Gun: Winchester Model 1894 Deluxe Saddle-Ring Carbine
Condition: Approximately 50 percent (NRA Good)
Approximate Value Range: $3,850 to $4,350
Note: Original publication was in 2006, and information herein does not reflect current production status of Winchester Model 1894s or variants. -The Eds.
Now that U.S. Repeating Arms has stopped making Winchester’s longest-running production model after 112 years of manufacture, the Winchester Model 1894 and its many variations have suddenly received a lot more collector interest. This carbine, serial number 582407 in .30-30 WCF, was manufactured during 1911 and has many desirable characteristics, including being a deluxe model with extra-grade checkered wood, “button” half magazine and shotgun-style buttplate.
The 20" round barrel with a ladder-type rear sight still retains most of its original blue. On the other hand, much of the receiver bluing has flaked off due to adhesion issues with the high nickel content in the steel. Do not confuse this receiver flaking with normal wear and usage-some nickel Winchester lever-actions can be almost unfired but may show similar or worse frame wear as compared to this specimen. The deluxe checkered stock and forearm appear shinier than normal, indicative of the wood being refinished with a high-gloss lacquer or varnish.
At a recent trade show, several dealers mentioned that some of their customers were actively buying many recently manufactured new-in-the-box Model 94 variations for 20 to 35 percent over their previous retail values. This could be strictly speculation at this point, but my advice is to not get caught up in this sudden demand spike due to its discontinuance until we see what happens with this famous Winchester model.
There is still a possibility that Olin could license its Winchester trademark to another company (including Miroku in Japan), which means production would start all over again, even though it probably wouldn’t be at the famous factory in New Haven, Conn. Remember, there are already five categories for Model 94 collectors. They include antique production (pre-1899 manufacture), pre-World War II manufacture, World War II to pre-1964 production, 1964 to pre-1992 manufacture (without the crossbolt safety) and post-1992 manufacture. As usual, when a popular firearm make or model is discontinued and the public can’t get it anymore, a buying frenzy can develop almost overnight, typically creating unrealistically high prices in the short term.
-S.P. Fjestad, Author/Publisher, Blue Book of Gun Values
(Originally published July, 2006)