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Help with Winchester Mod 70, 22-250

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SunRunner, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. SunRunner

    SunRunner New Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    I don’t know whether this it the right place to post this thread V.S. Gunsmithing and Repairs forum so if it needs to be moved please do so. I’m going to need a little help and advise about fixing this old friend.


    I have this Model 70 Winchester 22-250 that I purchased about 30 years ago. It has a 3-9 Leupold VX type scope mounted with Leupold rings & base. I had fired about 450 rounds through it prior to leaving Colorado 26 years ago. At that point in time, using reloads, I was able to put 10 rounds out of 11 in a ¾ inch group at 100 yards with the first round flying a bit high and right.

    When I moved I gave it to a very good friend for him to keep and use. At that time I really didn’t want to move it to Florida and didn’t believe I would ever care about long-range rifle shooting again. Over the next couple years he fired it about 200 rounds and the accuracy remained constant. It was then cleaned and oiled and stored for about 24 more years.

    Since my wife and I retired last year I resurrected my old interest in precision rifle shooting and my good friend gave it back to me.

    He and I cleaned it up from top to bottom and took it to the range a couple weeks ago. Using a front bench rest with a rear sand bag it was shooting very inconsistent. The first 10 rounds, about 60-90 seconds apart, ran in a horizontal line about a half inch apart and about 5-6 inches long. I let it cool about 15 minutes before firing again but then I couldn’t achieve better than a 5-inch group. Actually wasn’t really even a group, it was just kind of all over the place. Both of us fired it and we both experienced the same result. We were using store bought 55 gr JSP Remington Express ammunition but even with that I think I should have been able to drive 5 into 1 ½ to 2 inches minimum at that range.

    I discovered the barrel channel in the stock is a bit snug in several places but I don’t believe that would account for the extreme change. I do believe what I need is a new barrel installed properly. The problem is I don’t have a clue as to who’s good and who’s not anymore. Just been away from it too long.

    I’m also seriously considering a 26” heavy barrel in place of the standard tapered barrel that’s currently on it.

    I would very much appreciate your input as to where I could get this work done properly. I would also like to know your thoughts on changing to a longer heavy barrel, what barrel to use and if I should be considering changing it to different caliber. However, with that, I do not want to increase the caliber such that the recoil exceeds the 22-250 by much. I want it to remain a long-range varmint rifle.

    SUBMOAS New Member

    Nov 16, 2006
    San Antonio
    Moving from Colorado to Florida the humidity has probably changed the fit of the stock to the receiver. Have you had the rifle free floated and bedded? That would be the first thing that I would do.
    Going to a 26" barrel wouldn't hurt. The cost of barrels can be $100-$400 depending on who you go with. Also the cost to fit the barrel and stock will add up.
    Try the quick fix first and you may find that your gun could be back to it's normal self or even better.
  3. Rangr44

    Rangr44 New Member

    Apr 26, 2007
    A Red Voter In A Blue State
    JMO, but it sounds, to me, like the barreled action is shifting around between shots.

    It could be bedding changes, due to humidity/climate changes, as posted above - or the stock wood may have warped.

    I would also check the stock bedding areas closely, particularly around the recoil lug and rear tang areas, for any cracking or checks that may have developed in the post two and a half decades (wood is a natural product, remember?).
  4. 44AMP

    44AMP Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    upper US
    Before you rebarrel

    With the amount of shooting you have done, your barrel should not be anywhere near shot out. It could have been damaged by cleaning (examine the muzzle closely). If your scope is good (and that may be the problem), and the mounts and ring screws are tight, the most likely cause is stock warpage. I had this kind of a problem when I moved from northern New York to eastern Washington with a Remington rifle many years ago.

    First, two quick checks. Get a differrent scope (even a cheapie) as long as you know it will hold zero (and on a light recoiling rifle like the .22-250 even a cheapie should), and shoot it some more. This may be your problem.

    second, if it isn't the scope, check this, use a sheet of paper (or a dollar bill) and run it down the barrel channel. The barrel should be free floated until you get to a couple of inches ahead of the reciever. If you can't slide the paper down to nearly the reciever, that means that the stock is pressing against the barrel unevenly, and that can cause it to throw it's shots all over. The solution to this is to carefully open up the barrel channel in the stock, to free float the barrel again. Once you have done this, go shoot it some more. This may cure your problem. If not, then we will look for other things, but please try what I have suggested first. It may save you quite a bit of trouble.

    Also, consider trying a couple of different brands and lot#s of ammo, just to make sure the problem isn't a bad batch of factory ammo (rare, but it happens)

    I have had a M70 Varmint in .22-250 since 1983, and have had nothing but good results from it, some loads going 3/4" at 100yds.

    Good Luck.

    351 WINCHESTER Senior Member

    Mar 19, 2007
    Well we do have a lot of humidity in fl, but I'm assuming the rifle was stored inside an a/c house. Check your screws for tightness. Take the action from the wood and look at the barrel channel for any signs of warp. Try inserting a business card about an inch or so from the forearm tip to put a little pressure on the bbl. It's also possible the firing pin spring is all gunked up with wd40 (a common lube we used to use) - it gunks everything up.
  6. SunRunner

    SunRunner New Member

    Feb 12, 2007

    I apologize for not thanking you all for the good recommendations sooner but right after posting this thread I decided it was time to upgrade the old tower computer to a notebook running Windows Vista. Suffice to say getting everything to work with what I need a computer to do put me out of service for over a week.

    The barrel is contacting the stock quite tightly in several areas. I’m going to carefully sand the barrel channel out to clearance and float the barrel as suggested. I now have a pretty good feeling this will fix it back to what it was. Sure will save a lot of $$$ if it does.

    Thanks again for the responses.

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