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Thread: Winchester Model 94 AE .30-30

  1. #1

    Winchester Model 94 AE .30-30

    Can anybody help?

    I'm looking at getting another .30-30, a Winchester Model 94 AE with a pistol grip stock, not the usual straight stock and hammer block safety.
    It's serial number is 6186178 so I believe it was manufactured around 1991 / 92.

    Any info on this model appreciated as I know as some point (around 1964) the quality of the Winchester took a nose dive until the manufacturing quality was improved.

    Also anybody know what the accuracy and quality is like compared to a Marlin 336 in .30-30? I own one of these already and intend keeping it, Made in 1954 it still shoots under 1" (and better sometimes!) at a 100 yards with a scope and is a great walkabout rifle.

    ATB

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by The deer man View Post
    Can anybody help?

    I'm looking at getting another .30-30, a Winchester Model 94 AE with a pistol grip stock, not the usual straight stock and hammer block safety.
    It's serial number is 6186178 so I believe it was manufactured around 1991 / 92.

    Any info on this model appreciated as I know as some point (around 1964) the quality of the Winchester took a nose dive until the manufacturing quality was improved.

    Also anybody know what the accuracy and quality is like compared to a Marlin 336 in .30-30? I own one of these already and intend keeping it, Made in 1954 it still shoots under 1" (and better sometimes!) at a 100 yards with a scope and is a great walkabout rifle.

    ATB
    The design of the 94 changed in '64 in that (iirc) the cartridge stop for the magazine was made integral to the lever toggle plate instead of a separate part but the quality essentially remained the same until the mid-late 70's when they started using nylon pins and parts. My dad carried a late 60's 94 for many years. It remains a fine rifle. Any Winchester that doesn't have the barrel band is capable of decent accuracy. I have a 1952 Marlin 36C with a 22" barrel and half magazine. I need to shoot that one some time.~Muir

  3. #3
    USRC who made the Winchester brand guns suffered several ups and downs over the years quality wise. Now the Winchester 96AE should be no less precise in grouping than your Marlin. However due to the different type of rifling you may well find it likes different ammunition........................................ ... assuming your Marlin has the micro groove rifling that is!

    Some have what was termed Ballard rifling which the cast bullet crowd it seems preferred.

    Both rifles just scream out for a receiver sight IMHO .

    The .30 WCF cartridge is very under rated her in the UK . Now I do not own, nor have I ever owned, a lever action American rifle but have shot quite a few of them and the Rossi made ones. Some of the model 1894 marlins made in the 1990's were not very good and several in the club bought them only to have all sorts of troubles getting any decent grouping out of them. The few that had Winchesters and Marlins in 30-30 Winchester fared better in this respect.

  4. #4
    I think Marlin moved to Micro Groove during 1953.~Muir

  5. #5
    My 94 in 30-30 not ae, mid 70's I thought is a fine rifle, didn't see any nylon pins or other blatant short cuts.
    Accuracy seemed much better than expected, but never did any serious testing with a higher mag scope yet.
    edi

  6. #6
    I've owned a few 336's and 94's , it's just a matter of personal preference but I like the Marlins more than the Winchesters . My hunting partner had 94 AE in 356 Win , It was actually a very accurate rifle ( just over 1 moa for 3 shots at 100 yards ) There are alot of post 64 Win 94's around here , they weren't finished to the same standard as the older models but functioned quite well .By the time the Angle Eject models were brought out the quality was still pretty good . I saw more issues with the late production Model 70's ( including one that had a barrel installed with no rifling , I sh%t you not ) than the 94's . If it's in good shape , it's definitely worth a try , they are a perfect walking around rifle . And I have to agree with Brithunter , if you've got the eyes for it ( I don't unfortunately ), they are a natural for a receiver sight , they just feel better that way.

    AB

  7. #7
    I prefer the Marlins for many reasons, most importantly the bolt, lever etc. can be stripped in seconds, by removing one screw. Brownells sell a replacement thumb screw so no tools needed. Means you can clean from the breech, or remove bolt for security.

    Marlin trigger can be fettled to make quite good, or just drop in "Happy Trigger" if not confident. Other custom parts available, e.g. firing pins, ejectors etc.

    None of this is possible with Winchesters. Parts availability may be problematic, e.g. there can be some problems with the lifter esp. on pistol calibre variants, and spares are (were ?) unobtainable.

    I've always found Winchester triggers pretty poor and the action rattly.

    Side eject Marlin better than angle eject Winchester for 'scope usage. Flat top for mounts, even Pic rails.

  8. #8
    I don't think the newer Model 94s come drilled and tapped for receiver sights, but there are others which mound on the rear scope base holes, and there are the Marbles folding tang peep sights.

    If you change out the beaded front blade for a dark one with sharp corners, it really is a sharp look through the peep aperture. I use a Merit Disc, which can be adjusted like a camera shutter for the light, target, and your eyes at the moment

  9. #9
    Thanks for all your replies.
    The '94 rifle I've seen (had another look yesterday) looks in very good condition and appears it could take the Skinner sights and is already factory tapped for mounts. The trigger is a bit hefty, not as good as my Marlin 336 (Micro groove rifling '54) which I put a lighter spring on but I'm sure it could be 'worked' a little. Will need to check if it has the barrel band or not although the Marlin has one and I can't complain.
    Just need to get my licence varied and somehow get it through the back door without the wife seeing!
    ATB

  10. #10
    Every M94 or 336 I ever shot would put the entire box of cartridges into 2 inches or less with iron sights. I know some of mine shoot some rounds under an inch when I have put a scope on to check. My 32-40 Winchester shoots spendidly with just open sights. So do my .357 and .44 Mag M94 Trails End, though I limit it to 100 yards, and it has a thicker front sight for the scabbard.

    These are woods rifles. The carbines are saddle scabbard guns. Their cartridges are not designed for 250 and 300 yard shots, so neither are the rifles.

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