Model 70-Bring mine into the 21st century?


February 17, 2009, 01:08 PM
Hi, longtime lurker here. I have a Winchester Model 70 that was bought new in box around 1983 for $150. Other than a sling and a Bushnell scope nothing has been done to it. It’s been used for deer hunting with mixed results ever since. I’ve missed deer standing still and staring at me, and dropped coyote at a full run. (I think the goofs are more me than the gun.)

I've been looking to "up" my hunting game and have seen the prices of new and used rifles :eek: and I've been wondering if I could make make my existing gun into a much more formidable tool.

First off, is my Model 70 considered a “good” model year of the model 70? What can I do to improve this gun, to where I'd trust to take it on a dream elk hunt, or just more confidently pursue whitetails? I.e. better scope, trigger job? I'm open to suggestions, thanks!

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February 17, 2009, 01:42 PM
Have the trigger tuned a little bit and than go shoot some groups and take it from there.

Might need or consider a higher quality scope

Look at having some stock work done or spring for a new stock

Practice and than practice some more

February 17, 2009, 01:59 PM
Yeah, you really want to make the gun more accurate? Invest in a lot of ammo and some time, and hit the range. First hit the bench to see if your glass is even consistent anymore. If it is, shoot from the position you do mostly when you're hunting... Shooting from a bench is fine but it doesn't really help you if you shoot off-hand or kneeling, or whatever.

February 17, 2009, 02:08 PM
Both those guys nailed it with their responses. . In my opinion, all model 70s made after 1964 are about equal. There was a run of "Classic" Model 70s that had the old pre-64 style action with the huge claw extractor. I'd rate these a notch above the standard, but that is just me. I just had a trigger job done on a Classic Super Grade that made it a whole different rifle. That is one area I'd really look at. Floating the barrel, pillar bedding or glassing the action are other things you could do if needed. I also agree a bit better glass may help depending on your style of hunting. All that said, practice is surely the key.

February 17, 2009, 05:59 PM
Worse case...

I'll give you what you paid for it new and take it off your hands if it doesn't live up to your expectations. :rolleyes:

February 17, 2009, 06:11 PM
Please just don't tactify it. I know a lot of people who think for it to be an accurate gun it has to be all black. If it is a purty gun then leave it purty.

My advice would be to get a good scope and shoot quality ammo. If that doesn't do it for you <i>then</i> start looking at new stocks, bedding, etc.

Art Eatman
February 17, 2009, 11:18 PM
Me, I'd try various manufacturer's 150-grain loads from a bench rest to see what worked best. I might tweak the forearm if the groups are always outside of one MOA. After that, it's just practice from field positions, not from a benchrest.

February 17, 2009, 11:36 PM
^^^ what Art said.

February 17, 2009, 11:41 PM
all are right so far, also , what is the cal? does it have open sights? if it does have open sights, I would take it to a 50 yd line, and use the smallest dots you can , 1 or 2 inch dots. Shoot open sites, with a bunch of diff ammo, to find which ammo it likes best. Do not use the scope, take the scope out of the equasion right now. This will tell you FOR SURE, which ammo it likes best, and does it have pretty good accuracy potential. Then once you find a round it likes, put the scope on, and go from there.

February 18, 2009, 09:53 AM
While I agree ranger, HE has to be accurate before the rifle can be judged. If you know what I'm saying.

February 18, 2009, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the replies. Yes it is a bolt action 30-06. It has iron sights and has a Bushnell 1983-era scope that was bought new, couldn't have been over a $100 probably much less.

I understand I need to practice. One thing I know for sure is that the trigger needs a hard pull to fire--I know I've yanked it on occasion. All field shooting is done free hand, leaning on a knee--all improvised hunting shots. Bench shooting results are uneven but I haven't experimented with lots of ammo.

But you know how some guns you can squeeze the trigger right until you get to that "sweet spot", well this does not have that. I understand you don't want it too light, but are the 1983 factory triggers typically tight?

February 18, 2009, 10:58 AM
Sounds like the first thing to do is the trigger, have a smith bring it down to 3.5 or 4 lbs. That will help accuracy right off the bat. Then I would make a drastic upgrade in optics. $50 optics of today are like $100 dollar optics of earlier years. I would check out Nikon Prostaff in 3-9x40, or the Simmons Master Hunter Series, all around $100 and crisp clear optics. If you want to go all out Go Leupold, and don't look back.

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