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Model 74 documentation
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January 16, 2017 - 5:33 am
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Received a Model 74 rifle that has been in the family for several generations and am seeking documentation since we are unfamiliar with its care and feeding (other than do no dry fire it).   Although I am pretty good with searches, I have only located a parts diagram/blowup.   Does any know of a source for documentation?

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January 16, 2017 - 6:54 am
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kenneth schaudt said
Received a Model 74 rifle that has been in the family for several generations and am seeking documentation since we are unfamiliar with its care and feeding (other than do no dry fire it).   Although I am pretty good with searches, I have only located a parts diagram/blowup.   Does any know of a source for documentation?  

Hi Kenneth,

Yes, there are some sources for information depending upon exactly what type of information you are looking for.  If you would like to know the date the serial  number was applied and it was born as a firearm you can contact the Cody Firearms Record Office as they have the polishing room records for when the serial number was applied for numbers 123349-736739.  There will also be a 2 digit year date on the underside of the barrel near the receiver.

If you are looking for a takedown and gunsmith guide, Radocy makes one for the 74.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TAKEDOWN-MANUAL-GUIDE-WINCHESTER-74-SEMI-AUTO-RIFLE-/252701639044?hash=item3ad6310184:g:fU0AAOSwm8VUyvTb

If you are looking for a Winchester manual as supplied with the 74 they are available most of the time on eBay, either new or reproduction. 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Winchester-Model-74-Owners-Manual-Reproduction-/361880387575?hash=item5441c07ff7:g:zL8AAOSw241YessG

If you are looking for other specific information we can probably answer it here, we just need to know your serial number (or approximate number) and if it is .22 short or .22 LR.

In all cases however DO NOT manually cock the bolt with the safety engaged!  Doing so could possibly jam the bolt.  Winchester supplied a warning card with new 74’s describing this issue.

74Caution.jpgImage Enlarger

The 74 is a great reliable semi-auto and is one of my favorites.  Again, let us know what you are specifically looking for and we will help.

Regards,

 
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January 16, 2017 - 4:18 pm
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Many thanks for the suggestion.   

Serial number is 377298A, dates back to about 1954.

After discovering that most 3rd party manuals for the Model 1897 shotgun provided no information on the solid frame version, I am cautious about obtaining any manuals without being able to see them or the table of contents first.

What am I looking for?   Since neither of us have touched a firearm in 40+years, we need all the guidance on operating, cleaning etc that a novice should have.   Haven’t been able to find the Radocy guide here in Houston to look at so I am not sure if it is what we need.  

Would  the Radocy manual for the 74 meet our needs?   If so, , I’ll order a copy.

Has anyone seen the factory instructions online?   

Did find the hang tag and the warnings about dry firing the 74 which was a good start.

A specific question.  Is there any way to leave the action open (if that is the right way of saying this) to indicate that the chamber is empty?

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January 16, 2017 - 8:15 pm
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Hi Kenneth,

I do not own the Radocy manual so I cannot attest to it’s quality but it is about the only manual available for the Model 74.  There is also a brief section in one of the NRA books which shows an exploded diagram and basic take-down instructions.

In reality, field stripping the 74 for cleaning and inspection is very easy with only a couple of minor pitfalls to watch out for.

The first step is to remove the bolt which is accomplished by pressing the “button” at the back of the receiver over sideways.  This allows the bolt to be drawn out the rear of the receiver.  With the bolt removed the barrel can be cleaned from the breech end with a cleaning rod or bore snake.

To remove the barreled action from the stock you must remove the inner magazine tube located in the butt stock.  Simply rotate it and draw it completely out of the tube.  Then you can use a coin (penny) and loosen the take-down screw on the underside of the forearm and this will allow you to separate the barreled receiver from the stock.  At this point you should take care as there are 2 springs in the stock that can become dislodged and lost.  One is the trigger spring which is hooked under the trigger and is very obvious.  The second is a small spring located under the magazine tube and recessed in the stock which is not as obvious.  If it becomes dislodged or lost the rifle will not feed properly.  That is as far as the normal strip-down for cleaning goes.  You should be able to use que-tips and toothpicks to get into all the nooks and crannies from that point.

Unfortunately the bolt does not lock in the open position.  To check the chamber point the muzzle in a safe direction (as always) and retract the bolt while looking directly into the ejection port.  Be aware that it is possible for a cartridge to hang-up in the butt stock magazine tube so after emptying the magazine I always cycle the bolt by opening and closing vigorously several times while checking the chamber to be safe.

Hope that helps.

Regards,

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January 16, 2017 - 11:44 pm
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That is a big help and covers most of the matters.   I’ll probably spend a few coins and get the two manuals off EBAY.

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January 17, 2017 - 2:15 am
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Feel free to post any questions or concerns as you get into the 74 as we always love to discuss Winchesters!

Good luck with your project and enjoy your rifle.

Regards,

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July 4, 2017 - 4:33 pm
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owners manual can be obtained by calling Winchester with serial # & they will send you one free of charge.

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December 10, 2017 - 5:49 pm
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it appears i noticed too late the warning not to cock the bolt with the safety engaged. now the bolt won’t come out of the action. any advice?

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December 11, 2017 - 12:02 am
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davethedemon said
it appears i noticed too late the warning not to cock the bolt with the safety engaged. now the bolt won’t come out of the action. any advice?  

Yes, my advice is DON’T DO THAT, it will jam-up the bolt. Wink

There is a straight wire spring under the safety tab that provides tension for the detent “click” when sliding the safety right and left.  It is this spring that gets caught/jammed when cocking the bolt with the safety engaged.

There is no easy/gentle way to solve the problem (hence the warnings from Winchester).  What needs to happen is the safety needs to be moved back to the fire position so the rifle can be uncocked (by pulling the trigger).  What most people do is tap/smack the safety back to the fire position with a plastic hammer/mallet.  Since the safety tab will have to override the jammed spring it sometimes needs quite a heavy blow to accomplish the task.  If/when you get it back to the fire position and de-cock the rifle then you can remove the bolt and replace the now mangled/bent safety spring.  This method also runs the risk of damaging/bending the safety tab so make sure the blow is inline with the safety dovetail slot on the receiver and not angled upwards or downwards.

I am not advocating beating on the rifle with a hammer but just passing on what others have done to recover from the problem.  Hopefully your chamber is empty or it will complicate the procedure.

Keep us posted on your results.

Regards,

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December 13, 2017 - 8:54 pm
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Thanks for the additional info- my issue was not the safety being jammed or stuck- it would move freely. The ‘button’ would click but the bolt would only move maybe 1/2 inch, then no more. I fiddled with it some more & sprayed it with lube- it finally released & I was able to remove the bolt. No hammering involved! Thanks again for the response.

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December 14, 2017 - 1:13 pm
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Glad you were able to get it resolved peacefully!

While you have the bolt out check the firing pin, they sometimes break and can cause the bolt to hang-up like you describe.  The firing pin is very long and when it breaks into 2 pieces it is not readily apparent and the gun will still function most of the time except for an occasional sticky bolt.

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June 20, 2018 - 2:13 am
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JWA said
Hi Kenneth,

….  Be aware that it is possible for a cartridge to hang-up in the butt stock magazine tube so after emptying the magazine I always cycle the bolt by opening and closing vigorously several times while checking the chamber to be safe.

Hope that helps.

Regards,  

I should have stenciled this warning onto the stock. When I left the range recently, I pulled the tube, emptied it and the chamber.  didn’t inspect the tube before replacing it.  Cycled once, checked the chamber and put an empty cartridge in to hold the action open.  Ended up putting a hole in the chair next to me when I cleaned it.  Must have had a cartridge hung up in the tube which freed when I cycled the action again.  

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June 20, 2018 - 2:15 am
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Our Model 74 is marked 22LR on the barrel.  Can we use 22 LR magnums?

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June 22, 2018 - 8:56 am
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If it is marked .22 LR then Long Rifle ammunition is what you have to use.

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February 27, 2019 - 10:47 pm
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22 LR Magnums? No such thing! There is 22 Magnum or 22 Winchester Magnum. But “.22 LR” is just that! 

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JWA said
Glad you were able to get it resolved peacefully!

While you have the bolt out check the firing pin, they sometimes break and can cause the bolt to hang-up like you describe.  The firing pin is very long and when it breaks into 2 pieces it is not readily apparent and the gun will still function most of the time except for an occasional sticky bolt.

Regards,  

Winchester model 74 feed and function problems.

 

I write this to help others with similar problems with the win 74 22LR

 

Introduction: There are very little information on this model, schematics not correct and hard to read, there have been many modifications during this model, and no way to know exactly what you have. It is a novel and simple design that functions fine—when all details are correct. One thing to note is firing pin can be bought and also the two main springs—the recoil and striker spring— but all have to be “Fitted” to the rifle. Using a Black Sharpie to “paint” the tang end of the firing pin will help to identify “Binding and correction. The spring fitting has to consider—the diameter of the spring increase when compressed—and both the striker and recoil spring can bind in the recesses of the bolt halves and bunch up before the bolt faces. There was some tendency for the recoil spring end to squeeze past the stationary bolt spring stop and stick into the sear release notch. A small washer made from the end of a common hack saw blade—that was drilled to same diameter as the hole in the removal stationary bolt – seems to fix that. Both the springs may have to be shortened a little to prevent them from bunching up while cocking. Also a little flaring of the hole of the striker spring on the movable bolt where the spring begins seems to help also. Part of my problem was—- there where no detail specs or dimensions to go by.

 

What helped a lot—was to obtain a working complete bolt assembly to put in my rifle and it worked well—then to carefully disassemble it to see what is need for it to function correctly. ( now I have 2 functioning bolt assemblies— with the difference being the obtained bolt – from Ebay—- may have had a little weaker springs from use—but it would fire both standard and high velocity ammo with out and feed problems—where

My rebuilt rifle may have stronger springs and while shoots high velocity ammo fine—but have feed jams one out of 10 shots with standard velocity ammo— but will leave it alone now—fine with high velocity ammo) Another note: Trying to find the exact 2 springs was at first difficult. I carefully measured the coil diameter and wire diameter of the 2 springs and tried to find replacement from industrial spring sources—could not find exact or close match—the springs from “GunSprings” seem to be exact dimensions (as measured with digital Vernier Caliper). Also note: that little “Wing” midway on the firing pin to ride in the movable bolt slide— may not be necessary. My original firing pin did not have it or a tang and the far end of the may not have had such. Upon firing the release sear slides along a long flat slotted portion of the pin— and upon recoil travels back a long this potion until it “Clicks into Cock”. It seems little or no way for the pin to rotate.

(my fitting of my first few firing pins—cut off the tang—– found upon firing the firing pin would travel back and jam the blunt end – into the little hole at the back and get the firing pin stuck—and not function—- so then I used the tang part on other firing pins I fitted). But for the rebuild of my rifle I adjusted the tang and keep the little nib that slides in the movable bolt to keep alignment of the cocking notch.

 

Feeding problems, providing testing the cartridge catchers stops correctly. It seems there are some physical timing of the ejection and feeding to occur correctly. Slow manual operations—seems to have tendency to jame—It seems what works best is—to quickly pull the bolt back and release— it seems like normal design operation. The following is all I had to do to get my Win 74 to function correctly and think it will help others.

 

My first rifle was the Winchester model 74 22LR, had it for 65 years. At age 15 went into centerfire and hunting with father and friends, they are no longer with us.
I dug out my 74, cleaned it up and took it to the range– to my surprise– it didn’t shoot– not know why. Took it to gunsmith– they had it for 5 months– then say– because of the Covid 19– to busy for it– so I took it back. They gave me a bag of busted springs and and broken firing pin– that rotated. At first– I didn’t want to take the bolt apart– not sure how to put it together— but now won’t hurt to look at it myself. I saw on the Youtube– how to take the bolt apart and put it back together. I found on the internet– gun parts– that there seems to be many variations of what the firing pin should be. Most concerned about the little key-way on the mid part of the pin that keeps it orientation while cocking to keep the notch in position for the catching sear. I found on the internet– many variations– some with no keyway part and some with no thin little half inch long x 1/16 dia tail at the end of the pin(think that goes in the back stationary bolt– that locks the bolt with pin is cocks– so you can’t press the bolt release to remove bolt when cocked). Anyway– you can find correct firing pins from Midway— they need fitting– the tail piece dia and the firing pin end. You can find these 2 springs at Gunsprings. but again all this needs fitting. The problem seems to be to cut spring so they don’t bunch up from the recoil and not allow travel to cock, and to keep the firing pin spring end from jamming into the back stationary bolt into the notch and sear. if that happens– the gun is cocked and the safety end in the bolt– keeps you from removing the bolt. it is very difficult to remove the total bolt . I was lucky. I was thinking about removing that little tang at the end. My old pin did not have a tang. but the pins I tried without the tang– had a tendency to jam a little into this back small hole and dent the back of the pin and jam it tight. When the bolt and pin jump back after firing– the pin may continue back after the bolt stops. I was thinking— pushing a stop into the little hole– to stop the back on the pin from jamming. Again– my rifle did not have a tang on the back pin– it did have marks where it hit the little hole edges at the end– but never had a problem. So now you have it– the only last thing to say– is your thumbs get sore from holding the springs back while reassemble the bolt to put the slider stop pin back in place.

 

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October 15, 2020 - 5:56 pm
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kenneth schaudt said

I should have stenciled this warning onto the stock. When I left the range recently, I pulled the tube, emptied it and the chamber.  didn’t inspect the tube before replacing it.  Cycled once, checked the chamber and put an empty cartridge in to hold the action open.  Ended up putting a hole in the chair next to me when I cleaned it.  Must have had a cartridge hung up in the tube which freed when I cycled the action again.    

Lucky. Some people get a chuckle when they see one of my students cycle and check the chamber before handing off a rifle to another student and that student cycles and checks the chamber. Its mandatory at my little range.

Vince
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Teddy Roosevelt 

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October 15, 2020 - 6:15 pm
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A couple of months ago I was at a shop when the owner cycled a shotgun that had been there a couple of days and out came 3 live shells.  The same shop had an employee who was sitting in a chair with a shotgun in his lap when it went off.  Went through the wall into the adjoining office.  Pellets all over the room.  If another employee was at the desk he most probably would have caught at least 1 pellet.   Over the years I have witnessed a few firings at gun shows.

Never assume something is safe.

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October 19, 2020 - 1:01 am
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Just finished timing the springs for a 22short model 74. Talk about a fun job. I normally wouldn’t of bothered but it has the peep sight bolt, can’t recall the sight number,.

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October 19, 2020 - 1:03 am
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88A

Regards,

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