I have a feeling this post is going to cost me some $$. Also I'm going to dredge up an old Japan-Winchester story from a decade ago you may find amusing. I sure do and I need to write it down before I get old.
I've had a 1954 '94 (decently worn but good), also an '80s XTR model (fabulous gun - as good as the pre-64 IMO). Traded both off in the past and missed it. I do love the fact Miroku still has these in production and I'm sure they are excellent, no bias.
Ok, so last night I couldn't sleep (SAD, solstice, etc.) and went down a search rabbit-hole because of your thread here and I found a '50 gun. Well, worn - won't be cheap. BUT I can strip, steam, and refinish the wood. And I have a local refinisher who offered me a free bluing job for feeding him some biz in the past. Hmm, might be able to make this work....
So curse your eyes @OVERKILL
, because I don't have extra money for this now. But a nice '94 is just must; they are one of the most satisfying firearms ever made.
Oh - rando memory coming back which goes to Japan and Winchester. And I got a picture of it!
Like 10 years ago, I lived in Redmond WA and I kept a horse at a stable on the edge of town - back when a working guy could afford that. Nice summer days I could ride up the river to Woodinville and tie-up at the Red Hook Brewery, next to the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery. Great days. Got a super-nice late fall day, too, that year. Besides these kind of rides, I also took my horse into the mountains all over Washington all the time. So I had some magnum handguns for bears and cougars I had to carry, as well as gun-break the horses. This particular time, I was experimenting if I could carry the 1954 '94 on my (relatively) smaller gaited horse just because I loved that '94. NOT because it was more practical for bear or cougar defense. I experimented with different ways to tie the scabbard to the tack, how it rode, interfered with the horse, etc.
I got to the Red Hook brewery and went in for a beer, tied him up to their hitching post. They had not one but two really nice long wooden ones; lots of horses around that area, and trails. I was alone so I sat by a window to keep an eye on him, it was a busy weekend day. I remember I got into a conversation with a couple who had rode in on their Harley. I was about done and saw outside this group of five or six people hanging round him, taking pictures, but not leaving - but being respectful and not messing with him. I should go check. I went out and figured they must have been aficionados of fine Spanish horses or unusual South American tack, and we would have an interesting conversation. Wrong.
When I got there, they were all Japanese, and surprisingly not
fluent in English (or me in Japanese). But one guy kept pointing down low where I had strung the scabbard at the time (I was experimenting with different rigging, remember). He just kept pointing and saying, "Winchester!" "Winchester!"
I had to laugh because I had SO mis-read the situation! Apparently the lever-gun has a massive appeal in Japanese culture. They didn't give a farthing about the horse but were just amazed a horse was tied up to a hitching post, Winchester slung in a scabbard, all open and legal-like. And all in what looked like to them (I guess) liked civilized America (this was Woodinville, WA, not for example Cody, WY*). Once I figured out the score, I pulled out the gun, opened the action. I didn't even have any ammo in the gun or with me, this was just a riding exercise to fit the scabbard. I offered them the gun to examine but no one would touch it, very politely declined. I've spent a little time in Japan before (lot more in Korea), I interpreted that as a cultural fascination and identity, but a modern aversion to embracing that. I won't go more into that angle.
OK, I do have some pics of that day, though not the actual encounter at the Red Hook Brewery. Really pretty day and I had my DSLR w/me and some different lenses, which was what was in that blue/black bag tied to the cavalry bags and behind the cantle.
OK - found the date (on the photos). Was 11/3/2010:
View attachment 82693
Or better down here, messed with the gaited horse's shoulder action too much above:
View attachment 82694
That's not the hitching post at Red Hook, that's the one in a public park in Redmond where we did some testing in the arena before riding up to Woodinville.
Anyway, pardon my indulgence but the nickname of the Winchester 1894 ought to be the "Polariod" of guns - because they make memories.
You are going to love that gun.
* No offense to anyone from Wyoming. I in fact love Cody, WY. Night Rodeo 4-ever!