Winchester 94 Sporter .25-35 - Finally Got One!

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  • Last Post 10 September 2018
David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 22 August 2018

I have been waiting so long to get one of these. Internet searches every other day for long time with no luck until today. During my search I did locate one in a Cabela's located in Missouri on Guns International, but when I called, it had been sold, my heart sank. My love affair with the .25-35 started in 1982 when I obtained a Contender barrel. I took my first deer with a handgun using that Contender 10" barrel. Over the years I have hoarded brass, waiting for the day to come along. Looked at many older models, but they were either too rough or way above my budget. When Winchester announced in 2017 they were producing the model 94 in .25-35, I thought my dream had come true, but up until now all I ever saw was the carbines or short rifles. However I had to have the longer barrel (24") sporter. Today my search on Gunbroker was successful, a buy-it-now listing was found. My fingers have never worked a keyboard faster, I hit that button so hard I think I dented it. UPS can not deliver it fast enough. I am so happy that I had to share my joy with all of you!

http://www.winchesterguns.com/products/rifles/model-94/model-94-current-products/model-94-sporter.html  

 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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delmarskid posted this 22 August 2018

Very nice, I like that feeling.

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RicinYakima posted this 22 August 2018

Very happy for you David! The 25/35 (and 25 Remington) kill deer like magic if you can find the old style soft points.

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 23 August 2018

I have some.Since I have been loading for the .25-35 for about 35 years, I have accumulated quite a few jacketed bullets and molds. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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loophole posted this 23 August 2018

Beautiful rifle.  Is it built by Moruku?  Does it have metric screws?  I have several Japanese Winchesters and they all are extremely accurate.  I do not understand why the Mod 85's are not built as Browning designed the action--I have owned several of each and I think the Browning design is far superior to any of the Japanese "improvements".  As nearly as I can tell the lever actions are true to the Browning design except for the safety and the firing pin on some of them.

Steve K

 

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JeffinNZ posted this 23 August 2018

Al has a good looking bullet mould for you.

 

 

Cheers from New Zealand

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 23 August 2018

 I have an open order with Al, told him last week to call me when he gets them back in stock, I want the 4 cavity brass, 2 gc & 2 PB.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 23 August 2018

Loophole,

Until I get it in my hands next week, I can't answer your questions except that it is a Miroku. This review by Chuck Hawks is the only one I can find. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Scearcy posted this 23 August 2018

David

You scored on this one! 

Jim

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Ross Smith posted this 23 August 2018

Kids and candy stores!

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M3 Mitch posted this 23 August 2018

In my experience, lever "rifles" like this tend to be more accurate than "carbines" with that carbine barrel to magazine band out near the muzzle.  According to an article in the 1965 Gun Digest, if you carefully relieve that barrel band so it is not tight on the barrel, the tendency to "walk" shots as the barrel heats up on repeat shots can be reduced.

Anyway.  That ought to be a damn fine shooter.  I would go for a tang mounted "peep" sight, but you don't have to agree with that.

Are these in current production?  Winchester has died and rose from the dead so many times in the last few years, I can hardly keep up. Looking at the web link, apparently they are building these in 30-30 currently, but not 25-35. 

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 24 August 2018

M3 Mitch,

Not sure if in current production, but listed in 2018 catalog. However no one seems to have one, leading me to believe that if being made now, it is in very limited quantities. Other models such as the carbine & short rifle in .25-35, and all three models (carbine, short rifle & sporter) in .30-30, .38-55, & .32 Win Sp (new for 2018) can be found fairly easy. 

Just the .25-35 Sporter model seems to be the rare one of the bunch. 

I am going to mount a tang peep sight, probably Marbles, and use it until my eyes get worse and then go to a scope. However the sporter begs for a tang peep sight, just hardly would look right without one. 

Now I will have model 94s in ,25-35, .32 Win Sp, .38-55 & .30-30. Look to adding a .32-20 to have a stable of older cartridge levers. 

From the link on Winchesters site, you have to pull down the black bar showing .30-30 to see the other calibers.  

 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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admiral posted this 25 August 2018

David,

 I bought that same rifle last summer around this time period. I remember that on GunBroker they were selling for $1139-$1200 + shipping. The adds were not auctions just a buy it now price. Every one sold within days of being offered. I use the XS sights rear aperture on mine. The rifle is drilled and tapped for scope mounts and the XS fits in the rear holes. The barrel is very smooth inside. It does have the horrible rebounding hammer. I really am not a fan of the machine cut checkering, it's ugly. But I wanted a modern 25-35 to blaze away with. And you're right about budget. Every 25-35 that costs the same as the repro is rough as a cob. Years ago I stumbled upon a M64 in 25-35 in amazing condition and paid dearly for it, at least at the time I thought so. That rifle has at least tripled in value. I've been shooting a LBT 100gr. LFN GC in my 25-35's and 25-36 Marlin with 19.0 grains IMR 3031.

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oscarflytyer posted this 25 August 2018

I wish I had NOT opened this thread!  Local LGS has an original consignment '94 25-35 coming in shortly...  I am afraid of the # on it...  Also afraid I may not be able to steer clear of it...

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 25 August 2018

Admiral,

I can live with the rebounding hammer and machine cut checkering, to get the smooth action from machined parts like the originals, other steel parts such as the loading gate, end cap and butt plate. Personally I like the rebounding hammer and wish they had left off the redundant tang safety. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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loophole posted this 27 August 2018

Perhaps 7-10 year ago a local pawn shop had a Miruku 92 marked "Winchester", not the Japanese 92 built a few years earlier, and marked "Browning".  This one had the thoroughly useless tag safety, which I immediately took off and drilled the tang for a Marble peep sight.  Unfortunately the mortice for the safety is under the part of the tang which must be drilled for the front sight base screw.  No real problem, because the sight base hides the entire safety mortice, but it looks very unprofessional to have the screw hole drilled where the mortice is.  I have wanted every Winchester made, but I think their practice is to build less of each model to inflate the price, so If you want to buy one, don'twait around.

Steve K

 

 

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loophole posted this 28 August 2018

This thread has created a monster.  I want a 25-35 and I may have found a way to afford one.  Can any one recommend some good cast bullet loads?  Is brass hard to find?  I can run 30 wcf cases through a 25-35 die and make 25-35, right?

If you had a choice, would you rather have a Miroku or a very nice 100+ year old, shootable original? Why? As always, I value y'all's advice.  Thanks. 

Steve K

 

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 28 August 2018

This thread has created a monster.  I want a 25-35 and I may have found a way to afford one.  Can any one recommend some good cast bullet loads?  Is brass hard to find?  I can run 30 wcf cases through a 25-35 die and make 25-35, right?

If you had a choice, would you rather have a Miroku or a very nice 100+ year old, shootable original? Why? As always, I value y'all's advice.  Thanks. 

Steve K

Steve,

Brass is readily available, Winchester & Hornady. It is reasonable priced also. Yes .30-30 can be easily formed to .25-35 with just running them into a ,25-35 sizing die.  

My only experience loading it has been for a Contender, but I will be experimenting with CBs from 65 gr. to 120 gr.

After looking for decades the Miroku was a better option for me. I should have mine in hand by the weekend and will be able to post some opinion and photos. Two things consistent with the few reviews I have read is that the machining is beautiful and the bore is smooth on par with a custom barrel. 

The Cowboy game I am afraid has increased the prices on vintage lever-actions to the point they are just not a viable option. 

 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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JeffinNZ posted this 28 August 2018

You're a bad influence David.  cool

Cheers from New Zealand

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 28 August 2018

don't give up hope out there ... last year a friend bid on an admitted  beater 94 38-55 on gunbroker .. where normally asking prices are unrealistically high ...  he got the beater for under 3 .......  it was kinda a beater ....  finish was " tired " but action was still tight ...  for a good reason ... made in 1895-6 .     truffles are out there !! 

buying any miroku gun now is i think like buying a win 85 in about 1953 ..  

ken

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loophole posted this 28 August 2018

thanks for the advice, fellows.What do y'all  expect to pay for an 1894 which is in extremely nice shape except that some one carved his initials rather crudely in the butt stock?

Steve k

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M3 Mitch posted this 29 August 2018

David,

 I bought that same rifle last summer around this time period. I remember that on GunBroker they were selling for $1139-$1200 + shipping. The adds were not auctions just a buy it now price. Every one sold within days of being offered. I use the XS sights rear aperture on mine. The rifle is drilled and tapped for scope mounts and the XS fits in the rear holes. The barrel is very smooth inside. It does have the horrible rebounding hammer. I really am not a fan of the machine cut checkering, it's ugly. But I wanted a modern 25-35 to blaze away with. And you're right about budget. Every 25-35 that costs the same as the repro is rough as a cob. Years ago I stumbled upon a M64 in 25-35 in amazing condition and paid dearly for it, at least at the time I thought so. That rifle has at least tripled in value. I've been shooting a LBT 100gr. LFN GC in my 25-35's and 25-36 Marlin with 19.0 grains IMR 3031.

 

Do you mind saying what you paid for the M64, in what year, and what they are going for now, in your experience?  In my experience, with both cars and guns, I have never regretted paying "too much" for a really good specimen. 

Looking on GunBroker and similar sites, the 25-35 seems to be the least common caliber, but some decent original rifles are on offer for less than $2000.  That's about 2X what the new Miroku costs, but, they are "real" Winchesters if that does anything for you.  It does do something for me. 

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admiral posted this 30 August 2018

M3 Mitch,

I bought the M64 25-35 back in 1996 for $750. It is in fantastic condition and a 25-35 which is why I bought it. I think it just sat in a closet for 50 years. Gun trader guides give a 50% premium for the M64 in 219 Zipper or 25-35. The Zipper seems to bring more like a 75-100% premium especially with the factory bolt peep. I attend a fair amount of firearm auctions in my area and have seen only two M64's in 25-35 sell in person in over 20 years. In June of 2016 a real nice M64 25-35 went for $2850, the same seller had another in the Zipper which went for just over $4K. That was only the second M64 Zipper I have ever seen in person in my life. A much hunted with/worn finish but sound M64 25-35 went for $1800 this past spring.

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M3 Mitch posted this 30 August 2018

M3 Mitch,

I bought the M64 25-35 back in 1996 for $750. It is in fantastic condition and a 25-35 which is why I bought it. I think it just sat in a closet for 50 years. Gun trader guides give a 50% premium for the M64 in 219 Zipper or 25-35. The Zipper seems to bring more like a 75-100% premium especially with the factory bolt peep. I attend a fair amount of firearm auctions in my area and have seen only two M64's in 25-35 sell in person in over 20 years. In June of 2016 a real nice M64 25-35 went for $2850, the same seller had another in the Zipper which went for just over $4K. That was only the second M64 Zipper I have ever seen in person in my life. A much hunted with/worn finish but sound M64 25-35 went for $1800 this past spring.

 

Thanks.  I don't think $750 is too much to have paid for that M64, in 1996, for one in like new condition.  It probably is worth 3X what you paid for it now.  Have you shot it much?  How well does it group?

I have only seen a few M64's at gun shows, I have never seen a Zipper in real life at all.  $4K for a Zipper seems like a lot of money and there are a lot of other guns out there that I might rather spend the money on. But, you know, a really minty one with the bolt peep sight - I would certainly be tempted.

You and I have similar tastes - .348 Winchester, .30 Luger, and .25-35.  Well I don't have a .25-35 yet. 

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 01 September 2018

I picked it up last night and it is everything I expected. The bluing is superb, the machining great and the wood to metal fit is just as it should be. The walnut is nice, but not spectacular. The action is pretty smooth out of the box and I am sure it will become great with a little use. The bore is very smooth, much more so than the usual factory issue rifle. Best of all it feels so good in the hands. If it shoots half as well as it looks, then I can't ask for much more.

However the the checkering is not very well done. Being machine cut I usually don't expect much, but I seen better. This I can live with, but what I can't live with is the trigger pull. It is about 7-8 lbs., agh!!!!!!! I have never done a model 94 trigger job, so I looked on the net for some insight, but no consensus was found. Some recommend just stoning the sear engagement, which I can do, but I suspect there is more to it. If there is anyone that has done it or had it done, I would like your comments.

Am I happy, oh yea. Is it worth the cost, yes. Will I buy a sporter model in .38-55 later, probably. 

Another thing I am happy with is the serial #, 26! This adds more fuel to the speculation that there will not be many .25-35s made. It is a pretty sure thing they have made quite a few .38-55s & .30-30 sporter models because there are a lot out there for sale. Only time will tell on this years production of the .32 specials. But I can say with some confidence that the .25-35 are a good investment. 

I will add some photos in a later post.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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M3 Mitch posted this 05 September 2018

I think if you have done revolver trigger jobs, the M94 hammer and trigger are at least to my eye quite similar.  Is the hammer moving back slightly as the trigger is pulled?

As to the smoothness of the bore, from what I read, hammer forging around a mandrel is becoming more common, turns out this is a cheaper and better way to make a barrel, and it makes a very smooth bore. Ruger apparently went to this technique a few years ago, about the same time they went from red to black recoil pads, and I hear the newer guns tend to be a little more accurate.

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 06 September 2018

I think if you have done revolver trigger jobs, the M94 hammer and trigger are at least to my eye quite similar.  Is the hammer moving back slightly as the trigger is pulled?

As to the smoothness of the bore, from what I read, hammer forging around a mandrel is becoming more common, turns out this is a cheaper and better way to make a barrel, and it makes a very smooth bore. Ruger apparently went to this technique a few years ago, about the same time they went from red to black recoil pads, and I hear the newer guns tend to be a little more accurate.

I wish rifle trigger jobs were that easy. There is usually more to it than just some stoning of the hammer and trigger.  There is no take up or over travel, just a really hard pull.  After studying the parts, I think stoning and replacement of the heavy hammer spring is all that is need. Wolff offers a 13 & 15 lb. hammer spring vs the 18 lb. factory spring.  

 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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loophole posted this 06 September 2018

Hard trigger pulls usually in Winchester leverguns and a number of similar systems are the result of improper angles on the parts that move.  Difficult to explain in words:  envision a straight line between the center of the pin in the trigger and the center of the screw on which the hammer  rotates.  A perfect trigger job would have the flat surfaces on the two parts exactly 90 degrees apart from the line.  That allows the trigger to move out of engagement with the trigger without displacing either part away from parallel with the line and no increased pressure on the trigger.

If the surface on either part is at an angle more than 90 degrees, the trigger must move the hammer against its spring, increasing trigger pull.  If less angle,  the hammer spring tries to push the hammer out of contact with the trigger, causing an unintentional discharge.  For safety, the trigger always should be  stoned to a bit more than 90 degrees.  If these angles are much more than 90 degrees , no matter how smooth you stone the parts or how little engagement, the pull will be too hard.  I learned this when Liston Rice taught me how to adjust the trigger in a flintlock rifle 40 years ago.  Exactly the same principle.

Steve K

 

 

 

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 06 September 2018

Hard trigger pulls usually in Winchester leverguns and a number of similar systems are the result of improper angles on the parts that move.  Difficult to explain in words:  envision a straight line between the center of the pin in the trigger and the center of the screw on which the hammer  rotates.  A perfect trigger job would have the flat surfaces on the two parts exactly 90 degrees apart from the line.  That allows the trigger to move out of engagement with the trigger without displacing either part away from parallel with the line and no increased pressure on the trigger.

If the surface on either part is at an angle more than 90 degrees, the trigger must move the hammer against its spring, increasing trigger pull.  If less angle,  the hammer spring tries to push the hammer out of contact with the trigger, causing an unintentional discharge.  For safety, the trigger always should be  stoned to a bit more than 90 degrees.  If these angles are much more than 90 degrees , no matter how smooth you stone the parts or how little engagement, the pull will be too hard.  I learned this when Liston Rice taught me how to adjust the trigger in a flintlock rifle 40 years ago.  Exactly the same principle.

Steve K

Steve,

I learned the basic principles and geometry of  a trigger job also many years ago (37) when attending the S&W armorers school. Then additional instruction and help from Reeves Jungkind and Earl Long. In the time sense I have never found a gunsmith job I could not complete after some study. So the general concept in not beyond my comprehension. It is just good sense to ask for input from those who have gone before me and this time that is the case in reference to a model 94 trigger job. 

Once I have completed it, I will report on the method, level of difficulty if any and level of success. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 07 September 2018

Here are some photos. Try and get some better ones later.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 07 September 2018

i still am amazed at the idea of john browning's to make more room in the gun by having the lever take the gun apart as needed ....  " out of the box " ... literally.

ken

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M3 Mitch posted this 10 September 2018

That's a nice looking rifle, the checkering is not bad, really.  A shame you have to do a trigger job right out of the box. 

Thinking about that heavy trigger being due to camming the hammer back a bit as you pull the trigger - if you have a dial indicator handy, you might be able to see the hammer moving back a few thousandths with the indicator, while it might be really hard to see that with the naked eye.

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