Special Winchester Model 74

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by miazca, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. miazca

    miazca New Member

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    Years ago I purchased a special Winchester model 74 at an estate sale and am wondering what its current value might be. I say special because this one is equipped with a detachable magazine instead of the normal buttstock tube and its serial number is "1".
    After doing a bit of research, I see that Winchester's model 75 (made from 1941 thru 1943) was also equipped with a detachable magazine and it, too, has the unique mag release button like this one. Therefore, my guess is that this rifle might have been the prototype for the model 75.
    Anybody have an idea what it's worth?
  2. PetahW

    PetahW New Member

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    The butt-tube mag Winchester 74 was a semi-auto and was not a prototype for the bolt-action (1938-58) Model 75 - which was an upgraded detachable mag (1935)Model 69.

    The Model 74 was discontinued in 1955, when the Model 77 semi-auto was introduced with either a detachable box mag or an underbarrel tube.

    Without a factory letter stating so, there is no practical way to establish the provenance you've given for your rifle.

    It most likely could be what's referred to as a transition model - a Model 77 with Model 74 markings (to use up NOS parts).
    The serial "#1" would certainly support that.

    .
  3. miazca

    miazca New Member

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    Thank you for your quick response to my inquiry. Oops.. I didn't enlarge the online M-75 pics to see it was a bolt action, so that was my mistake. However, this rifle is definitely a M-74 and it has the same unusual mag release on the left hand, forward of the trigger as the M-75.
    I looked up a Model 77 with its streamlined receiver; it doesn't look anything like my M-74. Also, this stock has a plug where the tube mag would normally have been.
    Your point referring to a factory letter is well taken so I guess the next logical step will be to approach Winchester to see if they can shed some light on this piece.
    Thank you again!
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  4. PetahW

    PetahW New Member

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    The M-74 had the rear of it's receiver squared-off , while the M-77 was streamlined.

    I would definitely ask Winchester why a M74 has a detachable box magazine, and include your rifle's serial number.
  5. miazca

    miazca New Member

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    Definitely has the M74 squared-off receiver. Here are a few pics: [​IMG]
    Winchester directed me to the Firearms Museum in Cody, WY so I'll see what they have to say and get back with you
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  6. PetahW

    PetahW New Member

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    Hmmmmm.......... From the pic, it looks like the original M74 butt mag loading port was filled with a wood inlay for the conversion.

    Yep, it will be interesting to know if it was done by the factory or not - as they generally marked their experimental guns with an "x", usually next to the serial number.

    .
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