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Old 01-23-2008, 09:55 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 7
Trapper Model 94 loading difficulty

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Dear lever action gun fans: I have a Winchester Model 94 AE Trapper with 16" barrel in 30-30 calibre. If you don't appreciate lever action guns, you won't understand my fondness for this little rifle. I have cycled it through the full cocking action close to 1500 times and it has benefitted from this effort by becoming very smooth. It is the only rifle I own that I will take out of the gunsafe just to fiddle with and pack around the house practicing point and shoot. Out in the field it is accurate, easy to shoot, and picks up an offhand target quickly and instinctively with the Williams peep sight.

MY PROBLEM: Feeding cartridges into the magazine is difficult. The loading gate has a heavy (one piece) sheet metal spring that requires effort to push open, especially with cold or gloved hands. The tube magazine is tensioned with a long coil spring that resists being compressed even with the first cartridge being fed into an empty magazine and naturally becomes more difficult to compress when reaching full capacity.

QUESTION: Did the 16" Winchester Trapper length rifle come from the factory with the same length magazine coil spring as the standard 20" carbine rifle? If so, then the spring is somewhat compressed before the first cartridge ever gets out of my shirt pocket.

DOES anyone make and sell an aftermarket coil spring for the Model 94 magazine that is shorter and reduces the feeding effort?

PLEASE do not respond if your only purpose is to display your shortcomings to us by pointing out your preference for another brand or make of rifle (I don't give a rip about the Ford -VS- Chevy hogwash).

THANK YOU in advance for your effort in answering this query.

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Old 01-23-2008, 02:01 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Caldwell, ID
Posts: 887

You describe your Trapper as if we have never heard of a Trapper. Those who are not familiar with the Trapper cannot answer you question anyway. I have seen a couple of Trappers (I have over 30 of them), but I haven't had difficulties in loading any of them.

All Winchesters in good working order have strong springs and could be hard to load. My procedure is to load the first round only half way through the loading gate. Then push it all the way into the magazine with the second round stopping with the second round only half way in. Then push the second round in with the third to the half way point. Just get the round started and push it in with the next round. The last round must be pushed all the way in with the thumb.

It works a lot easier than pushing each cartridge all the way into the magazine before starting the next one.

I love to argue Chevy vs Ford! I have one of each and can take either side.
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:13 AM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Texas
Posts: 158
Here is a link on a good article about the Trapper and some fix it things to do to make them run a little better. I believe the author mentions cutting a couple of coils off the magazine spring to make it easier to load. Good luck!
John 3:16 for me
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:22 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Western Colorado
Posts: 50
Tommy- I too have a much-loved Trapper, honed to silky smoothness through use. I had the same loading problems, until adopting the process described by JBledsoe. It works quite well.
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:45 AM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Indiana
Posts: 36
Originally Posted by jimincolo View Post
I had the same loading problems, until adopting the process described by JBledsoe. It works quite well.
Same here.
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:37 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 109
My 94 Ranger won't allow me to "top it off" once the loading gate is closed. I thought it was a cartridge stop problem. Any thoughts? Anyone witha spare? (It's a .30-30)
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