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Hi everyone. First time poster, here.

So a while back I purchased a 1894 SRC in 30 WCF. at a gun show in Ontario, Canada. I thought it was a bit peculiar because it has side mounted sling attachments (left side) that looked like they could be original to the gun because of the condition but I had never seen anything like it before. I went ahead and bought it and when I got home looked into it a bit further and came across some limited information about a short production run in 1913 for the Belgian government. These SRCs were intended for cavalry troops in the Belgian Congo in central Africa. It wasn't until then that I realized the ladder sight increments were stamped in meters and not yards, further confirming that this was not an ordinary SRC. The serial # is in the 671xxx range. If anyone knows a bit more about this production run or if this gun is in fact a part of it please share. Thanks in advance for your help!





 

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Welcome to the Forum

Glad to see you here and hope you post often. I moved your post here where it may get more attention. All the best...
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Welcome to the forum !

You evidently have what's known as the Belgian Congo carbine.








It's estimated that approximately 200 of these carbines with ordered from Winchester in 1913 to outfit the Belgian forces in the Congo - but that figure is most likely a WAG, as there's a paucity of info about the production details.

Besides the graduated ladder rear sight, it should also have a pinned front sight blade, a full-length magazine, two barrel bands, and saddle ring staple with saddle ring on the left side of receiver.

The barrel should have the standard Winchester address/patent dates, nickel steel and caliber marking on the left rear, but with the addition of an "eagle/N" proof mark stamped between the "nickel steel" and "caliber" markings.

They usually also had additional "eagle/N" proofs stamped on the bolt and top of receiver.

A smooth forearm and straight grip gunwood stock (at the time, Winchester was reserving walnut stock wood for other guns), with side mounted sling swivels and crescent buttplate complete the picture.

All known Belgian Congo carbines were chambered in .30 WCF (.30-30), and have serial numbers that fall in about the 65X,XXX range.




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Welcome to the shooters sorum.

Were those carbines shipped to the Congo?
 

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Rangr44: is the stock on the one pictured in you last post original? It looks more like a rifle stock. Not sure if you are able to use the links I posted to my pictures. I'm new and couldn't figure out how to post the image right in the post like you have. My gun doesn't quite match up with all the info.There are no Belgian proof marks (possible it was manufactured in the same run but never made it to the Belgian proof house?) just the Winchester ones. Additionally, the front sight blade is not pinned. It's just tightly wedged in the mounting post and the serial number is a little bit high (671xxx). Thanks for the info!

MontyF: Don't know if any ever made it. Rangr44 might know better. I haven't found much on them at all.
 

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The buttstock on the carbine I posted may very well have been added, as other that I've seen had Winchester's "normal" Carbine (model) buttstock with the flat BP that rolled over, atop the rear of the stock comb.

Actually, what everybody generally calls "Belgian Congo Carbines" were originally ordered by France ( "the French Contract") for WWI use.

The guns that went to France received French "acceptance" proof marks upon arrival, but after the war some of the special-order 1894 carbines were sold to a company in Belgian Congo where they were presumably used hard.

Even though a few have been seen w/o foreign proof marks, I would also presume that one of these Special Order carbines w/o French or Belgian proofs never made it to Europe, as the proof laws there are very strict. - but who knows ? (never say never)

As of Dec 2016, a Winchester collector studying the guns has identified & surveyed (13) of them, all in the 659874 - 685308 serial number range, which corresponds to Winchester's March - September 1914 PR dates. (in my earlier post, what I referred to as the SN's "falling in" the 65x,xxx SN range, is actually the beginning of their SN range, so far).


There's an excellent article by Michael Carrick about these carbines in the Fall 2009 issue of Winchester Collector Magazine.




Back issues, like Fall 2009, are available to members.

https://winchestercollector.org/magazine/


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Welcome to the forum !

You evidently have what's known as the Belgian Congo carbine.








It's estimated that approximately 200 of these carbines with ordered from Winchester in 1913 to outfit the Belgian forces in the Congo - but that figure is most likely a WAG, as there's a paucity of info about the production details.

Besides the graduated ladder rear sight, it should also have a pinned front sight blade, a full-length magazine, two barrel bands, and saddle ring staple with saddle ring on the left side of receiver.

The barrel should have the standard Winchester address/patent dates, nickel steel and caliber marking on the left rear, but with the addition of an "eagle/N" proof mark stamped between the "nickel steel" and "caliber" markings.

They usually also had additional "eagle/N" proofs stamped on the bolt and top of receiver.

A smooth forearm and straight grip gunwood stock (at the time, Winchester was reserving walnut stock wood for other guns), with side mounted sling swivels and crescent buttplate complete the picture.

All known Belgian Congo carbines were chambered in .30 WCF (.30-30), and have serial numbers that fall in about the 65X,XXX range..

The gun in the picture above does not have a typical carbine butt. The early type 94 carbines didn't use a crescent butt, though they have sometimes been described as so (mistakenly I believe) because of their somewhat curved shape compared to the later flat "shotgun" type butts used on carbines from the 30s on. The early types had some curve, but were not like the curve of the rifle type crescent butt with their rather long toe. Winchester described the early type carbine butt a "modified shotgun butt". It was copied from military rifles and carbines common in the Civil War period. They had, as you described, a flattened shape compared to the rifle butt plates, and the top wrapped over onto the comb, the comb having a nearly flat shape on top all the way to the forward end.

The 94s had a screw in stud for attachment of the sling ring (now commonly called a saddle ring). I believe the 92 was the last Winchester model that used staple type attachment. I believe the sling ring was also copied from military carbines of the period, they never really had any practical civilian use, despite legends about the guns being carried by a loop of leather over the saddle horn. Winchester was very very slow in dropping details on their guns. The details are fun and interesting for fans of the early type guns, but didn't serve any practical purpose in many cases.

If the OP didn't pay a premium for the gun because of its perceived Belgian Congo heritage, all for the good. It may in fact be one, but there have been fakes and copies. In any event early type carbines are very interesting, and have tons of character compared to the sort of plain vanilla, "civilized" look of the later carbines made after they dropped the early type features in the 30s.

If theres any possibility the gun is one of the order of guns that went to Belgian Congo, a letter may be worth investing in. Even if its not, it may be leftover factory parts used up on a standard gun, or someone may have done it simply because they liked the looks. None of which would hurt my feelings. Some of the well used or out of factory modifications are pretty interesting examples of working guns modified by their users to suit their needs or likes.

Ive long used 38 pistol cartridge belts for 30-30 shells. They stick out the bottom of the belt a bit, but work fairly well. They may be a bit snug at first, but soon ease up to about perfect in most cases. Cartridge belts have fallen out of favor over time, I rather like the looks of them, and they are handy to grab and go going out the door, or grabbing from the truck. I keep a few round ball and 32-20 level light loads for small game/snake loads in the belt also. Its easy to ID them exposed on the belt. The 32-20 level loads are great small game loads and don't make tons of noise when putting down a road hit deer or antelope.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
malatute: Thanks for the reply. For you or anyone interested in what I paid, I'm not opposed to disclosing it because I think it was quite reasonable. The seller had it listed for $700 and I ended up paying $650 (Canadian dollar, as of today = $491 American). I had wanted an SRC from that era for quite a while and had seen several sell for significantly more than that so I was quite happy to pay it. I had not inclination that it was potentially a Belgian Congo Carbine when I bought it, I just thought It looked cool with the sling mounts that seemed to match the rest of the gun.

Rangr44 and malamute may be right regarding its Belgian Congo status. Considering it has no additional proof marks (French or Belgian) it likely never made it there and was was sold as a civilian rifle in Canada or the USA. Since it is in the upper range of the serial numbers that had the Belgian Congo features it was likely assembled with surplus parts. Still pretty cool to say that it was one of very few Winchesters that was designed for military (despite probably not being used) use and I think it looks awesome. A unique little carbine that I'm very happy about buying.
 

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At that price you are a winner no matter if it did make it to the Congo or not. Decent early type carbines are interesting enough in their own right, especially at that price.

I don't know what the cost of a letter from the Cody Museum is today, it may be worthwhile to get one and see if theres any interesting information about it. Some letters have more detail than others, its a gamble, but it may be one worth taking. I don't know how they may have listed the sling mounts, it may be very generically mentioned, or may say some detail indicating the method used that differs from common ways. It could be factory original and not even show up in the records. They didn't always go into detail. Still, could be fun to know more.

I couldn't see the pictures on my computer for some reason, do they show for anyone else?

ETA: You may be able to find out more info from the Winchester Collectors forum. They have some pretty sharp folks on the details of the early guns.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I couldn't get the pictures to display with the text to had to put links on the post. They work for me if I right click the icon and select open in new tab. It links to imagebin where I have the pictures stored.
 

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Hmm, doesn't do anything on my computer. Was there an "IMG" tag or option to share? I know nothing about the hosting site you use, but just simply copying that option on photobucket then pasting that into the post makes them appear. Nothing else required, no buttons on the top of the posting box etc needed.

Like this, I just highlighted the IMG code by the picture I wanted in photobucket, right clicked "copy", the put the cursor in the post where I wanted it, the right clicked and chose "paste" to set it in the post.

Edit: I just deleted the image I posted. Photobucket continues to cascade downhill.

I do NOT recommend photobucket any longer, it went from a fairly user friendly hosting site to progressively worse and worse functionality and bogged down by tons of ads and slow functioning. Its bordering on unusable at this point., or at least not worth the annoyance of all the dumb stuff they bogged it down with over time.
 

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The video was interesting, the rear sight in particular, with the markings in meters as well as the regular scale. Many believe the normal scale markings are in yards, but if they were yards, theyd be progressively farther apart at further distances, its simply a reference scale, and able to be used on any caliber or model of Winchester carbines. The interesting part to me is that the 500 meter mark (550 yards) is very close to the 3 on the normal scale on the right side, which was where my early carbine sight ended up when shooting at the 600 yard plate.
 
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