Extremely rare variation Pre-War Winchester Model 74 semi-auto rifle chambered only in .22 Short caliber and cut for a receiver sight, serial number 65826, manufactured in 1940. The Model 74 was introduced during the latter part of the Great Depression in 1939. At this time all rifles were made for the .22 Short cartridge only and with barrels of 24 inches. Production of this model was quickly halted so Winchester could re-tool for supplying arms for World War II. When production resumed after the war this model was offered with a shorter, 22 inch barrel and for use with .22 Short, Long or Long Rifle ammunition. Early, Pre-War examples like this are scarce and eagerly sought on the collector market. Additionally, very few M-74 rifles were cut so a peep sight could be mounted on the rear of the receiver as this example has. This Model 74 has been in storage for decades and still retains dried grease on parts of the barrel that have not been removed. Overall the metal surfaces are generally smooth, free of rust pitting and retain an attractive aged blue appearance. The Model 74 was loaded through a port in the right side of the stock. First, the spring loaded magazine tube was removed from the rear of the stock through the butt plate, cartridges were loaded and the magazine tube was replaced. A simple pull of the bolt handle put a shell in the chamber for firing. Each pull of the trigger ejected the fired case and chambered a fresh round. A sliding bar safety was located on the top of the receiver. This safety bar is intact and functioning on this example. Many of these early rifles chambered in .22 Short found their way to shooting galleries and carnivals. This example has an attractively grained walnut stock, original buckhorn rear sight, sharp markings and bright bore. This firearm qualifies as a Curio & Relic Long Gun, and requires FFL Transfer or NICS Background Check.
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