The Winchester 94 or more formally the Winchester Model 1894 (also commonly known as Winchester .30-30 rifle, .30-30 Winchester, .30-30 or simply Win 94) is one of the most popular and famous hunting rifles. The Winchester 94 was designed originally by John Browning in 1894, and manufactured and produced at Winchester Repeating Arms Company.
The original Winchester Model 1894 was produced in .32 Winchester Special, .30-30 Winchester,.25-35 Winchester,.38-55 Winchester, and .32-40 Winchester.
The Winchester 94 was the first sporting rifle to sell over one million (1,000,000) units. The millionth Model of the Winchester 94 was presented to President Calvin Coolidge in 1927.
The shotgun was the first chambered for the, at the time, new smokeless powder cartridges. The .30-30 Winchester cartridge is the one that has became nearly synonymous with the Model 1894 rifle.
In 1964 the manufacturing of the Winchester 94 was significantly changed in order to make the shotgun far less expensive to manufacture.
One of the major weaknesses of the Model 1894 action in direct relation to its primary competitor, the Marlin Model 336 and Marlin Model 1894, is the fact that it ejects the spent cartridge out the top of the receiver, this is different than the Model 336 and Marlin 1894, which both eject to the side and have a solid impenetrable top on the receiver. This fact is often considered inferior because a top-ejecting firearm has a limited scope mounting position. In fact it can only mount a scope on the barrel in front of the receiver, this severely degrades the utility and availability of scopes. Additionally, the Model 336 supposedly has a much improved and stronger action as it is solid and impenetrable on the top of the modification of an angular receiver. This change sends empty shells out flying at an angle between the Marlin design and the original Winchester design. This immediate change made it possible to mount more common scopes in a normal top spot directly mounted on top of the receiver.
U.S. production of the Winchester 94 was shut down in 2006. There are 14 versions of the Model 1894 in the 2005 Winchester catalog.
The Winchester Model 1894 holds the record for the best selling high powered rifle in United States history.