Not much related to leverguns as of late, but I finally finished a project that I've been working on now for several years.
My dad bought a NIB '66 Win M94 Antique in 1968 for $25 at Gibson's in Corpus. Immediately after '64, an M94 was a tough sell, but he liked the saddle ring carbine and even back then you could not argue the price. Since then he has used this rifle on both mule and whitetail deer, pronghorn, javelina, and hog. He is a one rifle guy, and this was his rifle. Some 20 years later, I put a B-Square "no drill" side mount on the rifle for him as his eyes with the "irons" were giving him problems. After our pronghorn season at Marathon in 2005, he told me that the side mount vs. his vision was just not working anymore.
I wanted him to have a nice levergun, so I offered him a Marlin 336ER chambered in 356 Win, but no, if he couldn't shoot a 30-30 Win, he would quit hunting. That is the only cartridge he has hunted with during his 80 years of hunting. So I gave him a Glenfield 30GT, and he was happy as a clam, and I later sold that ER for $2500!
His M94 has sat in my safe since 2005; I haven't shot it as I have five other 30-30 Wins. I asked him what he wanted to do with it and he said: "it's your's, I thought we traded." I didn't want to sell it because of his history with it, so I thought I would turn it into something that I could put a bit more hunting history into for my grandson down the road.
I had the barrel rebored-rechambered to a 35-30 for starters. I like scout rifles and level scouts in particular, so I found a '60s vintage Redfield Jr. scout base. That took awhile but it is a cool, quick release base that incorporates an adjustable rear sight that is regulated to the factory Winchester M94 front sight. The Redfield kit included a piloted drill, tap, and template so a fellow could do the work himself! The stock had a slightly curved buttstock, and I needed a little more length of pull, so I cut it square and installed a spacer and Decelerator. Finally, I refinished the walnut stock but was careful to keep any wear my father has placed on the rifle. For instance, he wore a ring on his right hand, and he shot the rifle enough that it wore a mark at the grip. He gave me that ring when I went into the Army.
Anyway, I think it turned out good, and it shoots a 190-grain cast bullet of my design very well. The case hardened receiver on this model makes it pop!