The interesting history behind these OC readers’ vintage guns

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Appraising an 1800s Kentucky rifle, a 1940s Model 94 and two historic Belgian guns

@Outdoor Canada’s expert appraises your guns: an 1820s Kentucky rifle, a 1940s Model 94, a 1920s Belgian 12-gauge & a double-barrelled poudre vive pistol Click to Tweet

I have a Winchester Model 94 in .30 WCF (above) with the serial number 1479193, which indicates it was likely made in 1948. That year, then U.S. president Harry Truman was presented with the same type of rifle bearing the serial number 1500000. My gun is in good original condition. Can you provide its approximate value?

Bob Santo

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The records I have agree with your estimate of 1948 production. Winchester 94s made from 1940 up to the introduction of the revised version in 1964 are becoming quite collectible. They aren’t particularly rare, however, given that more than one million were made. That means their value is unlikely to skyrocket, but it should remain stable or at least slowly increase. Most Model 94s were made in .30-30 Win. (.30 WCF) or .32 Special, but those made in .25-35 Win. are rare and substantially more valuable.

With so many Model 94s out there, the condition of any one rifle is a big factor in determining its value. Yours appears to be in very good original condition from what I can see in the photos, with just a few signs of use. Even the screw slots are straight, not twisted from being removed with the wrong size of screwdriver. Collectors would consider the sling swivel stud in the butt stock to be a negative, but the early production date and the tang sight—assuming it was installed at the factory—are positives. The value of your rifle is likely in the range of $600 to $750.

I like Model 94s from this era—with their tang or receiver rear sights, they’re practical, reliable hunting rifles. And if they’re handled with reasonable care to maintain their original condition, they hold or even increase their value. I must admit that younger generations don’t seem to share my enthusiasm for .30-30 power and iron sights, but I suspect many have never fired a rifle so equipped.

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