Winchester pre-64 or post-64?
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  1. #11
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    I have a few Commerative 94's and look at the lifters to see which are stamped steel and which are cast steel. I check the stamped steel ones for issues from being jammed up from aggressive cycling, and I don't have issues if they are fine. So far I'm pretty pleased with my Winchesters from the 60 and 70's.

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  2. #12
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    There really was no "transition" period on the Model 94 Winchesters. They stopped production of the machined receiver and parts, and cranked back up with a cast receiver and stamped parts.

    Don't overpay.

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    Well I have owned both over the years...they are two different guns....educate yourself....the values are very very different and parts will not interchange internally....God Bless,John

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  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyP View Post
    There really was no "transition" period on the Model 94 Winchesters. They stopped production of the machined receiver and parts, and cranked back up with a cast receiver and stamped parts.

    Don't overpay.
    While I agree that the general change over from a forged and machined receiver to the cast receiver and matching parts had no transition, I have personally witnessed, and have had too many people report to me that they had Winchesters that dated to 1964 that had steel butt-plates. Since these would have had no mechanical connection to the receiver change, I have to believe that Winchester came up with some inventory of butt plates and decided to run with them. I've also had people tell me that they had
    models dated to 1964 with machined shell lifters, but I think that comes from the fact that Winchester transitioned from a stamped lifter to a cast lifter before the end of 1964 and people were confusing the cast parts for machined.

    For anyone interested, here is a link to the various changes from 1964 on up through the early 80's when the former employees and their union formed USRA to buy the factory and lease the Winchester name from Olin. It also goes on to their bankruptcy in 1989 when they were purchased by Fabrique Nationale/Browning. The writer gives some serial number ranges pertaining to the period right after USRA took over because in 1982 due to the advent of CNC machining they were able to go back to a forged and machined receiver and part, which allowed them to go back to the standard bluing process.

    TINCANBANDIT's Gunsmithing: Winchester Model 94 Rifles

    I have one of the XTR models from 1984 that is about as nice as they come with a really nice deep blue finish plus premium wood with checkering. It is one of the angle eject versions, but no cross bolt or tang safety. I've had it since around 1992 and carried it off and on up until 2006 when I was still actively hunting. It's taken at least four nice bucks and a couple of hogs during that period, but I didn't use it all the time. I've never bothered to mount any optics on it, but if I ever go again, I might. It does have a rebounding hammer, but it's never failed to go bang.

    Here it is shown below an original SRC made in 1915 that has a perfect bore and a lot of finish left for a 104 year old.



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  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by forward_observer View Post
    I've also had people tell me that they had models dated to 1964 with machined shell lifters, but I think that comes from the fact that Winchester transitioned from a stamped lifter to a cast lifter before the end of 1964 and people were confusing the cast parts for machined.

    For anyone interested, here is a link to the various changes from 1964 on up through the early 80's when the former employees and their union formed USRA to buy the factory and lease the Winchester name from Olin. It also goes on to their bankruptcy in 1989 when they were purchased by Fabrique Nationale/Browning. The writer gives some serial number ranges pertaining to the period right after USRA took over because in 1982 due to the advent of CNC machining they were able to go back to a forged and machined receiver and part, which allowed them to go back to the standard bluing process.

    TINCANBANDIT's Gunsmithing: Winchester Model 94 Rifles
    Excellent link, although I think a couple of the dates provided here are slightly off. My dad's 1967 Canadian Centennial had the stamped lifter and the receiver has the appearance of black chrome. That means the stamped lifter was indeed still in use (probably to 1971 as mentioned in the article) but the sintering process must have changed in 1967, not 1968 as the article states.
    Last edited by dsk; 06-16-2019 at 09:05 PM.

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    I believe you are right about the shell lifter.

    Actually, I think I misinterpreted the guy's caption on the picture of the cast shell lifter from the article I linked. He showed pictures of three lifters in three successive pictures and and titled the last one as "late post 64 cast carrier". I read it to mean that late in 1964 they went to a cast carrier, but he obviously meant late in the post 64 period which of course isn't the same thing.

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  8. #17
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    Also check the lower tang and how it was originally machined to fit into grooves milled into the receiver, and how the post 64 tang is held in place.

    Just me, but a butt plate just doesn't makes a transition model.

  9. #18
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    I don't have any pre 64s that are 1960 or later but know several people over the years that maintained on model 70s at least that if the pre 64 was 1960 or later you might as well get a post 64 in regsrs to craftsmanship. Again I have never owned one made that late, but have heard it for as long as I can remember.

  10. #19
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    My understanding from a reasonably good source who worked at Winchester during the changeover, is that the tooling was beginning to wear out during the last several years of pre-64 production. This is particulary true of the Model 70 - I have one built in 1956 and when I compare it to those constructed in 1962-63, you can see the difference.

    My $.02

  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingcobb View Post
    I don't have any pre 64s that are 1960 or later but know several people over the years that maintained on model 70s at least that if the pre 64 was 1960 or later you might as well get a post 64 in regsrs to craftsmanship. Again I have never owned one made that late, but have heard it for as long as I can remember.
    I'll agree with that even with the Model 94. I have owned a 60 and a 63 and they were sloppy and rattley compared to ones I have owned from the earlier 50's. The 63 and 60 were much nicer than the ones Ive had from the 70's though. I think the new Japanese Winchesters are on par with the Pre-64's though but, for the money, you can buy an old one in nice shape.




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