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Winchester 94AE


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Legal, but not recommended.   The 94's action just wasn't designed for short, pistol cartridges.   They'll work, but not very well for our game.

And even if they did, I'd personally not touch an AE version of the 94 with a ten foot pole.   But that's just a personal preference.  :)

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58 minutes ago, PowerRiverCowboy said:

Yes , 

Only in Pistol cartridge chamberings... and the .44-40.

58 minutes ago, Ranger Dan said:

Very few are chambered in Pistol calibers. I have one chambered in 44WCF, it is legal.

Oh?  Lots and lots were chambered in .38/.357, .44WCF & 45 Colt over the course of their production... unlike the top eject, which only saw that one year of production in 1969 in 44 Mag.

 

But... it rivals the Henry Big Boy for last place pick for cowboy action shooting.  The only reason it ain't in last place on my list... is because the Henry is so danged heavy!  The action was designed for rifle length cartridges  and is woefully inhospitable to pistol calibers.  I had a mdl 94 in .44Mag and it was really sensitive to bullet shape.  Semi-wadcutters are seemingly impossible to feed smoothly... and feeding smoothly is what is absolutely necessary for smooth runs... having to twist and rattle your gun around while maintaining a sight picture isn't conducive to winning... hell it ain't even conducive to "having a good time!"

 

 

Edited by Griff
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The Winchester 94 besides the pistol cartridge it has a weak lifter.

As fast and hard as we use rifles in this game the 94 lifter cracks or breaks outright.

It was not made for shooting lots of rounds.

More like a few annual hunting rounds which is usually half a dozen rounds for sighting in and 1 or 2 game shots.

Edited by Cliff Hanger #3720LR
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59 minutes ago, Griff said:

The action was designed for rifle length cartridges  and is woefully inhospitable to pistol calibers.  I had a mdl 94 in .44Mag and it was really sensitive to bullet shape.  Semi-wadcutters are seemingly impossible to feed smoothly... and feeding smoothly is what is absolutely necessary for smooth runs... having to twist and rattle your gun around while maintaining a sight picture isn't conducive to winning... hell it ain't even conducive to "having a good time!"

 

 

Semi-wadcutters are never recommended for any lever-action.

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I have one. Shot CAS with it for a year until I broke it. Took two years to find the part. Lever throw resembling a gold swing.

ADD: A damn fine hunting rifle. .44 mag.

Edited by Michigan Slim
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I had one when I started CAS, in .45c. I broke it almost immediately, factory service shop, fixed it on warranty, it got traded almost immediately.

 

Imis

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I have a 44mag trapper 94 AE. It feeds mags just fine and is lots of fun to shoot. The only drawback and what prompted me to get a different rifle is it only hold 9 shots and I grew tired of needing to drop the 10th shot into the chamber. It doesn’t feed 44 specials worth a darn. 

All that being said, shoot what you got  until you get something else. :D

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39 minutes ago, Crazy Gun Barney, SASS #2428 said:

I have a 44mag trapper 94 AE. It feeds mags just fine and is lots of fun to shoot. The only drawback and what prompted me to get a different rifle is it only hold 9 shots and I grew tired of needing to drop the 10th shot into the chamber. It doesn’t feed 44 specials worth a darn. 

All that being said, shoot what you got  until you get something else. :D

I have the longer model. Oddly it feeds 44 Special really well. 

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When I started CAS in 2004, I bought a Winchester 94 AE Trails End.   I ordered it from Walmart for $360.   It has a 20 barrel in 357/38.  Joe West did an action job on it which cut down on my blood loss during operation and made it closer to being reliable.  I shot it for a year until I was able to buy a 73.  I still have that Winchester 94 in the back of the gun safe.  It's a great gun for walking around in the woods or horseback riding.  It's just not a good CAS rifle.

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17 hours ago, Griff said:

Only in Pistol cartridge chamberings... and the .44-40.

Oh?  Lots and lots were chambered in .38/.357, .44WCF & 45 Colt over the course of their production... unlike the top eject, which only saw that one year of production in 1969 in 44 Mag.

 

But... it rivals the Henry Big Boy for last place pick for cowboy action shooting.  The only reason it ain't in last place on my list... is because the Henry is so danged heavy!  The action was designed for rifle length cartridges  and is woefully inhospitable to pistol calibers.  I had a mdl 94 in .44Mag and it was really sensitive to bullet shape.  Semi-wadcutters are seemingly impossible to feed smoothly... and feeding smoothly is what is absolutely necessary for smooth runs... having to twist and rattle your gun around while maintaining a sight picture isn't conducive to winning... hell it ain't even conducive to "having a good time!"

 

 

Thanks for finishing that seems my cell signal didnt post after the comma  ???  Thank You

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Add me to the list of those whose first CAS rifle was a '94 Trapper (45Colt).  Because I didn't know any better.  Broke an extractor and managed to fix it myself.  I was very happy when I replaced it with a '92, and was very happy when I replaced that with a '73.

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I bought a 94 Trails End in .357/.38 sp when I first started SASS.   It worked okay when worked slowly but then it had this problem where the cartridge in the chamber would jump the cartridge stop and jump UNDER the lifter jamming the works.   It is still in my safe as it was one of the last Winchesters I bought before Winchester went under awhile back.   Plus the casehardening looked good.     It is a fun gun for fun shooting but is no good for our game.   The 94 is designed for bottlenecked rifle cartridges where it shines.    

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I started SASS with a Win 94 in .45 Colt. One year later I got the Trails End model 24" barrel in .45 Colt. I was so excited to get that rifle and it worked fine until I got my mitts on a 66! What a difference. I then got a 73 a year later and sold my Win Trail's End.

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I also started this game with a Winchester 94AE carbine in 44 mag., a Virginia Dragoon 44 mag and a 1875 Outlaw in 45 Colt.  It's what I already had.

After shooting for several matches and realizing I was going to keep shooting this game, and tired of having to load one every stage. I bought a 45 Colt Uberti 1873 and another 1875 Outlaw.

The 94AE was and still is my deer rifle.

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On 4/12/2022 at 4:29 PM, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

Legal, but not recommended.   The 94's action just wasn't designed for short, pistol cartridges.   They'll work, but not very well for our game.

And even if they did, I'd personally not touch an AE version of the 94 with a ten foot pole.   But that's just a personal preference.  :)

I bought a '94AE 30-30 from a coworker with less than a box of shells through it for $150 because he just didn't like it. It was Post AE but Pre-crossbolt safety. The lever safety is so stiff you have to really squeeze the lever closed to get it to fire and the geometry of the hammer/bolt interface was so off that when cocking it, the back of the hammer was forced into the frame forcing the bolt to flex up to completely cycle causing a very tight spot. I took care of that with a little judicial filing on the top nose of the of the hammer until it works smoothly now. But both issues should never been allowed past QC.

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Mine never missed a beat , except the one time I had the safety engaged .

.45 , made in New Haven - like my 12 ga . Model 24 .

This is my Ranger model ( 9+1 ) ,I since  upgraded to a Trails End 20”, which also never failed me.

i will say I have shot nothing but Remington 250g wheel gun ammo in both .

Guess I got 2 good ones - MADE IN USA 

EEEEEC25-09BF-4C3D-97D1-8FE8D02B8CA7.jpeg

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I started out with one in 45 Colt. It was sufficient for the first few months. Thankfully, I was able to sell it to a non-CAS shooter and buy a Codymatic.

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I shot a Winchester 94 AE in 44 magnum for a couple years back in the day & never had any problems with it. Didn’t change until I decided to go with black powder & got an Uberti 1866. I will say that I reloaded & used round nose flat point lead bullets, but never had any issues. 

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Worked well for me, as I am a little clunky & never accused of being fast… :D

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What it gets down to is folks let their personal bias weigh into their opinion.  I got into a lengthy debate one time over the suitability of a '92 for CAS.  As it turned out, he had never fired a '92 much less used one in competition.  His go to answer was, "How many champions use a '92?" Of course it didn't matter to him that early on, the Marlin 94's and Winchester '92's ruled the sport.  

 

The bottom line is, there's only one rifle that has a history of being poor for CAS and even that rifle is ok for a slow and deliberate shooter.  If you want to compete on the edge, get the best in use.  If you don't care about being at the top, use what you want and come out.

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

What it gets down to is folks let their personal bias weigh into their opinion.  I got into a lengthy debate one time over the suitability of a '92 for CAS.  As it turned out, he had never fired a '92 much less used one in competition.  His go to answer was, "How many champions use a '92?" Of course it didn't matter to him that early on, the Marlin 94's and Winchester '92's ruled the sport.  

 

The bottom line is, there's only one rifle that has a history of being poor for CAS and even that rifle is ok for a slow and deliberate shooter.  If you want to compete on the edge, get the best in use.  If you don't care about being at the top, use what you want and come out.

No the issue is, personal opinion gets presented as fact.

 

The 94 is NOT a good rifle for OUR game (one which is based around and scored by a timer)

Neither are Henry Big Boys.

 

They may be perfectly good firearms for another purpose - but within the context of our game; they are subpar.

 

The 92 when properly tuned in the hands of a good shooter is a capable firearm for our game - but contrary to what anyone may say; it is slower than the top tier rifles NOW being used.

 

And before anyone says, "oh yeah, watch this" and posts Deuces 92 rifle run from Youtube...

#1.  It's Deuce Stevens and what he is able to do does not correspond to what most are capable of.

#2. And It's still not as fast as a tuned 73 in the hands of an above average (but not Deuce Stevens class) shooter.

 

And stating that the champions back in the day used such and such - has about the same weight as stating Hudson Hornets used to rule NASCAR. 

It is immaterial to today.

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15 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

No the issue is, personal opinion gets presented as fact.

 

The 94 is NOT a good rifle for OUR game (one which is based around and scored by a timer)

Neither are Henry Big Boys.

 

They may be perfectly good firearms for another purpose - but within the context of our game; they are subpar.

 

The 92 when properly tuned in the hands of a good shooter is a capable firearm for our game - but contrary to what anyone may say; it is slower than the top tier rifles NOW being used.

 

And before anyone says, "oh yeah, watch this" and posts Deuces 92 rifle run from Youtube...

#1.  It's Deuce Stevens and what he is able to do does not correspond to what most are capable of.

#2. And It's still not as fast as a tuned 73 in the hands of an above average (but not Deuce Stevens class) shooter.

 

And stating that the champions back in the day used such and such - has about the same weight as stating Hudson Hornets used to rule NASCAR. 

It is immaterial to today.

And you just proved my point.

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

What it gets down to is folks let their personal bias weigh into their opinion.  I got into a lengthy debate one time over the suitability of a '92 for CAS.  As it turned out, he had never fired a '92 much less used one in competition.  His go to answer was, "How many champions use a '92?" Of course it didn't matter to him that early on, the Marlin 94's and Winchester '92's ruled the sport.  

 

The bottom line is, there's only one rifle that has a history of being poor for CAS and even that rifle is ok for a slow and deliberate shooter.  If you want to compete on the edge, get the best in use.  If you don't care about being at the top, use what you want and come out.

I'm sorry, but you're citing facts not in evidence.  Yes, just as you've done here, stated your opinion as fact.  Ain't this just human nature.  I mean really, we've expended a great deal of money, time effort to aquire a thing... and someone asks us about its suitability... OF COURSE we're going to defend our position!   But, there's a wide gap between being legal, adequate and good.  I'm sure that for a certain percentage of shooters the mdl 94AE in a pistol cartridge, as well as, the Henry Big Boy are more than adequate for their desires and goals in cowboy action shooting.  But... that's more than several yards from being "good" under my definition of that adjective.   In fact, I'd venture to say that they're not even in the same fieldhouse! 

 

In fact, I took my Winchester mdl 94 to my very first cowboy action match.  I happen to love 'em... (I better, I have 30)!  But enough numbskulls before me had failed to down load their .30-30s to a safe point and the Match Directors in their wisdom had outlawed them.  This was the same year that Winchester introduced the 45 Colt in their 94AE.  (I didn't know that at the time I went to this match, otherwise, I might have gone out and bought one... thinking...  but, not KNOWING whether it was a good choice. 

 

Knowing 2 FACTS about the 94AE, including, but not limited to... 1 - of the legal lever actions for this game, it has the absolute LONGEST lever throw, & 2 - there are NO mods available to smooth out the lever throw, either opening or closing, where the lever must unlatch and push the link down while then engaging the carrier to raise a cartridge to align with the chamber, and reverse all that to close the bolt.  None of which is conducive to smooth operation.   And while it is faster than a turn bolt type action... we're not competing against turn bolt actions!  When I say I place it on the rung above the Henry Big Boy, that is based on 35 years of watching others try to be competitive with their Winchester 94AEs.   In nearly every case (only because I can't unequivocally say otherwise), the users' frustrations have ended with them replacing this firearm with one that can be doctored to be competitive.  Therefore, I'd say the Winchester 94AE has an EVEN LONGER "history of being poor for CAS" than the Henry Big Boy.  Yes, some have kept them and even continue to use them... as they're adequate for the user's needs.  

 

In all good conscience, I could not, and would not recommend a new shooter purchase either a Winchester 94AE or a BIg Boy for this game.  Strictly on the basis that I don't know what that shooter's goals might be.  He just might want to be the next EOT overall World Champion.   In that no World Champion, to my knowledge, has used a Winchester 94AE, wouldn't it seem that being the first when so many others have tried in the past...  might be too steep of a hill to ask a newbie to climb?   Heck... even if he wanted a dual purpose pistol cartridge levergun... the other being to hunt hogs... I'd recommend an 1892!  

 

 

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