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As per Roger Rule's "The Rifleman's Rifle" (book on Win. pre-64 M70's), Winchester cut-rifled their barrels until c.1954. I have had outstanding accuracy from a number of Winchesters, both rimfire and centerfire, in the cut-rifled barrel era. My dad's Win 74, an inexpensive semi-auto with a barrel date of 1939, averaged 1.25" at 100 yards with a good lot of Eley Standard (scoped) for six consecutive 5-shot groups.

The lack of a serial number makes it harder to date your prospective 72. I don't know if they were dating the barrels on guns they didn't serial number or not, but as far as I know, they probably did date the barrels -- when they quit cut rifling them c. 1955, they quit dating them. The date is 2 digits, stamped on the underside of the barrel. If the gun is in otherwise good shape, and especially if the owner will let you take the barrelled action out of the stock and you spot a barrel date, I'd buy that sucker. Chances are excellent it will shoot far better than most .22's being built today unless they cost an arm, a leg and at least one or two other appendages!! :D
John
 
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