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Discussion Starter #1
Too the best of my knowledge Winchester has never produced a 94 in the 35 Remington. My question is why? Seems like it would be a no brainer. The power levels, pressure, cartridge length, etc all seem well within the 94 actions capabilities. While I have heard of a wildcat 35/30 for the 94 I have never even heard of a 94 being chambered for the 35 Remington.

I can see that the action rails would need to be thinned and the extractor and cartridge stop might need to be tweaked, but other than that and a 35 cal. barrel, what else would need to be done?

I would imagine that Winchester wouldn't have any trouble selling them if they would chamber a run in 35 Rem.

Would anyone else out there be interested in such an item?

Just curious,

Reb
 

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Reb.
I think Winchester never chambered the .35 Rem because they have had a different ".35 caliber" cartridge with the Winchester name on it all along. The .35 Winchester, the .33 WCF, the .348, the .358 and then the .356. Winchester has been pretty good about bringing out powerful woods type cartridges. we consumers have not been very good about buying them!
Winchester even came out with the .218 Bee so you could have a companion gun with the same trajectory to go along with your hunting rifle. Most of us still didnt buy.
Being a fan of Francis Sell I believe in the "understudy rifle" and have a .356 and .218 Bee. The two calibers compliment each other very well. I wish Winchester would make a Model 64 type rifle in .307 and .356. I wrote them about it and they answered very nicely. But I know I'll never see one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Slim,

Have you (or anyone else) ever heard of such a conversion or custom job? Seems like it wouldn't be too tough to do. Would anything else be needed other than what was listed above?


Reb
 

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the bolt faces of the 30-30 and .35 are quite different. The 30-30 bolt face is much wider to accomodate the rimmed cartridge case. The .35 Rem uses a regular .473 bolt face, although the cartridge casehead itself is around .460.

It might be possible to adapt the bolt out of a .307 or .356 BB 94 if you had a spare one laying around.
 

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Really have to ask, "Why?" Do like the .35Rem., have used it for hunting and do find that it does a good job, but it seems a lot of work to re-do a Win. 94 to this roudn when getting a Marlin is so much easier/cheaper.

Changing a Winchester to work with round sother than those that it was designed for isn't just a matter of putting in a new barrel and fitting the bolt face....getting it to feed from the magazine can be a ral pain in the rump.
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Guess the simplest explaintion as to why it was never done is simple...at the time these rounds came out, having your name on them seemed important to the makers (it's why it is the .35 RMINGTON and the .30WCF). they would go to great lengths not to use another companies round (.303 Savage vs. .30-30...25/36marlin vs 25/35...the .32Colt New Police vs. the .32SWL). The real short answer to why no .35Rem, in a Winchester would be "company pride".
 

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You know...it DOES ssem odd that Winchester didn't plug that caliber gap with somehing. Not counting the older/longer .35 rounds that wouldn't fit ina 94, there seems to be a big gap from .32Special to .38/55.

Winchester was pretty well married to the rimmed 30-30 size case...from .219Zipper to .375/38-55 it was the same basic case. But given that they did make 22's, 25's, 30's, 32's, (and I guess you cold add in the 7X30 Waters), and .375's on it, it does seem to beg the question, 'Why no 35's?".

Thinking on it...seems they also had .351" or .348" barrels on hand from other rifles in the 1920's to 1940's if they wanted an odd diameter that didn't match other companies rounds. All barrels started (at this time) from a blank, and once the blank is at hand, turning it on existing machines to fit the 94 wouldn't have cost anything more (the nickeled "smokeless" steel is the same).

So...given what they had at hand...why not a .358, .351 or a .348 based on the 30-30 case?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Win already had the .351 and .401 WSL, not a screaming shoulder thumper, but it was available in a semi-auto. That's my theory.

That's if I remembered the cartridge names correctly.
 

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Have used the .351, still have a .401WSL that gets out into the woods pretty often. Not a screamer, but a 200gr JSP .406" bullet can actually make it to 2000fps (a bit less than the catalogued vel., but this is what I actually called my max.) and a 250gr. bullet makes 1800fps pretty easliy.

My solution was to make a die to swage down .410" (.41mag. bullets) and I normally shoot 210gr. JSP .407" bullets at 1950fps and live pretty happy...but all I ever shot with it are the little whitetails we grown here in Louisana, may be a bit lightly jacketed for bigger critters.

Pretty amazing actually form a blow back semi-auto...compares very nicely with the hi-vel. loads used in the 38/55 or the modern .44mag. carbine.

Given that the 94 had been tied to the .30-30 case until recently, and that ALL winchester offered rounds were pretty well tapered, it doesn't seem that anything over .380" is going to work without a rethnk of that passion for tapered cases.

Given that the .444 sized head is now made in the Winchester (which is the same base as the .307 and the .356...and by the way, the old .308 "Power Lever" wildcat pre-dates those two by a good bit), seems that would be the prefered one to diddle around with wildcats.
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Still...the company reasoning for not offering anything between 32specail and .38/55 is kind or bothersome. I for one would have liked to see if a .348X30-30 would break 1800fps with those big 250gr. bullets (if you "k'ed" it, would probably break 1900 at a pressure you could,live with).
 

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The .401 WSL, didnt Kenneth Fuller Lee call it "The Hammer of Thor"?

I think that Winchester will come back out with something in the big bore line shortly. Winchester has been pretty faithful to woods shooters for a long time with a series of cartridges from the .33 Winchester through the .356.
What we seem to lack is a few good gun writers to champion the cause! Layne Simpson, Clay Harvery and a few others beat the drum for woods cartridges whenever they can but I'll bet they dont sell many magazines with the .356 or .444 as the lead story.
 

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Reb,

I am always amazed that no-one seems to be able to pin down the correct answer to questions such as this one! A '94 Winchester requires a rimmed cartridge, period. The mechanics were designed for the rim and it is necessary to feed. That is the principal reason that Winchester developed both the .307 and .356 which are identical to the .308 and .358, the cartridge needed to have a rim to function!!!!
 

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I'm not too sure the Winchester has to have a rimmed case...am sure it was designed to have one and the parts as they are currently made work best with one, but if Marlin can get a 336 to work with a rimless round, a Winchester '94 could be made to work that way as well. Have been inside, and it wouldn't be an easy job...and obviously not worth the effort as you'd have to fabricate a new typle of lifter assembly (one that doesn't rely on the rim to act as a stop).

But I was thinking why they didn't make a .35 to compete with the .35Remington. Do believe that a 30-30 sized case could match the ballistics, but for whatever reason, it just wasn't done.

OF course, during the time the '94 was being made, there were other Winchesters to choose from in rounds more epowerful than the .35, and there wasn't a need to fill in the '94. If you wanted more power, could just buy a .348. IF you wanted more power in a '94 action, then you bought a 38/55 (and with Hi-Vel. loads, it was powerful) or in modern times, bought the .375Win.
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On the other hand...American made 35's have a kind of curse on them....as current chambers in all rifles go, there just isn't a lot of .35's being done.

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Will gree that the .401 is one of the best short range rounds for deer of the "oldies". Doesn't do anything that aRuger .44Carbine can't do, so seriously doubt it will ever make a comeback.

One other thing...all of the original factory bullets I've tried were almost non-expanding. Gave a whole bunch of penetration, but little actual expansion. May be what they were striving for...or it may be that PreWWI bullet designe wasn't all that great when trying for a functioning semi-auto and soft point ammo.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have to say that I agree with Ribbonstone. I think the 94 action could be made to work with the rimless cartridge of the 35 Remington. I have no intention of building a custom 94 in 35 Rem. I was wondering if it would be a relatively easy fix for WINCHESTER to do, not me.

I have supported Winchester and Marlin (Rossi too come to think of it), by putting my money where my mouth is. I have a 35 Remington in the Marlin, a 356 in the Winchester and a 357 Mag in the Rossi 92. I hope to either pick up a Savage 99 in 358 or maybe customize a project Mauser 98 I have to 35 Whelen.(or both!!)

Alk8944, I think the reason for the 307 and 356 being developed instead of using the 308 and 358 was not as much to do with the rim as it was the OAL of factory rounds being too long for the action and the fact that pointed bullets in the tube mags is a big NO NO!

Craig Boddington was recently touting 35 calibers in a couple of magazine articles (including the 356). Who knows maybe with a little help like that and if somebody from Winchester gets lost and stumbles in here, we as shooters might get lucky and have Winchester fill what looks to me like a hole in their line. If they were to make a 94 in 35 Rem (without the crater) I would have to line up for one of those. As much as I like the Marlin in 35 it just doesn't handle as well for me as the 94.

Who knows we could get lucky!

Hey, it could happen!

Reb
 

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Tell the truth...kind of amazed marlin still has the .35 Rem. in it's line up. If it sells 1:20 against the 30-30, can't proove it by looking at the gun stores or on the tables at gun shows. Guess that would mean that the .307 and .356 had worse sales figures. have to wnder at Winchester's sales figures for that .410version.

I honestly don't see thousands of people lining up to buy a .35version.

Guy...I'm with you on the .35's being better, but you just can't sell folks what they need...just what they want.
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One of the things that was done to shot out .32specials and .30-30's was to rebore to .35 and use the wildcat .35/30-30. Teally won't match the .35Rem. in standard form, would guess an improved version would.

There are still places that will rebore...just not as cheaply as it was done, but still less than a custom barrel fitted to that action (and if the shop works carefully, the blue can be saved).
 

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Popularity of the .35 varies around the country. They are used quite a bit in the northeast, and also reasonably popular in my home state of Missouri. But just try to find one in Texas.... I ended up buying one from a guy in Montana!

Don't know how many Marlin has sold, but it's been a bunch, I can assure you. Despite finding few .35/336 Marlins for sale here in Texas, nearly every gun shop seems to have .35 ammo.

Maybe they just don't wear out???
 

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Yes...do find a good amount of .35Rem. for sale; it's more common on dealer shelves that one would expect. Suspect that a bunch of it gets fired in Rem. rifles, as those old 14's and 141's don't seem to wear out (a bit surprizing, but goes to show a complicated design can still be long lasting if the design is good).

I doubt a gun show goes by without at least one .35Rem. chambered rifle being seen...which is better than some of the more modern replacements. Been a good while between .307's, .356's, or 7mm Waters chambered '94's have been sighted.

OFten have to consider what is still on the ammo production line and what is not. Just how long has it been from the last .32SW chambered revovler ( the short case...not the .32SWL), but ammo still rolls off the production line. Just go down a listing of offerings ans stop and think: "When was the last one of those chambered and boxed up at the factory?"

Is some regional variation...the .32's and 16ga.'s were more popular in the south, so kind of expect to see ammo for them more often.....guess what is on the shelf in Nome just isn't going to match what's on the shelf in Savanna.
 

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Reb etal,

If you look atb the rails of the '94 Win, you will see that there is an angled groove in them. The purpose of this groove is to lift the rear of the cartridge by engaging the rim. It needs the rim to function!

So far as the .356/.307 are concerned, the excessive length is a self limiting caracter of the cartridge. Since the .308/.358 are to long to function in the action there is no problem with anyone loading the gun with them. The only way that it would be possible to get in trouble would be to load the the chamber, then the magazine, and you would be able to fire only one shot! The gun would lock-up on the over-length cartridge on the carrier and the gun would have to be dis-assembled to empty the magazine. Of course, on this one shot the gun might dis-assemble itself if one or more cartridges fired in the magazine.

The whole point of the above paragraph is that the length isn't an issue. If the existing cases would work in the action then Winchester would have merely changed the bullet style and the headstamp to indicate it was a different cartridge. Adding a rim wasn't necessary to make these changes, but it is for any cartridge to feed in this action as it was designed. The diameter of the breech face for the .30-30 determined the diameter of the rim.

Yes, Winchester could have re-designed the action to accomodate rimless cartridges, but why would they want to do this for what would likely be a limited production item. By adding the rim and changing the bullet to create the .307/.356 this is only a straight forward change in barreling with no other changes necessary to be made in the action.

So far as the question of why Winchester did what they did, the answer simply is $$$$$$$$.

This isn't merely opinion, but information discovered from years of experience. Among many things I have done in my life I am a school trained gunsmith and have worked as such for several years.
 

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Hey Alk8944,

I don't disagree with your opinion that the reason Winchester didn't do the 35 Rem. was due to the $$$ involved. But they did redesign the receivers on the Big Bore line to handle the higher pressures of the .307, .356 and .375s.

I do disagree with you that if existing cases would have worked in the action then Winchester could have just changed the bullet design and headstamp to produce the new round. The litigation crazy society that we live in would have bankrupted Winchester by now with lawsuits from folks that had blown up their rifles with pointed bullets or incorrect ammo that they thought would "fit". That solution, while practical, is not lawyer proof enough!

I have fed 308's through my 356 quite a few times and they worked well (fired none). Extraction and ejection were perfect. Every now and then one would slip past the magazine cartridge stop under the lifter and tie up the action. And of course you wouldn't need the heavier Big Bore receiver for the 35 Remington. I have also noted some articles by Lane Simpson and Paco Kelly who have used 308 and in one case 358 brass in 356 rifles with no ill effect and apparently with atleast decent function. I am certianly no gunsmith but that led me to think that the 94 action could be made to work with rimless cartridges with a little minor tweaking, but I definitely could be wrong.

Reb
 

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Reb,

So far as the "re-design" of the receiver for thr Big-Bore series, that is a very simple-to-do re-contour of the exterior of the receiver which is much simpler than changing the basic interior dynamics of the action. Likewise, the Angle Eject change was relatively simple and since it applied to the entire line would have been economically cost effective.

I am aware of the use of the .358 case. If memory serves, this was referred to as the .356 Rimless. It was also done in a Marlin 336. If you are willing to make compromises in function to use a more readily available case, that is your prerogative. Yes, you can, usually by some degree of jiggling be able to use either the .308 or .358 case in a '94, but, the factories need to ba able to realize 100% functioning with standard parts. Since they are guaranteeing the operation of all guns they produce, it could be very expensive to them to make repairs to a large per-centage of their production because 95% of their clientele are not inclined to tolerate less.

Remember, reloaders and people who shoot frequently as do most, if not all, who read this forum, are a relatively small part of the sporting firearms purchasing public. These people don't, and won't tolerate a gun which does not function 100% of the time or needs to be treated in a special way. They will drive the compny or warrantee stations crazy until they are satisfied.

In short, and as I believe I said before, yes, in can be done. Yes, the action could be re-designed to allow this. No, it would not be economically feasible for Winchester to have done it. For Winchester, and all manufacturers of all products, manufacturing a product strictly depends on the ability to make it a paying proposition for the man mufacturer. No matter what we are talking about, if a company cannot make a profit, or initially believe it can, no product will be manufactured merely because a few people say they want it!
 
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