Model 70 in .22 hornet


July 19, 2011, 01:29 PM
First some background: I'm not a gun collector, I'm not a hunter, and I'm probably not even a gun enthusiast. I own a couple long guns, but have neither the time nor money to shoot them as much as I'd like. If you're being generous, you could call me a "hobbyist". That being said, I've recently inherited a few guns and in the lot was a 1951(SN 180XXX) Model 70 in .22 hornet. Now I know the difference between the end where the bullet comes out and the end you hold, but I'm stumped when it comes to condition.
I guess I'm looking for some advice. While I do like this gun, I think it may be too nice for my collection. I don't know if I'd be able to shoot it without worrying about devaluing my son's college fund, and all things being equal, I'd rather have some cash to treat my other pieces right than a show piece I'm afraid to touch.

What can I reasonably expect to get for this gun? It is in good shape, but far from perfect; The worst blemish is a small chip behind the bolt that appears to have been glued back in place, which is hard to see in photos. Will that imperfection make this piece worthless to a collector, or is it forgivable? I've tried photograph it from all angles, but if I've missed anything I'm more than happy to reshoot. The pictures I have are stored at

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July 19, 2011, 03:21 PM
I was going to say $1500 or so, but what do I know.

Here's one with big dings in the stock (see the last pic) and the price is $2500.

There are 3 listed here (the last 3 on the list) for $3500-$3700, but they are 99% guns.

July 19, 2011, 03:41 PM
~1500 was the conclusion I came to also after some in-depth googling. I took it to a gun&pawn nearby and the guy behind the counter *literally* glanced at said he could offer maybe a third of that, and then he'd still be eating it for years. The girl working the register summed it up "South Carolina rednecks wouldn't know one gun from another".

July 19, 2011, 04:09 PM
If its not new in box, you aren't going to hurt the value by shooting it now and then.

Jim Watson
July 19, 2011, 04:41 PM
Blue Book thinks a pre-'64 Hornet in 90% is worth $1975.
I think you would have trouble realizing that much in the present economy.
You might check completed auctions on and

I looked, some have sold for this much, others listed to start at $2000 or more have not.

July 19, 2011, 04:43 PM
Hi. That's not something you see every day. A rifle that is stocked for iron sights. Take the rust spots off with 0000 steel wool and some oil.
"...~1500 was the conclusion..." I'd be thinking more like 2 grand to $2500, but you'd have to find somebody who wants it. The .22 Hornet is a varmint cartridge. Now, isn't a bad time to be selling a varmint rifle. Next month will be too late.
The assorted auction sites aren't that great for determining prices. Everybody thinks their rifle is worth enough to retire on. Unfortunately, they don't list the price the firearm sold for either.
"...said he could offer..." Typical of any dealer. Dealers base their used firearm prices on the whole sale price(isn't one for a '51 Model 70, of course) and how fast they think they can sell it. Pawn only think in terms of how fast they can sell it to their particular market.
Any real gun shops near you that do consignments? You set a minimum that you'll take, the dealer either takes a percentage or a set fee and sells it for you.

July 19, 2011, 05:18 PM
A pre 64 Model 70 in .22 Hornet is indeed a collectors item and the right guy would pay handsomely for it.
My research says that it's worth somewhere in the $2000/$2500 range but I would have it evaluated by more than one expert.
Nothing wrong with shooting the rifle if you desire, problem is, if you don't reload, ammo is expensive.

July 19, 2011, 05:36 PM
It's had some use so shooting it won't take the value down. It needs some cleaning, but not refinishing. I'd call that 90% even before I cleaned it.

If you decide to sell, don't let someone lowball you on that. You inherited it, it's not costing you anything to take your time and find the right buyer or auction.

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