Winchester 94: Fore End cont.

Time to start fitting the barrel band on the fore end of the stock. I marked a rough outline and started to shape the front end down to the right size. At this time, I had already cut the fore end to the correct size and drilled the hole for the barrel band screw. If you are wondering about the slightly different look in the pictures, I did not have my camera handy and used my cell phone to take the first four pictures in this post.

Shaping the front

Here you can see the marks I used to drill the hole for the barrel band screw.

Hole for the barrel band screw

Once I got the front of the wood to the correct size, I started fitting the barrel band. This is a fairly slow process and it is easy to mess up if you are not careful on making sure the barrel band lines up correctly. I did make a slight mistake but it was during the last stages of fitting but lucky for me, the barrel band hides it.

Fitting the barrel band (left side)

Fitting the barrel band (right side)

Once I finished fitting the barrel band, It was time to start the rough shaping of the fore end. I followed the same principles I used when I shaped the butt stock and tried to make sure I worked in stages and the I was taking of equal amounts of material on every side of the fore end. I made a choice here in shaping the fore end as well. The traditional fore end on the Winchester 94 is straight. The Black Shadow model had a slight bulge in the fore end. After trying both, I decided to do mine with a bulge as well. It made the rifle a little easier to hold and just felt better in my hand.

Shaping the rear

Here you can see some of the detail on the finished barrel band area.

Shaping (front view)

As with the butt stock, the work here progresses from rough shaping using a rasp down to the point where I will start sanding the fore end.

Ready for sanding

Ready for sanding

I will now start sanding the fore end. I sand until I removed all the tool marks from the wood and I then slowly sand down to the stage where I will be sanding with 400 grit paper. Once I am there, I will start applying the finish to the wood. My next post in this series will outline the finishing work on the butt stock.

Winchester 94: fore end continued

In my last post I promised to show some of the tools I use to make the barrel channel. These were almost exclusively used, starting with the smallest and using the biggest only when needed.


I continued to work the channel deeper. On the original fore end, there is a cut out section as the magazine tube is very close to the barrel.



With the barrel channel close to the correct depth I started doing the inletting to allow the fore end to fit the action. I marked the rough outline, applied inletting black to the action and barrel. Then the long process started in getting everything to fit.  This is slow work and this part went better and quicker than on the butt stock.

Rough outline marked


Test fit

Test fit

I slowly worked at the back area and the depth until it fitted correctly.

Rear fitment to action

Front fitment

Rear right fitment

Rear left fitment

I felt I did a better fitting job here as opposed to the butt stock. The next step is to fit the barrel band and then shape the fore end. During one of the test fittings, I had to appease the blood gods with a sacrifice. The bottom of the hole on the magazine tube had a sharp edge I forgot about and it managed to break some skin.



Winchester 94: Fore end start

Time to start work on the fore end. Here is the wood blank ext to the existing fore end.

Wood blank

I started by drilling a hole through the wood for the magazine tube.


Hole drilled but just too small. I needed to make a small reamer to make the hole larger. Here is the fore end with the stock after the grip cap glue dried and the metal piece I will be making the reamer from.

Fore end, Stock, Reamer

After I completed the reamer, I finished the hole for the magazine tube.

Tube installed, reamer

Reamer close up

Now it is time to do the channel for the barrel. I chose to do this without the help of any power tools.

Barrel channel start

Barrel channel

The next step is to take the channel diameter to the next size tool I have. Look for that in a later post with a picture of the tools I am using to do this.


Winchester 94: Sanding & grip cap

With the rough shaping complete I started sanding the stock. This is done in a few steps. I started with 80 grit sandpaper, followed by 150 grit, 220 grit and finished with 400 grit. The idea is to remove all tool marks from the wood until it is smooth. Not really much to see in the pictures, but here they are!

Left side

Right side

When I completed the sanding, I removed the protective tape and snapped a few photographs, including some close-ups.

It is now time to turn my attention to the grip cap. I removed the metal template and shortened the pistol grip a little. I then ensured the bottom of the pistol grip was square.


On this stock, I opted to add a wooden grip cap. I found a piece of cocobolo that I thought would complement the rest of the stock. After cutting it and making sure that it was square on the pistol grip side, I glued it to the stock and left it to dry.

In place

Glued and "clamped"

Yes, the “clamp” that I use is just a piece of surgical tubing. This has been left to dry. If you are wondering, I have now caught up with the progress on this part of the stock. Next is to shape and sand the grip cap to match the pistol grip, mount the recoil pad (received today from Brownells) and then I will start finishing it! I have started with the forend part and will post the progress on that in my next post.


Winchester 94: More stock work

Time to start working on the pistol grip area of the stock. The steps I took here are similar to shaping the rear of the stock. However, I did have to start looking at the shape of the metal on the receiver and start following that. Blending the transition areas of the pistol grip area is done mostly on looks. As with the butt-stock area, I worked sections at a time to make sure everything stayed even and in symmetry.


Bottom area rough shape

Top area

Top area done

With the front area of the pistol grip done, I turned my attention to the top and bottom of the pistol grip itself. I rounded the bottom.

Pistol grip bottom

And then started working on the area at the top and the transition to the comb of the stock.

Comb shaping

Comb shaping

Comb shape side view

I reached this point at the end of a days work. After looking at the stock, I decided I did not like the sharp profile at the front of the comb and softened that up a little.

Softer comb shape

Normally the comb of a stock would be centered over the bottom of the pistol grip. It is not possible to do that on this rifle as the top tang of the receiver is in the way. It is now time to start working on the rear area of the pistol grip where it transitions into the butt-stock.

Rear transition

Rough shaping complete

Now comes the time-consuming part. It is time to start the sanding. But that I will cover in my next post. As always, thank you for looking in and feel free to ask any questions!