Advice on (purchasing) Winchester lever action rifle.

I don’t own one, but I’ve heard that anything new or innovative is shite.
Also does anyone have experience with Winchester lever actions?
I’m looking at maybe grabbing one at the upcoming gun show. Are there any models I should avoid or look for? I can google reviews but I’m just after personal opinions.
Top eject vs angle etc. Certain vintages are cherry/lemons etc.

As with all Winnies, pre-64 are nicer regarding fit and finish, my 1959 Model 94 is far away better than later offerings in feel but function is still the same. What model you end up with will be determined by what cartridge you fancy, with 92’s being intended for pistol size and the 94 for rifle cartridges. The AE was made due to the desire to scope rifles and not have the ejection issue of fouling cases so if you think you may want to fit a scope or even diopter sights an AE might be a better choice. If a high power box mag rifle appeals then look around for a Model 88, though discontinued in 1973 they can still be found and I would happily compare ones I’ve borrowed with my old Sako Finnwolf. Model 73’s are being offered again, modern metallurgy and manufacturing offer a higher strength action than the originals, but are made in Japan by Miroku. Hope I’ve given you a bit to start off with, Cheers.

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I think every gun safe should have a Winchester or Henry lever in it, but I’m sure my opinion is coloured by nostalgia and my love of spaghetti westerns. :cowboy_hat_face:

Don’t be afraid of the post 64 Winchester 94.
Saying that, I wouldn’t get one made from '64 to about …ummm… 72?
There was a period where in order to reduce manufacturing costs, they went with cheaper manufacturing processes that did have an impact on quality. The ones around that period were definitely inferior.
I’m saying up to '72, because my memory right now with a few beers assisting isn’t quite giving me the recall and exact year I’m after.

The ones made in the 70’s and 80’s, the bluing didn’t hold so well on the receivers, so often you’ll find these with the bluing worn off a little, but functionality is fine.

The ones made during that period were still the top eject. One thing to look for that isn’t such a big deal, is a weak ejector. Put a case or snap cap in, shoulder it and while shouldered, cycle the lever to eject. If it hits you in the face, or doesn’t eject at all, well, you know, weak. If it doesn’t eject at all is more of an issue that would want fixing.
Not a big deal and you shouldn’t find too many like that, just something to give you haggle information. Probably $100 or less to fix.

I had one that I bought on a whim that had this problem. Rather than fix it, I moved it on as it had other signs that it was a too well worn rifle.

I personally have a Win 94 30-30 made in the latter part of the 70’s that is mint (except for one mark that I fkn put on it. IDIOT! ).
Sometimes when I’m alone, I like to get it out and gently caress it.
I’ll close my eyes and… oh. errr, anyway, back to the topic…

For what it’s worth, any serial number under 2700000 is pre '64. (Post 72 is about 3.8mil onward)
edit: serial number only relates to model 94

I haven’t played with a modern one made by Miroku, but I would have confidence in it from all reports, if you’re looking to buy new.

As we get older, our eyes don’t perform like they did when we were 20, which makes using open sights more difficult.
A great option is to add a peep. The Williams peep is great and they make one that requires no drilling or tapping for the Win 94 and it’s reasonably priced here in Aus.
You’ll be surprised how much it improves your depth of field in comparison to the buckhorn/semi-buckhorn, not to mention target acquisition.

Time for me to stop. I’ll leave it there as I have to make the long journey to the fridge. Hopefully there is some useful info you can use. Cheers.


Damn now I want one lol.

Me too. I said I’d never get a 30-30 but Winchester top eject 30-30, I’d make an exception. I too would close my eyes and… Anyway, yeah.

Bloody hell. So, @Supaduke, which gun show are we going to? :slight_smile:

Altona July 6 and 7.
I love my Henry Levers. But I’ve always admired a Winchester. Nearly got one on a whim last show. Realised I had NFI about Winchesters beyond basic model numbers.
A classic 94 in 30-30 would be nice, but the practical part of me wants a .357 for more fun and novice friendly. The 45-70 is awesome but most people are happy with 1-2 shots. A .357/.38sp is a crowd pleaser.
I guess I will need to see what is on offer.
Should be a good weekend. Going to the gun show Saturday morning. Then Military Rifle Club on Sunday. Don’t get to go as often as I would like.
Appreciate everyone’s input. And thank you JS for moving my random topic.

Sounds like you need 3 rifles 30-30, 45-70 and a .357!!!

Got a 45-70 already and a .22.
30-30 would be nice but doesn’t really fill any gaps.

I did read in the shooters magazine, in an article about using reduced loads, that you can get a chamber adapter for the 30-30 for, I think it was .32S&W, but not sure.
I don’t know if we have that here in Aus.

After a bit of research, I’m after a Model 92 in .357 mag.
Just missed a nice one at Centreway.
Winchester 92’s seem thin on the ground. Anyone with experience with the Chiappa or Rossi clones?

Well Rossi M92’s are not exactly getting glowing reviews. First 3 all panned it. General consensus seems they can made to run ok but suffer from very dubious QC.

I have a chiappa mod 92 in 357.
Bought it coz my daughter wanted to take up cowboy action, then lost interest, I had a couple of feeding issues to start with (some of which came down to me using 38spec) but after cycling it a whole bunch in front of the tv it smoothed out nicely.
I have been meaning to list it online as it just sits in the safe these days, we put maybe a 1000 cast trail boss loads through it and it has a couple of marks on it but I’m sure we could work something out if your interested in one mate.

G’day Supaduke,
Like all lower priced offerings the Rossi can be variable, so can the Chiappa. having said that they both have dozens upon dozens of very happy owners many of whom regret selling their 92’s. 3 poor reviews seems to me to be bad luck, keep researching and you will find plenty of positive reviews for both the Rossi and the Chiappa. Best quality is still going to be the Miroku made Winchester brand as long as you don’t mind the new tang mounted safety. Some original 32-20 Model 92’s were converted to 357 during the 50’s and 60’s but are not so easy to find in good nick and horribly expensive. Marlin make a nice Model 94 in 357 which can be found under $1000, but if you really want a Winnie, then forget the clones and buy a Winchester! Cheers.

Marlin in pistol calibre cartridges is a lottery due to shitty lifter. I had to replace mine. Research, Marlin jam. Had it, hate it, only way to unjam is to remove the lever. Replaced the lifter with an improved version from Brownells and its one of my favourite guns to shoot (44), just FYI.

@juststarting’s henry 357 is the smoothest lever action I’ve ever used .

I enjoy my Henry’s very much. I like Marlin but don’t want one. I’m set on the style and function of a Winchester. Will just have to be patient and keep my eye out. I’m sure there are plenty of happy Rossi owners. I must admit ,having the first three random reviews universally having issues and some fairly dodgy QC , it was a bit off putting.

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