|Magazine||6 rnds tubular||Weight||6.8 lbs.|
The Winchester 94 is an iconic and much-loved gun, but many people are not aware of the role it played in World War II.
Canada’s western coast was sparsely populated and the concern was that the Japanese would take advantage of so much untamed wilderness to invade. The citizens of British Columbia and the Yukon territory were convinced that they would be the best defense against the impending invasion due to their familiarity with the land. Hundreds of volunteers, primarily hunters, trappers, and ranchers, from these territories came forward. This group became known as the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers (PCMR) and received official sanction from the Canadian government in 1942. Though they were operating under government orders, these men were not fully integrated with the military. They were issued simple arm bands and cap badges in lieu of uniforms and used either their own weapons or surplus rifles. However, by mid 1942, the government approved the purchase of somewhere between 2,000-3,000 Winchester 94s in .30 W.C.F (.30-.30). While it is uncertain whether the members of the PCMR requested this rifle specifically, it is clear that they found it favorable for its reliability, ease of use, and size.
Winchester 94s are operated by pulling the lever down and away from your body. Swinging the lever down drops the locking block, and leverages the bolt back, which cocks the external hammer. Once the bolt is in its rearward position the carrier pops up, lifting the next round. Pulling the lever back upwards closes the bolt which chambers the round. The locking block lifts back into place behind the bolt. Pulling the trigger releases the hammer which strikes the firing pin and detonates the round. Operating the lever again ejects the spent casing and begins the process anew. The gun also features an early grip safety which locks the trigger unless the lever is squeezed into the wrist of the gun.
These Canadian Winchesters were property marked with a “C” and broad arrow on the left side of the receiver, at the back of the fore stock, and at the base of the butt stock. All known examples are within the 1,300,000 serial range and were manufactured in 1942. They were also outfitted with special sling swivel bands and British web slings.
With the conclusion of WWII the PCMR was disbanded in 1945 and the volunteers were given the option to purchase their rifles from the government for $5. Those not purchased by the men were re-issued to other government departments and used until 1962 when they were destroyed, supposedly due to high maintenance costs. As a result, there are few surviving examples of these Canadian Winchester 94s today.