Winchester 94 Lever Jammed After Firing
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:49 PM   #1
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Default Winchester 94 Lever Jammed After Firing

Can someone please tell me how to fix this? I have a Sears/Roebuck Model 54 (Winchester 94) Williams Model in 30-30. It is a post-64 model, ejects from the top (not an AE model)and according to Winchester records is one of the earliest post-64's made.

When I got it I noted that the trigger was a bit loose, with about a quarter of an inch front-to-back play, and it released with little travel once it engaged. I have had others with the same condition which worked fine so I did not think it was an issue. I cycled a few rounds to test the action and it fed and ejected them with no problem.

Then I went to fire it. I loaded three rounds, cycled to chamber one, took aim and fired. The rifle discharged with no problem - but when I tried to cycle to eject the spent case and chamber the second round I found that the lever wouldn't budge.

After the usual wiggling to try to free it I unloaded the remaining two rounds from the front of the magazine tube and put that back together. Still no joy. I noticed that the ejector isn't sitting perfectly flush with the top of the bolt - it's raised just enough to notice. I tried tapping it and it wouldn't move.

The spent case is still in the chamber - and it was brand new Winchester ammo. Incidentally, I did hit my target.

Does anyone here know what the problem is and hopefully how I can fix it? I'm good with tools but I don't want to disassemble this until I know what it is I'm looking for.

Thank you thank you thank you in advance! Any help will be appreciated greatly. I like this gun, but I'd like it a whole lot better if it worked like it should...

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Old 11-17-2012, 07:28 PM   #2
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Welcome to the FTF. We have an "Introductions" area and we would appreciate you stopping by and saying "Hi".

Now to the problem. The trigger has a little slop with hammer down and lever up - no problem there.
Take a good look at any and all screws. Make sure that they are firmly seated (and use the correct screwdriver so the screw heads don't get buggered).

The ejector will not sit flush with the top of the bolt if there is a spent case in the chamber. That is not the problem.

I presume that you purchased this used. Did you thoroughly clean it before shooting? If there is rust in the chamber area, the casing may hang and be hard to eject.

I would suggest that you see a gunsmith. He/she should have the tools to assist with the extraction.

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Old 11-17-2012, 07:35 PM   #3
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Yeah, best not monkey with it yourself if you don't know the gun intimately. Did you check the chamber and the bore prior to firing it? Even if it cycled rounds normally without firing them when they are fired it can lock the case in the chamber if there is rust or dirt in there.

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Old 11-17-2012, 08:08 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice guys - but I did clean it first. Maybe I didn't get everything but it did look clean before I loaded and took that shot.

Maybe I just need to pull a bit harder - or better yet push with a cleaning rod while pulling the lever? Seems to me that if it's just a bit of fudge that was missed or got there from elsewhere in the action that trying the cleaning rod might just break it free without buggering the works.

What do you think about attempting that first? I'd really hate to have to take it to the shop if this might work with minimal risk of breakage...

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Old 11-17-2012, 08:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by shootforfun View Post
Thanks for the advice guys - but I did clean it first. Maybe I didn't get everything but it did look clean before I loaded and took that shot.

Maybe I just need to pull a bit harder - or better yet push with a cleaning rod while pulling the lever? Seems to me that if it's just a bit of fudge that was missed or got there from elsewhere in the action that trying the cleaning rod might just break it free without buggering the works.

What do you think about attempting that first? I'd really hate to have to take it to the shop if this might work with minimal risk of breakage...
I do NOT recommend using a cleaning rod! If it is that bad then you definitely want to bring it in. As to using more force on the lever, that is a good way to try and get the case out, but it doesn't tell you what went wrong in the first place. Again, a good gunsmith is a necessity here. If you get the case out and don't know what caused the problem to begin with, where does that leave you?
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:55 AM   #6
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Also, do not use a wooden dowel. What will happen is that the dowel will get stuck in the case and break off the second you try to put pressure on it.

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Old 11-18-2012, 02:44 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice guys - and I see your point about using a cleaning rod or wooden dowel. I agree that if it takes that kind of force then something is very bollixed up.

I tried using moderate force on the lever and the case popped free. Closer inspection found some mung still in the chamber at the end - guess I didn't do a good enough job on it. All else looks okay (and I REALLY looked close this time) so I think that after I give it a good and more thorough cleaning it should be fine.

The spent case looked okay - no nicks or burns.

I plan to try again tomorrow and I'll let you all know how it goes. If the problem repeats then I'll take your advice and bring it to the shop.

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Old 11-19-2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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Quick update - problem appears solved. Guess it was just in need of a better cleaning than I originally gave it. Thanks again everyone! Real glad I didn't need to have it looked at...

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Old 11-24-2012, 01:52 AM   #9
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glad it worked out

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