Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Winchester 94 Under Carrier Jam

Many of us have had under the carrier jams with our Winchester 94s. This seems to be much more prevalent with the later Post-64 versions and the .357 Mag versions made towards the end of Winchesters production.

Here is a couple of cut away drawings showing what the insides of a Winchester 94 looks like in both open and closed positions.

Figure A
In figure A you see the action closed. In the circle is the cartridge stop. When the action is closed the cartridge stop lays flat, out of the way in the notch machined for it. The cartridges in the magazine slide right over the top of it onto the carrier.

The forward end of most of the Win 94 cartridge carriers are notched to sit low in the receiver around the cartridge stop. This notch varies from deep as in the pre-64 carrier shown in the picture above, to shallow in some of the post-64 carriers. The .357 carriers found in the later USRAC guns are much shorter than the other carriers and have no notch.

Figure B
In Figure: B you see the action open with the cartridge stop in the up position blocking the next cartridge in line. As you can see by this pic, it's not the height of the stop but its length that's critical.

Study the pic and you can easily see what happens to cause an under the carrier jam. When the cartridge stop breaks off, wears down or tolerances stack up wrong, the cartridge will slip over it and end up between the open link and raised carrier. At this point clearing the jam usually requires at least partial disassembly of the rifle.

The problem can be cured in a number of ways:
A: Replace the link
B: Cold swage the cartridge stop to a longer length and then reshape it with a file. This only works if the problem is minor wear or a tolerance problem.
C: Weld up the stop and reshape it.
Winchester Carrier
D: See Steve Young's comments below.

I hope this helps explain the "Under The Carrier Jam" Winchester 94s are occasionally beset with.

-Joe Miller-

There is one other fix I've had some success using with the 357's. Part of the problem with the late 94's is Win tried to make the parts, one-size-fits-all. In other words they left things kind of loose to eliminate as much hand fitting as possible. There where the link is pinned into the receiver is a good example. When someone sent a 357 that was feeding under the carrier I would order a new link and the install it using a custom made oversize link pin. Then drill both the receiver and the link for a tight pin fit. By removing the slack there at the pin this made the cart stop come back to the same place each time.

-Steve Young-

And this from a contributor known only as "retmech"...

Normal and Repaired Link
My 94 AE started passing shells under the carrier so I ordered a new link because the top edge of the cartridge stop was worn and rounded. The new link lasted about 100 rds and it started screwing up. The part is a soft sintered metal part and it started rounding. I had a friend weld the stop and I reshaped it. Now over a thousand rounds later no problem, with the link. I'm on my third ejector now so it looks like I have to make one of those too! Here is a picture of my link. I made it a little wider than original and it's holding up great, looks just like when I first put it in with no wear on it.


FirstStateMark said...

Thanks for posting this. I have a model 94 in 45LC that had the problem. I took it to a gunsmith after reading your page and he welded and reshaped the stop. I knew this would work best after reading your page. Works fine now. Thanks

Unknown said...

I suspected I could weld the stop and reshape it to function. After reading this I tore my rifle down and welded it, shaped it with a file and it works great! Thanks.

Unknown said...

After reading this I repaired the cartridge stop on my 30-30 model 94. Thank you, I suspected I could weld up the part and reshape by filing but never got around to trying until I read this, thanks!