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any ideas on finding out the caliber?

declyndeclyn Member Posts: 11 ✭✭
edited August 2007 in Ask the Experts
A while ago i posted about a winchester model 1894 that i have (see here:,model,1894

Anyway i have decided that i would like to shoot at least one box of ammo with this rifle, but there are no markings as to what the caliber is.

I have spent a few days trying to find some hints to help me on the net and i have not managed to find anything.

There is the Sticky thread here that has some good info about the winchester rifle... but not a way to tell what mine is.

Is there any way yall can think of to tell with out me having to take it to a gun smith and having him figure it out for me?

A friend took a look at it and he was guessing 30-30... not a gun smith though, but he is more experienced than me :)



  • MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member, Moderator Posts: 9,750 ******
    edited November -1
    well first off, like my daddy said..."if you don't know... don't". if it has a winchester barrel it is marked as to caliber (top of barrel just in front of receiver). if not, it is worn or has a replacement barrel and you need to go see your local gunsmith.
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    Hello as the 1894 of your vintage only came in a few calibers I would think it would be Fairly simple to narrow it down If you take a 30-30 round and take the bullet end first and try it for size in the muzzle if the bullet and the cartridge neck goes in the bore then it is a 38/55 if the bullet will not even start in the bore it is 25-35 If the bullet will almost fit then it is most likely 30-30 If the bullet is slightly loose it is then 32-40 or 32 special
  • B17-P51B17-P51 Member Posts: 2,185 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Do a chamber cast with Cerrosafe. Very simple, inexpensive and positive ID.
  • duckhunterduckhunter Member Posts: 7,668 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Get the chamber cast material at brownells.
  • declyndeclyn Member Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    hmm well call me a wuss but... the chamber casting process scares the hell out of me lol.

    i do have a bass pro sorta near me... (about 45 min.) but that smith is always soooo darn busy though.

    probably the best thing to do is to break down and go to him... my original thought was to grab some rounds based on the potential list of calibers for my rifle's possible caliber, but i think if i guess wrong ill end up with 2 boxes of ammo i cant use... and will probably be out more money than if i just go to the smith.

    he is a great smith, but the poor guy is just swamped when ever i go there to it takes for ever to get any time with him.

    thanks for the tips yall!
  • mrbrucemrbruce Member Posts: 3,374
    edited November -1
    Well I think if you can pour water out of a boot you can do a casting of your chamber.
    It melts at a very low temperature, and comes with complete easy to understand instructions..
    Go for it you'll be proud of yourself......
  • Bert H.Bert H. Member Posts: 11,280 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The caliber stamp is located on the top of the barrel (12 o'clock position) just forward of the frame ring. If you can not see/read it, either the barrel has a lot of wear, or has been refinished, or is not factory original. You should be able to measure the bore diameter (at the muzzle) to determine the caliber.

    25-35 W.C.F. = .257"
    30 W.C.F. (30-30) = .308"
    32-40 = .321"
    32 W.S. = .321"
    38-55 = .379"
  • declyndeclyn Member Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Well, i didnt do the cast, but i did pick up a box of 30-30 and bam! it fits perfectly!

    as far as the chamber cast goes, its more bout screwing up an family heirloom that scares me.

    i got the ammo because it was only $12 and the cost of a bar of the metal for the cast was like $30ish (i dont recall the exact amount).

    i figured if i was wrong on the ammo... well its only $12 and well i have to admit i have this odd... fascination with all types of ammo and having some new ammo would not hurt my feelings too much.

    i like to collect them and all. im sure im not alone but i always feel odd admitting it.
  • freddbear4freddbear4 Member Posts: 154 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't know how much you think the gunsmith would have charged you or how far it is to his shop but sometimes its worth spending a dollar instead of trying to save a nickle. Do the wrong thing and damage your gun or yourself and it would not be worth it.
  • Tailgunner1954Tailgunner1954 Member Posts: 7,815
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by declyn
    Well, i didnt do the cast, but i did pick up a box of 30-30 and bam! it fits perfectly!

    So now you know it's EITHER a 32Win Special or a 30WCF, but you still don't know EXACTLY what it is.
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