Winchester Model 70 Classic Sporter


June 26, 2012, 08:55 PM
I have read on this Forum that some of the rifles coming out of CT did not have excellent quality control during certain years, but can't remember which were the questionable years.

For those in the know, when purchasing a used Winchester that was produced in CT, what year of production should be avoided?

The rifle I am considering was made in 1999. Was that a good year?

Thanks in advance.

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June 26, 2012, 10:01 PM
The dumb clucks at New Haven messed up the top M70 receiver, a 1995 vintage receiver.

The other receiver was new in 2000.

The top receiver, see the material missing from the right rail? That little bit of metal scalloped away will cause a round to nose dive into the extractor groove.

I spent almost $1000 on making a target rifle out of a NIB stainless M70 and the thing would not feed correctly. I called up New Haven customer service and after I told them about the receiver face truing, lug truing, bolt face truing, clip slotting, they just laughed at me. And yet, the defect that made this receiver unreliable in feed was their fault.:fire:

I hope those chuckle heads had a back slapping good time in the unemployment line. :evil:

The bottom receiver, the rail is straight. This rifle feeds without jamming.

June 27, 2012, 08:43 AM
The Classics were made between 1992-2006. The rifles made during the 90's through the early 2000's were wonderful , well made guns. Winchester closed their doors in 2006. The guns made during the last 2-3 years of production were a lot more likely to have issues. Doesn't mean every gun made during 2004-2006 was a bad gun. Most were still just fine. It is just that a higher percentage of bad ones got out the door.

I have 3 Classic Stanless models. One made in 1999, one in 2000, and a 3rd made in 2006. All were bought used, and cheap. The 2 older guns have been absolutely perfect and are truly tack drivers. The 2006 model needed a little attention with the crown, trigger and some minor tweaking to get it to feed smoothly, but I only have $200 in the gun and even after paying the small price to get it running perfect was a bargain. It is also a shooter.

Most of the problems with the older guns are not major issues. Most are minor problems that a little more attention at the factory would have prevented. You may have to pay a gunsmith to do a job that should have been done at the factory. But once taken care of you will have a great gun. Most are selling cheap enough to justify a little more work.

I'd say a 1999 model should be a pretty darn good gun.

June 27, 2012, 09:56 AM
I have a 1998 win 70 stainless classic with the B.O.S.S. system in 30-06. Super smooth action, beautiful jeweled bolt, shoots sub-MOA all day long. It is one of my favorite rifles that I won't ever part with.

June 27, 2012, 11:40 AM
Heck, I've owned model 70's from the 1970's to 2005. Some needed minor things but none were beyond fixing cheaply. My experience mirrors jmr40's.

June 27, 2012, 01:17 PM
Based on comments above, this one may be a little high. What do you think is a fair price?

June 27, 2012, 02:41 PM
Yea, unless there is something rare about that gun that I'm missing I wouldn't pay 1/2 that asking price. A new FN produced Featherweight is between $700-$800 and is likely a better gun. 25-06 is a little less common, but $1300!!!

MSRP on a brand new Sporter in 25-06 is $879.

June 27, 2012, 10:49 PM

I bought a new USRAC Winchester sometime in the middle 90's. The gun was fitted with the BOSS system from the factory. The first time I cleaned it, I took the BOSS unit off the end of the barrel. Imagine my surprise when I found the threads attaching the BOSS had been machined onto the barrel by someone who was obviously both blind and spastic. Of the 13 or 14 markings that were supposedly threads the end three, furthest from the muzzle, were able to hold the BOSS to the barrel. The rest of them could not be properly called machining. I distinctly remember calling them "other things".

Needless to say, the gun went back to New Haven for a new barrel. I got a different gun back, but in fairly short order. That gun got carefully inspected & kept. USRAC made it right & should have made both the "machinist" and the QC inspector take a long walk down a short pier.

Point being, I think that most of the guns, regardless of year, were good guns. However, also regardless of year, some crap was produced.


June 27, 2012, 11:00 PM
I just looked at a new stainless featherweight 243 model 70, and I don't think it can be beat.

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