Winchester 70 "Stealth"?


May 11, 2003, 07:42 PM
I checked one of these out in a local shop and it was pretty nice. Does anybody have experience with these as far as accuracy, trigger, accessories, reliabilty, etc is concerned?

I want to get a gun that can shoot out to ~600 yards accurately enough for SHTF situations, though I'd be willing to bet that the rifle will almost positively never be used for anything but fun.

How does the stock and action compare to the Rem PSS/VS and the Savage 10FP with McMillan stock and Accutrigger? The price at the local shop was in the low $600's.

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May 11, 2003, 07:49 PM
Well, I like Winchester rifles and had a Stealth for a while. I had the trigger worked and the bedding and floating was just fine. Very decent for accuracy though I might not bet on the Winchester being able to shoot better out of the box than the Savages. And of course with the new Savages, you're guaranteed on having a very good trigger by just turning one screw while the Winchester might cost you $30 - $80.

On the other hand, for my money, the Winchester just feels like a better quality piece.

May 12, 2003, 11:05 AM
I think the Stealth replaced the Winchester model 70 Classic Laredo.........I have the Laredo in 7MM STW with the 26" heavy barrel and it is really can also adjust the trigger on Winchesters, you don't have to send them to a gunsmith unless you want to......there is a website that shows you how to adjust the trigger, and will look it up for you..... buy it..

May 12, 2003, 12:53 PM
I had recently purchased one (after waiting 8 months for the order to come in, apparently .308 Stealths are relatively hard to come by).

The action and barrel like pretty good, but the stock was not so good. The HS Precision stock was somewhat missaligned. Upon initial observation, the front end of the forearm was nearly touching the barrel. I could only get one sheet of paper between the barrel and stock. Two would bind up. Shouldn't really affect the accuracy but I would have liked a little more clearance, plus the gaps between left and right of the barrel were aesthetically unappealing. A minor issue. The butt had a very slight bend to the left which I didn't mind as it fit my shoulder better that way.

When disassembled to open up the barrel channel of the stock and adjust the trigger (which was ~6 lb out of the box), I did notice that the stock itself was relatively straight from the grip forward. It would seem to me (my opinion) that the metal bedding block was not molded in perfectly straight with the stock. Either that or the holes in the block were not drilled/tapped aligned perfectlywith the block. In any case, sanding the forearm was easy and quick. Now I'm able to pass 5 sheets of paper through. The trigger is also quite easy to adjust as the assembly is very simple on the 70. Just three nuts and a screw. (Two nuts used to lock each other for pull weight.)

The Model 70 itself was not, for me, the problem. It was the stock. I also have a 70 Varmint (.22-250) with an OE HS stock and it is perfectly assembled. My 3rd 70 is an older Custom Sharpshooter (first series, .308) that came with a McMillan A2 from Win's custom shop. That gun is tops. That stock is, for me, the greatest. (Would like to drop the action in an A4 though.) The HS stock on the Varmint looks and feels good, it will stay. The stock on the Stealth, though, I'm not so sure. Possibly a McMillan in the future for it.

Haven't shot it yet though as I'm still deciding on a scope.

May 12, 2003, 12:59 PM
Thanks for the info, hksw. If I get more serious about the purchase, I will have to scrutinize the stock on that one more closely.

Any thoughs on the stiffness of the stock when resting on the bi-pod? Is the barrel still free-floating?

Does the gun have a plunger-style ejector or is it a claw type?

May 12, 2003, 01:17 PM
The Stealth is a pushfeed rifle. I believe the Laredo rifles were generally in magnum calibers and that maybe the Stealth replaced the Heavy Barrel Varmint rifles which were available in 223, 22-250, 243 and 308.

I will admit that after reading hksw's post, I should agree with the fact that many Winchester rifles don't seem quite centered in the barrel channel of the stock. At the same time, I don't believe I've ever seen one with an HS stock in which the stock ever actually touched the barrel, just they don't seem to be well centered.

May 12, 2003, 06:53 PM
As cratz2 said, push feed/plunger. IIRC, that is all that is offered for the Stealths.

The effects of a bi-pod on the forearm should be no different than if you just layed the front of the rifle on a rest or hard surface of some kind. It is very rigid and surprisingly light as I noticed when I had the gun apart. To comfirm, I just put a Versa Pod on my Stealth and noted no change in barrel-stock clearance between bi-pod, resting on a plastic rifle rest, and holding the gun vertically without any pressure on the forearm. I was using 6 layers of paper from an MSC Industrial Supply catalog.

May 12, 2003, 07:00 PM
Not comfortable with my testing. Should test until failure.

Further testing had shown that the bi-pod and rest pass up to 8 layers (dragging on 8th sheet). Vertical hold allowed the 8th sheet to pass but binds on the 9th.

May 12, 2003, 07:43 PM
Thanks for the info. :-)

In your opinion, would you recommend this gun over some of the competition out there and why?

May 12, 2003, 10:36 PM
To tell you the truth, I really couldn't tell you definitively if I prefer it over say a Rem 700. I had a 700 Varmint in .308 a few years back but sold it off as I felt I wasn't using it enough and I was going to use the funds received for a new item. I don't think I really wrung it out to get the most out of it as I really wasn't seriously into bolt gunning then and I was one of those who are affraid to totally take apart their guns for fear of not being able to put it back together and/or breaking something. As a result, I can't fully remember how it felt as compared to the 70s I have. It functioned OK but as for trigger adjustment or ease of bolt disassembly, I'm not sure. One thing that had always concerned me about the 700 to this day, however, is the safety lever issue. Not sure what the situation is with that now. The easiest solution to that problem, though, is to just keep the gun pointed in a safe direction whenever you put your fingers on the trigger, bolt, or safety.

This is where forums like THR and TFL and others have helped me out greatly in getting the necessary information in understanding and working with my guns down to the pins, springs, and screws.

Like many other people who have sold off their guns in the past, I do have some seller's remorse for letting it go. But, what's done is done, I can always get another later on.

The 70 vs. 700 (vs. 77 vs. 110/10) comes up occassionally with people (not all) falling into one camp or the other. Unfortunately, my experienc is only limited to the 70, a Steyr SSG69 PII, Marlin .22s, and a couple Ansch├╝tz .22s in bolt guns. IMO, you can't really go wrong with any of the mainstrean name brand guns out there. With the proper load, the target/varmint guns should all be able to do a minute. I do eventually plan on getting another 700, at least one 110/10, and sample CZ's products. I'm sure I'll find other stuff along the way to pick up too. I'm comfortable with the 70 for the time being and have pretty much stuck with it which is a bit narrow minded but when I get some other guns on my list out of the way I'll do more with the bolts. If you do a search, particularly on TFL, you'll find some good info on the good and bad of most of the bolt guns out there, some discussions a little heated. Or maybe start another thread and get more up to date opinions of people here on which bolt guns they prefer.

May 12, 2003, 11:26 PM
On a topic like this, it will be purely subjective and if one person suggests something against what someone has/likes/suggests... well, let's say people get defensive about such things.

Having said that, of the lower priced guns, I like Rugers first and Winchesters second. The Remington rifles work just fine (at least they do for me) but they seem to not fit together too well. It may just be me but when I rack the bolt backwards and forwards on the the Models 7s, it seems pretty well built but on the 700 ADLs/BDLs and PSS/Police, I just don't get a strong impression of quality. Go ahead and flame away you Remington lovers but they 'feel' of them just isn't up to par with the Winchester and Rugers and feel counts for a lot for me.

I really like Rugers. Working the bolt gives me confidence. Same with Winchester. I've had multiple heavy and standard weight rifles from all companies and all served me well. Regardless of which you buy, I'd plan on getting a trigger job done to it before you want consistant accurate hits at 600 yards. If it doesn't... fine. But I've had trigger jobs done to all the rifles I shoot with any consistancy. The exception now days might be with the Savage AccuTrigger. Very easy to dial those down but I'm not crazy about the system to begin with.

I see no reason to recommend against the Stealth. Mine was fine but I sold it so whatever that counts for. If you come across a used Savage for the right price, it might be worth checking out. I've seen used 10FPs go for $350 and for that price, it would be difficult to recommend against them even with their poor (old) triggers and flimsy stocks. But if you want a rifle that will be good out of the box, good stock, should be accurate, acceptable trigger that might need some work down the road, I couldn't personally recommend against the Stealth.

And if you're asking because you know where one is, that's fine. But be warned that some have reported difficulty in locating or actually getting one in their hands.

May 13, 2003, 11:42 AM
Thanks for the comments.

I ask because I am looking at rifles in the $600-700 range and the Winchester 70 Stealth, Rem PSS/VS, Savage 10FP (with Accutrigger and McMillan stock on the high end of this), CZ 550, etc... all fall in that range. The Howa 1500 can be had for $499 around here, and if I was going to get a wood/laminate stocked rifle, I'd probably opt for that over the CZ because the 550 that I handled was a bit rough for $600. If I was considering .223, I would also throw the CZ 527 Varmint Kevlar into the mix.

The Winchester I handled seemed like it was a really solid rifle for the money, but I haven't read to much about them. The bolt throw was positive, and was a bit more smooth than the Remingtons that I have tried. I am sure that both would be comparable after a few hundred cycles of the bolt. The action was not as smooth as, say, the CZ 527 Varmint Kevlar that I played with a while ago (smooooooooooooth... :) ), but then again, it is in .308.

The Howa 1500 is a real bargain, again with an extremely smooth bolt, but the wood stock and blued finish are detractors for a possible SHTF rifle. Also, I have read that changing out the barrel on the Howa is a headache, and an expensive proposition. To top it all off, there may not be that many gunsmiths who are familiar with the 1500 action. If I was going to drop below $600 on the rifle, I would probably get the Howa, or maybe the Savage with the flimsy stock. However, the Howa seems like it is more stable right out of the box than the Savage.

May 13, 2003, 12:44 PM
Does anybody have experience with these as far as accuracy, trigger, accessories, reliabilty, etc is concerned?

I picked up a slightly used .308 Stealth a few months back. Currently using a two piece base, a Tasco SS 10x, and a Harris Bipod.

As far as accuracy....if a 59 year old woman with bad eyesight and arthritis can put three shots under 1.5" at 100 yards (my mom...first time I had it out. Getting outshot by your mom only stings pride the first few times), I feel safe to say it's accurate. On my off days I've had groups over 2"....on my better days (which are kinda rare) it groups just under an inch. Not complaining in the least for OOB accuracy.

Trigger? Nice, but I'm currently deciding whether to just have a Jewell installed or tune the stock trigger. Not that the stock trigger is 'bad'......maybe I'm just spoiled by the two-stage I have on my AR.

Accessories? Depends on what kind. You can usually find all the major goodies for the Stealth....but if you're looking for the 10/22 of bolt actions, you'd probably be better off with the 700. For what you're looking to use it for....the accessories you'd probably want are out there (better bolt knob, solid steel base, one piece scope base, custom stocks).

Reliability? Subjective....very subjective. I feel it's very reliable...then again, is shooting 2-300 rounds once every two or three weeks from a bench at the range an accurate measurement of reliability?

Bottom will do what you're looking for it to do. Then again, so will a good PSS, as will a good 10FP. Which one feels the best? Which one feels the most comfortable when you sling it up to your shoulder and take aim? Which one has the features you want. What will the final costs be (gun + scope + accessories + smithing)?

Nero Steptoe
May 13, 2003, 04:27 PM
The Remmy comes with a fully-adjustable trigger; Win. comes with a trigger that's not adjustable for creep. Stocks are about the same. Check out or and see how many are using rifles built on a Remmy 700 action v. Win. action. Rugers aren't even in the same universe.

May 13, 2003, 08:50 PM
With all this talk of adjustable/non-adjustable triggers, I feel I should suggest that you seek out a local (or semi-local) smith and inquire as to prices on trigger jobs. I'm spoiled because nearly all of my serious rifles have trigger jobs done by a local guy and his work is really super top notch and he only charges $20 - $35 for them. If you can get one done in this range, it will probably be the best $35 you ever spent on a gun.

And he's supplied me with excellent triggers on Rugers, Winchesters and Remingtons though he prefers working on Rugers.

May 14, 2003, 08:48 PM
got a
savage FP10 in a .308 in a Mcmillan A-4 (drop in)

Remington 700 pss .308

and in the current care (my brothers') of a
Winchester Stealth .308 in a Mcmillan A-2 (drop in)

all are picky eaters

all on a good day can shoot .5 moa

all work out to .9 to 1.3 moa out to 800m all day long

none shot like this out of the box

trigger jobs, recut crowns, and trued up all around.

.02 with salt

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