Winchester Model 94 Disassembly

This Winchester Model 94 disassembly tutorial is not a to-the-last-nut-and-bolt procedure. Rather, it takes a Model 94 down to its major assemblies using tools a normal reloader/gun tinkerer would have on hand. Those assemblies, however, can be disassembled by the brave (and the foolhardy) with the aid of a set of roll pin punches and very little else. However, I strongly suggest leaving disassembly of those assemblies to the hands of a good gunsmith.

Screwdriver blades The goal of this tutorial is to teach the reader how to disassemble a Model 94 in order to make minor repairs or perform major cleaning. Tools needed are (1) a small punch, and (2) a set of hollow-ground screwdrivers.

Many shooting/reloading supply companies sell sets of hollow-ground gunsmith screwdrivers or bits. I use a Lyman Magdriver which comes with seven hollow-ground bits in its handle. It costs about $20. Lyman won't sell just the bits so when I break a bit or need one not supplied, I buy el cheapo Wal-Mart bits and flatten the tips with my bench grinder. If you don't have a bench grinder, use a file.

As the graphic shows, regular screwdriver bits are wedge shaped. Use one on a firearm screw and get a boogered-up screw head. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Almost all parts shown in this tutorial are available from Winchester Parts and Service (1-800-322-4626), Brownells and Numrich

 Brownells also sells a gun-specific set of screwdriver bits:

  • Winchester 94 Top Eject 6 bits only = #080-087-014 = $9.67
    with handle = #080-087-009 = $17.40

  • Winchester 94 Angle Eject 5 bits only = #080-087-013 = $8.53
    with handle = #080-087-008 = $16.07

You can also order the individual bits from Brownells for $2.67 each. They will fit the Lyman Magdriver handle. For a Winchester 94 Top Eject, the 6 bits are:

  1. #120-5
  2. #180-3
  3. #210-3
  4. #210-4
  5. #210-5
  6. #300-3

The Brownells site offers a free, clear, exploded view diagram they call a "Schematic." Click the "Schematic" tab at the top of the main page, then follow directions. I used "94 Top Eject- S/N Above 2,700,000 Schematic ID# 351." The Numrich site offers exploded view diagrams but with a 99¢ download fee. So if Brownells doesn't sell a part or has it on backorder, I open the Brownells schematic in one browser window and the Numrich parts-listing page in another window.

You'll need your rifle's serial number in order to see the proper schematic. Note: both of these sites and other sites I checked use the same Winchester terminology for each part. In other words, although each company might have a different part number for a "Finger Lever Link Pin," that name gets you the same part from each company.

For the purpose of this tutorial I have listed the Brownells retail price for each part, when available. I did that easily because I saved the proper Brownells schematic web page to my computer's desktop. Offline, I can open the page and there's the schematic and the parts listing. You should do the same. An exploded view is handy when trying to put something back together. Hint hint.

In Internet Explorer, in the upper left-hand corner of the window click "File." When the tab opens, click "Save As. . . ." and save the web page to your desktop or wherever. (Don't worry. The only thing actually on your desktop will be a little clickable icon.)

The Model 94 shown here is circa 1976 with SN 4,537,XXX. I call it my "woods/heart attack rifle." You can read much more about it here.

 Click photos for full size popup versions. 

Click for full size popup photo We start with removal of the magazine tube and forearm. Here we see my finger pushing down the "Magazine Plug" ($10.42) and a screwdriver removing the "Magazine Plug Screw" ($1.79).

I'm pushing the plug down because the "Magazine Spring" ($7.31) is under tension. If you don't hold the plug down, parts will fly everywhere when the spring pops out.


Click for full size popup photo See what I mean there, Vern?

That's the "Magazine Spring" sticking out of the "Magazine Tube" ($24.30) and that's the plug and screw in my hand. Remove the spring, then point the end of the tube down and the "Magazine Follower" ($5.35) should fall out. It's a thimble-like device which rides up and down the Magazine Tube on top of the last cartridge in the magazine. If the follower doesn't fall out, open the bolt, stick your finger in the action, then give the end of the follower a little push.


Click for full size popup photo  

Now we loosen the "Front Band" ($15.50) by removing the "Band Screw, Front" ($1.79).

Yes, that Magdriver bit is too small.

Click for full size popup photo The Front Band out of our way, let's look at a potential problem spot.

This photo shows the notches in the barrel and in the Magazine Tube. The Front Band Screw passes through the notches and, basically, prevents the Magazine Tube from falling out of the rifle. It shows wear on the rear portion caused by the barrel moving backward under recoil while Newton's First Law of Motion kept the tube at rest.

Click for full size popup photo  

This close up shows the wear on the tube. I alleviate the wear by snugging an Uncle Mike's sling swivel barrel band against the Front Band rear side. It absorbs most of the recoil, preventing further wear.


Click for full size popup photo  

A couple of years after the above photo was taken I discovered a better way to handle recoil wear on both the barrel and the front band. I took the mag tube to the local NAPA store and bought an o-ring to fit. (NAPA # 727-2015 o-ring) By snugging the o-ring between the front band and the mag tube band it stopped the wear problem.

If you like a free-floating mag tube for better accuracy, install an o-ring or face excessive wear.


Click for full size popup photo  

Next we loosen the "Rear Band, Carbine" ($15.50) by removing the "Band Screw, Rear."

The Magazine Tube will now slide forward out of the "Forearm, Standard, Walnut" ($38.23). If it doesn't, wiggle it until it's free.


Click for full size popup photo From left to right, we see the:

  • Magazine Spring
  • Magazine Follower
  • Magazine Plug
  • Magazine Plug Screw
  • Front Band
  • Band Screw, Front
  • Rear Band
  • Band Screw, Rear
  • Magazine Tube
  • Forearm
  • Woods Rifle's barrel leaning against my bench.
If your Model 94 is a few years or more old, I suggest you remove the Magazine Tube and clean it and also check the condition of the Magazine Spring. My tube was full of crud and the spring was rusty.

Click for full size popup photo Let's start taking the action apart.

We begin by removing the "Tang Screw" ($5.03) and then removing the stock. The screw out, wiggle the stock and pull rearward at the same time. You might have to give it a knock with your knuckles. You might even have to wiggle, pull, knock, and twist. But it should come off without much trouble.

The Tang Screw is the only screw holding it.


Click for full size popup photo Here we see the stock (It's a Ram-Line) pulled backward and about to fall off.

Take note of the coil mainspring trigger/tang assembly on this rifle SN 4,537,XXX. All the Model 94 parts lists I've read clearly state that flat mainspring trigger/tang assemblies are used on rifles SN 4,580,000 and below. Here we see more evidence of the shadetree gunsmith who once worked on this rifle. He probably had the coil mainspring assembly on a junker rifle and put it on this rifle—at the new price, I would bet.

Click for full size popup photo This close up of a portion of the above photo shows the side of the receiver. The 4 screws we will remove are numbered in the order in which we will remove them. They are:

  1. "Link/Hammer Screw" ($1.80)
  2. "Finger Lever Pin Stop Screw" ($2.61)
  3. "Link/Hammer Screw" ($1.80) [same screw as above]
  4. "Carrier Screw" ($2.59)
The 3 scope mounting holes you see in the close up photo are misaligned and partially stripped, probably by the gunsmith mentioned above. While I had the receiver apart, I cleaned the threads with a tap and installed new plug screws. Both Brownells and Numrich sell taps and plug screws, but I ordered mine from Williams Gunsight Company. I like to spread the wealth—and get the latest cataloges.

  • Williams #1853: 8-40 x .125" Plug Screw @ .55¢ each (I sell them now. Click here.)
  • Williams #1759: 8-40 Carbon Tap @ $5.05
Click for full size popup photo  

Put the hammer at half-cock. Then out comes the "Link/Hammer Screw." Known here as #1 or the hammer screw.


Click for full size popup photo  

With the screw out and the hammer still on half-cock, wiggle the trigger/tang assembly while pulling down. It's a tight fit against the walls of the receiver, but it will eventually come out. When it does, set it aside.


Click for full size popup photo  

Now we remove the "Finger Lever Pin Stop Screw." Known here as #2 or the finger lever pin stop screw. Be careful. It's a short little fellow and easy to lose.


Click for full size popup photo Here we see a close up of the "Finger Lever Pin Stop Screw" hole with the screw removed. (And with stripped scope mounting holes on each side.) In the center of the hole you can see one end of the "Finger Lever Pin" ($2.60). This short pin holds the lever in the bolt and also holds the firing pin in the bolt. It's important. But it's easy to remove if you pay attention to the following instructions:

  • Note that the tip of the pin is in the middle or very near the middle of the hole.
  • It's in that position because the bolt is closed.
  • If the bolt isn't closed all the way, the pin is slightly to the right or rearward. If you knock it out while it's in that off-centered position, you will booger the threads in the hole. Click for full size popup photo Ok. The bolt is closed. The "Finger Lever Pin" is centered in the hole. We now turn over the rifle, take a small punch, stick it in the little hole provided, and we knock out the "Finger Lever Pin." (I shouldn't tell this on myself, but I used to think the tiny hole was for oil.)

    You probably won't need a hammer; I didn't. I just pushed with my hand on the punch, and out popped the pin. A nail would probably work as a punch.


    Click for full size popup photo  

    Now, turn the rifle over and open the bolt. It's time to remove screw #3, better known in parts lists as the "Link/Hammer Screw." It's known here as #3 or the link screw.


    Click for full size popup photo  

    If your rifle is above SN 6,000,000 or so, you'll have a link pin instead of a link screw, and the pin will be held in the link by this small screw. Remove it, and knock out the pin.


      This photo added 1-26-2006 and is Copyright 2006 by Steve Barrett.  

    Click for full size popup photo  

    The link screw out, the rifle will now fall apart.

    • Pull out A the link/lever assembly
    • Pull out B the locking bolt assembly


    Click for full size popup photo  

    The link/lever and locking bolt assemblies out of the rifle, pull the "Carrier" C down.

    Now grasp the "Breech Bolt" and pull it rearward and out of the rifle.


    Click for full size popup photo  

    Turn the "Breech Bolt" upside down, and out falls the firing pin—"Firing Pin" ($18.00)


    Click for full size popup photo  

    The last screw—#4, the "Carrier Screw" ($2.59).


    Click for full size popup photo  

    Here it is. The "Carrier" on the left, the "Carrier Screw" on the right.

    If you'll notice in the full size photo, this "Carrier Screw" is worn. It's on my replace list.


    Click for full size popup photo We're finished. From left to right and with a penny for scale, here's the removed screws and pin:

    • "Tang Screw"
    • "Carrier Screw"
    • "Link/Hammer Screw"
    • "Link/Hammer Screw"
    • "Finger Lever Pin Stop Screw" with the "Finger Lever Pin" beneath it.

    If you'll notice, one of the link/hammer screws is worn. It's also on my replace list.

    Click for full size popup photo Here we see the parts and assemblies spread across my work bench. There's still a few parts inside the receiver, including leaf springs, but I'm stopping the tutorial here. We've disassembled a Model 94 plenty far enough to make minor repairs or perform major cleaning. If the reader needs to replace those few parts I've left inside the receiver of my woods rifle, he or she should be able to do it with the aid of the Brownells exploded view. Or with the aid of a good gunsmith.

    If you take your older Model 94 down as far as I took mine for this tutorial, you will probably discover, as I did, lots of crud and some worn but easily replaceable parts. My woods rifle's trigger had creep and seemed to operate in stages. I did not disassemble the trigger/tang assembly, but I did give it a thorough cleaning with oil, rags, and Q-tips®. Result = good trigger now.

    But if you take a rifle apart, you've got to put it back together. You don't want to walk into a gunsmith's shop and hand him a sack of parts and say, "Would you please put this Model 94 back together for me?"

    To put it back together, we reverse the take it apart process:

    • Re-install the carrier using screw #4.
    • Put the firing pin in the proper position inside the bolt and slide the bolt into the receiver.
    • Thread the lever through the slot in the carrier. Then thread the lever through the slot in the bolt and through the slot in the firing pin. That's much easier said than done. You'll have to do some wiggling with parts and maybe some cursing with words. "You dirty $%#@!)*&^%" usually works for me.
    • Start the locking bolt into the receiver, then hook it into its slot in the rear of the link.
    • Re-install the link using screw #3. Click for full size popup photo
    • Close the lever. Note that the rear of the link doesn't close all the way.
    • With your thumb, as you see in the photo, push the link up into the receiver. That forces the locking bolt up against the breech bolt, closing the breech bolt. Remember that hole for screw #2 and the Finger Lever Pin? Well, it's centered again.
    • Align screw hole #2 with the hole in the lever, then drop the Finger Lever Pin in the hole and push it down and home.
    • Cover the hole with screw #2.
    • Wiggle the trigger/tang assembly back in place. Re-install it with screw #1.
    • Slide the stock back in place. You will probably need to tap it on the butt to get it to seat all the way forward.
    • Re-install the Tang Screw. We're finished—and no parts left over.
    Cycle the action a few times to make sure everything is working ok. If you just gave your rifle its first major cleaning, you'll notice a smoother action.

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    Copyright 2004 by Junior Doughty
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