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I have a 1941 Model 94 Winchester that is in need of a restoration. The rifle had been in my family for probably around 50 years, and when I acquired it the metal was in the white and rusty, and the stocks were covered in a heavy varnish. I refinished the stocks, but coated the metal in spray paint to keep it from rusting and just put it up. Now that I'm older and have the funds, I want to restore it. All collector value at this point is mostly gone, so I don't care.

Here is the problem... while the bore is fairly decent, there is severe erosion at the muzzle and the throat. The muzzle will darn near swallow a whole .323 198gr. spitzer up to the canelure, and a .321 diameter 170gr. round nose almost drops into the bore completely. I haven't slugged it, but with my fairly extensive experience with old military surplus, I know it's a goner. I'd bet the lands themselves are at around .322 at this point.

I'm considering having it rebored to 350 Maine Guide, or 38-55. I'd like to keep it a 32 but that's not possible at this point. I'd prefer to avoid relining.

Any ideas or caliber recommendations? Any others I'm not thinking of? 32-40 would have been neat but not possible at this point. Big requirement is it has to be rimmed. I thought about 40-65 WCF but I don't know if there is enough meat on the barrel to go that large. I want to get this taken care of before I start the process of tang sight installation and rust blueing.
 

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Well scratch the 40-65. Playing around with all the old obsolete hyphenated cartridges I have laying around, none of them will work except 38-55 or something with a similar rim diameter. 40-65 would work fine but the rim doesn't fit.
 

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I like Ray Newman's idea............have it re-lined with a 32 SPL liner, and then the caliber roll mark is still meaningful.........and you retain any collector value the rifle may still have........

Besides, .........there is a certain "allure" to a 32 SPL, anyway............

Tom
 

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Can't you just use cast bullets sized larger for the bore diameter? Or is there more involved?
With as wore out as the bore is at the muzzle, there really is no point. It would be a waste of money on a good mold.
Have JES rebore it to 35/30 Winchester. It's one of the oldest wildcats.
350 Maine Guide is the 35/30 35/30-30... just the lesser known name.
Have it lined with a .32 Spcl. liner. That way there is no need to change the original caliber markings.
I like Ray Newman's idea............have it re-lined with a 32 SPL liner, and then the caliber roll mark is still meaningful.........and you retain any collector value the rifle may still have........

Besides, .........there is a certain "allure" to a 32 SPL, anyway............

Tom
Relining will run about another $100-$200 more than a JES rebore with twice the turn around time. As stated, I'm not worried about collector value. I'm also not real interested in the 32 W.S. anyways. This is going to be a send cast boolits down to the 300 yard gong kind of rifle and nothing else.

I'm going to call Jesse at JES and see what he recommends. If there isn't anything I can do besides 38-55 or 35/30 (350 Maine Guide) I will go with the 35/30. I plan on buying a Henry side loader in 38-55 so that makes more sense.
 

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I keep wanting to lean towards 35/30 but after browsing 35 Remington Data, and looking at molds, I'm thinking a 38-55 just makes more sense. I will never use a 35/30 to its true potential. If I'm going to push a heavy cast bullet in the 1500FPS range just to bang steel at 200 and 300 yards, a 38-55 just seems like a better option. Just another excuse to stock up on some more AA5744 before it gets more expensive too.
 

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If I had the funds to do this, and since I reload I offer this to you.
If you have the metal in the barrel and chamber and either the original bolt or if you found a bolt that would work, I'd go for the 40-60! It is a wonderful cartridge to reload especially if you use black powder substitute! Casting your own bullets may come into play but heck that's also part of the enticement, at least for me!
You may have the opportunity to own a lever action in a caliber not many have or would own! Again that just makes it so much more "yummy" in my opinion.
 

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I really enjoy shooting my 38-55s and the 38-55 has a lot of retro-cool to it but.... I just read the above post and, although I am not familiar with it, the 40-60 sounds like it would be really great for some reverse snobbery for your shooting buds....

WTH is that thar thing anywho? Well hell son... it's a 40-60. You ain't never seen one of these huh....? :dancing2:
 
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If I had the funds to do this, and since I reload I offer this to you.
If you have the metal in the barrel and chamber and either the original bolt or if you found a bolt that would work, I'd go for the 40-60! It is a wonderful cartridge to reload especially if you use black powder substitute! Casting your own bullets may come into play but heck that's also part of the enticement, at least for me!
You may have the opportunity to own a lever action in a caliber not many have or would own! Again that just makes it so much more "yummy" in my opinion.
Casting is not a problem... I've been casting for as long as I have been reloading and cast often these days. The problem with the Model 94 action, at least the originals is that it was chambered mostly in cartridges that are all based off of the 38-55 win, or cartridges with a rim diameter of .506 to give a more broader spectrum. The 40-65WCF has a rim diameter of .608, and thus it won't even drop into the action of a model 94. The model 94 was a small stout action designed around the higher pressure cartridges of the day kind of like the 93 Marlin. I'm not even sure a 40-65WCF would work with the bolt face and extractor of a model 94.

So basically I am stuck with a maximum rim diameter of probably around .515, and a max overall case length of 2.100 if I still want to be able to seat a bullet to normal lengths. Trust me when I say I'd rather go outside of the norm of common wildcats and common old hyphenated calibers, but at a bore diameter of 32 cal and needing to go upwards from there, I don't have many options.

I really enjoy shooting my 38-55s and the 38-55 has a lot of retro-cool to it but.... I just read the above post and, although I am not familiar with it, the 40-60 sounds like it would be really great for some reverse snobbery for your shooting buds....

WTH is that thar thing anywho? Well hell son... it's a 40-60. You ain't never seen one of these huh....? :dancing2:
40-65WCF is a great cartridge. Light recoiling, efficient, and inherently accurate.
 

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The 350 Maine Guide would be a winner for me.
 
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