While I am keen on most Winchester lever action rifles, I must say that the 1892 is likely my favorite.
I think it has just a little better ergonomics to the later, more robust model 94, though I am basing that largely on my antique 1892's vs. my modern Model 94. I can't help wonder if I were to handle a period 1894, if I wouldn't find it as pleasing.
This 1892 was manufactured in 1915, and came from my mother's father.
It is in very good shape mechanically, though the finish seems to have been mis-placed.
Still, the condition of the finish, and the dings on the wood tell stories of days gone by. Of long forgotten hunting trips and adventures long ago...
My grandfather died while I was very young, and I don't remember him much, though, as is usually the case in such stories, I wish I had known him better.
The fact that he had an 1892 Winchester speaks well of him. This rifle is the only possession of his I own, and I cherish it accordingly. I remember bouncing on his knee, and the fact that he always smelled of machine oil and tobacco. I remember his cat, Mickey, almost as much as I remember him, which speaks well of the cat, but not so well of my memory.
While I am proud to own his rifle, I wish he had picked one up chambered in something other than .25-20. It's rather a pip-squeeky sort of anemic little cartridge, and I can't imagine what he would have hunted with it, on those long forgotten hunting trips of yore.*
If, as I said at the top of this page, the Winchester 1892 is my favorite lever action Winchester, there in lies the root of this problem. Which eventually led me to buy a Puma .357 M92. which allows me to love my '92's, in a larger, more available cartridge.
The '92's action wasn't robust enough for larger, more powerful cartridges, and that is precisely "why" the Model of 1894 was developed.
Rest in peace, Grandpa, your rifle is in good hands.
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* From my comments section:
"The 25-20 a pipsqueak? Not so my friend. I witnessed a 14 pt. 305lb buck taken with one shot at 75 yards in 1951 at Pierrepont, NY in those days a box of 3030 shells was$ 2.95 for 20 rounds while 50 rounds of 25-20 was$ 2.65 you figure the economics. Also we were meat hunters, if you didn't kill with one shot, you didn't eat. A hunter with a deer killed with multiple shots was scoffed at. It was not spray and pray with a bazooka like today. I was 9 yrs old got my first deer with .22wrf one neck shot I am 67 now and still making one shot kills"