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Exploring the Classics

Winchester Model 1894

Key Information

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Original Manufacturer: Winchester Repeating Arms Company

Model Designation: Model 1894 (also known as the Winchester 94 or Model 94)

Firearm Type: Lever action hunting rifle

Designer: John Moses Browning

Years Produced: 1894–2006, 2011–

Original Chamberings:  .30-30 Win, .32-40 Win, .38-55 Win, .25-35 Win, .32 Win Special, 7-30 Waters, .307 Win, .356 Win, .375 Win, .357 Mag, .44 Rem Mag, .444 Marlin, .45 LC, .450 Marlin, .410 bore

Key Features: Built to be used with smokeless powder; an extremely popular hunting rifle due to its combination of potent firepower in a compact, lightweight, comfortable-to-carry, and quick-shooting package.

Restoration Note: Winchester Model 1894s build between 1964 and 1984 (s/n 2.7 million-5.4 million) cannot be re-blued or color case hardened using traditional methods (such as those used at Turnbull Restoration).

DID YOU KNOW?

  • With over 7.5 million examples built, the Winchester Model 1894 is among the most famous and popular hunting rifles of all time.
  • Designed by John M. Browning, the Winchester 1894 was the first commercial American repeating rifle built to be used with smokeless powder from 1895. Prior to that year, 1894s were shipped in .32-40 Win, .38-55 Win, and .25-35 Win.
  • Speaking of cartridges, the .30-30 Winchester (.30 WCF) cartridge was first marketed in 1895 for the Winchester Model 1894. It was America’s first small-bore sporting rifle cartridge designed for use with smokeless powder.
  • The .30-30 has taken more North American big game than any other cartridge, and still retains its immense popularity with hunters.
  • The U.S. Army purchased 1,800 Model 1894 carbines in 1917 to help guard strategic defense industries in the Pacific Northwest.
  • The one millionth Model 94 was presented to President Calvin Coolidge in 1927.
  • Examples built before 1964 are recognized to be of higher quality and command higher prices in the collector market. As such, the terms “pre ’64” and “post ’64” are common among buyers and sellers.
  • One example of the Model 1894, extensively adorned with sterling silver, resides in the the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

LEARN MORE

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We’d like to acknowledge the following sources used in the creation of this article, and encourage you to visit them to learn even more about the Winchester Model 1894.

Model 1894: Winchester Arms Collectors Association

A Look Back at the Winchester 1894: American Rifleman

A Look Back at the History of the Winchester Model 1894: Guns.com

Winchester Model 1894: Wikipedia