New Model 70, first time at the range.


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ArmedBear
January 4, 2010, 03:33 PM
This was the initial test and sight-in session of my "Christmas rifle", a South Carolina-made Model 70 Extreme Weather Stainless model in .30-06, using a Leupold VX-II 2-7x33mm scope mounted on Talley Extra Low Lightweight One-Piece Scope Mounts.

For the first 20 shots or so, groups were mediocre (inconsistent 2-4" 3-shot groups at 200 yards). This must have been an initial break-in issue.

After those first 20 rounds, 3-shot groups tightened up to a consistent 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" at 200 yards off a bipod, with sandbags helping to stabilize the butt. With a machine rest, I think it could have been shooting 1" 3-shot groups at 200 yards, since I wasn't 100% steady. Needless to say, I was impressed with it.

The trigger is wonderful. I know that some longtime Model 70 fans don't care for the new mechanism, which gives up some of the simplicity and open design of the original. Maybe, after using the gun in the field, I'll be on their side of the fence. However, the new trigger sure feels good when you use it.:)

I chose the combination of scope and mounts to keep the weight down. The scope weighs 10 oz. on my digital gram scale, and the ring/base combos weigh a total of 1 7/8 oz. without the base screws, so call it 2 oz. This kept the overall weight of this scoped long-action rifle with a regular contour 22" barrel down to just about exactly 7 1/2 lbs., empty. Uncle Mike will be happy to see that the rifle, rings and scope are all US-made.:)

Ammo was my hunting handloads, with 56.5 grains of IMR-4350 and a 165-grain Hornady SST bullet. They were developed in and for another rifle, so I have no idea if they're optimal for the Winchester. They shoot as well as or better than they did in that original rifle, though.

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Sav .250
January 4, 2010, 03:54 PM
In the January issue of the American Rifleman there is an article on the Winchester model 70. Talks about the new ones ( made in Columbia, SC) and the old ones. Good read. :)

257WM_CDL-SF
January 4, 2010, 05:33 PM
very good Armed bear.I want one.Does it have 22 or 24 barrel

esheato
January 4, 2010, 06:30 PM
This kept the overall weight of this scoped long-action rifle with a regular contour 22" barrel down to just about exactly 7 1/2 lbs., empty.

22" I believe.

ArmedBear
January 4, 2010, 06:36 PM
Yes, it's a 22" barrel, with shallow flutes and a regular contour, probably what they'd call #2. It's not a "pencil barrel" and it doesn't shoot like one, either.:) No problem with it getting hot fast.

My other .30-06 is walnut, probably >9 lbs. with the scope, 24" barrel, in short, everything that makes a gun fun easy to shoot offhand or in various positions, and relatively nice to look at, but not so great for mountain hunting on foot in inclement weather. This particular Model 70 offered pretty much everything I was looking for, to get a versatile rifle that still shoots full-size, but carries more easily and requires a lot less babying in the field. Gift certificates, and a significant credit at Cabela's, set to expire in a few days, made it possible for me to buy it, and hurried along the decision.:)

highorder
January 4, 2010, 06:39 PM
Did you follow a break-in procedure?

If not, the people that sell patches and solvent are going to be most unhappy. ;)

ArmedBear
January 4, 2010, 06:44 PM
No, I have to admit that I didn't follow a break-in procedure.:)

I did that with the other .30-06, and the results were about the same, except that it started shooting tight groups after 100 rounds or more, instead of 20-25.:D

(The only serious rifle competitor I've discussed cleaning with told me, "Don't worry about getting it perfectly clean. It'll just get dirty again anyway." THAT must really upset the patch-and-solvent makers.:))

P-32
January 4, 2010, 07:35 PM
Bear, what primers are you using with your hunting loads of IMR 4350?

I use a simular load, 56.2 grs. of IMR 4350 over a Speer 165 in a Win case. I use CCI 200's and found a Win primer will open the group up to 1 1/2 inches at 100. My Winny is a 80's Feather Weight XTR with the front Sling bolt shortened (no front pressure point) and the stock opened up in a few spots to free float the barrel.

blackops
January 4, 2010, 07:41 PM
Can't really go wrong with a m70. Good to hear yet another is a shooter. I would say that an off the shelf hunting rifle that shoots sub at 200 would qualify as a top end rifle. A class that winchester has put itself in from the beginning. I know many people favor remington and savage, but if you give me the three rifles come september the winchester is getting all the attention.

ArmedBear
January 4, 2010, 07:48 PM
I've been using Winchester primers, and some really old Remington primers -- because when I got them, it wasn't like I could be choosy!

Now that primers are slightly easier to find than leprechauns, I'll try some CCIs. Thanks for the tip! (I am using Winchester cases, also, so it's a very similar load.)

Uncle Mike
January 4, 2010, 08:00 PM
Uncle Mike will be happy to see that the rifle, rings and scope are all US-made.

God bless you! Helping to keep Americans in a job!

I have to admit that I didn't follow a break-in procedure.

You do not need to. Your story parallels many of our customers whom have gotten the new Model 70. Seems as though accuracy starts out mediocre and steadily improves to the point of MOA.... MOA, that is some of our guys have told.

we have lapped two rifles for guys and these rifles produced .625" groups right off the bat! But then again, lapping IS very labor intensive and very hard to do correctly!

What base and rings did you finally decide on? 7.5LB is sweet! for a complete rig!

P-32
January 4, 2010, 08:04 PM
I lost money finding out about the Win primers. I had been bragging about the tiny groups the rifle would shoot and got called on it. I was out of ammo and the only primers I had on hand was the Win. so I loaded them up. I didn't think it would matter. Boy was I wrong. The rifle had been sub MOA with the CCI's and will put 4 shots inside the size of your thumb nail firing without cool down. The 5th shot always as in everytime will go out at 2 o' clock and be the flyer.

ArmedBear
January 5, 2010, 12:11 PM
What base and rings did you finally decide on?

The Talley lightweight 1-piece ring/mounts, Extra Low. I weighed them and, without the base screws but otherwise fully assembled with all 4 ring screws in each, the total weight, of both mounts, was 1 7/8 oz. They're solid, too, and perfectly machined.

Not only is the rig relatively light, especially for a 22" .30-06 without any exotic materials or plastic other than the fiberglass in the stock, but it also isn't top-heavy. With the 10 oz. 2-7x33mm scope mounted low on those light rings, it feels more like a well-balanced iron sight rifle (a good thing in my book).

The price of the Talley mounts was just an added bonus. I sure can't complain about a bit over 40 bucks retail, total, to mount the scope in quality hardware.

jmr40
January 5, 2010, 12:28 PM
I'm interested in trying one of the new 70's. If I do I would set mine up exactly as you did. Keep us posted as you work with it.

Uncle Mike
January 5, 2010, 12:29 PM
Yeah, the Talley mounts are the best!
I'll have to agree, balance makes the rifle...well, balance and proper stock fit.

X - Man
January 6, 2010, 07:30 PM
I have a Model 70 Featherweight, about 1974 build, in 30-06. Wish it had the S/S barrel. Mine's blued with a 22" barrel, measures .630"OD at the muzzle. The rifle is fitted with a Leopold 3x9 scope. It's a fine hunting rifle.

With a hand loaded 168gr hpbt it will group the first two shots at .25 to .3", 100 yards, third shot opens up to about an 1".

It's likely that as your new rifle gets more range time it's groups will tighten up. Even more so since your a hand loader, and will soon find the best load combo. Do let us know how it does with that perfect match grade round.

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