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Thread: Trapper Model 94 loading difficulty

  1. #1

    Default Trapper Model 94 loading difficulty

    Dear lever action gun fans: I have a Winchester Model 94 AE Trapper with 16" barrel in 30-30 calibre. If you don't appreciate lever action guns, you won't understand my fondness for this little rifle. I have cycled it through the full cocking action close to 1500 times and it has benefitted from this effort by becoming very smooth. It is the only rifle I own that I will take out of the gunsafe just to fiddle with and pack around the house practicing point and shoot. Out in the field it is accurate, easy to shoot, and picks up an offhand target quickly and instinctively with the Williams peep sight.

    MY PROBLEM: Feeding cartridges into the magazine is difficult. The loading gate has a heavy (one piece) sheet metal spring that requires effort to push open, especially with cold or gloved hands. The tube magazine is tensioned with a long coil spring that resists being compressed even with the first cartridge being fed into an empty magazine and naturally becomes more difficult to compress when reaching full capacity.

    QUESTION: Did the 16" Winchester Trapper length rifle come from the factory with the same length magazine coil spring as the standard 20" carbine rifle? If so, then the spring is somewhat compressed before the first cartridge ever gets out of my shirt pocket.

    DOES anyone make and sell an aftermarket coil spring for the Model 94 magazine that is shorter and reduces the feeding effort?

    DO not bother responding if your only purpose is to display your shortcomings to us by pointing out your preference for another brand or make of rifle (I don't give a rip about the Ford -VS- Chevy hogwash).

    THANK YOU in advance for your effort in answering this query.


  2. #2
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Magazine Spring

    I know brownells carries just about every firearm spring under the sun. I have ordered multiple tube magazine springs for 870's from them w/o a hitch. Problem is most aftermarket springs are heavier for increased reliability when feeding. You could always shorten the spring. I would check brownells though. Hopefully some of the lever gun guru's on here will help you out more.

  3. #3
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!


    I have the same rifle although it is an older model that predates the AE. This was the first lever action that I bought and remember thinking what a pain it was to load and un-load, but now that I have a few of them including a 94BB with a 20” barrel and a Marlin, I have found that they all seem to exhibit about the same spring resistance in the loading gate and in the feeder / magazine spring. It has never been a big enough issue for me to make any changes to the gun but I did alter my loading technique and it may work for you as well. This is no big revelation or anything, but when feeding cartridges into the magazine I don’t shove them all the way in with my finger but instead use the nose of the next bullet to push the preceding one into the magazine. That way you are not fighting the loading gate each time. You are probably already doing it this way, but though I would throw it out there just in case. I whole heartedly agree with you about the usefulness and handy handling of these little guns. If there is a lighter, easier to carry repeating rifle I have yet to see it. As an added bonus these little trappers will fit sideways across the front of most any ATV and not extend past the fenders and they make a superb rifle for teaching youngsters how to shoot. Just a great little rifle and I wish I could find a couple more so that each one of my boys could have one. Good luck and post back with your fix.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points Beyond.


    A long time ago, I bought the “Antique” Model 94, 30-30 and got a gunsmith to shorten the barrel to 16.25 inches. He shortened the magazine too, but it was a long time ago, and I can’t know if he shortened, or replaced, the spring also. It would seem reasonable to do so, though.

    Maybe, if you get another spring, you could experiment with cutting it off until the tension suits you, making sure it still feeds properly. ????

    I load mine using Alangaq's technique.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
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