers for the big one aka the "unrest", "Mr. Lincolns war" etc.

    A neat little piece of trivia about the Model of 1886 is the naming of the model 71 WINCHESTER, the 71 got it's name from the 71 years that the 86 was in production.

    I know none of this has squat to do about the meat of the guns we all know and love but are sure fun to read about. In fact this period of firearms development is a reminder of what we have seen in the computer market in such a short time.

    After many years of study of the history of firearms, I have come to believe that the most pivotal career in American firearms history has been wholly lacking in any coverage about his influence, the list of people that worked in his shop and went on to star in their own right is staggering.

    Oh well, for another day. Maybe someone will ask about a gun with his name on it and that will cause me to get into that and burn up the keyboard.

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