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I bought my Model 94 in 30-30 back in 1978, from memory. It still shoots and operates as finely as it did back then and I've never had a single issue with it. However, in the early 80's, the bluing on the receiver simply peeled off (best way I can describe it). It's been highly polished since then, and remains un-blued. A young chap asked me last week why it wasn't blued and what caused it. I have to admit I had no reasonable answer. Anyone out there know the true reason please?
 

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I've never heard of an issue with Winnie's peeling but right away knew it wasn't bluing & had to be some type of coating. I did a little research and came up with several articles discussing how late '70's & early '80's Winnie's had peeling issues.
This one gives the best explanation, some kind of alloy with a coating. Winchester 94: Receivers
Metal finishing: The third method was a “black oxide” process using a solution of large amounts of caustic soda, sodium nitrate and sodium dichromate. This was the later method employed with marginal success on the “mystery metal” receivers of the late 1970s to early 1980s.
 

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All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms! Worked as an engineering
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I've never heard of an issue with Winnie's peeling but right away knew it wasn't bluing & had to be some type of coating. I did a little research and came up with several articles discussing how late '70's & early '80's Winnie's had peeling issues.
This one gives the best explanation, some kind of alloy with a coating. Winchester 94: Receivers
Metal finishing: The third method was a “black oxide” process using a solution of large amounts of caustic soda, sodium nitrate and sodium dichromate. This was the later method employed with marginal success on the “mystery metal” receivers of the late 1970s to early 1980s.
It was my understanding that the receivers were of an alloy that did not take to bluing. Winchester's answer to the problem was plating them with a very thin of coat iron, which took to bluing. AC
 

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The sintered steel receivers are strong. they dont take bluing so they were plated first to take the blue. it wears very easily. I just polish em white and use em. some of my smoothest 94s are from the 70s. you will hear people say ahh they are no good. mystery metal etc. just say well I will give you 50 bucks to take yours off your hands. no one has ever taken me up on the offer.
 

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Are these the receivers that have a purple-ish tinge? My father had taken his apart to refinish the wood and metal. It was in a fire. I would like to put it back together and use it. I don’t mean to hyjack the thread.
Ive seen some from the 80s look purple inside. have the checked by a gun smith before using it.
 

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The sintered steel receivers are strong. they dont take bluing so they were plated first to take the blue. it wears very easily. I just polish em white and use em. some of my smoothest 94s are from the 70s. you will hear people say ahh they are no good. mystery metal etc. just say well I will give you 50 bucks to take yours off your hands. no one has ever taken me up on the offer.
I'm with you! I'll take all those "junk" 94's anyone wants to part with!
 

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..."in 1972 the sintering alloy was changed once more, this time the amount of steel was low enough that the receivers needed to be iron plated in order to accept bluing, the DuLite formula used was the original WinBlue/Oxiblack."......"The guns from the '72 to '81 era could be reblued with traditional methods, if the iron plating is not removed. They can also be cold blued, although the results are not as pleasing and also not as permanent. "..."That still leaves the question of how to restore the finish on a model 94 made between '64 and '82. While you could attempt to blue it using the process invented by Dulite, or you could try one of the painted on coatings. I have reviewed many of the painted coatings and most of them show "orange peel" on the surface. Which I guess is OK for a hunting/utility gun, which is what the '94s made in those years are probably destined for anyway, due to their lower value. Another option could be to polish the metal and keep it coated in oil or wax."
 
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