View Full Version : Winchester Model 72

Dean C
July 11, 2004, 09:31 AM
A friend of mine has a Winchester Model 72 bolt action 22 that he had not fired in over 20 years. I volunteered to "spiff" it up and test fire it in hopes I will be able to entice him out to go plinkin'. (His wife recently passed away and he needs to get out). Anyway, I can't find a serial number on it and suspect it was made prior to 1949. Am I correct? Also, is there anything else I should know about this rifle before I test fire it?

July 11, 2004, 03:11 PM
I believe that serial numbers didn't become mandatory until 1968. it just that a lot of the companies didn't bother with serial numbers on their cheaper guns

July 12, 2004, 08:52 AM
I used to have a mid-50s 72A w/a peep sight and my uncle still has a much older 72. IIRC they stopped making the 72s in 1959, well before the GCA of '68 that required all guns to have serial numbers.

The ones I've been around have been great shooters with no quirks.


August 29, 2004, 07:46 PM
It probably needs a good swamping out...first with brake cleaner or similar, then with lube (I use Break Free.) Take it out of the stock for this.
The old Winchester stock varnish might have turned 'sticky'. Rubbing it down with 4-O steel wool and tung oil or boiled linseed will cure that.
The 72 is a great rifle... as good as the 75-52 series, if not as fancy.
These were nearly the last of the 'good' Winchester .22's. They should be kept original...not marred with 'scope mount holes. JMHO.
Hope your friend enjoys his old gun as much as I do mine!

January 12, 2010, 08:47 PM
I have a model 72A that NEEDS a scope. Im having quite a difficult time finding a scope base for the thing. The base mounts on a round receiver with a diameter of .940. I got a few that are bigger, around 1 inch diameter. Any ideas. I know < it shouldnt need a scope but the prospective future owner wants a scope on it. He cant see so well.

January 12, 2010, 10:10 PM
Never mind. I just assumed that the 72a was the same as the 72A and ordered the weaver base mount for them.
You know what happens when you assume? You make an a$$ out of u and me. I probably just wasted 16$. Oh well, chinese folk need to eat too i guess.

El Paso Joe
February 24, 2010, 09:32 PM
I had a m72 that my grandfather gave me in 1953. It had what appeared to be factory scope on it. The mounts had the Winchester logo on them and the scope was probably a Lyman 6x. It was externally adjustable. And it was a sweet heart. I think my grandfather bought it originally in the mid/late 1930s. I gave it to my son to hold until his oldest son was of legal age. I do not recall it having a serial number.

July 31, 2011, 02:50 PM
I have a model 72 (my first .22) that has the number 200 stamped on the left side of the chamber. I haven't seen anything similar on any other model 72s that I've seen. It's at least professionally done if not factory done. Any thoughts?