if a pre 64 and post 64 are laid side by side the noticeable difference is the stock and forearm."
Actually, the bottom pic while technically a Pre 64 (of course), is more often thought of as "Pre War." (Meaning up 'til the mid 30s most carbines had the features shown, but afterward more closely resembles the later Wins. By then, the ladder sight (shown) had been largely replaced by the "current" semi buck/leaf--available all along as an option, as was the front post sight replaced by ramp/hooded, and curved carbine butt replaced by the flat(ish) shotgun).
So, the only main visual distinction among late 30s-1964 Pre 64s was that long forearm. From 10 feet, most Pre 64s after early '51 look virtually identical to Post 64s. Finish issues aside, to a layperson on close up the number and location of some screws is about it. (A minority of 1951s still had the long forearm).
Last edited by gak; May 27, 2012 at 01:59 PM.