Home > Firearms Forums > General Firearms Forum > Winchester 94 quick report

Winchester 94 quick report

  1. Met a friend at the rifle range the other day. He was bringing his older 1894 Winchester 30-30, so I brought my late sixties manufactured '94 also in 30-30.

    We shared ammo between the two guns, win loaded 170gr soft points and the newer Hornady 160gr Leverevolution Spitzer ammo- uses a soft rubber point to eliminate the tube fed chain fire concerns.
    My own experience with this newer 30-30 load has been limited to paper shooting, but it's an accurate load in both rifles used. Using the buckhorn open sights, we shot at 50 yards and noticed this ammo was about 1.5" higher than the 170gr load.
    Usually I'm good for 5 shot groups at 100 yards around 3-3.5" with this gun and ammo combo, shooting at 50 yards looked about consistent with that or better.
    I have some peep sights on order, looking forward to seeing what can be done with some better sights.
  2. Does that Hornady ammo have more zing than regular.30-30?
  3. From what I've seen, its flatter shooting and while I haven't chronod it, others have and it get better velocity that other brands 150gr.
    Usually right at 2250-2300fps in a 20" gun like mine.
  4. Great shooting! I am a big fan of lever guns, but sadly lost mine in a tragic boating accident.
  5. Most of my rifles are boat salvage yard recoveries. :D
  6. Neat old rifle.
  7. Love 94. Nothing handles better for me.
  8. Great report as always, Berto :cool:
  9. Great report nice shooting.

  10. Hey B, I like your sheetmetal kitties!

    (nice rifle and some fine shooting there too son) ;)
  11. They're too tinny to hear at 200yrds, so I keep them for decoration.

  12. Berto that's a sweetie for sure.
  13. No problem, ATF keeps special file for anyone who posts tragic boating accident. It’s an algorithm that cross references your cc purchases to track the ammo that you’re still feeding the guns you tragically lost. :D

    Berto, that’s really good shooting with those sights at 50 yards.

    I like the Williams FP sights and have them on all my iron sight rifles. They adjust just like a scope. I tried others and nothing is as good imo.

    I pair them up with a taller front sight from skinner sights. They have the best options for front sights.
  14. That Hornady Leverevolution sure works on deer. Last one I shot with a 3030 was with this ammo at approx 50 yards; and it dropped so hard and fast I was a little surprised.

    I too have a win 94 (1969). I would be very interested in another range report after you get your peep sight installed...
  15. My only 30-30 is a single shot Ruger. My only lever gun ever was a 44 mag 94 I got rid of 20 years ago. I'd like a 38-55 lever gun if I were to get one.
  16. @Berto
    Which peep sight did you get? I really want to get something more user-friendly for mine too. Its a 1980 model, has the 2 receiver mounting holes on the upper left.
  17. I ended up choosing the William's 5d peep that mounts as yours does. All the reviews looked positive for adjustability and quality. I was seeing lots if unhappy reviews with Lyman, which is too bad since I like the Lyman peep in my win 67a.
  18. The 5D are great for the price.

    What front sight are you considering?

    For accuracy (aside from a globe front sight) I have found a square post or blade front sight with a square top to be the best. Bead or dot front sights are less accurate and the least accurate is a fiber optic front sight.
  19. It depends on how I feel about the existing bead on there now combined with the peep. The bead obscures an 8" bull easily at 100yrds, so certainly there's room for improvement, but I may find it a satisfactory upgrade from the buckhorn combo I'm using now too. I'm getting another 5-6" sight radius by moving to the receiver so I might be happy if I can shoot it better.
    Otherwise, I'll look into a thinner bead or blade as you suggest. I dont care for FO sights either.
  20. The factory bead front is likely too low. Did you pull a thread from the front, thru the notch of the factory rear to see how it relates to the new peep sight at it's lowest setting?

    That will tell you if the front sight needs to be taller. I needed a taller front sight on every rifle I put a williams peep sight on.

    Also, using a bead front sight, your brain wants to center the "bead" in the peep. When the front sight is a square post, your brain wants to center the top of the post in the center of the peep which makes the sight picture much sharper and the result in more accurate sighting.

    If you do need to replace the front sight, order a sight that's slightly taller than you think you need, and then file it down as needed. I have ordered a sight based on my measurements and it resulted in having to order an even taller sight which required another range trip and more ammo to finally sight in the rifle. Order taller, and spare yourself the grief!
  21. Nice report and a nice used lever action is right up my alley currently..either 30-30 or .357 magnum..in Winchester or Marlin for Coyotes and deer within 125 yards. will need to do some selling or trading though as i dont have the funds to get one straight out.
  22. I'm going to be dinking around with the front no matter what, since I have to remove that stupid hood they put on there.
    I guess I'll know soon enough whether the front is too short when I see how it 'co witnesses' with the existing rear sight before I tap it out of its dovetail.
    From the reviews I've seen, it seems hit or miss with that whole thing, I'm good with the idea of a finer front sight.
  23. I'll be interested how you do with peep sight as well. I know you're a good shot. For me I struggle any time have used buckhorns. Have hit at 1000 yards with M1A with hooded rear irons, just amazes me I do so poorly with buckhorn

    Is there stuff ready to go peep wise for 94 pattern rifles or you rigging something up?
  24. Sharp and crisp angle/lines sound ideal in regards to front sights, for a peep setup. A bead-style front sounds way to fat.

    I’ll remember the “go taller” advice for choosing the front.

    Following this thread. My current 94 is a hundred yard rifle now. Peep sights could make this a 150/200 yard rifle comfortably perhaps. The front bead seems to be the main limitation.
  25. The Williams 94/36 sight in either 5D or FP models, are made specifically for the older 94's and the marlin 336's that are pre-drilled on the side of the receiver. There are also sights for the newer rifles that are only pre-drilled on the top of the receiver.

    And for front sights there are two types, the dovetail directly in the barrel or a sight base that's screwed into the barre. Both use a standard 3/8" dovetail but will need different height (& width) inserts.

    This is a side mount williams FP sight,

    And depending on the rifle it can use one of these front sights, these are from skinner sights,


    And Skinner also has this one that replaces a sight base with a two screw or one screw version.
  26. Buck
    buckhorns not that great a site really...i dont like them
  27. if i get one thats what im thinking of getting
  28. Here's the front sight on my marlin 336. It has the sight base and in my case this is a temporary dovetail blade sight. There is a tiny cant to the left to how the sight base was installed from the factory and I notice it when sighting thru the peep. So I'll be sighted-in with the temp front sight and then replace it with the skinner bear buster if the overall height works. In which case I'll be drilling and tapping new holes to eliminate the canted sight picture. This won't make much difference inside 200 yards but it will be more satisfying to my discriminating eye.

    This is the williams 94/36 FP on the rear of the same gun, 1972 marlin 336. The same sight fits those winchester 94's that are pre-drilled on the side. I found these "FP Fool Proof" sights to be the easiest to sight in. They are as easy as sighting in a scope.

    The apertures are replaceable and while hunting I typically keep a williams twilight target aperture in my pocket for even more accurate long range shooting. This will be my 4th rifle with this sight set-up!
  29. And, I should note that the sight picture using a tall front sight "post" or blade is cleaner/less distracting than a sight picture that has the "sight base" visible thru the peep.

    If the sight base is visible in the sight picture, to correct that you could get a taller front blade and raise the rear accordingly, or you can use an aperture with a smaller dia peep hole.

    Does that make sense?
  30. Oh absolutely. Skinner, Lyman and William's offer peeps that mount to the factory drilled holes on the left side of the receiver. The two screws toward the top

    Also, you have the option of tang mounted sights from Marble, at least....though I'd be concerned it might be a little exposed for my needs in a carbine especially.
  31. I have a copy of "Memories of 30-30" article saved on my google drive, and the "Winchester 94, Century of Craftsmanship" book on my coffee table.

    My hunting rifle is 30-30, and same for my son.
  32. William's peeps are on there, install was simple.
    It appears elevation will be fine, but wont know for certain until I shoot it (tomorrow or next day)
    20190924_180940.jpg 20190924_180952.jpg

    Front is dovetailed, should be easy to switch if needed.
  33. That's a real slick old 94 there Berto. Good score!
  34. That added sight radius has to be better already. I should do this too.

    Does that William’s peep seem solid? What’s the screw torque? Did the manual specify?
  35. The sight is solid and doesnt move. The flip side; no instructions or manual....although pretty self explanatory.
    Remove sight from package, separate sight from base (loosen screw), loc tite all the screws and mount base in the threaded holes on the receiver. Install peep assy onto base and adjust to align with original sight sights close as possible.
    You're going to be using a rather small screwdriver, so whatever reasonable torque will do the job.
  36. @ range, 50yrds
    Gotta say, nailed the windage.
    Holding center with 170gr, bottom group cloverleaf +1.
    Adj elevation and used Horn LEE 160gr, all 10ring. 20190925_134844.jpg
    100yrds looking pretty good too, getting target...
  37. So here's what shook out with the new William's peep sight;
    I'm impressed, first of all.
    When I installed the sight, I left the original leaf in place and used it to 'co witness' the alignment of the peep sight rear, which is about 6" behind the original leaf. This worked well, and put me perfect for windage at 50 yards using my last 4
    Rem 170gr core lokt, and only 4" low using a dead on hold.
    I adjusted the elevation up and used 5 Hornady Leverevolution 160gr....pretty much exactly on the money.
    I added a little more elevation, then set up for 100 yards. 5 more 160gr pointy tip Hornadys went downrange.
    I've shot some 3- something inch 5 shot groups with the buckhorn sights, so for this one time effort getting under 3" is a good indication, especially when three of those are in the x ring.
    So pretty happy with that investment of $48. More time and ammo will probably reveal more potential, but seamaster's front sight suggestion resonates with me.

    Speaking of.....I also brought along my other Winchester, a 67A. This also uses a peep rear sight, a Lyman.
    Originally, this had a 27" barrel. Years ago I had the late Stan Baker's shop in Seattle take it down to 20" (IIRC) due to some rust around the muzzle. He also put a nice target crown on there.
    My mistake today was using the 5 bull small bore target, which is a bad mismatch for this guns sights. The front is a bead like the '94s, too big against 5" dots....so I wandered all over. Adding to the problem, I cant lower the sight without impeding the full movement of the bolt. So I'm using a snowman sight picture, which sucks for windage especially.
    Good excuse for new front sights now, I think.
    So taller front for the 67 at least with with a skinnier blade would enable a finer sight picture; lollipop up close and dead on at distance.
    The 94 is satisfactory as is, but there might be room for improvement there too.
  38. My favorite rifle caliber ,
    30-30 ....
  39. I’m a bit late to this Model 94 party, just bought one today. I had a hand-me-down 94 from Gramps years ago. I went in the military, left it with a relative & it disappeared. There are two suspect relatives, but they’ve erased the memory from their mind.

    Anyway, the gun today is a 1950 manufacture Mod 94 Winchester, in 32 SPCL. It’s not mint, but not to far behind, Wood is great, just minor dings here & there. Now I’m doing some research on loads, those Hornady FTX Bullets & loads get good reviews.

    This 94 may go to a son who’s into older guns with history.
  40. In the spirit of this wonderful old rifle and cartridge, an excerpt from Frank Marshall:

  41. Good report berto as usual. Those cats fear it for sure.
  42. While I disagree that rifles with scopes of wonderful power, are useful for more than bird gazing and moon watching; this is still a good read.

    Practical skill always outperforms fancy equipment.

    Practical skill coped with fancy equipment is just plain fun! :)
  43. Oh there's a place for scopes alright; it just ain't on a 94 Winchester.
  44. The 94 is probably the most famous/used deer rifle here in Tennessee. Almost every Hunter I know here has at least one.