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Winchester Model 94 30-30

One of my greatest memories of growing up in Reno, Nevada was our annual deer-hunting trips up north to Elko County, within eyeshot of the Ruby Mountains. My family (grandfather, grandmother, dad, mom, and assorted others) hunted deer exclusively with scoped .243 bolt-action rifles. That was the only suitable gun with which to hunt mule deer in Nevada’s sagebrush and open spaces, in our not-so-humble opinions. Why? Well, as I’ve stated, our hunting ethic was always about eating what we kill and we’d all seen way too much meat ruined by overkill with 30-06s and 7mms.

Anyway, fast forward to the early 80s. I was going to college in Oregon and had occasion to go on a deer-hunting trip in western Oregon with my brother and some friends. We were hunting for whitetail, as I recall, and there was thick greenery everywhere. I quickly discovered that a scope was worthless (you get an eyeful of blurry green). A friend had a good old lever-action model 94 Winchester 30-30 he let me borrow, and I just loved that gun. Ever since, I always thought about getting one.

Then, the other day, I read something over a Kim’s place and I knew it was finally time to act (after nearly 25 years; what the hell, eh?). So, I went on over to The Gun Exchange this afternoon and got myself one for the great price of $399, manufactured between 1943 and 1948 (no records for that era, for some reason). Of course, I’ve got to wait 10 days until I pick it up, so no pic. However, this one here from 1954 looks exactly the same and is in the same wonderful condition.

3030

So, there you have it.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

31 Comments

  1. Billy Beck on April 4, 2006 at 13:26

    I have my Dad's Model 94. This thing is the poor man's assault rifle. I love my SKS, but I take care of the 94.

    Good for you, Rich. That looks like a beaut.

  2. Richard Nikoley on April 4, 2006 at 13:30

    I'll throw up some pics as soon as I take delivery on the 13th.

  3. Neal on April 4, 2006 at 09:34

    I'm still trying to convince my wife to allow me to own *any* gun. In the meantime, I've got a bat, which is better than a frying pan.

  4. Richard Nikoley on April 4, 2006 at 17:58

    John:

    You are the quintessential guy I love to hate; or is it hate to love?

    …Anyway, my grandfather, whom I reference above, was an Idaho Mormon, and I'll tell you this: in spite of the lunacy, I don't think I've ever met a single Mormon I didn't immediately take a liking to, in one way or another. My grandfather was a giant among men, in many ways.

    Speaking of Mormons, have you happened to catch the new HBO series "Big Love?" I did, completely coincidentally, channel surfing at a hotel in Vegas a few weeks ago, then last week in Sacramento. I digress.

    And, did you see this?

    Apart from my philosophical objections (people's lives are not ours to "socially police"), I found the anthropological revelations and social implications fascinating.

  5. JeanC on April 4, 2006 at 17:14

    Oh serious drool 😀 I use hubby's Enfield for hunting, the only problem is we discovered I'm a lefty when it comes to shooting, so trying to use a bolt action lefthanded can be lots of fun. We've been looking for a lever 30-30 or an .06 for hunting since I prefer levers (I do cowboy action shooting). We'll have to check out that site 🙂

  6. John Sabotta on April 4, 2006 at 17:23

    You will note, of course, that the Model 94 is yet another product designed by that most inventive Mormon of all, John W. Browning.

    Somewhere I have a copy ofa book which (referring the .45 1914A1, the BAR, etc, etc)made the statement that during the Second World War, the Nazis found themselves, from Belgium to the Urals, confronted on all sides by the inventions of the Utah gunsmith in one form or another. I have always found this statement significant.

  7. birdwoman on April 6, 2006 at 05:29

    I *knew* I remembered your page from somewhere. I got to you from blog explosion – killing some time before 9 straight hours of meetings! yikes! – and saw this post. Is that Kim of the DuToit fame? I can't link to the page because we filter "weapons" here. You comment there? I've probably seen you over there.

    Like your style and your arguments. Will come back when I'm not just wasting time.
    (*)>

  8. Fred Bennett on April 29, 2006 at 05:57

    I've stopped hunting several years ago and I've desided to sell my model 94 to someone who will enjoy this great rifle. I've had it all my life since my father left it to me when he passed. I'm not sure of the year model but the serial # is 1862675 It looks great and still shoots like a charm. I have a lot of good memories of hunting white tail in the mountains of Pa. with my father.

    • Wayne on March 5, 2010 at 22:51

      Price and condition?



  9. Bullseye on May 1, 2006 at 03:49

    Winchester model 94 #1862675 would be from 1952. I stumbled into your conversation while attempting to date my Dad's old 94. Turns out it's from '51. I used it a couple years ago (strictly target shooting) and am looking forward to getting reaquainted.

  10. Fletch on May 25, 2006 at 01:49

    Model 94 in 30-30 was my first center-fire gun. I bought it in 1980 when I just turned 18. I have since aquired more hunting guns and am also an avid hunter, reloader and well… look at my site. The Win.94 is not only a timeless classic. It is an elegant invention. It is an accurate killer to 150yds. on iron sights. Most deer are taken within 100yds. (Except for some of us Snipers) It is light and well balanced as well as a natural pointer. Which means you can go on a 2 day death march and still be able to quickly and accurately shoulder and fire the weapon with no undue fatigue from lugging a fat-strapped, over-scoped, belted magnum piece of field-artillery to put the smack on a 200lb buck deer.

    Bullet weights are spread from 100gn to 170gns. Most popular is the 150gn. This give you the best of both worlds: Flatter trajectory and down-range ME. Good enough Sectional Density for some of the rough stuff.

    Keep in mind.. A 800 yard Camp Perry Medalist, this is not. Nor will you use this to jack an Elk at 400yds. and across a canyon. But for an light fast shooting and well balanced hunting companion, the Mod 94 30-30 has put more buck in the truck than 4x any other.

    Now put that in your chamber and shoot it.

    -Fletch

  11. Jack R. on June 7, 2006 at 13:26

    I have a model 94-30-30 and the serial # is 276821, does anyone know how to find out what year mine was made?

  12. Jack R. on June 7, 2006 at 14:19

    Oops, forgot a number in that last post, my serial #is 2768021–thanks!

  13. Rob on June 7, 2006 at 21:35

    Jack R,
    This site should provide an answer:
    http://armscollectors.com/sn/windates.htm
    HTH
    Rob

  14. Randy Smith on June 10, 2006 at 07:37

    I am 35 years old and just yesterday was finally able to get the gun that I have wanted since my childhood. When I was a kid my cousins and me always called the Winchester 94 the "John Wayne Gun" and I can't even begin to describe how great it feels to finally own one.

    • Frank Z on August 7, 2009 at 18:48

      Was just doing a little surfing when I found your post and just had to answer. I know exactly how you feel. when I was 12 years old my grandfather showed me his two rifles. An M-1 carbine and his 30-30, it was love at first site. I have recently pick-up my M-1 and I recently bought my 30-30 before they were discounted at the age of 58. Glad you didnt wait that long. Enjoy!
      Frank



  15. Tim Provencio on September 6, 2006 at 10:28

    Great choice. I'm "downgrading" from a 7MM Rem Mag to a 30-30 today. Well, I'll keep the Model 70 in case I need to kill an elephant or something, but it was way to much gun for the close shots I get and I also got sick of messing with a scope. Open sights were fine for years, and I should have stayed with them.

  16. Dave hooper on October 12, 2006 at 15:56

    i have a winchester 94 30-30 looking to sell it as i can't hunt anymore. serial #2841222 in excellent shape hasn't been fired in about 5 years just stored. wondered what it would be worth.

    thank you
    dave

  17. Jeff Hatmaker on November 6, 2006 at 15:03

    I've a Winchester model 94, 30-30, made in New Haven Connecticut. The serial # is 1702634. Any idea how old it is? I killed my first deer with it when I was in 8th grade. I'm 45 now, and it was old back then! Thanks in advance.

  18. Byron Hobbs on November 13, 2006 at 10:51

    I've a Winchester model 94, 30-30, made in New Haven Connecticut. The serial # is 2324955. Any idea how old it is?
    Thanks in advance.

  19. ellis burden on November 13, 2006 at 13:09

    Who wants to sell their model 94 Winchester?
    pls give me a description of conditon and price… very interested..

    • mark miner on November 30, 2009 at 14:25

      I have a NEW…
      in box 30/30 1970 collectors edition lone star winchester 94 700.00 takes it in box with papers rifle not carbine.



  20. Jason on November 19, 2006 at 22:26

    All right guys…I just freaked out. I went to the serial number lookup that Rob posted above. I looked up the serial number from the bottom of the receiver on my Model 1894 (94). Is that thing accurate on that website? I'm asking because I bought this gun with my dad at a pawn shop when I was a teenager and we were told it was a 1954 gun. The website says that s/n was produced in 1906, which makes it one hundred years old this year. I'm freaking out. Has anyone on here used that site much before? Trying to find out if it's legitimate.

  21. Rob on November 20, 2006 at 00:31

    Jason,
    That site seems to accurate; the folks over at leverguns.com recommend it all the time.
    Are you sure you didn't drop a digit when you posted it? A 1906 rifle should have only six digits in the number.

  22. Rob on November 20, 2006 at 04:54

    Jason,
    Another thought; if your 94 is marked "1894" on the tang or barrel, it was made a long time prior to WWII.
    Iirc, the changeover from "1894" to "94" was around 1920.
    Rob

  23. dennis on November 20, 2006 at 15:26

    thinking about selling my 94 haven't shot it in 20 years. The serial #is 4312180 would like to know how old it is. Look like brand new

  24. ben on August 8, 2009 at 15:42

    i have a 1894 which was my grand pas i shoot it all the time and i love no other rifle

  25. Norb Lustine on October 25, 2009 at 21:01

    Reading the comments makes me want to smile. I recently acquired a Model 94, refinished the stock and forearm which were both really beaten up. The rest of the gun is in pretty good shape including the barrel. There is a few dings and slight rust evident on the gun but all in all it is a shooter and not a “bad looker’.

    Keep those comments coming because they make us other guys that have’nt grown up yet all happy to read other thoughts related to guns.

  26. mark miner on November 30, 2009 at 14:28

    contact me through e-mail

  27. mark miner on November 30, 2009 at 14:30

    crazyspeed883@yahoo.com winchester 94 1970 30/30 collectors edition lone star 700.00 new in box

  28. t n sarraf on December 12, 2011 at 21:33

    i have a Winchester 30 30 model 94 ,the serial no is 853032 would like to know how old it is. Look like brand new

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