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Thread: win.model 94

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    Default win.model 94

    Hopefully someone has some info, i did some work for a friend and in return he gave me this old rifle. He received from a family member a long time ago and has never even fired it. It is a winchester model 94 then it says .32 w.s The serial # 1190xxx. I'll try to add a attchment picture of the gun.Any help would be appreciated.
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    You can go here http://armscollectors.com/sn/windates.htm and get a good manufacture date. I entered zeros instead of your x's and came up with 1941. While it's an old rifle, litterally millions of them were produced and the .32 is not a rare cartridge. The rifle in you picture is not in new condition, but decent.

    Personally, if it was my rifle I would shoot it and have fun with it. The .32 WS is virtually the equivalent of a 30-30. They make fine deer rifles..my girlfriend in college killed several deer with hers..and would work fine for smaller black bears over bait.

    If you aren't qualified to look it over I would find a gunsmith or trusted gun knowledgable friend that will make sure it's safe to shoot.

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    thank you i appreciate the help.

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    .32 w.s. stands for .32 caliber Winchester Special. Ballistics are almost identical to .30-30 Winchester. Those rifles were and still are very common in deer camps that I have been in around the country. Many of the .32 rifles came with tang sights such as yours and many had tang sights added because tang sights were very common in days gone by. It seems like today, everybody wants a scope. That rifle is a shooter and prices range from $150 to $350 depending on condition and location. Yours seems to be right in the middle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWoodsWalker View Post
    .32 w.s. stands for .32 caliber Winchester Special. Ballistics are almost identical to .30-30 Winchester. Those rifles were and still are very common in deer camps that I have been in around the country. Many of the .32 rifles came with tang sights such as yours and many had tang sights added because tang sights were very common in days gone by. It seems like today, everybody wants a scope. That rifle is a shooter and prices range from $150 to $350 depending on condition and location. Yours seems to be right in the middle.

    Do you actually think his rifle is worth only $150-$350? You do know that Winchester is no longer making them and probably never will again and that it is a pre WWII rifle. Do you have any rifles for sale that I could buy?

    I think this rifle is worth about $600 to $700. It appears to be solid and the tang sight if of the era is a big bump. The 32 W.S. isn't anything extra but it is less common than the 30-30.
    Last edited by Murphy; 01-14-2008 at 01:12.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Do you actually think his rifle is worth only $150-$350? You do know that Winchester is no longer making them and probbably never will agin and that it is a pre WWII rifle.
    I think you are going a bit far by saying that. Some said that about the Model 70, but now look.

  7. #7

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    I was judging by what I have actually seen guns exactly like that one selling for in various used gun racks in states that I spend a lot of time in. Granted, everything costs more in Alaska due to shipping charges. I don't see as many Alaskans carrying model 94s as in the lower 48. I also hunt in the midwest and south and in those areas a gun like that could be bought in the range I mentioned and it depends on condition and location. Without seeing the rifle up close it appears to be in working condition but not like new. I see it as a working gun and many of them show up in deer camps of the midwest each year. Of course, it could sell for more in a place where people are more interested in buying older guns instead of using them. For me, it's not the price of the rifle that matters but the fun that can be had with it and those rifles are a lot of fun. No, I don't have any rifles for sale but if you want a model 94 in .32 special they are not at all hard to find.

    As for Winchester making guns again, they already are. I expect them to eventually bring back the model 94. Olin or USRAC or whoever owns the brand will find a lower cost manufacturing facility and bring it back or license the brand to someone who will.

  8. #8

    Default Jack

    People have over-inflated the price of Model 94 rifles since USRAC shut down awhile ago. They were good deer rifles, but not a piece of fine art or great workmanship, whether pre'64 or later. Don't get too bent out of shape over these handy little tools. A friend of mine, now departed, worked for Winchester early in the 20th century as a Q.C. inspector, and told me that the .32 Special was made with deep cut Ballard-type rifling for people that wanted to load their own ammunition with lead bullets, and that it would perform better than the .30 WCF using cast lead and with heavier bullets. The .30 WCF tends to be slightly more accurate with jacketed bullets than the .32 Special. My brother had a .32 spl. with an octagonal barrel in a takedown model, and it was just so-so with jacketed bullets, but when he started loading cast lead bullets for it, it shot with good accuracy.

    It is hard for me to understand the incredible prices being asked for old '94s now, even though my first deer rifle was a 26" octagon barreled '94 in .38-55-255 caliber. I killed some deer and one black bear with it, but it wasn't terribly accurate, and it certainly was no power-house until I started loading for it. Some cretin stole it, along with finer guns, from me in 1967, and I hope there is a special place in Hell for him to rot in. If I knew who did it I would put him there.

    If you want to get all misty-eyed and sentimental, and part with a big wad of cash, look at Win. model 86s, mdl. 71s, and especially the Mdl. 1895s. Those rifles, in the right calibers, made considerable history in Alaska, packed a wallop, and would out -shoot the '94s any day of the week in the hands of a good rifleman. The "95s, my favorites, used a box magazine, the first in a lever-action, and a triumph by their designer, John Browning, and could be used with spitzer type bullets. The ones I have and have fired are very accurate, are easy to load for, and are totally trouble free.....I have never had one jam. Hold a '94 on it's side or upside down and cycle a few rounds through it and you will say @*&#%**! Then you will be prying bent rounds out of it with your jackknife.

    I have an original '95 in .30-40 Krag cal. with an aperture sight that my family gave me for big game when I was 15. It has killed deer, elk, one cougar, and black bear for me with never a problem. When I had good eyes it would hold 1" groups at 100yds. with 180 or 220 gr. loads. It is still in mint condition, minus a bit of bluing.

    When my best buddy and hunting companion of 40+ years passed away a few years ago, he left me a beautiful model 95 in .405 Win. with a 26" bbl.
    I would walk through brown bear country with it any time. It launches a jacketed 300 gr. spitzer at 2200 fps, and holds enough of them to end a brownie's career quickly. Try that with a '94.

    Considering that the '94 was a C+ rifle at best, they are grossly overpriced right now, largely due to profiteering and speculation on the temporary demise of "Winchester" AKA USRAC. I believe their prices will drop, with the exception of a few very special models, to more reality based levels eventually. There are literally millions of them out there. If you want to find a bargain on a really well made old lever action rifle, buy an old Marlin or a Savage '99.
    Jack.

  9. #9

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    My experience reflects Murphy's, but I gotta get specific about this particular rifle. From what I can see the barrel and mag tube in front of the foregrip look badly pitted, and there are pretty severe dings on the lever. If the rest of the rifle falls in place with that impression, I'm willing to get that the bore stinks. If I'm wrong and it's pixel faults rather than gun faults, you can expect something in the +/- $600 range. If it's as bad as I think, you'll have trouble topping $200.

    I bought my last 94 just before Winchester collapsed their tent. It was brand new and part of a small release of 25-35. It even has the infernal tang safety. That one set me back around $500 as I recall. It's easy to see that nice older 94's would demand more. But a grungy rifle is a grungy rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    I think you are going a bit far by saying that. Some said that about the Model 70, but now look.
    That's true, but will Winchester ever make a pre 64 again?

    The value of the gun will go down when or if production restarts, but that wouldn't change today's value.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWoodsWalker View Post
    .32 w.s. stands for .32 caliber Winchester Special. Ballistics are almost identical to .30-30 Winchester. Those rifles were and still are very common in deer camps that I have been in around the country. Many of the .32 rifles came with tang sights such as yours and many had tang sights added because tang sights were very common in days gone by. It seems like today, everybody wants a scope. That rifle is a shooter and prices range from $150 to $350 depending on condition and location. Yours seems to be right in the middle.
    You may be right about the value of the '94. There are four pre-64's at a shop here in town. They are on consignment and asking prices are $600 to $650, all of them are 32 W.S. Part of a collection I assume. They are pretty nice, all four of them, probably nicer than the one pictured here but they are all post WWII and pre-64. The shop owner said they are over priced, then said if they were 30-30 they would sell better. Hmmmm.

    I paid $900 for a 32-40 of the 1920's, octagon barrel, take down, and sold it the next week for $1250. It was about the condition of the ones in the store. I bought a 1906 model saddle ring carbine in 38-55 for $1500 and sold it at the Tulsa gun show for $2200. Both these transactions were in 2007. I mainly deal with the odd or rare calibers and I suppose the 32 W. S. is not so special to most buyers. I don't think there are many 94's in decent shape that sell for less than $400, anywhere, today, even in common calibers.

    Some many years back I gave $100 for a model 94 of the turn of the century, don't remember the year of manufacture. It was so cheap because it was 32-40 and the shop didn't have ammo for it so he sold it for about 1/3 of the price of a 30-30. I traded it to my dad for a Remington 600 in 6mm and he sold it to a Winchester lever buyer and was very happy with the deal. I think he got $400-$500 for it back in the mid 1980's. It might just take the right buyer. The tang sight is worth $100 dollars easy, I'll gladly pay that.

    Personally I don't like the Winchester model 1894. I do like the 1886, the 1892 and the 1895's. But the 1894 is not the gun the 1893 Marlin is. The Marlin is simple and rugged. Easy to replace parts and much stronger than any 1894, except for the AE version, and for me they have always been more accurate. I like my 1893's and I'll gladly pay more for them.
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  12. #12
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    Default model 94

    I own 2 post-war pre-64 model 94's in 30-30.....one for me and one for my son. I think I paid $125 for mine (which is in really excellent condition) about 15 years ago. As I recall, the second one (which is in slightly poorer condition) cost about $200 several years later. I wouldn't say that either one is what I would consider a fine rifle, but they are fun and easy to carry and shoot. I still occasionally hunt with mine (killed a black bear with it most recently), and it is all the boy has, so he uses it for everything. They are what they are, and the pre-64's are vastly superior to the later models. I don't think I'd be willing to pay much more than $300 for them now, but I'm not about to get rid of the ones I have, either. Within their limitations, they definitely do the job.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    You may be right about the value of the '94....if they were 30-30 they would sell better. Hmmmm.

    ...I do like the 1886, the 1892 and the 1895's. But the 1894 is not the gun the 1893 Marlin is. The Marlin is simple and rugged. Easy to replace parts and much stronger than any 1894, except for the AE version, and for me they have always been more accurate. I like my 1893's and I'll gladly pay more for them.
    I have to agree. The Marlin is a superior design. I have Marlins and Winchesters and I much prefer my Marlin 1894 or 1895 to the Winchester's jerky action. The Win. 94 was never known as a particularly accurate rifle but its appeal lies in nostalgia and the fact that is is very packable, reasonably powerful and cheap enough that you can't afford not to buy one. .30-30 Ammo is relatively low cost and available everywhere. I'm not aware of any current chamberings in .32 special but there were enough rifles made that hundreds of thousands are being handed down to the next generations of hunters. Unless you have a specific reason for wanting the .32 or someone handed one down to you, the .30-30 is a better choice for ammo availability but .32 ammo can be found easily enough.

    If I was going to become a historical rifle collector I would have to include the 1886, the 1892 and the 1895 and like Jack said, a Savage 99 and some classic Marlins. Then throw a pre '64 model 94 in for good measure and if it's the saddle ring carbine with steel butt plate, so much the better. If I'm going to walk the bush, I'll carry my Marlin or Teddy's Big Medicine 1895 Win. Now there's a Winchester that should be brought back.

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    As always why i love this sight, lots of information and help. The Gun itself is actually in pretty good condition, "really bad picture". I am going to try to find some .32 ammo and probably plink around with it and then put in the back of the safe for now or maybe until the next trade show. Try to get something more to my liking. thanks all

  15. #15

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    I've got a '94 like that made circa 1938. Looks like h..l, but it's a reliable shooter. That looks like a Marbles tang sight. .32's are easy to load for.... you can use .30WCF (30-30) cases to form up. If you load the .32's to the same pressures as the .30WCF it will give you about 10-15% more thump than a .30WCF. Beartooth Bullets has a dandy 170gr. bullet and it will really do up a Black Bear of good size. 400lbs or smack a Moose good at 100 yards or less. I've also got a 1948 336SC Marlin that I like better though; the action is smooth as glass.
    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWoodsWalker View Post
    .32 w.s. stands for .32 caliber Winchester Special. Ballistics are almost identical to .30-30 Winchester. Those rifles were and still are very common in deer camps that I have been in around the country. Many of the .32 rifles came with tang sights such as yours and many had tang sights added because tang sights were very common in days gone by. It seems like today, everybody wants a scope. That rifle is a shooter and prices range from $150 to $350 depending on condition and location. Yours seems to be right in the middle.
    If this is true consider this a standing offer to buy this gun for 350.
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    Smile Paid little sold 4 much more

    Never did a thing w/ it in Alaska other than to help me through last winter by selling 'er for around $400 (based easily on reasonable local market value up here in Alaska) & to make for one ol' guys dream Christmas present to his Dad. He had searched and searched for a '94 rifle in new condition for his Father. Found a few in lesser conditions asking way more. He decided mine was a must have with Winchester out of the picture on production... meanwhile gun stores asking outlandish prices.

    Yes... on a gun racks in the 48 you'll likely find all kinds of old lever guns in our magnum age... you will not find the same case here in Alaska in stores or at shows.

  18. #18

    Default Historical value

    A lot of good points from everybody, but what I don't understand is why no one has mentioned, when it comes to historical guns, the Winchester Models 1866, 73 and 76. I consider these to be much more valuable as historical guns from Winchester then the aforementioned ones, especially the 1894. The '94 was used more for hunting and general use then anything truly historical, especially Western History, which is where these guns really accrued reputation. I love 1886s for their natural grace and balance, large as they are, but when I get the opportunity to enjoy the feel of the earlier guns, it says it all for me. I'm lucky to work where these models come through more then anywhere else in the state, as far as I can tell. Even had a very nice Henry and a beautifully engraved 73. Sweet. As good a gun as the 95 was for it's time, I don't like the way all its guts hang out when you work the action. Just my perceptions, of course.

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