Colt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
484 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My lever action experiences are rather limited. I've handled Italian 66's and 73's. They have a solid feel. I've owned a few 92's, which are my sentimental favorites. I almost bought a Model 71 years ago, so I'm familiar with the solidity of the 86 action. I own a Browning 1895 now, it's a great gun. But I've always been left cold by the 1894. Every one I've held felt like a shoe box full of spare parts, rattling around. I love their appearance but have never been enchanted enough to buy one. Do any of you folks feel the same way? I'd like to read your comments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,041 Posts
My lever action experiences are rather limited. I've handled Italian 66's and 73's. They have a solid feel. I've owned a few 92's, which are my sentimental favorites. I almost bought a Model 71 years ago, so I'm familiar with the solidity of the 86 action. I own a Browning 1895 now, it's a great great gun. But I've always been left cold by the 1894. Every one I've held felt like a shoe box full of spare parts, rattling around. I love their appearance but have never been enchanted enough to buy one. Do any of you folks feel the same way? I'd like to read your comments.
Apparently very popular with over 5 Million sold. But the M1892 is so much smoother to operate. Many shooters continued liking the M1873 because they could work the lever while staying on target.

You may not like the M1895, as it also rattles a bit and is hard to lever. But the box magazine allows pointed bullets as a consolation.

Yep, there's a lot to consider when picking a lever gun!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,248 Posts
I have a 1956 94 in 32 Special that will shoot with any of your rifles out to 100 yds with iron sights . Also have a early Big Bore 94 in .375 Winchester I bought NIB I think they are the best 94’s ever built, good gun steel, expertly polished and blued, excellent wood to metal fit and finish . I find my 94’s superior to the 73’s with more and better chamberings . I like the 92’s as well they just don’t have the chamberings that the 94 does. Neither of my 94’s feel like a bunch of loose parts. I had to have work done on to both of my Miroku 73’s to come close to my never touched 94’s. Every original 73 or 92 I ever looked at was a bucket of loose parts made with inferior steel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,467 Posts
By design the action of an 1894 rattles a bit, but look what you get for your money. You get a traditional lever gun chambered for a cartridge much more meaningful than a ''handgun'' type cartridge with a much flatter trajectory, deeper penetration, and a bullet that actually expands on flesh in a package the same size and weight as a handgun caliber lever gun.

I own three, I don't love em, but I've found they're useful tools to have around. I had an 1895 in .30-Gov't-06 and that thing was miserable to carry around.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,174 Posts
The modification that was made which allows for the longer cartridge was quite innovative. It does cause a bit more of a rattle. It sure has sold well over the last 100+ years! Like you, I like the M-1892's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I love them, and over the years have collected them all. My brother and I have often said that a 94 carbine might be the best horseback gun there ever was (30 30 packs a lot more punch than the revolver cartridges the 92 was chambered for). With that said, an 86 carbine in 45 70 would certainly be a contender!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,162 Posts
I own a 94 I bought new about 1957. I cant say it rattles like you describe at least not bad enough that I have even thought about. Also own a model 64 that is still in new shape made about 1952. It`s a safe queen with less than a box through so is tight. Own a original 95 carbine that is well used and a 357 Puma and a 44 mag Browning 92. The 357 is a sweetheart and the 44 mag, a kicker. Also a model 88 in .308
701836
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
I love the 94 Winchester's! Especially the pre 64's. I have a 1912 saddle ring carbine that still shot's well.
The 92's have that double locking lug which make's them much tighter than 94's. The Winchester's
are Marlin's are some of the best short to medium range firearm's ever made.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,721 Posts
My first big bore rifle beyond a .22 was a model 94 25-35. I also had access to a 30-30 at the time. But I was sure partial to that 25-35. Less kick and something different for a young no nothing kid. My 2nd rifle was a 24" 1873 rifle in 38-40. Big gun and not all that handy but lots of things to admire about it. Good sights and a great trigger as two of them. So I later bought a Uberti repo to have that gun to shoot. Then a '92 and any number of '92s in different calibers followed, originals, Brownings a Puma. Of course the '86s.....same story there. And again with the '95 in three calibers, originals, Brownings and the newest Wins.

Eventually I decided I just must have one of every Winchester lever action. Took me a good 20 years to get at least one of all. A good many of them are repros, Henry, '66 and the '76 for sure. The last gun I bought in that group was another '94.

I like the '94 for what it is. Of all my choices new, old, repro or original I like my newest '73 carbine repo by Winchester the best of the bunch, It is in 44-40. The Browning 53 or '86 carbine are close 2nd's.

But hard to argue that the '94 in 30-30 is actually the best balanced gun and ammo combo of the entire Winchester run. All of them, from 25-20 to 50-110, make great saddle guns depending on what the rifle is needed for even today you can pick the right cartridge. But if you need a rifle round...the 30-30 is a decent place to start. And you're not likely to find a handier package to carry it in than a '94 carbine.

Still, I own one '94 and more than one '73, '92 and '86. Hardly makes sense does it? Until you think about it some :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,041 Posts
My first big bore rifle beyond a .22 was a model 94 25-35. I also had access to a 3-30 at the time. But I was sure partial to that 25-35. Less kick and something different for a young kid. My 2nd rifle was a 24" 1873 rifle in 38-40. Big gun and not all that handy but lots of things to admire about it. Good sights and a great trigger as two of them. So I bought a Uberti repo to have that gun to shoot. Then a '92 and any number of '92s in different calibers followed, originals, Brownings a Puma. Of course the '86s.....same story there. and again with the '95 in three calibers, originals, Brownings and the newest Wins.

Eventually I decided I just must have one of every Winchester lever action. Took me a good 20 years to get at least one of all. A good many of them are repros, Henry, '66 and the '76 for sure. The last gun I bought in that group was another '94.

I like the '94 for what it is. Of all my choices new, old, repro or original I like my newest '73 carbine repo by Winchester the best of the bunch, It is in 44-40. The Browning 53 or '86 carbine are close 2nd's.

But hard to argue that the '94 in 30-30 is the best balanced gun and ammo of the entire Winchester run. All of them, from 32-20 to 50-110, make great saddle guns depending on what the rifle is needed for. But if you need a rifle round...the 30-30 is a decent place to start. And you're not likely to find a handier package to carry it in than a '94 carbine.

Still I own one '94 and more than one '73, '92 and '86. Hardly makes sense does it? Until you think about it some :)
I also like the M1894 in 25-35. George Madis said that not all that many were made. I recently found this 20" short rifle with a good deal of blue left mostly on the barrel. Nice shiny bore. A very long time ago someone changed out the rear sight to one that was "new" to me. It is Chas. Daniel's Concentric Rear Sight ("Pat. July 25, 1905"). The front sight was changed more recently, but I'll probably leave it. Of course, the SN is too high for a factory letter, but this one was made about 1910.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,532 Posts
I have two 94s both made in new haven , maybe 5 year span of availability in .45 Colt.
Ones a 16” with 9 shot tube, other is 20”.

I’d rather have a 92 , but no .45 s , unless Japan .

94 wasn’t made for pistol round and get a bad rap , but mine shoot great.
I wouldn’t have a “ better” one made overseas.
And I think the thirty thirty is an American icon .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,721 Posts
victorio said:
I recently found this 20" short rifle with a good deal of blue left mostly on the barrel. Nice shiny bore. A very long time ago someone changed out the rear sight to one that was "new" to me. It is Chas. Daniel's Concentric Rear Sight ("Pat. July 25, 1905").

Nice rifle! I like it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,730 Posts
701901


I like both 92's and 94's- the 94's do rattle some and the trigger moves around loose on some. I have a 70's .32 special that rattles like a coffee can. Don't care much.Also have a 16 inch .44 mag like the above with the big loop lever- big loop is not practical, slow an unwildly, thought about changing to a regular lever but just left it alone. JW style :)

R92 in .357 16 inch is a great home defense gun imo, really like the one I have.

Like to try out a 73 some day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,133 Posts
I grew up with Lever Actions, basic deer rifle back in the 50's & 60's. Being left handed also made them attractive.
So over the years I've collected a few, from 30/30's, 22's, 35 Remingtons, 358 Savage and a custom Win. 88 that I had made into a 338/308 before Federal came out with their 338 Federal.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
942 Posts
The first gun I ever bought was a 94 carbine in 30-30. 55 years ago.
I took off on a North American odyssey. It was not a take down but I took off the buttstock so it would fit in my backpack. It toured the US and Canada with me for several months until I got hungry enough I sold it for grub money.
I finally got another one a couple years ago and it is one of my favorites.
701914
701915
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,721 Posts
That is a really nice carbine, Cloverleaf. I am jealous :)

A few of the pistol cartridge '94s being posted. Makes sense as they have been available and are generally inexpensive compared to the '92s. My first '92 was a Browning in 32-20. A few more followed including a Rossi in 44 mag. Traded that gun to a buddy for part of a saddle I wanted. For the cost it was a great gun.

After I realized just how handy the little 32-20 was I was smitten. Wife and I both have them now. It is her main match rifle for SASS. I've taken a couple of little coastal black tail with mine. HV hand loads using gas check lead bullets would shoot right through the little deer, shoulder to shoulder. Head shots are easy with the Browning '92s and good ammo.

Thing I would have really loved as a kid is just how small and sleek the '92 is compared to the '94. Makes sense as it was designed specifically for a pistol caliber cartridge. I really like the 44-40 cartridge. 44 mag as well for a game cartridge using iron sights on these little guns. In a side by side comparison the '73 is huge and heavy. That can't be said about the '92.

But back on topic. The '94 really was the smokeless answer to the '86. The '86 the first modern answer to the '76. Both the new guns ('86 and '94) were a lot smaller and lighter than the model previous. Hard to berate a 38-55 in the '94 or the 30-30 for that matter. As I alluded to previous I think the action size, the gun weights of the '94 and 30-30 ammo/energy match perfectly.

Likely nothing in the way of NA game that hasn't been taken with a 30-30. And just as likely in the recent past, the first gun for many a youngster on his first deer hunt.

That is quite the compliment to a cartridge and the gun it was designed for. Easy to take the '94 for granted but it is an impressive rifle design. By the numbers sold, obviously Browning's best lever gun design.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
110 Posts
In my extensive experience (not, owned only one but it was in .308) it lacks accuracy, authenticity, and ergonomics. Mine, a second hander that came to me from an uncle, was a 2.5 MOA rifle. But, I didn't like it and it didn't fit me well, so how much of that was actually the rifle vs me, I cannot say. I gave it to a cousin and, as far as I know, he had no complaints.

There was just something off about the fit. It's like the old Winchester 101 o/u shotgun. Can't fault the quality of the gun but it just didn't fit a lot of people well and they didn't shoot them well.

I'd urge you to try before you buy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Back to the original post, a 92, or a 94, or an 86, are not a Ruger 77, or a Remington 700, or a Winchester 70. They never claimed to be, so if a person wants a target grade rifle the Winchester levers are not the best choice. With that said, they are thin in profile and lightweight, which makes them some of the best horseback rifles there are. The "old" guns won't compete with modern rifles in most ways, but they have the looks, the feel, the handling, and the history/legacy that they lived through. I still say a 94 in 30 30 is all the rifle any guy needs, just my opinion. :)
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top