The value of these readers’ vintage firearms may surprise you

Expert advice

Appraising a Stevens Pocket Rifle, a 1950s Winchester Model 94 and a handsome Beretta side-by-side     

I bought this rifle (above) 20 years ago and I’ve been meaning to get it checked out by someone more knowledgeable than me. What can you tell me about it? Thanks in advance.

Kyle Curtis

Sanford, Manitoba 

The serial number indicates it was manufactured in 1955. Winchester Model 94s made between 1945 and 1963 are becoming more collectible, although they’re not in as much demand as pre-Second World War models, which are also coveted as practical hunting rifles. The qualities that made the original 1894 rifle such a success are still appreciated today—the moderate weight and size, rugged reliability and flat profile that fits a scabbard so nicely (though these days, the scabbard is more likely to be attached to an ATV or snowmobile than a horse).

The Model 94 is currently being made for Winchester by Japan’s Miroku Corp. These are very nice rifles, though the prices ($1,300 to $1,500) are rather imposing for someone just wanting a hunting rifle. As a result, there seems to be some increasing demand for clean older models. Your rifle appears overall to be in good condition with a fair bit of blue wear. I don’t see any rust pits, but the slot on the one screw I can clearly see is a bit twisted up.

Assuming the bore is in good shape and there are no broken or badly worn parts, it should sell for $550 to $750, based on the price tags I’ve seen on similar used rifles. Of course, the asking price and selling price aren’t always the same. Someone looking for a shooter might well prefer a .30-30 over your .32 Special, simply due to the wider availability of ammunition. What I like about these 1950s-era Model 94s is they are useful sporting rifles, and by taking care to preserve the original finish, they should hold and even increase their value over time.

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