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comments on the new Model 70 - pic heavy

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by thomis, Jan 30, 2012.

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  1. thomis

    thomis Member

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    Three years ago I began researching for a good all-around deer rifle, mid to long range, wood-stock, USA made, and one that could hold it's own at the range, at least from the 100 yard mark.
    I chose .308 Winchester for the caliber and the Savage Model 14 Classic. That rifle didn't work out for me. It had fits of sporadic grouping and I never could get the bbl clean and shiny.
    So I went after and recently purchased a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight, one of the new ones made in SC. When I opened the box I immediately realized the quality of the Winchester was on a different level than the Savage. The fit, feel and finish was far superior. The bolt is unbelievably smooth as silk. I don't want to completely bash Savage b/c their service is fantastic and I love my Savage .22 rifle. But I really wish I had gotten the Model 70 over the Model 14 for my deer rifle. Here are some pics.

    DSC_0606_resize.jpg

    DSC_0621_resize.jpg

    DSC_0622_resize.jpg

    DSC_0625_resize.jpg

    DSC_0638_resize.jpg

    recessed crown is a good idea
    DSC_0645_resize.jpg

    I followed the barrel break-in instructions on this page (by the way, thanks Fullboar1). I only have 12 shots through it and no scope mounted yet (waiting on the scope ring lapping rod kit) so I can't comment on accuracy yet. But I'll be working on it. In the meantime I am working up a multitude of handloads in 125, 150, 165 and 168 grains.

    I have one very minor complaint/ observation:
    When the safety is in the far rear position (trigger won't function/ bolt won't open), there is a fair amount of "play" with the bolt. Seems to me the bolt should be locked solid, and should not move but it's not the case.

    see the first pic
    DSC_0663_resize.jpg

    second pic, I've moved the bolt upwards about half an inch
    DSC_0662_resize.jpg



    I did chrony some factory ammo, if you're interested:
    (remember, 22" bbl)

    Winchester Super X Powerpoint 150 grain, 8 shots:
    2814
    2878
    2808
    2798
    2871
    2824
    2854
    2805

    Remington Express Core Lokt 150 grain, 2 shots:
    2662
    2698

    DSC_0656_resize.jpg

    cheers,
    thomis
     
  2. Ultravox

    Ultravox Member

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    That's a nice looking rifle.
     
  3. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice looking rifle! Glad to hear you are happy with her. My next rifle will be a M70 in 375H&H. You know, just cause.
     
  4. thomis

    thomis Member

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    ultravox, i will definitely be getting one of your maple reloading blocks. talk to you on etsy
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  5. lovethosesooners

    lovethosesooners Member

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    Beautiful indeed-I got a Model 70 Sporter 270 for Christmas and added a Nikon Monarch scope in 5x20 with the BDC reticle-absoultely love that gun!
     
  6. USSR

    USSR Member

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    That'll work.:) BTW, the bolt play when the safety is in the rear position is normal.

    Don
     
  7. thomis

    thomis Member

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    lovethosesooners, does the safety/ bolt on your new Sporter operate like I described in my last two pics?
    and does that 24" bbl seem really long to you when you carry it?
    just curious.

    thomis
     
  8. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Member

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    thats one pretty featherweight you have there!
     
  9. joed

    joed Member

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    The model 70's are beautiful rifles. I've heard nothing but good about the new ones. But to be honest I bought a Stealth just before they announced the closing of the last plant and I couldn't be happier with it.

    Lately I've been thinking of a Featherweight in .243 but want to know how well they shoot first. If the thin barrel is going to cause problems I'd just as soon opt for the Sporter.
     
  10. ISO1600

    ISO1600 Member

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    that is a mighty-fine looking rifle!
     
  11. Geno
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    Geno Member

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    That is beautiful wood. I think the Featherweight is one of the all-time best looking bolt-actions ever made. Thanks for posting so many pics.

    Geno
     
  12. joed

    joed Member

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    Nice info so far, now tell us how it shoots.
     
  13. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    I have always loved the look of the Winchester Featherweight rifle.
    That is an outstanding stock on your rifle.
    Back in 1990 I ordered one in 223 and picked it up about 8 months later when I got home from the war.
    It's one sweet rifle to shoot. Will shoot 5 shot groups under an inch with most handloads.
    Here is a pic taken 2 years ago up in PA. I took that groundhoug at 180 yards with 52gr Nosler BT.
     

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  14. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    I've always wanted a M70. Nice pics, those aren't helping!
     
  15. thomis

    thomis Member

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    Thanks all, I thought I got pretty lucky too, on the stock. It's a pretty decent piece of walnut especially for a rifle not considered "super or ultra" grade. It was a bit risky, too, buying it on gunbroker without seeing it first but they sent me a nice one. I hope it shoots as good as it looks. I went ahead and ordered the scope ring alignment and lapping rod kit today (almost didn't but decided to really do things right here). I have a Leupold Vari X II 3-9 x 40 waiting on it. And I've been working up several handloads with some pretty good bullets thanks to your recommendations in this thread.

    USSR, thanks for affirmation on the no-issue with the bolt movement.

    And GunnyUSMC, nice shot on that pig! I grew up in PA and shot many of those rolling hill-dwelling groundhogs. Some of my best memories hunting and shooting. Man I miss those days. My longest whistle pig kill was at 350 yards with my Grandfather's Rem BDL .270. That was in Sylvis about 30 miles south of Punxy.
     
  16. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

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    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Wish I could keep a hunting rifle that pretty. Unfortunatly the momma phrase, "That's why we can't have nice things" strongly applies to the abuse I give my hunting weapons (I would cry the first time I took that rifle into Hell's Hole after elk).

    Might try some reloader 15 and sierra bullets in her. Sierra Matchkings work awesome in my .308 and Gamekings (the 165g hollowpoints) aren't far behind. Watch it if you are deer hunting with the gamekings though, a bit explosive at close range.
     
  17. Cocked & Locked
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    Cocked & Locked Member

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    Good Grief that's a fine looking rifle you have sir! That wood and the bluing are top notch. :what:
     
  18. lovethosesooners

    lovethosesooners Member

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    Thomis, I haven't noticed any extra play in any position of the safety-it seems to work in a very solid manner.

    Regards the barrel length, I find the rifle to be very well balanced.
     
  19. az_imuth

    az_imuth Member

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    That is a beautiful Featherweight and I bet it'll shoot as good as it looks. I picked up a Super Grade in .30-06 last year and would also like to add a Featherweight sometime in the future. Seeing yours makes me want the future to get here a little more quickly.

    Congrats on a fine looking rifle!
     
  20. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    Thomis, that's a great looking rifle. Add a Leupold VX-3 in 2 X 7 and you will have a top of the line deer hunter. I have 2 Model 70 featherweights and they are real shooters. There's not problem with the bolt having play when the safety is in the locked position with a Model 70 safety. Just think about what is going on inside the rifle. When the safety is engaged the firing pin is locked by the pin in the bolt shroud which takes the pressure of the bolt lugs away from the bolt lug recess in the receiver. When the safety is released the firing pin spring pulls the bolt lugs into secure tension with the recess in the receiver and that position is held when the rifle is fired making it a very safe system. You're used to a rifle with a trigger safety where the firing pin spring is always pulling the bolt lugs rearward into the recess in the receiver. The Model 70 safety system is far superior. BW
     
  21. thomis

    thomis Member

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    shooter5907, you're right, I am used to a rifle with a trigger safety where the firing pin spring is always pulling the bolt lugs rearward into the recess in the receiver.
    There are several things on this rifle that are new to me. It is my first Winchester anything and I like it.
    I like it a lot.
    I just loctited the bases for the mounts and Sunday I'm mounting the scope. It's not a Vari X III though, it's a Vari X II. It's what I have. I think it'll do!
    Excited here. Handloaded ammo is on the ready...
     
  22. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    thomis, that Vari X II will do just fine. All of my rifles are old and the pictures of your new featherweight make me a little jealous, gulp! I've held the new ones in my hand and they are sure nice. With a light rifle like that you need a good recoil pad and the Pachmayr Decelerator that Winchester uses is one of the best. One bit of advice, when you shoot the rifle always pull the butt in tight to your shoulder. They kick less when held tight and the scope won't put dents in the bill of your baseball cap. If you're a hunter forget about shooting off any rest except a shooting stick. I have learned to shoot sitting down with a shooting stick and when I have a good day I can shoot 2 inch groups at 200 meters. Even when I sight in a rifle for the first time I just use my shooting sticks. Good luck with your new rifle. BW
     
  23. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    thomis, I forgot to mention one point. Don't ever let anyone talk you into freefloating the barrel. That's a good way to ruin a good hunting rifle. If the rifle doesn't group as good as you think it should keep experimenting with various loads until you get the performance you want. BW
     
  24. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    thomis, another point that you may not know yet. The Model 70 has a firing pin that's easy to wipe down and clean. Just place the safety on the first notch where you can work the bolt with the safety in the on position. Press the small button on the left side of the receiver by the bolt shroud and the bolt will slide out of the rifle. Then press the small button on the left side of the bolt shroud and screw the bolt shroud counter clockwise. The bolt shroud and firing pin will screw out of the bolt body. That's one of the great advantages of the Model 70 action. Another advantage is that you can run cartridges in and out of the chamber with the safety on. Or, you can keep the bolt locked when you are hunting or carying the rifle and the bolt won't be opened by rubbing against your clothes or on brush. BW
     
  25. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus Member

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    This is a point where free floating a pencil thin barrel is warranted. As a gunsmith with over 40yrs of experience I can tell you that rarely does a rifle shoot worse once free floated.

    HOWEVER.... it should never be done when the rifle is showing acceptable groups for what it is! A light profile rifle that's shooting 1.5" 3 shot groups from a barrel that is at ambient temperature is a good one and should not be messed with under any situation.

    The biggest problem with pressure points is that they "move" as the temperature changes. Steel and wood do not expand and contract at the same rate.... nor does steel and plastic. Your zero will change with the seasons and once the barrel gets even slightly hot you will see vertical stringing in your groups.

    I have several fine rifles with pressure points. However I've had to remove them on a hundred or so rifles that wouldn't shoot anything under 2.5-3" groups which is not acceptable. It "fixed" most of them, the other's had to be re-barreled.

    FN hammer forges their barrels, which stress relieves them during the process. That gives them good stability. Button rifled barrels do tend to be more accurate but I've seen and own many very accurate hammer forged barrels.

    That is a beautiful rifle.
     
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