Firearms historians such as RL Wilson and Hal Herring have referred to the Model 1894 as the “ultimate lever-action design.” Designed by John Moses Browning (what famous American firearm wasn’t?) It was the first commercial firearm to be designed for use with smokeless powder. One other innovation of the design was the fact that Mr. Browning designed the firearm, like his earlier model 1892, as an optional take down model.
The takedown model, as the name implies, separates into two halves. The first half with the stock, action and trigger group. The second half with the barrel and forearm. This enables the firearm to be stored in a suitcase, saddlebag, backpack, or other non-standard guncase. The take down Winchester readily appealed to travelers in the post-Indian Wars American West where open carry of a longarm was frowned upon but still needed from time to time in areas where Mexican revolutionary raiders, desperate criminals, and cattle thieves still were a legitimate threat.
The 100-year old vintage take down 1894 Winchester
Winchester for years offered take down versions of their 1892, 1894, and Model 55 lever action rifles, but since 1964 has largely refrained from the practice. Now Winchester has reintroduced the take down to the 1894 in the Trails End Takedown model. Taking the regular short-barreled post-64 short-barreled brush gun and bringing back Browning's legacy take down; the company is merging its newest improvements with the best features of its past designs. The same take down concept that made the 1900’s era lever gun easy to carry as a passenger on a train, or in a saddle bag or the boot of a horseless carriage; still allows the new design to be stowed in a boat, bush plane, snowmobile, or ATV with ease.
• Walnut Stock with satin-finish, authentic straight-grip styling and blued steel forearm mean nostalgic, elegant looks
• Traditional takedown mechanism is easy and fast
• Round locking bolt trunnions ensure a smooth, quick lever throw, less movement, more assurance
• Top-tang safety with rebounding hammer easy to see, provides extra margin of safety
• Bolt relief cut reduces hammer drag, smoother cocking
• Radiused lever edges for comfort when cycling
• Hammer is drilled and tapped for knurled hammer spur extension (included) aids cocking, decocking hammer when scope is mounted
• Marble arms® front sight with semi-buckhorn rear for fast, easier sighting
• Adjustable rear sight gets you on target
• Steel loading gate for reliable, smooth loading
• Triple checked button rifled barrel for ultimate accuracy and precision
• Articulated cartridge stop gives reliability without damaging cartridges
• Drilled and tapped for scope mounts to attach your favorite optics
•Length of pull: 13.5inches
•Drop at comb: 1 1/4-inches
•Drop at Heel: 1 3/4-inches
The New Trails End Winchester Take Down
The assembled rifle is only 38-inches overall with a 20-inch barrel and
comes in at 6-pounds, 12 ounces unloaded weight. Available in both
classic .30-.30 and hard-hitting .450 Marlin, the Trails End Takedown in
450 Marlin is ported for less muzzle jump, less recoil and is fitted
with a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad to help tame the bruiser caliber.
About the only bad news I see is that the firearm is priced at $1459.99
(MSRP.) While take down lever actions like the Browning BLR and the 1892
Chiappa are always close to the $900 mark, the Winchester is still
rather high. However once they have been on the market for a while they
will surely drop some. Overall, it is nice to see that even old concepts
can be dusted off and made good again.