A diversion into some industrial history.
Was the receiver a graphitic steel casting per the Du-Lite Company’s information, or sintered ferrous powder metal?
Various blogs and forums give both answers. Du-Lite was Winchester’s supplier of finishing chemicals. The change to a casting was done as part of the 1964 cost reduction changes. Whatever the material, it is infamous for the finishes applied to it. My 1976 example is in great condition except for the freckles.
Robert C. Renneberg’s book Winchester 94, A Century of Craftsmanship states that an investment casting was used. While no source for this is given, it makes sense as sintered firearm parts are a fairly recent development. He also states that a “mystery metal” was used which was difficult to finish.
Improved machinability is one of the advantages claimed for graphitic steel. However, the choice of this somewhat exotic material seems unwarranted. The receiver was changed back to a traditional material in 1982.
My questions for Cast Bullet Association Un-artificial Intelligence knowledge banks are:
Who did the casting? Possibly Ruger or Thompson/Center?
What is the mystery metal?
Does anyone have a copy of, or remember, the Winchester catalog that give some information about the materials and methods for the post 1982 receivers?
Without the Winchester specifications and documents these questions may be impossible to answer. But interesting nonetheless.