Winchester 70 Featherweight - is it a good gun?


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Benelli Shooter
December 27, 2008, 01:40 AM
I like the idea of CRF. I am looking at a 30-06. Winchester has the new Featherweights out.

Are these good guns? Does the light weight make the recoil too harsh? Has anyone shot a new one? How accurate are they?

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jmr40
December 27, 2008, 09:47 AM
Do not let the Featherweight name influence you. Winchester Featherweights actually weigh about the same as most manufacturers standard weight rifles.

I think they are probably one of the best looking rifles out there. Some of the Classics that Winchester made in the early 90's when they first went back to CRF are great guns. Somewhere around 1999 or 2000 quality started to slip and while they made some very good guns, too many left the factory that were junk. By the time they closed the doors in 2006 most of them were pretty bad.

FN, bought the company and has just recently started to let a few out. I have not seen one of the new ones yet but reports I have read are mixed. There are apparently problems with the new guns as well.

If you are sold on CRF, and I like it as well, I would reccomend Ruger. A lot of people like the CZ rifles as well.

moosehunt
December 27, 2008, 07:44 PM
If it's a Pre-64 Featherweight, it's a good gun. If not???????

ArmedBear
December 27, 2008, 08:08 PM
Winchester Featherweights actually weigh about the same as most manufacturers standard weight rifles.


I would reccomend Ruger. A lot of people like the CZ rifles as well.

LOL

Survey says: XXX

The Featherweight should be a good pound lighter than a CZ or Ruger, if that matters to you. I like some heavy guns, so I'm not condemning the CZ or Ruger for being too heavy or anything. But IMO the Featherweight is a top-notch field gun, and its weight and balance are part of that.

WRT weight and felt recoil, that would depend on how the gun fits, what you load it with, what positions you shoot it from.

On the bench, I've had rifles leave painful bruises. Same rifles were a pleasure to shoot offhand.

The 70 has a nice, thick Pachmayr, the sort of recoil pad you often have to put on later. Balance is wonderful.

Don't know about QA on the new run, but I do know that, if the verdict is positive, I'd like one.

Float Pilot
December 27, 2008, 08:12 PM
If it is one of the new manufactered rifles, and IF you can look it over real well, then you might have a winner. I would be cautious about the new made rifles for awhile if I was buying them sight unseen. Actually almost any new rifle...
But, if this rifle is in a shop/store where you can fondle and inspect it for machine work boo-boos and poor wood to metal matching.. then give it the twice over...

Nothing beats a good M-70 style safety that locks the firing pin. You can cycle rounds all day and that firing pin is not going to move.
Plus you can strip a model 70 bolt all the way down to individual parts without special tools.

The Ruger M77MKII tried to look like a M-70 safety but it is not. It is really a trigger safety that only locks the firing pin in the bolt-lock position.
You cannot disassemble the Ruger firing pin / striker spring and bolt shroud without a special tool.

My brother has a new M-70 Feather Weight, they handle and balance great. They do not recoil excessively either. His seems to shoot 1.5 inch groups with most factory ammo at 100 yards. That might be him and not the rifle. He has not let me borrow it for any hand-loading experiments.
I have an older pre-64 that shoots 1 inch groups with certain loads...

They were meant as a beautifully balanced (and reliable) hunting rifle, so one inch groups are about all you could hope for.

ArmedBear
December 27, 2008, 08:17 PM
They're rifles that a shotgunner can love.

I.e., it seems like many rifle-only shooters don't know or care about balance, and most manufacturers are aware of that. Shotgunners have a whole different way of deciding if they like a gun.

jmr40
December 27, 2008, 08:59 PM
ArmedBear,

I have Ruger MK-2 rifles as well as Winchester Featherweights. On my postal scales the Winchesters are lighter by exactly 1 oz. A CZ is CRF and would be heavier and a Kimber would be close to 2 lbs lighter in a short action. With the Winchester weighing right at 7 lbs I stand by my statement that they are about average when compared with other rifles.

I like the Winchester design and hope FN can produce a good rifle at a fair price. If they do I will be in line to buy one. They are going to have to do a lot better than the crap they were turning out from 2000-2006 however. I had 2 of those pieces of junk and will stay with Ruger until they prove they can do better.

rklessdriver
December 27, 2008, 10:47 PM
I bought one of the New M70 F/W 30-06 "Classics" back in 1998 or so. Had it about a year, Great rifle but on a CPL's pay in the USMC, I had to sell it to fund a "fun rifle". I really, really, really, regreted selling it, but I thought they would be around forever now that Winchester had brought CRF back to the masses....:banghead:

When I went to replace it, Imagine my amazement that Winchester was out of business and the ones left were bringing a small fortune. They didn't look or feel as smooth and nice as mine either.

I bought a CZ550 in 30-06 to replace it and have been very pleased.

I really hope FN gets their (Winchester's) act together. I'm thinking I very well may need a M70 F/W Classic in .270Win.
Will

RSVP2RIP
December 28, 2008, 12:39 PM
"You cannot disassemble the Ruger firing pin / striker spring and bolt shroud without a special tool."

When is a paperclip a special tool?

oregonhunter
December 28, 2008, 01:26 PM
My view is that the featherweight is the best handling bolt action rifle one can carry in the field.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 28, 2008, 01:27 PM
Heck yes it is!

Is it $950 worth of good gun, as is the price on the one at the local store here? No, but that price is because it's a limited edition of some sort. What's the "street price" for a normal new Featherweight 70?

oregonhunter
December 28, 2008, 01:29 PM
they go for about $799 around here

Float Pilot
December 28, 2008, 04:04 PM
When is a paperclip a special tool?

I was not referring to removing the shroud-firing pin-spring assembly from the bolt sleeve (body).

I am referring to getting the striker spring off the firing pin and out of the shroud head without going nuts. Gererally speaking it is done via a small tool which compresses the spring and holds the entire striker assembly while you drive out the retaining pin with a punch.

With a real Mauser, Springfield, Kimber, or Model 70, it can be done without any tools out in the woods.

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