Winchester 94 Help

Welcome to the Leverguns.Com Forum. This is a high-class place so act respectable. We discuss most anything here ... politely.

Moderators: Hobie, AmBraCol

Forum rules
Welcome to the Leverguns.Com General Discussions Forum. This is a high-class place so act respectable. We discuss most anything here other than politics... politely.

Please post political post in the new Politics forum.
Post Reply
Mark Terry
Levergunner
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:59 pm

Winchester 94 Help

Post by Mark Terry »

Gentlemen,

I've been a member here for quite a while and have spent some time here, mostly reading. This may be my first post here.

A while back I ran across a Winchester 94 in .30-30 in what appeared to be decent shooter sort of shape for a reasonable price so it came home with me. It was the early stage of lever action sickness and seemed like a good place to start.

About a month or so later, I finally got around to shooting it or at least trying to shoot it.

I loaded three factory rounds and pushed the lever forward and a round was released from the magazine. The cartridge was lifted by the carrier and when I started the lever back, the nose of the bullet entered the chamber however the rim of the shell wouldn't release (the cartridge base didn't ride up on top of the carrier. The angle of the shell is too steep so it jams. "Vigorous" didn't help.

I studied and read and read. I didn't find good descriptions of similar problems. I sat and stared for several hours, looked at a similar rifle I have that functions perfectly.

I finally concluded that the carrier spring needed replacing and finally found one at Midwest Gun Works.

It arrived today and I installed it confident that it would resolve the problem.

It didn't.

The serial number of this rifle is 502326. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas?

Image

Thanks
User avatar
J Miller
Member Emeritus
Posts: 14798
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:46 pm
Location: Not in IL no more ... :)

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by J Miller »

The first three things I'd do is:

A: Make sure the cartridge guide screws are tight and the guides seated all the way to the bottom of their groves.
B: Make sure the loading gate screw is tight.
and,
C: Find out what is leaving those scrapes on the cartridge case. That is not normal.

Also operating the lever on a 94 doesn't need vigorous, it needs to be one motion down to stop and then back to closed. Down, up. No hesitation or stopping in the middle of the stroke.

Joe
***Be sneaky, get closer, bust the cap on him when you can put the ball where it counts ;) .***
User avatar
Borregos
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 4756
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:40 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Borregos »

J Miller wrote:The first three things I'd do is:

A: Make sure the cartridge guide screws are tight and the guides seated all the way to the bottom of their groves.
B: Make sure the loading gate screw is tight.
and,
C: Find out what is leaving those scrapes on the cartridge case. That is not normal.

Also operating the lever on a 94 doesn't need vigorous, it needs to be one motion down to stop and then back to closed. Down, up. No hesitation or stopping in the middle of the stroke.

Joe
What Joe said :D
Pete
Sometimes I wonder if it is worthwhile gnawing through the leather straps to get up in the morning..................
flatnose
Levergunner 3.0
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:24 pm

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by flatnose »

Hi Mark,
Check what Joe has suggested.
If that makes no difference then try this.
Recreate the situation you have in the picture, then look at the front of the bolt face where the cartridge rim should be touching. The rim of the cartridge should be positioned level(flush) with the bottom of the bolt face where the ejector is mounted. This is what pushes the cartridge foreward. If the rim if the cartridge is furher back than the face of the bolt it will jamb beneath the boltface. Chances are that the ejector is broken or damaged or the retaining pin has broken or missing or the spring behind it is missing or broken.
The quick test for this would be to open the action and manually insert a cartridge(empty) into the chamber from the top. Close the action fully, then push the lever foreward to eject the case, and it should eject normally. If the case does not fly out then the ejector is the problem. Try that first, and then get back to us. All the best...........
Pete44ru
Posting leader...
Posts: 11242
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 7:26 am

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Pete44ru »

There's a slim possibility that the scrapes on the sides of the cartridge case are caused during loading, due to some sharpness on the inside leading edge of the loading gate. (Correctable via stoning)

Also, although I doubt it, a scrape "might" throw up a small curl of brass, which contributes to a mifeed with that cartridge, if/when the curl catches (and maybe gets torn off).


.
User avatar
Griff
Posting leader...
Posts: 19470
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: OH MY GAWD they installed a STOP light!!!

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Griff »

IF what Joe suggests doesn't fix the issue, given the age (~1909), and if the color in your picture is accurate, I would suspect that your gun may have been rebuilt. At that time Winchester used different guides for it's chamberings. How difficult is it to remove the cartridge from the carrier thru the top? I'm wondering if maybe you don't have a pair of .25-35 guides in there? I have a couple of other questions, but... give me a couple of hours to take a couple of pics to demonstrate correct relationship on how another couple of possibilities could be your culprit.

Patience is a virtue. Then again, I could be all wet!
Last edited by Griff on Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Griff,
SASS/CMSA #93
NRA Patron
GUSA #93

There is a fine line between hobby & obsession!
AND... I'm over it!!
No I ain't ready, but let's do it anyway!
User avatar
Griff
Posting leader...
Posts: 19470
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: OH MY GAWD they installed a STOP light!!!

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Griff »

Here's a view of what I was finding difficult to just describe. The cartridge stop on the carrier and the ejector need to just about line up, the ejector may be a little behind the stop with the bolt fully retracted. The angle in this pic makes it seem further than it it really is. Looking down directly from above, it's only a few 1/10s of an inch.
Image

Next, with a cartridge in place, you can see that the rim of the cartridge is in contact with the ejector. In this photo the bolt is fully rearward, the carrier is up, with the nose and bottleneck portion of the case thru the guides and the bullet aimed at the chamber.
Image

In the next two shots, the rim is just about to "pop" up thru the guide slots. In both the bullet has already started into the chamber.
Image

Image

This rifle was manufactured in the mid '70s, when Winchester used one size of guides for all cartridges. At the time, they were only producing rifles in .30-30, .32 Winchester Special and Commemoratives in the 1st two cartridges the rifle was chambered in, .32-40 & .38-55 besides, this one in .30-30. However, that change in guide widths went back into the late 1920s, IIRC. So even if you have to find a new set of guides, it's shouldn't be too difficult. All of my mdl 94s are in .30-30, so the best I can do is to measure them and tell you that thickness, and if yours are thicker, they're probably meant for a .25-35, which is slightly more tapered than a .30-30 case, it's diameter at the shoulder being .3642" while the .30-30 is .375".

Anyway, from the last 3 pictures, you can see the rim of the cartridge riding up the ejectior, until it pops thru the guides and can finally come in contact with the extractor, which pushes it the rest of the way into the chamber, and rides up over the rim, finally dropping back down in front of the rim into the extractor cut in the top of the barrel.

So, if for some reason, your cartridge is below the level of the ejector, the rim can't ride up the ejector, causing the gun to jam, making it impossible to close the bolt. The bottom of the ejector should be just barely rounded, but not more than to remove the possiblity of a burr; "radiuused" is probably a better word, or just not perfectly square. If for some reason, your ejector is chipped or worn away (not unlikely in a rifle of that age), it's a simple matter of replacing the worn one, and installing a good one.

If you need a pic of a good ejector, let me know tonite or tomorrow, as I'll be leaving home again fairly shortly. (I'm lazy, not want to go diggin' around in my spare parts bins to look right now)! :twisted:
Griff,
SASS/CMSA #93
NRA Patron
GUSA #93

There is a fine line between hobby & obsession!
AND... I'm over it!!
No I ain't ready, but let's do it anyway!
Mark Terry
Levergunner
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:59 pm

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Mark Terry »

First, I'd like to thank everyone who responded. It's all very good advice, rare, and very valuable to me.

I took some time this evening to tackle it again. I disassembled everything even down to the rails (to be sure there wasn't junk behind them). They looked pretty good but it eliminates that possibility. I looked for burrs or other possible reasons for the problem. It appears that the loading gate is responsible for the scrapes on the casings. I didn't file or stone it but I did polish it and the scrapes were greatly diminished. A little more would eliminate them. I suspect the loading gate may be a replacement (it just looks different). May not be a replacement.

The clearance between the guide rails is enough that the casing can pass through them easily. I did polish them and look for burrs. Any minor roughness was polished out.

I did look at the relationship between the extractor and the rim of the casing. This appears to be okay and similar to the second 94 I have here and to the pictures Griff was kind enough to post. (I should apologize for the poor photography here)

Image

After reassembly, the problem still exists but I did notice something that probably would give a pretty good clue; If the action is closed and a cartridge loaded into the magazine, the lever pushed forward, the cartridge feeds onto the lifter. When the lever is started back, the lifter lifts and the nose of the cartridge feeds into the chamber. The cartridge is being pushed by the extractor. If the motion of the lever continues, the action jams with the nose of the bullet entering the chamber and the cartridge casing still on top of the lifter but below the rails.

IF the lever is stopped before the action binds and it is pushed forward slightly, the casing move right up on top of the rails (as it is supposed to) and the action can be closed. Fully closing the action and pushing the lever forward again ejects the shell smartly.

As difficult as this is to describe I decided to try to video it:(I have absolutely no idea if this will work)

Image

Image

My suspicion is that this is some sort of timing problem and I'm going to have to sit and stare at it a few more hours unless you guys have advice.

I need to correct the serial number i'd listed before. The correct serial number is 5023226, which if I'm not mistaken, is about 1980 vintage. I wish it were a 1909 gun but I probably wouldn't be worried about shooting it. I apologize for fat fingering the number.

Thanks again,

Mark
User avatar
J Miller
Member Emeritus
Posts: 14798
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:46 pm
Location: Not in IL no more ... :)

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by J Miller »

Mark,

Close the action, remove the finger lever to bolt pin retaining screw, big one on the upper left side of the receiver, then use a paper clip or something to push the pin out. Check it for wear or damage. Sounds to me like something is worn or damaged allowing the bolt to move fore and aft on the end of the lever. It shouldn't bind, but it shouldn't have any movement there either.

Joe
***Be sneaky, get closer, bust the cap on him when you can put the ball where it counts ;) .***
Mark Terry
Levergunner
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:59 pm

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Mark Terry »

Thanks, Joe.

I took both pins out (from the jamming '94 and another I have that doesn't jam). Both appear to be the same (roughly 0.167" in diameter X 0.572" long and tapered slightly on one end). I even swapped them. The jamming gum still jammed and the other gun functioned without issue.

It seems to me that something is causing or allowing the lifter / cartridge carrier to disengage from the spring too early. It is very subtle but I think that's what is happening. It's as if the lifter / cartridge carrier doesn't have enough force to keep it in the upward position while the bolt is pushing the cartridge forward. I've stared at the lifter working against the spring with only those parts installed and I've yet to figure out what I could do to keep the spring engaged longer or with more force. The pressure applied to the lifter by the bolt pushing the cartridge forward appears to partially disengage the spring (which is why if the forward motion is stopped before a hard jam and the lever is pushed forward, it re-engages the spring).

The lifter spring is new and I have compared it to the old one and they appear identical although there is some minor wear on the old one.

It is so very close to working right.

Thanks for your help. Could you tell much from the videos? I needed another hand and better lighting.
Nath
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 7907
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: England

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Nath »

The only time I had to shuffle the lever was when using a bullet with the wrong ogive and or over all cart' length!

Is it with factory ammo you are having this issue?

N.
Psalm ch8.

Because I wish I could!
User avatar
Griff
Posting leader...
Posts: 19470
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: OH MY GAWD they installed a STOP light!!!

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Griff »

In looking at my 94 of similar vintage, (1979), like all the others I grabbed to compare (4), when unloaded, the carrier (proper name although many refer to it as a "lifter"), doesn't fall as the bolt is moved forward until it is at least ¾ closed.
Griff,
SASS/CMSA #93
NRA Patron
GUSA #93

There is a fine line between hobby & obsession!
AND... I'm over it!!
No I ain't ready, but let's do it anyway!
Mark Terry
Levergunner
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:59 pm

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Mark Terry »

Nath wrote:The only time I had to shuffle the lever was when using a bullet with the wrong ogive and or over all cart' length!

Is it with factory ammo you are having this issue?

N.
I'm using dummies made from empty cases and bullets i pulled from factory cartridges. OAL is the same as the factory loaded cartridges.

I will try different lengths to see if it makes a difference.

I'm convinced what ever is wrong is minor and amounts to something bent or worn. I'll let you know when I reach that "eureka" point.

Thanks for all the advice and attention.

Mark
User avatar
J Miller
Member Emeritus
Posts: 14798
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:46 pm
Location: Not in IL no more ... :)

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by J Miller »

Mark,

Kinda been thinking about your 94. The carrier spring is the only thing that holds the carrier in the UP position. The little downward pointing "V" at the end matches with an upward pointing "/\" surface on the carrier. If the spring is / was worn, there's a good chance the mating spot on the carrier is worn and if so then the carrier might not come up, or stay up all the way.

Just something else to look at.

Joe
***Be sneaky, get closer, bust the cap on him when you can put the ball where it counts ;) .***
Mark Terry
Levergunner
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:59 pm

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Mark Terry »

Joe,

I think you are right. It is possible to watch the interaction between the carrier and carrier spring with all the other parts removed. I have studied it and tried to figure out what needs to happen differently. My limited experience is that metal either needs to be added or removed but I don't want to do either until I'm confident that what's done will eliminate the problem. It stands to reason that since the spring is new that the problem most likely is the carrier and rather than needing metal removed, metal would need to be added.

I don't weld and it would probably be easier to buy a new carrier. A thoughtful and careful application of a dab of JB Weld would probably prove or disprove the concept without buying a new carrier. Then again, I have the other Model 94 that works so I could swap the carriers to see if that works.

I have a limited amount of time during the week to fool around with it but I will try to see what I can get done and report back.

I'm more and more fascinated with the elegant simplicity and durability of the design. There is a significant distance between normal mechanical ability and the simple genius on display here. I have only traces of mechanical ability so I'm waaay down the line.

I sincerely appreciate the thoughts and advice. We're eventually going to get this thing working.

Mark
User avatar
Borregos
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 4756
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 7:40 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Borregos »

Swapping the carriers sounds like a good plan :D
Pete
Sometimes I wonder if it is worthwhile gnawing through the leather straps to get up in the morning..................
User avatar
J Miller
Member Emeritus
Posts: 14798
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:46 pm
Location: Not in IL no more ... :)

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by J Miller »

The part the spring rides on is very small and narrow. It would be easier to buy a new carrier than to weld and reshape the old one.

Joe
***Be sneaky, get closer, bust the cap on him when you can put the ball where it counts ;) .***
Mark Terry
Levergunner
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:59 pm

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Mark Terry »

Well.....

I took the time tonight to remove the carrier from the other 94 and install it in the jamming 94. Darn thing works perfectly!

Then, I put the carrier from the jamming 94 into the other 94. It works perfectly, too!

I'm quite sure there is a very good explanation for all of this but at this point, I'm perfectly happy to remain ignorant of those details. I'll shoot them both this weekend and report back.

Thanks again,

Mark
User avatar
Griff
Posting leader...
Posts: 19470
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: OH MY GAWD they installed a STOP light!!!

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Griff »

This is obviously one of those things that makes you go, "...hmmmm!" :roll: :roll:

Glad you got it working! ImageImage
Griff,
SASS/CMSA #93
NRA Patron
GUSA #93

There is a fine line between hobby & obsession!
AND... I'm over it!!
No I ain't ready, but let's do it anyway!
User avatar
Shasta
Senior Levergunner
Posts: 1488
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:50 pm
Location: Shasta County in far Northern California

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Shasta »

Mark Terry wrote:Well.....

I took the time tonight to remove the carrier from the other 94 and install it in the jamming 94. Darn thing works perfectly!

Then, I put the carrier from the jamming 94 into the other 94. It works perfectly, too!

I'm quite sure there is a very good explanation for all of this but at this point, I'm perfectly happy to remain ignorant of those details. I'll shoot them both this weekend and report back.

Thanks again,

Mark

I had that exact experience with an original Winchester Model 92 in .25-20 that belongs to a friend. It was failing to feed and I couldn't spot the problem. I swapped the carrier for the one in my own Winchester 92 of the same caliber and both rifles worked perfectly. It's really strange, eh?

SHASTA
California Rifle & Pistol Association LIFE Member
National Rifle Association BENEFACTOR LIFE Member


http://www.hcrpclub.org/schedule.html

avatar pic is Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake, & Mt. Shasta
Chuck 100 yd
Advanced Levergunner
Posts: 6972
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:52 pm
Location: Ridgefield WA. USA

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Chuck 100 yd »

I found this thread late, but as I read along,a bent carrier was my guess also.
Never hurts to have a spare on hand for when one of those rifles decides it don`t like its transplanted part and decides to reject it. :wink:
stepmac
Levergunner
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:30 pm

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by stepmac »

I almost hate to post this....but I too mess with my lever guns if they don't work right. Eventually I take my rifles to a local gunsmith who is not too expensive and good. He has never failed me.

Sure we know that we can fix anything, but you know what? Lots of experienced gunsmiths have seen every failure and have fixed them. If you can find a good one, you can save yourself a lot of frustration.
K1500
Levergunner 2.0
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:25 am

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by K1500 »

My pre 64 would occasionally end up cramming the nose of the bullet into the top of the chamber (near the extractor cutout). I didn't know much at the time, and was sold a post 64 carrier that was represented to me as a pre 64. That obviously did not work. My gunsmith had to weld up and cut back down the crescent shaped divot at the rear of the carrier that the rim of the shell with in when being pushed forward. Too deep a notch and the bullet impacts high on the chamber, jamming the gun. Too shallow and it does not release the round and the bullet goes too low. Mine jammed just like yours but worse. A 'double clutch' of the lever would sometimes get it to work. I know I am late on this thread, but I vote carrier.
Mark Terry
Levergunner
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:59 pm

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Mark Terry »

I took both rifles out this past weekend. Both shot well including feeding and ejecting. No problems.

I suspect the problem might recur somewhere down the road and if it does, a new carrier would probably be in order.

Thanks to everyone here for the tolerance, help, and advice.

Mark
User avatar
Griff
Posting leader...
Posts: 19470
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:56 pm
Location: OH MY GAWD they installed a STOP light!!!

Re: Winchester 94 Help

Post by Griff »

Mark Terry wrote:Well.....
I took the time tonight to remove the carrier from the other 94 and install it in the jamming 94. Darn thing works perfectly!
Then, I put the carrier from the jamming 94 into the other 94. It works perfectly, too!
I'm quite sure there is a very good explanation for all of this but at this point, I'm perfectly happy to remain ignorant of those details. I'll shoot them both this weekend and report back.
Thanks again,
Mark
Shasta wrote:I had that exact experience with an original Winchester Model 92 in .25-20 that belongs to a friend. It was failing to feed and I couldn't spot the problem. I swapped the carrier for the one in my own Winchester 92 of the same caliber and both rifles worked perfectly. It's really strange, eh?
SHASTA
Physical demonstration of what Nate refers to as "tolerence stacking." Where parts built to tolerances and assembled have those otherwise acceptable tolerences adding up to the point where they can't work together properly.
Griff,
SASS/CMSA #93
NRA Patron
GUSA #93

There is a fine line between hobby & obsession!
AND... I'm over it!!
No I ain't ready, but let's do it anyway!
Post Reply