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Accurizing Winchester M 70

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Mike T, Feb 27, 2015.

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  1. Mike T

    Mike T Member

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    Hi,

    I have a very nice 1976 Model 70 in .22-250. Just for the fun of it, I'm going to see how much I can improve the accuracy with some light gunsmithing. I have a couple of questions first: considering the light recoil from this round, if there likely to be any benefit from glass and/or pillar bedding the action? What modifications are likely to yield the best results?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Mike
     
  2. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    How does it shoot now? That could already be a sub-MOA gun.

    I know you want to tinker but it is good to establish a baseline first.

    Free floating the barrel in some way will help whether it is done while glass and/or pillar bedding or not.

    Recrowning the barrel is a popular one that usually gets results.

    Trigger work will yield the biggest benefit. Install a Timney after establishing a baseline and you may be shocked. If it doesn't already have a nice trigger of course.
     
  3. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Glass bedding and pillar bedding have nothing to do with recoil.

    Glass bedding is done to make the stock fit the rifle more precisely and keep from it moving in the stock on firing.

    Pillar bedding also prevents compression of the stock by the action screws, which would result in loosening of the fit between stock and action.

    But the first thing you should do is shoot the rifle. If it shoots accurately enough for your application, leave it alone!

    If you're hiving accuracy problems first check the scope and mounts, then the action screws and the barrel crown -- these are all likely causes of inaccuracy and easier to fix than glass bedding and pillar bedding.
     
  4. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    The first two things I do to a Model 70 when I get one is to adjust the trigger so it feels good to me, and then I work on the length of pull to make sure the stock fits me. That usually means installing a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad. Then I test different loads to find one that works with the rifle. After that I think long and hard about other changes that could give negative results.
     
  5. 49willys

    49willys Member

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    As above,and,bedding a rifle doesn't always make it shoot better.
     
  6. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    Winchester put out some funky barrels in the 70's, some of which never shot well. Others fouled quickly and accuracy would go sour. Before spending lots of money on the rifle, clean the barrel very well with a good copper solvent then see what kind of groups it shoots. Would be a good idea to find a smith with a borescope and look at the throat. If you ever come to the Abilene area, I'll do it for you.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    What is the best 5 or 10-shot group you have ever shot with any rifle in your life??

    If you can't honestly say less then 1 MOA, or even better, less then 3/4 MOA??

    Step away from the Model 70 mods until you can truly judge what the rifle will already do.

    rc
     
  8. WVRJ

    WVRJ Member

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    Try the basics first.Thoroughly clean the barrel,make sure the action screws are tight,as well as the scope mounts.I usually get good results from free floating the barrel,getting a good trigger pull and glass bedding.On most of the M700's i work on I also lap the locking lugs as well.All or some of these may or may not help,but usually they bring an improvement in accuracy.I have also got good results from going to a good quality synthetic stock,mainly I get consistency in POI vs the wood stocks.The main thing to do is clean it and shoot it to see if anything needs to be done.
     
  9. Mike T

    Mike T Member

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    Accurizing

    Gentlemen,

    You've all given me a wealth of information and help here, and I appreciate it greatly. Over time, most of your suggestions will be tried - unless the rifle goes sub-MOA in the meantime.

    I hadn't given enough consideration to my shooting skills at first. Now, my rule will be to improve myself before I worry about the rifle. Who knows how long that may take!

    Thank you again,

    Mike
     
  10. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    You reloading? Using good ammo with a good trigger and a solidly mounted sight is far more important than anything else. Doesn't have to be a trigger change. Changing the springs will do.
    Free floating the barrel guarantees nothing. Some rifles like it. Some do not. Only way to find it if your's does is to try it. Costs nothing unless accuracy doesn't get better or gets worse. Then you just put a bit of bedding material into the barrel channel about an inch or so from the end of the forestock. Not really a big deal.
    Glass or pillar bedding, not both(even though pillars are usually bedded in place.), are more about consistency than accuracy. Remember it's a hunting rifle, not a target rifle. Accuracy is a different thing for hunting than it is for target shooting. Hunting rifle barrels are not match barrels.
    "...unless the rifle goes sub-MOA..." It ain't going to go sub-MOA by itself. Barrel's not likely up to it.
    My .243 Cooey M71(a poor mans M70A) has an M70A stock, glass bedded, floated barrel, 3ish lb. trigger, hand loads only, solidly mounted scope. Consistently shoots minute of deer. I think a pressure point might make the sizer of the groups smaller. Of course, I'd have to care. Consistent minute of deer has been good enough for 40 years. Point is that you can spend a pile of money(No I didn't. Working in a gun shop makes a difference.) and still have a minute of deer rifle.
     
  11. Mike T

    Mike T Member

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    Accuracy

    Sunray,

    I reload. What's your experience?

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  12. merrill

    merrill Member

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    I have a model 70 Winchester and improved the accuracy to sub- MOA by bedding the action and floating the barrel. That said, I also have a T/C Venture that shot so well out of the box that I did nothing to it. ( if it ain't broke, don't fix it). It too is sub-MOA with my hand loads.
     
  13. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    Model 70's, IMHO, are usually great shooters "out of the box".
    I would experiment with some reloads first and save the tinkering for later.
     
  14. Mike T

    Mike T Member

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    Accurizing

    Got the factory trigger down to about 3 pounds with no creep or after-travel. What more can I ask? That's all I'm going to do until I shoot it for a while.

    Mike
     
  15. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    Mike, I met a young man (early 20s) at my club one day shooting his M700 heavy barrel topped with a mammoth Nikon Monarch. It was his 3rd time shooting and first with his new rig (.223 Rem). Scared the lights out of every inch of a 2' target. Fast-forward a year and there he was again, different rifle, better glass and a mountain of acquired skill shooting 1/4" groups at 200 yards.

    Join a club, get involved, make some friends, and find some help. There are books and mentors that can really sharpen your skills if you're looking for better than "minute of deer". I'm not a spectacular shot but I'd never be happy with a 2 MOA rifle. My used M70 put 3 under 1/2" at 100 its first outing, didn't plan to change a thing until the stock broke.
     
  16. murf

    murf Member

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    stock fit is probably poor to worse. make sure the stock isn't pushing the barrel sideways. make sure the three action screws aren't bound up by the stock (side pressure on the screws).

    you can use the middle action screw as an accurizer by varying the torque. generally, that screw gets less torque than the other two.

    luck,

    murf
     
  17. Daveboone

    Daveboone Member

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    I am surprised no body mentioned this yet, but...
    1) make sure you are shooting from a firm consistent rest when sighting,
    and..
    2) use optics and mounts that have the accuracy potential. I have seen plenty o ffolks get frustrated over crappy groups trying to use poor quality optics and poor fitting/loose mounts.
     
  18. ford8nr

    ford8nr Member

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    Just got my winter project to the range today. I had a 80's M70 Lightweight 30-06 with an ugly poor fitting original laminate stock. Re-stocked it with a fancy grade walnut Monte Carlo with a decelerator recoil pad. Piller bedded and glass bedded action/chamber. First two 5 shot groups using generic handloads of 155 and 165 grain yielded two groups right at 1".
     
  19. Sorrenson

    Sorrenson Member

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    I had a 22-250 SAKO that out of the box shot 1.5inches. tried every thing (so I thought) to improve accuracy and nothing worked. I was literally at the gun shop to trade it in and the guy suggested I try 64grain Bergers. I thought what the hell. loaded them in front of 33.8 grains of ADI BMII and now its a .3 -.4 MOA all day every day gun. So I guess im saying that some time at the reloading bench may yield better results than big $$$ at a gun smith.
     
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