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Lever Action help please

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by L Belmont, Mar 20, 2018.

?

Buy it?

  1. Yes

    30.0%
  2. No

    70.0%
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  1. L Belmont

    L Belmont Member

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    Heeeelp please.

    A Local Pawn and Gun shop has the following

    Winchester 94AE in 44 mag
    Cross bolt safety
    20” barrel
    Saddle ring
    Big loop
    Case hardened receiver...
    Condition 85%

    I can’t hardly find any info on this.
    It’s going for $750+ tax (8.025%)

    Is it worth it?
    Is it a good find?
    Is it unique or rare?
    Why should I or shouldn’t I buy it?

    Heeeelp please, need some expert opinions here.

    Sorry no pics.
     
  2. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I voted no because I have no use for rifles chambered in revolver cartridges. There are many many people who do though.
     
  3. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Sounds high to me.
     
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  4. Lafitte

    Lafitte Member

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    The Winchester 94 action was designed for a long bottle neck rifle caliber and does not work very well with the short pistol caliber cartridges. The big loop is not a "plus" in my opion. Your mileage may vary.
    Lafitte
     
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  5. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I'm with ColtPythonElite ... sounds HIGH to me.

    And Welcome to THR! :)

    FWIW, 18 months ago I acquired a 2nd 1983mfr (this one NIB) Marlin 1894S (.44mag) lever action rifle for a bit over $500.
     
  6. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

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    Price sounds high for that condition, but I am not expert. If you like it and can live with the price then go for it. But for me, it is a no.
     
  7. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Expensive. . . and it's a rifle in a pistol caliber.

    Buy a .30-30 or .35 Remington for about half that cost.
     
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  8. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    Sounds a little on the high side to me also. I have no experience with Winchester lever guns in pistol rounds but Marlin levers in 44 Mag make dandy short range woods rifles. But then, so do .30-30's..... What's the planned usage? A nice 30-30 could be had at a much better price if it meets whatever criteria you have. P.S. Welcome to THR.
     
  9. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    Depends on your plans for it, if you want to use it in the field, no, just get a Marlin or Rossi or what have you, if you want it to stay in a case or safe, then yes, the value will increase more with time.
     
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  10. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    Look at the description. 20 inch barrel, caseed, loop lever. This is not a straight production gun.
    Price might be a little high for a production gun but not for a special. Since it is a Win 94 it will retain value better as well.

    Pistol cal carbines are hot items in many Eastern states now that they are being allowed in formerly Shotgun only zones.

    I say buy it. The price is not out of line with what I see here in Michigan. It is a nicer piece, you will enjoy shooting it, a lot, and if you do hunt with it you add the challenge of getting closer.

    IronHand
     
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  11. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    If you want a lever action Winchester in pistol caliber then the 1892 model would be a better choice. As an earlier poster said, the 94 model wasn't designed for pistol rounds, and cycling could be "iffy." Miroku makes a modern 1892 ....Rossi makes a clone which is serviceable.
    Beyond those, Henry and Marlin come to mind for actions intended for pistol rounds.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
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  12. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Too much for its condition.
     
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  13. L Belmont

    L Belmont Member

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    Thank you so much for your opinions and suggestions.

    I shoot bowling pins on Saturday afternoons at my local range. I have a nice s&w 29-8 (51 of 200 made) and I’m looking for something interesting as my “lever action in the same caliber” kind of deal. So it would be a pointer, shooting steel at 100 and 150 yds. I reload so furtunately it’s not too bad $$$. Plinking with the 22s can get boring for lack of “bang”.

    I was thinking this configuration of a Win 94 AE would be the ticket. Maybe a unique run.
    I rated it 85% because the receiver is speckled with rust spots, not deep enough for pitting yet; the rest, wood, barrel and mag tube are 95+.

    BUT: the action is not very smooth (it can be worked on, youtube)
    There is the rust spots. (Easily removed #0000 steel wool)
    I don’t like the feel of the big loop.(put a leader sleeve and get used to it)
    It’s pricy for my budget (stop you whining)

    Having said all that, it does call my name every time I go into the establishment.
     
  14. GAF

    GAF Member

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    There are any number of manufacturers that make a lever action in 44 magnum.
    They are in the same price range as the used 85% gun you are looking at now.
     
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  15. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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  16. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    I guarantee the pawn shop gave no more than $300 to $350 for that rifle I would offer $50 to $75 more.
     
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  17. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    The revolver cartridge 94’s feed fine. Any levergun can choke on the wrong ogive or COAL, and the Marlin does a better job of feeding both mags and specials, but the Win feeds fine unless you try to choke it with the wrong ammo.

    For shorter range hunting, and low cost plinking, the 44mag 94 is a great option. They aren’t in the same type-class as the 1,000yrd capable, $300 bolt guns everybody wants these days, but if your application is hunting at shorter ranges, 0-150 or 200yrds max, the 20” 44mag will do what you need.

    The 94 is one of my least favorite levergun designs. Most guys don’t care to scope their leverguns, but I’m not most guys - I prefer the solid top Marlins for the ability to run a scope. I hate the feel of the toggle link Winchester’s, as an engineer, it seems silly to have the whole top and bottom of the rifle receiver be moving parts. The AE - Angled Eject - was an attempt to make the 94 more scope friendly, but the receiver design still doesn’t really lend itself to optics...

    The case colored 20” saddle ring 94AE was a vain attempt to recoup some market share at the end of their run. They were made to look like a special edition model, but they were a standard production item ran in relatively high volume, and were priced similarly to the standard production models. Didn’t matter - the 94 was well known to be too slow for the CAS/SASS shooters which they were targeting (‘cuz they were about the only folks buying leverguns in those days), so other than some ignorant newbies who didn’t know better and nostalgic wannabe cowboys, it largely died off for good reason. Such, considering 85% condition, the price is far too high. It’s not a special model, it’s barely above a base model, and 85% is pretty rough.

    I enjoy the Win 94 Trappers, but only because they were $220-250 at the time (Marlin 1894’s at $350-400) and had 12.5” LOP with 16” barrels - very handy, affordable truck and saddle guns. Otherwise, there’s nothing about the Win 94 action which would intrigue me. If you’re looking for a lever action revolver carbine and open to that price ballpark, find a good/like new condition JC Marlin 1894 - maybe have to save another $200ish. I paid $900 shipped for my last 1894, new in box, stainless 44mag, about 2yrs ago, blued base models go cheaper, especially used.
     
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  18. L Belmont

    L Belmont Member

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    And there’s my answer. :)

    Thank you guys and thank you V’T.

    ...and the poll is overwhelming, which means My search is still on.

    The 1892 Taylors look nice... out of my reach new though.
     
  19. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Priced high. Those guns are fun to shoot (because they are guns) but to me they have very limited utility. I guess they are effective for HD in places where more modern rifles aren't allowed, or in states with weird regs for what is allowed for hunting. Otherwise, they seem like a solution looking for a problem to me.
     
  20. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Yeah, some folks like rifles in pistol calibers.

    But this one is too much for what you'd be getting.
     
  21. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    I have been at CAS matches and seen a pistol caliber 94 choke. More than once.

    I will add to the chorus to pass on the 44 Mag 94. Rossi makes a 44 Mag version of the 1892 Winchester. And the big loop lever is a movie gimmick. It will probably slow you down.
     
  22. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Anyone who has been at many CAS/SASS matches have seen a lot of different leverguns choke. Especially when you consider how many retirees-looking-for-a-hobby try doing their own gunsmithing and botch their carrier trying to slick up their feeding. Some are easier to choke than others, but the reputation of the Win 94 for incessant jamming is undeserved. If you load the right length and ogive, they feed. They’re just less forgiving than some other models. I’ve seen plenty of Marlins and Rossi’s choke on the firing line, even in my own hands.
     
  23. Danoobie

    Danoobie Member

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    I'm no expert, but as contrast, you could get a new Marlin for @ that much. IMO, at 85%, it's not a collector's gun. As a shooter,
    do you want to scope it? If you want a scoped model, or the option of scoping it later,you'd be better off going with the side-ejecting Marlin.

    IMHO, unless you are buying it as a shooter, iron sights only, you may want to either seek out a Marlin 1894, or find a similar model to
    what you are looking at, in the 95%+ range, as a collector's piece.
     
  24. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The only pistol caliber 94 I had any observation and experience with fed, fired, and functioned quite well.
    It was tough to get loaded. The best approach was to get a round started through the loading gate with its head hanging out. Then push it the rest of the way in with the next cartridge. (I load my real 1892 .44 WCF that way.) If you thumbed a round all the way in, it was common to not get it past the latch and have it slip back onto the lifter. You could shoot it, but you could not get in any more ammo because you could not get behind that last round.
     
  25. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I will agree it's too high... especially for a big loop with the cross bolt safety (ugh). I had a cross bolt safety 1894 legacy in ,45 Colt years ago, but it went the consignment route when money need trumped it being in my safe. The big loop I have never liked at all (John Wayne was cool, tho!).

    I like levers (I own 11, including four 1894 Wins) and pistol caliber levers as well (Rossi 92 w/16" bbls in .357 and .45 Colt, Win 1894 Trapper in .44 mag)

    The 1894 is my favorite looking lever, probably because that was the one in the gun cabinet on the ranch I looked at the most. The Marlins are a lot more versatile, especially if scopes or peeps are in your future. My 336 in .35 Rem wears a 4x scope, the 1895 GG in .47-70 wears a Williams peep.

    IF it calls to you, toss out an offer of 400-425 and see what happens. If it has sat for a long time the owner may just snap at it. If not, who cares! The owner will sit on it for a while longer. I recently picked up a nice Ruger Redhawk 7.5" .41 mag that was consigned at 600... for 325 bucks (plus tax,etc.). It had been sitting for months, and the gun shop said no one who checked it out wanted a .41. Their loss!

    Stay safe!
     
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