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Win94AE in 357 mag


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I used to own a Win/Miroku .357 94AE and traded it along a couple years back.  it had some nice features and some drawbacks, but I had originally got it thinking I might use it for CAS someday, I now understand that not many people like it for that use.  I was wondering if anyone here had tried to use one at some point and what their experience was?

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In my opinion the 94 was/is poorly suited to pistol length cartridges.  The one I had experience with was not very reliable if run even sort of fast. 

 

I think when Winchester adapted the 94 to run pistol calibers it was their lazy way out of not producing the 73 or 92.

Edited by July Smith
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I shot one in SASS matches my 1st year because that is what I had.  It ran reliably if I shot 158gr bullets crimped in the grease grove.  Very slow and clunky to try and shoot fast accurately.  This in 2000 so targets were smaller but still very slow and clunky.  I still have it as my main truck gun for the farm because it is very accurate at a slow rate of fire.  I would not recommend it for a SASS competition rifle.

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I bought one to shoot while my first main match rifle was with a smith for an action job.  It was slow and clunky but very accurate.  I sold it to a fellow who wanted it to kill coyotes around his chicken coup.  It was better suited for that task then CAS.

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My first rife was a 94AE in 45 Colt. As others have described, it was clunky; but, mine was very reliable. I outgrew it pretty quickly and ended up selling it and some other guns to raise the cash to buy a Codymatic.

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My first CAS rifle was a 94AE in .45 (because it said "Winchester" and I didn't know better).  It would throw out a live round with the empty on a regular basis.  Broke an extractor, too (ordered the part from Winchester and fixed it myself, not easy.)

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1 hour ago, El CupAJoe said:

I used to own a Win/Miroku .357 94AE and traded it along a couple years back.  it had some nice features and some drawbacks, but I had originally got it thinking I might use it for CAS someday, I now understand that not many people like it for that use.  I was wondering if anyone here had tried to use one at some point and what their experience was?

 

I used a Winchester Trapper when I started

Cons:  The 1894 action was designed for rifle cartridges and then modified to use pistol cartridges, the modifications were less than perfect causing jams on a regular basis. The action can not be short stroked or significantly slicked up.  A polishing of the moving parts MIGHT improve things a little.  I've never taken a 1894 apart, but it doesn't appear to be an easy process.

 

Pros: They seem to be more accurate than Marlins or the toggle link 1866 & 1873.  It is a stronger action than the toggle link 1866 & 1873.

 

If you are just interested in having fun, plan to use smokeless ammo, don't care about your score, the chance of a jam happening a couple of times a match doesn't bother you and you can use the 94 for other things than just CAS, then go ahead and use the gun for CAS.

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Had a Win 94 AE Trapper in 44mag when I first started SASS.  It shot both 44 mag and 44 spec without any jamming.  Accuracy was a problem and I think that had to do with the idiosyncracies of the 44mag caliber (44 mag barrel dimensions are larger than 44 special per SAMMI literature!); I didn't match bullet diameter to barrel well back then. I wasn't a speedster then (or now!), so it being slower than some other rifles out there at that time (like the Rossi '92 and then the Marlin '94) didn't bother me. I didn't like loading on the clock, though, so predominantly used 44 special ammo, which allowed 10 in the magazine.

I never tried BP in it and would recommend not doing so, either. (Although, interestingly, the Win '94 in 32 Winchester Special was designed as a rifle that could shoot smokeless and black powder reloads (the reason for the 'Special' designation; it had an appropriate barrel twist and diameter to accommodate BP speeds and fouling.)

Edited by Sacramento Johnson #6873
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Early on I had  a 94 in .45. After a couple of matches I broke the ears off the locking lug. Win. repaired it under warranty and after assuring myself it was repaired I traded for a 92. And from there I went to a 73. The 73 is much better suited to our game, the others are workable if you dont try to run them as fast as you can.

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The AE (Angle Eject)was to allow use of a Winchester and a scope. They are not allowed in NCOWS matches. (Let the NCOWS bashing begin...)

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I began CAS with a '94 Trails End in .45 Colt.  Shot it for at least ten years using black powder, 777, and Pyrodex without a problem.  I had the JW loop on it to had to my fun.  Still use it on JW's birthday if at a shoot.  Great rifle for the big bore cartridges but as others have said, slow and clunky.  For a fistful of dollars, Nate Kiowa Jones can convert it to a '92 style action.  

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Abt 20 years ago I wrote up a detailed comparison of the various rifles suitable (read legal) for CAS on another forum, since defunct.  Of the rifles where any version holds 10 rounds, I rated it very slightly better than the Henry Big Boy due to its lighter weight.  If you simply have to have a rifle that sez "Winchester" on it, get an original 1892 or the Miroku Winchester licensed copies of the '92, '73 or '66!

 

Even their original "pistol" cartridge offering in 1969s top eject model 94 in .44RemMag was lackluster in performance and sales.  When mine got stolen in early 1974, I was only bummed because of its rarity, still the shortest production run of ANY mdl 94 variant!

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My 94 in 44 mag had a lever throw resembling a bad golf swing. Then I broke it and it took over a year to find an extractor. Great hunting rifle though.

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It's not a very good rifle to start with; but, If that's what you've got, use it until you find the need to switch to something else.

With that said, I started with a 94AE Trapper, .44Mag only held 9 and had to load one on the clock. I bought a 1873 in 45 Colt within the first three months. The 94AE is now a deer rifle again. :D

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I bought a 94 Trails End in 357 when I first started in 2004.  I ordered it from Walmart of all places.   I gave $363.00 out the door.  Buying a gun at Walmart is quite the experience, if you've never done it.   After a couple of months struggling with it, Joe West did an action job on it and made it much easier to shoot.  You could never go fast with it but I was very accurate.   I still have that rifle in the back of my gun safe.  It has the safety on the tang, which they only did for a year or two before Winchester vaporized.

 

The Winchester 94 is not even close to a good gun for SASS, but it's a great walking around in the woods gun.

Edited by Badlands Bob #61228
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I still have my first CAS rifle that I bought in ‘97. A Winchester 94 “Trails End” in .357 Magnum. I used that rifle for a few years. I had to replace the Link 3 or 4 times over the years and the Carrier twice. Everyone badgered me about what a poor rifle it was for our game but I loved the thing. I think I stopped using it for CAS in 2002. I bought a Marlin.  That 94 is the most accurate iron sighted rifle I have ever shot. I still have it but I won’t use it for matches. 
I recommend that if you like your 94AE that you don’t use it much for CAS matches. Replacement parts are nearly impossible to find now. Especially the “Link”. It’s the weak link in reliable feeding. Ironic...
 

 

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Got Susie one when I switched her over to .38's. Big mistake! That thing was at the smith's more than it was at home. He began calling it "The Winchester from Hell". Finally gave up on it and got her a 94 Marlin carbine. At least she could get through a match with it:angry::rolleyes::blush:

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18 hours ago, Jailhouse Jim, SASS #13104 said:

I began CAS with a '94 Trails End in .45 Colt.  Shot it for at least ten years using black powder, 777, and Pyrodex without a problem.  I had the JW loop on it to had to my fun.  Still use it on JW's birthday if at a shoot.  Great rifle for the big bore cartridges but as others have said, slow and clunky.  For a fistful of dollars, Nate Kiowa Jones can convert it to a '92 style action.  

@Nate Kiowa Jones #6765, can a 94 have swappable internals?  I'd like a 94 .357 for hunting and a 92 ish action for sass, doable?

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20 hours ago, Sacramento Johnson #6873 said:

Actually Pete, Pistol 44mag and Pistol 44 special both have .429 grove diameter per SAAMI. Rifle 44 mag has .431 grove diameter per SAAMI specs.  

Which averages .430, my point was the .44 spl and magnum are the same. I read some where that that .431 was because of the micro grove barrels. Don't  know if that is true.

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