How to tear down, clean and assemble a Winchester Model 490 rifle.
by David W. Manney
The Winchester Model 490 was only made from 1974 to 1976 and sold from 1975 to 1980. Approximately 32,000 were made, with all the guns built in Canada at the Cobourg, Ontario plant. Production ceased in order to make the centennial guns for 1976. Guns and Ammo and Shooting Times magazines both published articles on this rifle telling how the 490 came to be. Due to the success of the high quality 9422, Winchester representatives believed that a high end semi-auto of original design would also be a winner. Unfortunately, this didn’t work as well in the market place as initially indicated. The 490 was never well received by the public and production was short lived.
Winchester issued a recall on the 490 in 1976, as published in the AFTE Journal, March 1976. The article did not state why outside of a report of a used 490 slam firing. If the recall had been completed there would be an asterisk to the right of the serial number, but that is not the case. These guns are usually found in either great condition or very well used. 490S with lots of wear worked very well, needing only need minor work to keep them going while examples in good condition mostly jammed or didn’t fire consistently. However, a good gunsmith can readily fix these issues and the guns can be made to work reliably.
Read more in our July 2012 issue. Back issues are available.
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