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Who can tell me when a Model 94 Winchester was manufactured, serial Number = 245XXX. Caliber is 32-40. It's a 20" Carbine with a half magazine - no pistol grip. It has a tang site on it. The metal is original (read little or no finish - nice old rifle "patina"), but the woods looks to have been refinished.

The shop wants $495. Good deal? They also have a bastard Model 1886, with what looks like a Model 71 Barrel and magazine fitted, in Caliber .348 Win. It is a half mag, and is a "takedown" model. The reciever has no finish, the barrel and mag tube have virtually no blue wear. The wood is nowhere near original finish - featuring fine checkering by "bubba". Price is $850. The s/n is something like 108XXX.

Any advice appreciated.

Tom
 

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Tom, your 1894 was made in 1902, the '86 receiver is an 1896 product. The steel in the earlier '86s is too mild to take a pounding from 348s. I would steer clear of that one. The 32-40 is OK as long as the magazine has not been shortened. Half mags are scarcer in SRCs. Hope this helps.
                         Regerds,mike
 

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Try this for the '94: http://www.oldguns.net/snpgm/win1894.htm .  Don't know how accurate it is but it's a start.  Try a net search for "winchester serial number" or somesuch...you'll probably find more than you're looking for.  I have a bookmark to a Winchester Collector's site but it looks to have "expired".  There are a lot of Winchester collectors around...
 
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