I had been trying to purchase a 94 in 7-30 Waters but found it out of reach. I had read an article about changing a 30-30 by changing the barrel. I think that article said that the gauges were not even needed on the 94. I have not been able to locate that article in my files. I now have a barrel (XTR) and an XTR rifle with a 30-30 barrel. Also have go and no-go gauges. The new barrel is cut for sights though has none installed. I have purchased sights (Marbles .410 front sight and 2 3/4" semi buchhorn rear sight). The 24" barrel has the loop for the magazine tube. This barrel seems like it would just screw in until the magazine tube \ sights line up with the reciever.
Can anyone offer their experience.
The barrel has a shoulder on it and it seats into the receiver on that shoulder. If when seated the barrel is not clocked correctly and the sight cutaway and the exactor cutout are in the wrong place, then the shoulder has to be faced to allow the barrel to end up with the sights on top. If the shoulder is faced then the barrel breech end will have to be faced an equal amount and the chamber will have to be reemed to allow the cartridge to fully seat in the chamber. Also getting the barrel off most guns requires an gun barrel vice of some type or you risk marring the barrel and receiver or worst yet collapsing the receiver.
It may be that Winchester indeed made the barrels truly interchangeable not requiring the above fitting. Ruining the receiver trying to get the old barrel off or the new one tight enough is the real hurdle.
I suggest that you let discretion be the better part of valor and take it to a known good gunsmith who does Winchester 94's every day. It can't cost much more than $100 (???).