Starting in 1964, Winchester released different series of commemorative rifles based on the Model 94 platform. Each series was made to recognize or honor an iconic person, place, event or organization in American history with fancy wood, metal finishes and engraving and highly illustrated boxes. The different series were usually made in limited numbers with special serial numbers. The commemorative rifles were intended to be instant collectibles and they enjoy a sort of cult like following in the gun world.
While this is not the normal kind of discussions we have on The Explora, these rifles represent a fun chapter in the American gun trade and the five examples we have are some of the more iconic ones, so we thought they worth mentioning.
1969 Golden Spike Carbine Commemorative. This series features a brass framed Model 94 chambered in .30-30 Winchester commemorating the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in North America. The rifle’s engraving and box illustrate when two locomotives from the two railroads met nose to nose on May 10, 1869 in Promontory Summit, Utah. 69,996 rifles produced in this series, this rifle is #GS25538
1980 Oliver F. Winchester Commemorative. This series features a brass plated Model 94 chambered in .30-30 Winchester with engraving scenes of the Winchester factory and the box is illustrated with Oliver F. Winchester’s portrait. 19,999 rifles produced in this series; this rifle is #OFW730
1981 John Wayne Commemorative. This series features a Model 94 chambered in .30-30 Winchester with a silver receiver and an engraved scene of a stage coach being chased by bandits and titles of movies John Wayne starred in engraved around the outside of the action. The rifle also features the large “Trapper” lever loop, made famous by John Wayne. 49,000 rifles produced in this series; this rifle is #JW28502
1983 Chief Crazy Horse Commemorative. This series features a Model 94 chambered in .38-55 WCF with a case color finish and the engraving and box illustrations depict Native Americans hunting bison from horseback, the portrait of the famous Lakota War Chief, Crazy Horse. The stock is decorated in a Native American theme with brass tacks. The outside of the receiver is engraved with various tribe names. 19,999 rifles in this series and this is #CCH4867
For any interest please contact Ricky or LD:
David Hodo on March 29, 2019 at 3:05 am
Not exactly what I expected to see on the Explora, but I knew quite a few cop friends from my area in the 80's that bought them...especially the John Wayne model. Since I long lost contact with those officers, I have no idea if they still have them. So these showed up in Birmingham? Would have been interesting to see Ricky's face when some elderly English gentleman brought these in the shop and laid them on the counter! One thing is for sure, this is a change of pace for the normal "Best" guns and rifles that WR puts out everyday! Interesting and unexpected post!!!
Peter Buckley. on March 29, 2019 at 8:19 am
Hi L.D., Ricky
In my “ youth” this was my ultimate must have zenith of a rifle, I coveted this iconic ‘winner of the west’ dare I say ‘Cowboy’ rifle, my desire was such I didn’t give anything else so much as a sideways glance, very young at the height of my desire!
When came the time of my ability to own such an icon I found that my attitude had changed somewhat this change led me in a different direction in my ownership of firearms and my desire wained, I have fired a few and found them a pleasure to use!
Now in my retirement and being somewhat more laid back, quite recently a friend referred to me as an “Old Git” my friend who is now referred to as Billy (no not Billy the kid but Billy no mates) put it more into perspective will I get to excited owning one think about your heart we don’t want you having a heart attack!!
Indeed what wonderful American icons, as David Hodo remarked something one wouldn’t expect to see on the “Explora”.
Richard Leachman on November 9, 2019 at 7:23 pm
I have all of these in my collection, started young all are in excellent condition never fired.