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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm restoring a Sears model 54. I know it was made by Winchester, but does anyone have any info on them. I'd like to find the manufacture date and I'm having no luck with my google-fu. Serial number 333XX

I saw the thread about 94 parts, which was helpful since I need a few screws and such.

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researching Sears 54 is a BEAR!


I have a Sears 54 in 30-30. Between Winchester books and even consulting with expert(s) at Cody Museum, I'm only able to ball-park it as perhaps '69 or '70.

As you're no doubt aware, the '54 is a slightly modified Winchester 1894 manufactured by Winchester for Sears customers.

It's a cool gun and I love mine.

It has great character and operates slick as can be. It came to me with a side-mounted scope (note bottom images from seller) which I immediately removed. (I'm a lefty and a scope mounted over to the left is especially unwieldy, plus I prefer iron sights on a lever gun) Unfortunately, the mount had clearly been there some time and has permanently marked the left side of the receiver...shame. Removing the mount also left a handful of tapped holes which I've mostly filled with threaded studs. I need one more screw to fill in the open holes.

You'll note the receiver itself has experienced what I've read described as "returning to the white," which is a particular way that high-nickel metal blued gun receivers oxidize. Personally, I think it looks cool and unique. (I also have an actual '94 which has turned a brownish or "plum" color as the bluing has aged...I like "interesting aging"...that one, by the way, is an '86 using Winchester's own and much more accurate serial records)

I've replaced the rear sight with a fold-down and added a tang-mounted peep sight for significantly increased sight radius. My other (actual) Winchester 1894 has a receiver peep-sight. I like aperture sights for their exceptional accuracy over standard iron sights.

Sears serial, licensing and production archives are sketchy, few and far between and production methods hardly exact. I referred heavily to: "The Winchester Model 94, The First 100 Years" by Robert C. Rennenberg (out of print), which offers numerous features of the '94 and what years they were offered, including finishes, bluing, etc.

Contacting Winchester regarding their manufacturing for Sears was not successful as their records pertaining to that relationship, pretty much, sucks and is, no doubt, worse now as Fabrique's administration of the Winchester name continues.

As Winchester overlapped use of various features, along with the unavailability of reliable serial number info. from Sears, dating a Sears 54 is difficult and information out there is EXTREMELY limited.

Even at Cody Museum, when dealing with '94 "experts," one such expert saw the different forearm cap and concluded it was customized that way by a gunsmith. I have a parts diagram that shows it clearly as a standard feature of the '54, so even the experts don't really know.

These aren't of notable interest to Winchester collectors, but I find the lack of info. makes mine, if anything, MORE collectible.

If you come across any useful information, please feel free to correspond with me at: [email protected]

Enjoy yours!


Edward Sanchez
La Jolla, California
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