Pre War Model 70 Winchester?


January 18, 2003, 08:09 PM
I picked up a Pre War Model 70 in .30GOV'T'06 today for pretty cheap... My first C&R purchase by the way...

The gun was delightfully dirty and I had to clean it for the rest of the afternoon- it's still soaking.

SN# 406xx with a barrel dated 1941

I am wondering if it is wearing its original barrel and what the date of manufacture is the receiver?

There was some 'bubba-ing' to the gun- hammering on the dog knot to remove the sight, buggered screw slots, and slight grinding of the bolt handle to clear the scope (which was removed). There is also evidence of the gun metal being heavily shellaced at one time (but not the stock). One hole one top of the rear bridge. The stock is deep rich red with the usual scuffs and minor dents. All the stock hardware is there but the checkering is worn flat and there is a chip out of the Lyman peep cut.

I had planned on building on the action but now I'm kinda reluctant- it's growing on me... What do you think?

If you enjoyed reading about "Pre War Model 70 Winchester?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 18, 2003, 08:45 PM
On a fine old classic like this, I'd be more tempted to do a restoration.
First, I'd get the bore really, really clean, and see how it shoots.
Often these old Model 70's can surprise you.

I've seen a few that were filthy, with pitted bores that shot groups that are amazing even today, after a clean up.

I would not refinish the stock unless absolutely necessary, just restore, and refresh the checkering. That old Winchester "Red" finish is hard to exactly duplicate.

Use it as a "builder" and you have nothing much, or special.
Restore it, and you have a fairly valuable classic rifle.

Mike Irwin
January 19, 2003, 12:06 AM
If I remember correctly, commerical production of the Model 70 stopped at something like 44,000 for WW II production. You've got one of the last ones made, apparently.

Jim Higginbotham
January 20, 2003, 01:41 PM
Your date sounds right. According the the George Madis "little red book" 1941 production began with #31676 and 1942 began with 50754 (there were 7452 made in '42 and 776 made in '43.

Tough call on whether to rebuild or restore. I just purchased a .220 swift made in '60. That one is not so hard to decide on, except it shoots pretty good with factory ammo and the barrel is still touching the wood. However I don't know what I will do with a .220 as all the woodchucks have disappeared from the fields around here (they now hang out under buildings and in the woods due to coyote predation.

Good luck with your treasure!
Jim H.

January 20, 2003, 10:23 PM
Three hours with the needle files and the emory paper yielded a bolt that looks respectable. Fortunately, the grinding was not too deep and there was some steel to work with. I looked at some custom gun pics for inspiration- I only leveled the grinding and refined the shape- I didn't file any deeper...

I detail stripped the gun to pins and springs and I am still soaking the majority of the parts...

As far as I can determine, the rifle was coated with what I determined to be Tru-Oil (not shellac). This caused it to look very poorly and was the number one reason I selected it for a rebuild. Even the dealer agreed it would be difficult to polish off all the "rust" off the rifle. Someone at least attempted to remove the Tru-oil at one time making it look half blued-half rusted. Several applications of paint stripping gel got all the Tru Oil off and out of the lettering and the recesses. The bolt release hole and the ejector slot area were gummed with the stuff. Now only tiny patches of rust remain! Looks good now- probably better after oiling...

The trigger guard and floorplate are browned. Althought the floorplate is smooth and unharmed, the rear trigger guard screw recess is buggered by sloppy screwdriver work. I'm going to take the emory paper to it tonight and restore the lines.

Looks like I am restoring it...

Can anyone tell me what original pre war sights would be most commonly found on this rifle?

Ever used any products from

I was specifically wondering about the winchester red stock oil???

Jim Higginbotham
January 20, 2003, 11:11 PM
DeBee wrote;
Can anyone tell me what original pre war sights would be most commonly found on this rifle?

I have one made in 1936 in 30 Govt' 06, and it has a Lyman Folding rear sight on the barrel. I am guessing a lot of them had Lyman or Redfield Apeture sights though I am not sure if that was a factory option. It was also drilled and tapped for a Griffin & Howe side mount (and the wood nicely relieved for the base) but alas the mount was not with the gun.

My Win. 75 came with a nice Lyman Apeture sight.

I wish you well on the project, "The Rifleman's Rifle" is worth the effort.

Jim H.

If you enjoyed reading about "Pre War Model 70 Winchester?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!