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Thread: winny model 54

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Default winny model 54

    I found this Winchester Model 54, 30-06 at a garage sale today. I asked him what he wanted for it and it went like this, seller: make an offer, me: $10, seller: too low, me: how much then, seller: how about $20, me: I'll split the difference with you, how about $15? I'll take it.

    Not much bluing left, no stock, barrel looks bright and clean. Serial# shows it was made in 1926. Anyone know where I could find an original stock? Is it worth fixing up or use it for building something new?

    thanks

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Hope you go to church tommrow

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    I'll be there in thanks.

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    I'll be there in thanks.

    Here's a pict
    Last edited by kingfisherktn; 04-29-2010 at 07:50.

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default An original stock...

    may NOT be your best choice, and I'll explain why. If you've had a chance to see an original 54, you'll no doubt note that they weren't drilled and tapped for a scope...the stock is meant to be used with irons, and when scopes were mounted, even the lowest of them made you almost take your face off the comb to sight through it. A good stout load in an '06 chambered 54 will pound you if you're looking through a scope!!!
    See if you can find a Model 70 stock, and do the minor inletting for the unique features of the bottom of the 54. In reality, there's not much, and it's minor. The Model 54, to remove the bolt, you pull the trigger all the way back, just like a .22 bolt gun. The Model 70 is set up with the angled bolt stop. Also, the 54 has a one-piece trigger guard/floorplate like the 721/722 Remingtons. The Model 70 bottom metal pieces go right on a 54, and give you a swinging floorplate with release, and the classic lines of the 70's trigger guard. Seems like there's a couple minor differences in barrel contour and the trigger, like it's not adjustable like the Model 70, and the top of the receiver is cut for charger clips, ala M1903 Springfield 5--rounders.
    I've seen 54's altered to take the Model 70 bolt sleeve/firing pin assembly so that you get the side-swing safety. You can't find a 'low swing' safety for the 54 like you can for a 98 or a Springfield.
    Enjoy that rifle!
    Oh, yeah, go to Church, and afterwards, take the seller a bag o' donuts or sumthin' and thank him!!!! Got six good numbers for the Power Ball tonight???
    Last edited by Darreld Walton; 07-18-2009 at 17:36. Reason: .

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Darreld Walton View Post
    may NOT be your best choice, and I'll explain why. If you've had a chance to see an original 54, you'll no doubt note that they weren't drilled and tapped for a scope...the stock is meant to be used with irons, and when scopes were mounted, even the lowest of them made you almost take your face off the comb to sight through it. A good stout load in an '06 chambered 54 will pound you if you're looking through a scope!!!
    See if you can find a Model 70 stock, and do the minor inletting for the unique features of the bottom of the 54. In reality, there's not much, and it's minor. The Model 54, to remove the bolt, you pull the trigger all the way back, just like a .22 bolt gun. The Model 70 is set up with the angled bolt stop. Also, the 54 has a one-piece trigger guard/floorplate like the 721/722 Remingtons. The Model 70 bottom metal pieces go right on a 54, and give you a swinging floorplate with release, and the classic lines of the 70's trigger guard. Seems like there's a couple minor differences in barrel contour and the trigger, like it's not adjustable like the Model 70, and the top of the receiver is cut for charger clips, ala M1903 Springfield 5--rounders.
    I've seen 54's altered to take the Model 70 bolt sleeve/firing pin assembly so that you get the side-swing safety. You can't find a 'low swing' safety for the 54 like you can for a 98 or a Springfield.
    Enjoy that rifle!
    Oh, yeah, go to Church, and afterwards, take the seller a bag o' donuts or sumthin' and thank him!!!! Got six good numbers for the Power Ball tonight???
    Darreld: Thanks for the info, think I'll try that, right after I buy my lottery ticket.

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default If I recall correctly...

    Model 70 barrels thread right onto the 54 receiver, so...pretty much any take-off barrel from a 70 will go right on there with the proper chamber work. If the bore on your barreled action is in good shape, I'd suggest shooting it before deciding to swap it out.
    Them 54's are cool old rifles. Friend of mine had one with the real slim forend on it that I made a custom tip for, and a new grip cap, then freshed-out the checkering. He left the irons on it, but also put a folding rear leaf on, and installed a Lyman aperture sight on the back of the receiver. Even with the 24" barrel, it made a DANDY brush gun! The thing gobbled up 220 Hornady's like a hog at the trough, and shot them into little bug-hole groups.
    Enjoy!

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Thanx, rep on its way.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Looks like it might of had a peep mounted on it at one time

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    No peep, just a flip-up.

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    Thanks for the tid-bit on the 54's not being drilled and tapped. I have a 30 WCF with a peep on it, after market stock, and it has been drilled and tapped for scope use, but the holes have screws in them...I thought it came from the factory drilled. It makes no difference to me, but wouldn't want to tell tales about the extra holes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darreld Walton View Post
    may NOT be your best choice, and I'll explain why. If you've had a chance to see an original 54, you'll no doubt note that they weren't drilled and tapped for a scope...the stock is meant to be used with irons, and when scopes were mounted, even the lowest of them made you almost take your face off the comb to sight through it. A good stout load in an '06 chambered 54 will pound you if you're looking through a scope!!!
    See if you can find a Model 70 stock, and do the minor inletting for the unique features of the bottom of the 54. In reality, there's not much, and it's minor. The Model 54, to remove the bolt, you pull the trigger all the way back, just like a .22 bolt gun. The Model 70 is set up with the angled bolt stop. Also, the 54 has a one-piece trigger guard/floorplate like the 721/722 Remingtons. The Model 70 bottom metal pieces go right on a 54, and give you a swinging floorplate with release, and the classic lines of the 70's trigger guard. Seems like there's a couple minor differences in barrel contour and the trigger, like it's not adjustable like the Model 70, and the top of the receiver is cut for charger clips, ala M1903 Springfield 5--rounders.
    I've seen 54's altered to take the Model 70 bolt sleeve/firing pin assembly so that you get the side-swing safety. You can't find a 'low swing' safety for the 54 like you can for a 98 or a Springfield.
    Enjoy that rifle!
    Oh, yeah, go to Church, and afterwards, take the seller a bag o' donuts or sumthin' and thank him!!!! Got six good numbers for the Power Ball tonight???
    DW,

    If I may offer discourse to your knowledgable response. Later model M54's were drilled and tapped, I have owned a few that were. Two screws up front and one in the back. I believe this was post 1932 but likely could have been special ordered even then. Redfield made a nice one piece base for the 54, still have one in the red and white box.

    Also I've owned one model 54 that was fitted with a M70 bolt with late model safety, and an M70 trigger. The bottom metal from the M70 won't fit the M54 receiver without drilling in the front flat of the receiver to accept the front bedding screw. The M54's plow shear bottom is screwed into the bottom of the lug, one of it's ailments, so I'm told.


    I really like the old 54, Winchesters first bolt rifle, I think it was made from 1925 til 1936. Mostly I've owned the 1935,1936 vintage guns but have bought and sold a few of the older rifles. I once had one in 7.65 Mauser and have seen one in 9.5 Mauser. They are stocked for the sights and have a lot of drop but I've seen them restocked with less drop for scope use. My 1936 vintage gun was M70ized, as above, and originally a 30 Gov't model of 1906 but had been reworked, I presume the model 70 bolt,trigger and restocked with a beautiful piece of walnut. It was then rebored and rifled to 338 and made into a 338-06. This work was probably done about 1960 ish. After that fine smithing job, it was then rechambered to an AI and not done well, leaving excess headspace, the barrel was not set back. I found this problem after I bought it but made brass from 280 Rem and it then worked fine. It had a Redfield mount with a rear flip up peep on the base.

    I tried to fit M70 bottom metal to it and found that front bedding screw hole in the wrong place.
    That was the receiver change going to the M70, then of course the bolt, trigger, safety and bolt stop/release. I do think an M70 stock could be made to fit the 54 but would take inletting for the bottom metal. If we redrilled the front bedding screw hole, the stock and bottom metal could be fitted easily, I think.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Murphy:

    Thanks for the good info.

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    Default Thanks +1, Murphy!

    Things tend to get a bit fuzzy when I try to recall minutiae from this battered brain-housing group that I've got tied to my shoulders!
    In any event, a good, useable stock could be rounded up and made to work, especially if you're willing to work with some epoxy. Heck, I've put 1903A3 Springfields into Model 70 stocks, and there's some MAJOR rework to do that!

    About that .30-30 chambered 54.......don't never, ever turn loose of it, and if'n ya do, gimme a ring! I DO believe that most factory offered bolt guns (at least until a decade or so ago) were drilled and tapped for side mounts.
    I once had a 1949 vintage .300 H&H that had the front bridge drilled and tapped, but the rear bridge was not. It HAD been altered with a Griffin & Howe side mount in the meantime, but it always puzzled me why the folks at Big Red hadn't drilled the rear bridge...at least till I saw the holes in the barrel for the forward scope base......

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    Darreld, you're not helping me any. "...don't never, ever turn loose of it..." I've been trying to talk myself into getting rid of some of the guns in my safe for years. I'd hoped they would go to the grandkids, but for a variety of reasons that's not going to work out.

    When I was about 13 or 14 I was hunting with my Grandmother in the Missouri River Breaks country near Ft. Benton, Mt. We eased up to the edge of a large coulee, didn't see anything, and just as we were getting ready to leave I spotted movement from a mule deer buck. I sat down and pulled the trigger on the 54 hitting the deer hard, but not killing it outright. The deer took off down the coulee and I was moving parallel on a cow trail trying to get into position for another shot. I slipped and fell plugging the barrel of the rifle with dirt. I emptied the shells and was trying to get the barrel unplugged with a sage brush stick when my Grandmother caught up to me. She was a bit excited and kept shouting "Shoot him again!" Cardinal Sin #1 no animal should suffer more than necessary; Cardinal Sin #2 dinner fare shouldn't get away; I wasn't doing too well. I finally got across to her that the barrel was plugged with dirt and I couldn't shoot. She had a nail in her pocket and we got the barrel unplugged and at last the deer was killed.

    Every time I look at that rifle I hear my Grandmother's excited voice: "Shoot him again!" It's hard to put a price tag on that memory.

  16. #16
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default .30-30 Deer Killin'...

    To be completely honest, I've only ever killed ONE deer with a .30-30, that being an ancient straight gripped, 26" round barreled Savage 1899. I'd been still hunting through some quakies on top of a ridge over the railroad tunnels south of Evanston, Wyoming, and when I was walking out to go get some lunch at the truck, I happened to look back. There were a couple of big mule deer does standing in the brush about a hundred yards out. I held for 'gold', and let a 170 gr. WW factory load go, and the brush exploded with perhaps 10-12 head that'd been bedded down around her. I lost track of her, and they ran up the hill perhaps 50 yards and stopped to watch. I was only about 10 yards from the truck, where I had a scoped .257 Roberts, which I pulled out, and looking through the scope spotted one with a wet spot on her ribs, and gave her a second shot, which put her down on the spot. While driving up to pick up the deer, I noticed movement to my left where the deer were first spotted, and there were four legs in the air, twitching.......good thing I'd picked up a second deer tag, as I now had two on the ground!!!
    I guess the reason I swallowed hard on a Model 54 in .30-30 is because they're so DARNED scarce!!! Can't get any more velocity out of a .30-30 bolt gun, but box and rotary magazines allow bullets other than round-nose or pointy, and the 54 is perhaps at the top of the heap, unless you stumble across a 788 so chambered...speaking of which, when I was stationed at Malmstrom AFB in the '70's, Great Falls Sporting Goods, down on Central Ave. had a rack of Remington 788's chambered to .30-30 that they RENTED during hunting season. When they closed up, they had a clearance sale, and as per usual, I showed up with cash in hand as the last one was walking into the parking lot!
    I DO miss the time I spent fooling around the 'breaks'.....and the Little Belts, and the Shonkin, and Square Butte, and the divide above Wolf Creek, and.....................

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    I grew up 6 blocks from GF Sporting Goods. It was one of my favorite stores to visit. The animal and bird display was incredible; done by Joe Helco (sp?). Years after the store closed some of the display was still up.
    I had a 788 LH in 308. It's the only gun I've sold. Didn't think much of it; it just didn't fit me well.
    My 54 30 WCF has the 20" barrel. Not max. vel., but sure is a sweet rifle. It put plenty of deer in the freezer.

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