A couple of years ago I was brought a bunch of long guns (4 rifles and one shotgun) to sell for a friend of my Fathers. Among them was this Winchester model 74 Semi-Automatic .22 Rifle.
I ended up buying them all (it's a sickness, I know...). Among them was this Winchester.
The receiver is tubular and a bit larger than the barrel, with a small slot for the charging handle.
Disassembly is facilitated by removing the bolt stop at the rear of the receiver (push it from right to left). The stock is made from straight grain American Walnut.
The safety is mounted on top of the receiver
Cartridges load into the side of the stock once you removed the mag follower from the butt plate
The design of the rifle intrigued me, enough so that I decided to do some research on the history of this little semi-auto.
The manufacturing of this model started in 1939 and ended in 1955, with manufacturing taking a hiatus in 1943 due to the war. Although some were built during the war and shipped to England on a Lend-Lease program as training rifles.
This particular gun dates to the second year of manufacturing: 1940.
Incidentally this was also when the .22 Long Rifle chambering was 1st offered.
The 1939 models were .22 Short only, the .22 Short chambering was dropped in 1952.
Later versions came with a grooved receiver for mounting a scope with 11mm clamps
The list below shows the build dates by serial number
RECORDS AT THE FACTORY INDICATE THE FOLLOWING SERIAL NUMBERS WERE ASSIGNED TO GUNS AT THE END OF THE CALENDAR YEAR.
1939 - 1 TO 30890
41 - 114355
43 - NONE
44 - 128295
45 - 128878
46 - 145168
47 - 173524
48 - 223788
49 - 249900
50 - 276012
51 - 302124
52 - 328236
53 - 354348
54 - 380460
55 - 406574
When introduced in 1939 they had a retail price of $18.45 or $19.25 depending on options and chambering. Which equates to $311 & $325 in 2016 dollars.
This video show the steps to disassemble and inspect the model 74