1938 Model 70 at LGS... I have questions!


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Collector0311
March 30, 2013, 09:18 PM
Chambered in .30-06, They're asking 1700.
It's mounted with a scope that appears time appropriate, but I'll run by again tomorrow to get the name.
Wood looks great, not refinished, no cracks, you could tell me it's 25 yrs old and I would believe you.
Bore looks pretty fresh, action is smooth. What else should I be looking for? I've been looking to fill the role of hunting/long gun for quite a while, and this hasn't even been on my radar, but something about this weapon is calling me. So I want to know more. Could she handle modern loads? Should I ask to shoot it? The shop has a range attached. School me please! And let me know if this is a bargain or a pass.
Pics and final details tomorrow, thanks gents!
-Brandon

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Speedgoat
March 31, 2013, 01:26 AM
You'll be paying a lot more for the pre-64 stigma / holy grail that some sellers exploit. If you want a old classic that's fine but you could get into one of Winchester's upper line models of M70's and a nice 4-12 Redfield for about $1300. I did just that last fall only in a .300 WM instead of 30-06 and let me tell you that girl is a tack driver. Just got a new Model 70 that's going to get built into a tactical/sniper (style) rifle. The new Winny's are every bit as good as my grandpa's old pre-64, if not better.

JT-AR-MG42
March 31, 2013, 10:30 AM
It honestly sounds kind of high without seeing it.
The '06 is the most common chambering by far.
It would be safe for all regular '06 loads.

Is it in a Stith mount? The rear bridge on a 1938 M70 was not drilled and tapped for a scope mount.
The extra bridge holes do somewhat negatively affect the values on the common '06 or .270 in the rifle version. Carbines and other calibers, not so much.

Looking forward to photos. If the gun is really as clean as you describe, it should make for some eye candy.

JT

bushmaster1313
March 31, 2013, 11:42 AM
Check that the bolt is numbered to the gun.

Note. That will be a heavy hunting rifle.

Collector0311
March 31, 2013, 11:50 AM
Some great info so far fellas, I really appreciate it. I'm not against a new Winny but I've got a place in my heart for older weapons, my previous posts will reflect that! 1894's, 1876's, Model 90's, this would be the newest Winchester I own haha
I'll definitely be checking those numbers to ensure they match as well when I go back for pictures
And as far as weight is concerned, my last employer had me humping M240's around the mountains, I'll be ok ;)

highpower
March 31, 2013, 01:22 PM
While that may seem a little high, remember that the rifle in question is a pre-WWII Model 70. The pre-war rifles seem to be valued at a premium over post-war guns.

Pluses as I see it:
1. Pre-war
2. It is in excellent shape as described

Minuses:
1. Price may be a bit high
2. Not real sure of the break off date, but early Model 70's were not drilled and tapped for scopes.
3. While they are very nice rifles, one in excellent condition has achieved collector status (especially at that price) and would essentially be a safe queen.

I just bought a pre-64 (1956) model 70 Featherweight that shows a bit of hunting wear, but the bore is excellent for $575. It came with a set of scope rings and mounts, but no optics. In the same store at the same time they had a mid 50's vintage Kollmorgan 6X Bear Cub scope, in like new condition with a set of mounts for a period M70 for $50. Needless to say I bought it too and now I have a nice, but not to nice, vintage hunting rig for $625.

adelbridge
March 31, 2013, 07:19 PM
Some of the higher grade model 70s command higher prices but you are approaching custom gun price range. I would go for a custom made rifle over a relic .

G'dale Mike
March 31, 2013, 08:11 PM
Wheel and deal and see how much they'll come down. Never hurts to show them some Benjamins! Price is a funny thing, i'm of the school that if you want it, can afford it, buy it. I like getting a good deal as much as the next guy, but i purchased a couple of pre 64's and probably paid too much, but i couldnt be happier with them. Makes me think of the story of the old guy, who on his death bed, with his life's savings gone, stated he spent it on women and booze,,, and wasted the remainder! Thats how i feel about guns, i have certainly wasted alot more $$ in my life than the price of that rifle you are looking at, but i've never been sorry for spending, even when it was too much, for a firearm. Good luck and post pictures!

highpower
March 31, 2013, 08:28 PM
Also remember that one of the reasons that Winchester changed the model 70 in 1964 was the amount of hand work it took to make them. Every one was virtually a custom rifle. The only rifle that I have operated that had a bolt as smooth as a pre 64 M70 was a 1960 vintage Husquvarna I nearly bought.

Collector0311
March 31, 2013, 11:01 PM
Couple more questions before I go in tomorrow for further details
Someone has put a butt pad on it, anyplace I can find a factory plate?
Any other big collectibility killers I should look for?
What is the quickest place to run a serial number for the max amount of info on the gun? Signs of rebluing?

rust collector
March 31, 2013, 11:23 PM
Note the widow's peak at the top of the plate. http://homesteadparts.com/shopcart/pid_715.htm

That section of the butt may have been lopped off when the pad was installed. That reduces collector value and should be reflected in price. I don't know what the original length of pull was, but a shortened stock reduces value.

Check stamped proof marks, trademarks etc for smearing that occurs when refinishing. If you know anyone who collects, have them give it the once over. Crown will usually be polished by use on a gun that was active. Make sure there is no damage. Finally, check to see if M-70s of that vintage were drilled and tapped by the factory. These are all elements of value, which is important when you are paying an investment grade price for an experienced gun.

Collector0311
March 31, 2013, 11:54 PM
Thanks rust collector, from what I can find this weapon was not factory drilled and tapped, and I'll definitely keep an eye out for those other issues you mentioned. Thanks for that link as well, very helpful!

jmr40
April 1, 2013, 09:27 AM
Actually most pre-64's no longer command a premium. If you plan on shooting it a brand new 70 in 30-06 is selling for $700, and will be a better shooter. There is no reason to pay over $500-$600 for an older 70, pre-64 or not, just to use as a hunting rifle.

If you are buying as an investment the pre-war rifles do bring a bit of a premium. But I think $1,700 is too much for a 30-06. Closer to $1000-$1200 would be my guess. $1,700 might be about right for a super-grade in a rare chambering.

Art Eatman
April 1, 2013, 11:18 AM
Fjestad's Blue Book has a pretty good discussion about the older Model 70s. They warn about "made-up guns" in the Pre-War versions.

The '06 was the most common chambering of all of them.

PabloJ
April 1, 2013, 11:32 AM
Chambered in .30-06, They're asking 1700.
It's mounted with a scope that appears time appropriate, but I'll run by again tomorrow to get the name.
Wood looks great, not refinished, no cracks, you could tell me it's 25 yrs old and I would believe you.
Bore looks pretty fresh, action is smooth. What else should I be looking for? I've been looking to fill the role of hunting/long gun for quite a while, and this hasn't even been on my radar, but something about this weapon is calling me. So I want to know more. Could she handle modern loads? Should I ask to shoot it? The shop has a range attached. School me please! And let me know if this is a bargain or a pass.
Pics and final details tomorrow, thanks gents!
-Brandon
Way too much money for old rifle like that. The scope is surely a throw away in optical quality department. Quality vintage sporting rifle can be had for very little money. Mine was High Standard Deluxe sporting rifle I picked up for $350 in unused condition. There was cut-checkered walnut stock, checkered steel butt plate and FN 'Supreme' Mauser action with nicely polished and blued barrel. Better rifle then Winchester for very little cash.

PabloJ
April 1, 2013, 11:36 AM
If you want to get real nice rifle for more money look for Browning 'Safari Grade' rifle with long extractor from pre-salt treated wood era. Much nicer weapon then the over-rated pre-64 Winchester.

rust collector
April 1, 2013, 10:11 PM
Pre-64 model 70s are not magic, but the supply is limited and some folks certainly enjoy them. http://www.rockislandauction.com/search/aid/58

Older Winnies hold their value much better than most Iver Johnsons, Western Autos and many other makes that have come and gone. They remind us of a bygone era. Many of us are also products of that era, and haven't aged nearly as well!

If you enjoyed reading about "1938 Model 70 at LGS... I have questions!" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!