Traditional Bolt Gun?


September 16, 2004, 08:24 PM
Ever since my father's hunting buddy gave me a stack of old "American Rifleman" magazines in about 1956, I've wanted a Winchester Model 70 or Weatherby. Got into football and quit shooting. Started shooting again about 10 years ago, got into action pistol, 3-Gun, and Sporting Clays. I'm now looking for a traditional bolt gun, I have a Remington Model 700 LTR in .308, but want a classic wood stock. I don't currently hunt but if I did again, it would be for Eastern Whitetail. I'm thinking of something in .243 Winchester. I am considering a new "Classic" Winchester Model 70, a Cooper Varmit, and a Weatherby Mark V. I've looked at the new Kimbers and was unimpressed. Can anyone advise me on these choices? Should I look for a pre 64 Model 70?

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September 16, 2004, 10:15 PM

Winchester Model 70, whats to say riflemans rifle. Great guns it is how all bolt action rifles should be made. Bad news, way overvalued, hard to find in good condition. I have seen some of the absolute raggiest model 70's with price tags on them, that left me thinking: is this guy smoking crack or what. What makes some of thhese dealers think that just because somewhere under the rust and crud that a Win Model 70 stamp think their sitting on a pot of gold. The bad news is the 243 are one of the collectable calibers in the model 70's.

If you can find one that isn't a rip, go for it but there are better bargins.

In older guns, the Sako's, and Huskies are both good rifles. If you can find one the Parker Hales are also good. And original FN's from Belgium are very nice. I got to say I like the Winchester safety the best, but my prejudice on this really extends more to dangereous game rifles and on a 243 it not a show stopper by any means.

In new guns I like the Sako Deluxe, and yes I have to say I like some of the Remington 700's ( look at the custom "C" grade or the Model 7 MS ) but I think if I did a Remy I would add the 6MM to the consideration.

I can't get excited about the Weatherby's never really liked the stock styles, and if I was going to get a Japanese rifle, Howa's cost less.

Art Eatman
September 16, 2004, 11:50 PM
I've killed twenty-some-odd deer, each, with an '06 and with a .243 over the last forty years or so. I demand a tad more precision from myself when I use the .243. I've come to favor a 7mm08, mostly because of the weight of the 700 Ti is so much less. It's an age thing, doncha know. :)

The new Winchester Model 70s which are close to being replicas of the originals are pretty doggoned nice looking. The originals were nice, but they still couldn't shoot as tight a group as stuff built with today's equipment. No flies on them, of course, but today's rifles are a bit better.

As example, I had a Ruger 77 heavy barrel in .220 Swift. I could get ten-shot groups in around 1/2" to 5/8", slow fire. I have a 1952 Model 70 Swift; it shoots 3-shot 3/4" groups. (Granted, the ammo's sorta old--and so are my eyes...)

Check out the Winchester web site. They give the grimy details, although you can surely beat the MSRP...


September 17, 2004, 12:13 AM
A Winchester 70 Classic in .30-06.. Williams aperature rear. :) A Rifleman's Rifle.

September 17, 2004, 10:40 AM
I own 1- Rem. in 7mm08,2- Rugers .243 & .270 &,1-Win. Stainless Classic in .30-06 all are excellent shooters.
Last year I had occasion to shoot side by side the new Win. mod 70s and the Browning A bolts in all of the new(at the time)WSSM calibers. In every caliber the Brownings shot .75-1.25" groups. The Wins. shot 1-1" group and the rest were from 1.5-3" groups. All of this of course straight out of the box. I've not purchased a new rifle in the last two years but if I were after one today I'd have to strongly consider the Browning.

Black Snowman
September 17, 2004, 11:34 AM
If you have the means, and particularly if you reload, I like the styling, performance, and feel of the Weatherbys the best. This is mainly an unscientific personal prefrence but they are a differant stock design from the Model 70s and 700s and it works better for me. YMMV and all that.

September 18, 2004, 07:51 PM
I went to a local gunshow today after considering advise from this post. I found several pre-64 Winchesters in the $700-$900 range depending on condition and caliber, most 30-06. None grabbed me, saw a "High-Grade" in .243 @ $3100. Ouch! There were a few new Kimbers @ $1500. Looked at a couple of Sakos and Weatherbys. Ended up seriously studying the wares of a Cooper dealer. I he didn't have anything in .243 and I was told that a custom order from Cooper runs 11 months. Thanks for the earlier advise but I'm still looking and welcome fresh input.

September 18, 2004, 08:53 PM
Our local gunshop had a K98 Mauser for sale recently that had been professionally sporterized to 243 - Shilen barrel, Timney trigger, and so forth. Very nice work, and in an action that is every bit the equal to the Win70. It sold for $350 with a cheap Bushnell scope on it, and I kick myself for not behing the one to buy it. (I waffled because I wanted something between 7x57 and 270, and because I didn't want the scope.) My point is that you may want to consider one of the many, many Mauser-actioned sporters out there. They don't seem to command the prices of the Win70, but I'd not turn one down in anything from 6.5x55 to 30-06 if it was in decent shape. They are about as 'traditional' as you can get with a bolt-action.

In fact today I picked up a sporterized Chilean Mauser 95 in 7x57. One of my favorite rounds in a light package (made in Berlin @ Ludwig Lowe) that is still equal to just about anything made. The barrel is original and uncut, and looks great - sharp rifling, no pitting, bright and shiny. Phenomenal. The receiver had been drilled for a scope mount, which is why nobody wanted it as a collector. (Interesting note - the rear of the two front scope mount holes looks straight down into the ejector slot of the left bolt lug when the bolt is in battery. It's the *perfect* mod to the only flaw in the M95 action - gas venting in the action.) Anyway, this M95 had clearly been refinished whenever it was sporterized and there is no pitting anywhere on the action.

This rifle cost me all of $170. Adding a Timney trigger, a sling, and a decent scope (~$500) should still keep me well under $750 and give me a shooter that I can hand down to my kid and let HIM marvel at the genius of Paul Mauser....


September 19, 2004, 12:25 AM
For the ultimate in tradition, I'd have to say a Mosin-Nagant '91-30. Old design, old action, oldest caliber still in everyday use, and built like a tank. Find a good one with a near-perfect barrel, and refinish the stock. Ammo is cheap, "controls" are straightforward, and the gun is cheap. Accurate enough, powerful enough, and certainly reliable enough.

September 19, 2004, 02:08 AM
Not on your list, but I am very impressed with my Browing A-Bolt Medallion in 7mm. Very accurate, much more so than I am, and beautiful as well.

September 19, 2004, 06:26 PM
Bill 223,

Here is a 243 I found while searching for my next project:

I know nothing about this, I just bumped into it and remembered this thread.

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