SOLD FOR: $3,050
Make: Winchester Repeating Arms
Model: 1894 Carbine
Serial Number: 1292245
Year of Manufacture: 1941
Caliber: .30-30 Winchester (.30 WCF)
Action Type: This rifle has a lever action with a full-length tubular magazine.
Markings: The left of the barrel is marked “MADE IN NEW HAVEN. CONN. U.S. OF AMERICA / -WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL-”, -“WINCHESTER / -TRADE MARK-“-, “MODEL 94 – 30 W.C.F.-”. The top of the barrel and top of the chamber ring are each marked with a circled “WP” proof. The underside of the receiver is marked “1292245”. The top tang is marked “WINCHESTER / TRADE MARK / MADE IN U.S.A.”.
Barrel Length: 20″, Round
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a beaded blade dovetailed to a textured, ramped base forged to the front of the barrel. The base is grooved for a hood which is not present. The rear sight is a “U”-notch elevator sight dovetailed to the rear of the barrel; the notch is fine-adjustable for elevation. The top tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight (none present).
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are 2-piece smooth walnut with banded semi-beavertail forend, straight grip, straight comb, and serrated steel buttplate. The stocks have some scattered nicks, dings, scuffs and scratches. There are a couple of filled spots in the comb. There is residue at the toe where it looks like there was a sticker previously. The LOP measures 13″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has gone to a mottled patina with scattered wear and minor erosion; the serrations are well defined. Overall, the stocks are in about Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright and the rifling is sharp. There is infrequent light erosion and some stubborn fouling in the bore. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 7 out of 10.
Many military and C&R-eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 70% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The barrel and magazine tube have some scattered finish wear, more notable on the sides. The receiver has finish wear mostly at edges. Some worn areas have gone to a light patina. There are scattered spots of light surface oxidation and infrequent minor erosion. There are some scattered light nicks and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock safety and there is a lever safety. The trigger is crisp. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes with a notarized letter from Senior Ranger Captain Clint Peoples of the Texas Rangers certifying that this rifle was carried by Texas Rangers Joe Bridge, W. C. Nelson and Jerome Preiss, a Texas Department of Public Safety inventory card for the rifle and an inventory card from Chas. Schreiner III (a previous owner of the rifle). Also included is a copy of “The Life and Times of Joe H. Bridge Texas Ranger 1936-1956” by Joe H. Bridge Jr., a short biography of Jerome Preiss provided courtesy of the Texas Rangers, and a signed letter from author Rick Hacker detailing his history with the rifle. Also included is a Cody Firearms Records Office search which indicates that this rifle’s serial number was applied on August 19, 1941.
Our Assessment: This is a Winchester Model 94 Carbine in .30-30 WCF that was made in 1941, just before America would enter WWII. The .30-30 is perhaps the most popular deer cartridge in America, and the 94 chambered for this classic round is nearly synonymous with “deer rifle”. The model saw some very limited military use and was used by various law enforcement agencies, including the Texas Rangers.
The Texas Rangers did not consistently mark their firearms, so documented examples are hard to come by. In this rifle’s case, it came from the collection of Charles “Charlie Three” Schreiner III, a Texas rancher whose grandfather had been a Texas Ranger in the 1850s. The documentation of this carbine’s association with the Texas Rangers includes a notarized letter from Senior Ranger Captain Clint Peoples who notes that the rifle was carried by at least three Rangers including Joe Bridge, W.C. Nelson and Jerome Preiss. Provenance includes inventory cards from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Chas. Schreiner III collection. Also included is a short biography of Preiss and a longer biography of Bridge which was written by his own son.
The whole lot comes from the personal collection of noted gun writer, NRA Field Editor and winner of the John T. Amber Literary Award, Rick Hacker. The letter details Mr. Hacker’s history with the rifle including its appearance in a number of his articles including the Fall 2022 issue of Texas Gun Collectors magazine as well as American Rifleman.
A Texas Ranger gun would be a wonderful addition to any collection, and you’ll be hard pressed to find many as well documented as this one. This year, 2023, marks the bicentennial of Stephen Austin’s first Rangers and the year is almost up! Whether you’re a collector or just a proud Texan, this is one rifle you don’t want to miss out on. Please see our photos and good luck!
Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud