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  #1  
Old 07-20-2008, 10:49 PM
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Winchester 94 and the 30-30??


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Hello, well all this running around and buying and selling rifles and talking myself into things I dont need has gotten me nowhere!! I have lost a tonne of cash on re-sale of guns and nothing has won my heart over for an Ontario whitetail deer gun. I have just now bought a mint condition 1975 Winchester 94 in 30-30 for my hunting needs. I have never fired a 30-30 nor have I read much about them, but my hunting partners always tell me not to bother with anything else, "a 30-30 Win 94 is all you need for shooting whitetail in Ontario" they say.

So with that being said I am trying to educate myself on this rifle and round. I have heard that there is a few safety types that were put onto the 94 over the years, mine is the hammer at half cock type. Is this good?? How are the factory sights on these guns, good enough to take game out to 100-200 yrds? Is the rifle easy to clean and keep serviced for years to come? How are the triggers on these rifles??

30-30 questions: This round is alot slower and with less ft/lb than a .270/.308/30-06 at all ranges. What are its limitations as far as taking N. American game?? Does it make sense to re-load 30-30 ammunition, or is it better to buy factory? What is the advantages of this round, I will be using it for small to medium ranges on whitetails and maybe the odd Ont black bear.

Any info or articles or experiences you can share with me on this rifle and round would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully I have bought my last rifle for medium sized game and can focus on a nice 30-06 for moose and elk. Then I will be set, no more buying and selling and losing my shirt!!
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2008, 12:18 AM
rwb rwb is offline
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You can't go wrong with the 94 in 30-30 for whitetails. Any factory 170gn bullet will kill deer and black bear under 200 yards. Try some leverevalution ammo for reaching out to 250 yards. The sights are as good as your eyes. I need a scope for shots over 100 yards but some guys are very good with them. Practice a lot and enjoy the rifle.

Russ
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  #3  
Old 07-21-2008, 06:46 AM
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Out of curiosity, what rifles did you buy and sell prior to the Winchester Model 94?

As for your friend's statement about the Winchester model 94 being all you need for whitetail deer, the 30-30 is certainly a popular cartridge for it, but a lot of guys prefer the Marlin to the Winchester due to the differences in how each rifle ejects. Classic Winchester's eject out of the top, Marlins eject out of the side, so if you plan to mount a scope, the Marlin is a bit easier to go with since you don't need to worry about off-set mounts. Winchester does make an angle-eject model 94, but I don't think that was available until the early 1980s, so yours is likely to be the standard top eject.

Here's a quote from an article regarding the Winchester vs. Marlin thing:

"One of the drawbacks of the Model 1894 action in relation to its current competitors, the Marlin Model 336 and Marlin Model 1894, is that it ejects out the top of the receiver, unlike the Marlins, which eject to the side and have solid top receivers. The reason this is sometimes considered a drawback is that a top-ejecting firearm cannot mount a scope on top of the receiver, but instead must mount it either on the barrel in front of the receiver or offset to the side, degrading the usefulness and availability of a scope. In contrast, some users prefer not to scope a rifle best suited for use at ranges of 50 to less than 125 yards, to reduce carrying weight, and to retain the ability to acquire game sight pictures more quickly while firing at moving game.

Winchester alleviated the top ejection issue with an angular ejection change that was implemented on later model rifles (early 1980s), which eject empty shells out at an angle between the original Winchester design and the Marlin design. This change in ejection angle made it possible to mount scopes in a more normal position on top of the receiver. The mid 1990s brought a change from the long-used half-cock notch safety to a cross-bolt safety like the aforementioned Marlins. Many longtime users, however, prefer the original half-cock notch safety design over the newer cross-bolt safety design. The last Winchester 94s to leave the New Haven factory before production ceased in 2006 had tang-mounted safeties."
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  #4  
Old 07-21-2008, 07:10 AM
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The 30/30 was the first commercial smokeless powder round and when it first came out it was quite revolutionary, of course. Hunters were accustomed to the big bore black powder rounds and many could not believe that a .30 caliber rifle could be at all satisfactory on big game. But they soon learned. Teddy Roosevelt wrote of one North Dakota hunting trip, and to paraphrase, "The new small bore, high velocity rifles are a wonder, they shoot so flat that only one sight is needed, the recoil will not disturb the aim and they kill like lightning". He was speaking of the 30/30 and 30/40 Krag. Over the years, with newer powders, the ballistics have been improved quite a bit from the loads Teddy used. Today the ballistics of the 30/30 are nothing at all spectacular but they just go on killing deer, elk and moose as they have done for over 100 years. Handloads can be souped up a bit over factory loads but not by enough to really matter. I handload for every centerfire I own and have done so for over 40 years but in my 30/30 I can't find a handload more accurate than the Remington 150 grain corelokt factory loads, nor one that performs better on game. Limit your shots to under 200 yards and the 30/30 is as good as anything you can buy, you can only kill an animal just so dead.
The '94 Winchester was the rifle for which the 30/30 was designed and was in continuous production for over 100 years so I think that fact alone tells you it was pretty well respected, I believe they made somewhere around 4-5 million of them. They generally are not "tackdrivers" but are accurate enough for general hunting and that really sums up both the '94 and the 30/30, nothing spectacular but good enough. I'm no fan of open sights, I'd add a peep rear sight at least and much prefer a scope but to each his own.
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  #5  
Old 07-21-2008, 09:09 AM
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It is a good all around rifle, I'll bet more deer been slain with the 30-30 than all other rounds. 30-06 might be a close second.
Millions of people use them and love them to death, they are plenty big to save your butt from a black bear as well.
Although there are a plethora of bigger and faster rounds, it is surely big enough to kill whatever you want. Given you can get close enough to get off a good shot. 30-30 is not an 800 yard sniper rifle. however I have seen people shoot very accurately with them offhand to near 500 yards.

The Advantages of the 30-30 carbine are nearly endless, they are rugged, strong, dependable, accurate, and very easy to handle.
Once you put a few hundred rounds down her, you will notice that putting her on target becomes as simple as pointing your finger.
They are lightweight and carry more rounds than a bolt gun, ammo is cheap and plentiful, as are parts and accessories. Add a good sling and you wont need anything else.

Good purchase! Now just practice and practice!
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  #6  
Old 07-21-2008, 11:08 AM
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You did the right thing,when you bought that Winchester 30/30.
You are now a member of the most successful deer hunter demografic group.More deer were killed with the 30/30 then with any other caliber.
As a teenager,I started deer hunting with a 30'06 rifle.Because all of my hunting is in the big woods,i was overgunned.I switched to the 30/40 Krag,and was happy for many years.
Now,I use the 30/30 because all of the deer killed by me would have been just as dead if shot with a 30/30.
frank
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  #7  
Old 07-21-2008, 06:14 PM
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I bought my only win. 30-30 in Crofton, MD in 1984. I wanted to have a rifle to deer hunt whlie I was stationed at Ft. Meade. And I got the rifle at K-mart in Crofton too! I think I bought it in Feb. of '84. I got it on clearance at $130.00. Imagine that! I had for almost 12 years and discovered that I could put a scope on it. It was a 94AE model. Yes, I still have it and I hunt with it. That gun will probably get buried with me!
tommy
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  #8  
Old 07-21-2008, 08:02 PM
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Another Model 94 .30-30 owner here ( I also have a fairly new to me 336 in 30-30) In answer to your range question, I don't think the factory sights are enough for 200 yard shots, better to mount a Williams receiver sight and replace the rear with a dovetail filler. I would have complete confidence in the .30-30 round on deer to 200 yards.
There is no performance reason to reload, the factory ammo has been pretty well perfected over the last 114 years or so.
The Winchesters are hard to clean from the chamber end, I just got a Boresnake and that solved that issue, be careful about tearing a 94 apart for cleaning, they come apart a lot easier than they go back together, lol, but as long as you keep what you can reach with the action open clean and lubed, you really shouldn't have to worry too much, keep the screws snug and the metal well oiled or greased to protect against rust, my 94 will have my fingerprints forever.
I think the half-cock safety is enough, but also consider not chambering a round before you need to, its easy for brush to bump the hammer to full cock. One nice thing about the Win. 94, you can unload the chamber without loading a round from the magazine if you don't cycle the lever completely forward, so its pretty easy to make it safe for fence crossings, etc.
I don't mind the trigger on my 94, but it takes a little practice to remember to hold the lever closed to defeat the trigger safety.
I have both the Marlin and the Winchester, they are both great guns, if I didn't want a scope the much lighter Winchester would be fine for me, even as an only rifle.
Andy

p.s. the 336 section has a thread on .30-30 bullets, in case you missed it, lots of real-world input there.

Last edited by andy; 07-21-2008 at 08:12 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2008, 09:12 PM
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Savageman,

Andy has covered most of your questions pretty well. I heartily concur with putting on a receiver sight. There are a couple of holes drilled at the rear of the left receiver wall for a receiver sight. Three sights are available for the 94: Williams Foolproof, Williams 5D, Lyman 66. They are all a little different, but they all beat open sights by a mile.

Lots of people love the 94, but nobody loves the trigger. Get used to it. It works just fine, but you need to practice, especially for those shots of over 100 yards.

In your last paragraph you hint that you may have a 30-06. Why in the world would you need anything else? It will kill every animal found between the equator and the north pole.
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  #10  
Old 07-22-2008, 09:38 AM
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Thanks..

Thank you all for your replies here, I am really looking foward to using this Winnie this fall. I assure you I will have it till im old and gray, dont think they are making them anymore so i'll hang on tight!!

I do not yet own a 30-06 but I will be buying one for Moose/Bear in the next year or so. Where I hunt, in mid Ontario the ranges are short on deer, less than 100yrd most of the time due to the heavy bush. My friend who has hunted this land all his life says the last 3 deer he has taken were all under 50yrds. He shot a doe with a 30-06 at 30yrds last year, and well I wont go into detail about the horrific meat loss he experienced!!

I think the Winnie 94 in 30-30 will be the perfect deer rifle for bushwacking and taking whitetail out to 100yrds or hitting one on the run. Can anyone identify the model of this 94 as being either a Traditional or a Ranger?? Am I correct in saying it is a Traditional model due to the hooded front sight, I dont think Rangers came with that.




Last edited by savageman; 07-22-2008 at 09:43 AM.
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  #11  
Old 07-22-2008, 09:46 AM
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I am certain that is a traditional 94, not a Ranger. I don't think the Rangers date back that far, and your 94 has Walnut stocks.
Andy
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  #12  
Old 07-23-2008, 10:50 AM
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So based on the receiver being drilled for a receiver sight, which one would you guys reccomend to install?? I will be using it to hunt with under 150 yrds-200yrds and also be punching paper and plinking with it alot. With these receiver sights do the come with a front post sight too?? I went on the williams sight and see a few but not any real good pics. Thanks
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  #13  
Old 07-23-2008, 11:06 AM
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savageman
You can,if you want,put a scope on your '94.
The bolts fit in the existing holes in the receiver;they are just longer.
The mount is on the left side,and the scope is offset to the left.
Offset scoped rifles come to the shoulder as quickly as over the bore scoped ones.I have three of them.
Frank
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  #14  
Old 07-23-2008, 07:47 PM
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A Marlin 336C in 35 remington would be a better choice fo those Ont. Whitetails and occasional Blackie.

Put a lyman No.2 tang sight on the Winnie 94.
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  #15  
Old 07-24-2008, 02:40 AM
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I use the Williams 5D it is inexpensive and works well. The adjustments are not the best but once sighted in it works great. I take the aperture out when hunting in the thick stuff.

Russ
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  #16  
Old 07-27-2008, 02:21 AM
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I cant say im all that crazy about the tang style peep sights, I really do not like the looks of them at all. I do however like the look of the Williams Foolproof receiver sight, I have a couple questions about installation.

How easy is it to install onto a 94 that is allready drilled and tapped?? It there any minor adjustments that need to be made, or is it as simple as sqrewing it on and replacing the front sight, then bore sighting it and your good to go?? Is it a do it yourself job or do I need a gunsmith for this?? DOes it come with any instructions?? Thanks
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:53 AM
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I think the 5D and the FP are the same you should be able to screw it on and keep the original front sight. I mounted a 5D on my Dad's gun and it was a couple of screws. You can even look at the old sights through the peep and get it sighted in pretty well with out wasting ammo.

Russ
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  #18  
Old 08-17-2008, 07:31 AM
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I've used the .30-30 Winchester M94 for decades now. I've taken Whitetail, Mulies, Elk, one moose, two Pronghorn and a Black Bear with mine. I have several. The halfcock safety is all that is necessary. Stupid people forced the issuance of the "lawyerproof" button and tang safeties of recent years. Let common sense dictate. Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot.

I have William's FP's on all of mine. I prefer the model with the target knobs. They simply attach to the left side of the receiver. The receiver is already drilled and tapped for them. I drift out the factory rear sight though and fill the slot with a filler blank. The receiver sight is an aid to these old eyes

As to which is better, the Winchester or the Marlin? Hunt in weather that freezes up other actions. Raining then freezing. Pretty tough on any firearm but less so with the Winchester. As crude as it sounds, a few taps against a Pine knocks the ice loose. Doesn't work as well trying it with a Marlin. The tolerances on the Marlin are much tighter. ****, a Winchester will rattle, but the ice breaks up and comes out. Durable as all get out. I have NEVER broken one.

The cartridge works best this side of 200 yards. I shot a coyote once at something over 400 yards ... ONCE. Guess my ying and yang meshed just right that time. It was a Hail Mary shot. Still, the 'yote died on his feet and it took 3 shots to finally connect. I won't ever do that again.

I've used .30-06's, a 7mm Rem Mag, a .300 Win Mag and a .375 H&H Mag over the years. The .30-30 is still with me. The round worked great in 1895 ... still works great in 2008. But I know it's limitations ... and mine. To me, the sport is HUNTING. I get as close as I can and pick my shot. It's never a matter, any more, of CAN I hit it, only WHEN.
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:45 PM
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Good topic here, please let me highjack it for a moment..

I had a choice between the 94 as 30-30 or 44 Magnum and went for the 44.

My idea was that because I hunt at less then 100 yards the larger bullet would be better then a flatter trajectory for my personal needs.

What do you say about that, is this the right way to think about it..?

Thanks.
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  #20  
Old 08-18-2008, 01:55 AM
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Congrats on your new 30-30.

Great round, great gun.

The FP sight just screw on, and works well. If your eyes and budget are up to it, the Williams firesights work great, and replace the factory sights easily.
That front hood will slide off if you wish....I've removed all of mine.

Johnny;

as far as the choice of the two inside 100 yards, either will get the job done. The 44 may be more sensitive to the length of the barrel then the 30-30, but both make fine deep woods deer/black bear guns.
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