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Pablo

Bought a Winchester 92 built in 1894 - 357 Magnum

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I am now way off the reservation.

Send out a posse. I just got home from probably my funnest day of shooting in my life. Shot only a couple of my own guns, but went to a semi private shooting range to meet a guy with a 357 lever gun for sale. An amazing gun. Shoots all forms of 38 and 357, all loads all bullet shapes and weights. The slickest action I have ever felt.

You know the story. Gun started life as a M1892 32-20. Expertly converted by a master to a .357 magnum. Yes, I know a ruined piece of heritage and I shouldn't buy such a thing, because it ruined a good gun. Well you know, I agree with that, but I bought it - it exists and it shouldn't be destroyed.

Anyway, it's very accurate and fun to shoot. I went through a mess of fun shooting stages, cowboy style. Even got to shoot some cool side by side shotguns, a mess of revolvers, etc.

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I would only shoot 38s in that gun. It may be chambered for 357 but the steel used in 1894 is not up to the pounding of full-house (35,000 psi) 357 loads. The 32-20 was a blackpowder cartridge (as was the 38 Special when it was introduced).

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I would only shoot 38s in that gun. It may be chambered for 357 but the steel used in 1894 is not up to the pounding of full-house (35,000 psi) 357 loads. The 32-20 was a blackpowder cartridge (as was the 38 Special when it was introduced).

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Wow, you bought the brother to mine. Mine was made in 1907 (or 1904? I'll look when I get home) and was also converted to .357 mag long before I owned it. Whether mine was a 25-20 or 32-20 I don't know. I want a .32-20 so it does kinda bother me that it might be one more taken off the market, but like you say, the conversion might be what saved it from being parted out or something worse.

I don't worry too much about shooting .357 Mag in mine, but like most of my guns, I don't think I have never shot a factory load through it either. I generally load .357 to "moderate" levels- not 38 Spl level but not the smoking hot level they were loaded to for the first 20 years or so the 357 existed. But I don't think any current factory load is close to those original little bombs either.

I might be more concerned about one rechambered to .44 Mag, which seems to me was done more than .357 conversions back then. There would be less steel around the chamber with those. I have heard people talk of problems with the .44s but have never actually seen it.

The 1892 came out right before smokeless powder came into use here (it was being used elsewhere) so I have to think that the use of smokeless and it's higher pressures was taken into consideration. I need to check when I get home but that might even be one of the reasons Winchester wanted Browning to design the 92.

There were also factory ammo loadings in 32WCF that were loaded to higher pressures. These were intended for the Winchester 1892 (and not the 1873 or handguns) and so-marked right on the box. Winchester made some. This was the .32-20HV loading. I don't have access to anything right now that would tell me the pressures (if they are even known) but it helps me feel OK knowing the 1892 could handle more than the pressures delivered by the factory ammo originally loaded for the 1873.

What variation is yours? (20" carbine, 24" rifle, etc)

It sure is a slick action isn't it? The current made copies don't compare. They give you the general idea, but the real and worn slick original is as smooth as can be.

It's a compact little action too. I like how slender it is. Mine is a 24" rifle configuration, and with that long barrel, slender action, and curved buttplate, it reminds me of a graceful Kentucky rifle to a degree.

Congratulations.

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Oh, I forgot. I don't know if 38 specials will even feed. The 92 is pretty picky about overall length of the cartridge. I couldn't get 158 SWC 38s to feed in mine, although the longer 173 grain SWCs and some others I have now might work.

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20" carbine.

One thing I like about the gun, it seemed to take any 38 or 357 I fed it. It even took the light bullet +P treasury rounds with no issues.

It has a Williams sight, which my eye really likes, but I don't like the width it adds to the rifle.

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Just FYI, I looked at my 1896 Winchester catalog reprint (I don't have the 1894-sorry) and the 1892 Carbine listed for $17.50 then.

Just for comparison, the 1873 it eventually replaced also sold for $17.50 and up, the 1886 started at $19.00, the 1894 at $17.50, the 1895 started at $19.50 ($25.00 in .30 Army due to the nickel steel barrel).

The 1885 single shot was a real bargain at $14.50 and up, but their 6mm Lee straight pull was an astronomical $32.00.

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Wowser.........

I'm taking my collectible Winchester 9422 Classic with me to the range next Friday. I have not shot the gun in over 20 years. It's the smoothest lever gun I own.

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