The Winchester Model 1894 also known as the Model 94 is arguably one of the most well-known and desired rifles ever created. The Winchester 94 is a lever action repeating rifle was designed by John Browning in 1894 and was designed to use two metallic black powder cartridges. When the rifle released it was chambered for the .32-40 Winchester as well as .38-55 Winchester. It was the first rifle to chamber the smokeless powder .30 WCF (Winchester Center fire) which we now know today as the .30-30 Winchester. The rifle also helped create the .32 Winchester special in 1902 and was also available in calibers like .375 Winchester, .357 Magnum, .44 Remington, .444 Marlin, 45 Colt, and .410. The Winchester 94 was produced by Winchester Repeating arms from 1894 till 1980 and again by U.S. Repeating Arms under their acquired Winchester brand until 2006. Miroku Company out of Japan makes these rifles today and are imported by the Browning Arms company out in Morgan Utah. Over 7,000,000 units have been sold. The millionth unit was given to president Calin Coolidge in 1927, the 1.5 millionth unit was given to President Harry S Truman in 1948 and the two millionth unit was given to President Dwight Eisenhower in 1953.
The Winchester 1894 was not just limited to commercial sales. The U.S. government purchased 1,800 commercial models with 50,000 cartridges of .30-30 WIN during World War I. The British Royal Navy also purchased 5,000 .30-30 units in 1914 for guard units and were eventually sold as surplus into Belgium. Some British rifles were captured from the United Kingdom by the Wehrmacht and designated the Gewehr 248(E). The Canadian Pacific Coast Milita Rangers were issued these rifles to defend the West coast of Canada from possible Japanese invaders.
In mid 1964 it is famously known that the manufacturing process of the Model 94 was changed to make the firearm more cost effective to produce. This is where the term “Pre-64” and “Post-64” come from. Sears and Roebuck also purchased a more affordable version for resale known as the Model 54. The biggest changes to this rifle patter occurred in 1964, 1982, and lastly in 1992. In 1964 Winchester stopped machining small components and the receiver out of billet steel. Winchester instead turned to stamping technologies and sintered steel. In 1982, changed the angle the cartridges would eject and made the rifle easier to attach scopes and optics on. In 1992 the rifle design utilized modern CNC methods were utilized and the safety mechanism was altered. Since 2010 the rifles have been made by Miroku Corp in Japan.