Rifle: Canadian PCMR Winchester M94

Winchester-94-Tilt

Rifle Winchester 94 Manufacturer Winchester
Cartridge .30-.30 Overall Length 37.8″
Action Lever-action Barrel Length 20″
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.

PCMR BadgeCanada’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-94-Left

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.

Canadian Rifle Winchester M1894 CrestThese 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.

Canadian Rifle Winchester M1894 POV

 

13 Responses to “Rifle: Canadian PCMR Winchester M94”

  1. евгений says:

    красива !

  2. Lee Revell says:

    It’s such a shame these pieces of Canadian Military history were destroyed. U.S. milsurp enthusiasts like myself would love to have one.

  3. Clint Tauber says:

    I live on the Canadian West Coast (Queen Charlotte Islands), and these PCMR 94’s are still fairly common here. Almost always in rather sad condition, unfortunately. The 94 and the US M1917 were the most common PCMR rifles, and you still find the M-17’s too. They were also sold for $5 to the Rangers that carried them, and were issued complete with bayonets. The patrol leaders even got Sten guns! The PCMR M-17’s are usually in great shape, they were so heavy and cumbersome that they saw little use after the war. I have one by Winchester, all matching original parts with 10-18 dated barrel.

    • Suzie says:

      I think I knew about the M-17s, but not the Stens. That’s really neat! It’s sad to hear that the Winchesters got beat up, but a lot of them did see pretty long service life, so I guess that’s to be expected. I’d love to see a picture of your Winchester if you have one!

  4. Clint Tauber says:

    How do I send pictures? I even have one of PCMR with Stens and M-17’s, posing with a perforated sea lion!

    • Othais says:

      You can always email us at CandRsenal at gmail.com

      • Clint Tauber says:

        Duh…. Nobody can call me smart and get away with it, lol!

        The Marlin Model 36 or 336 was purchased for the PCMR as well, but I have never seen one in person. I did notice one in a PCMR photo on another site. It is a pity they didn’t keep the 94’s for the Rangers of today, at least those not operating in polar bear country. The 94 is a much more practical gun for the woods than the No.4 Lee Enfield or that ugly new Tikka thing. The Government even bought FMJ .30WCF ammo for PCMR use. I have a couple of rounds here, somewhere.

  5. Jesse says:

    I have one of these pcmr rifles.

  6. Jesse says:

    Mine is missing the front sling band and the web sling and the front sight hood.

  7. My Dad was a Pacific Coast Ranger, lied about his age to join (15). He bought his 94 for 5 bucks and they threw in his down filled sleeping bag also. Dad died 8 yrs. ago and I now have his 30 30 and sleeping bag. The rifle has only been fired 6 or 7 times ,as my Dad was not a hunter. I remember growing up it was always wrapped in one of Moms nylons, stored under their bed. I am 62 yrs. old, and I just got my hunting licence, and went on my first hunting trip 2 weeks ago. My father in law set the sights and I fired that old 30 30 for the first time in over 65 yrs. It still has the original strap, all the bluing is intact, mint condition. My father in law is an avid hunter, and after firing the 94, he was so impressed now he wants it. LOL
    Anyway I wanted to share my story with you and your readers
    Bruce S

  8. Phil Pangborn says:

    I wish people would use the correct term “sling” instead of “strap”…its annoying.

  9. Rob says:

    It turns out I have had one of these 94’s for a few years. It was gifted to me by my FiL who got it from his brother when he passed. Not sure of its history prior to that though. Mine is in reasonable condition. Most of the blueing is gone along with the front sight hood. It does have a front sling band but the same as the ones I have seen in photos. This one wraps around the barrel and magazine tube just forward of the forestock. The web sling has been replaced with an old leather one.

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