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The Winchester Model 70

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Shawnee, Nov 19, 2008.

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  1. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    "Back in the day..." when Jack O'Conner was on The Throne - the model 70 was widely considered (or at least spoken of) as the Holy Grail of affordable hunting rifles. At least prior to 1964.

    It is a telling thing, I think, that in the current thread about "The Most Reliable Rifle", the Winchester model 70 was mentioned only three times and two of the three "mentions" were just in passing. Also, if you'll notice... the model 70 rarely gets mentioned in ANY of the threads here on the Rifle Forum.

    That raises a couple 21st Century questions...

    1. How many of you/we THR trigger jerks have actually gone looking for/at model 70s when we have been considering the purchase of a(nother) rifle ?
    I really haven't and am guessing that many have not.

    2. Of the model 70 editions that have been brought out since 1964 - have there been any that really manages to match the quality of the ubiquitous Remington model 700? If so, which models are they and what years were they produced ?

    3. Setting aside the BS evaluations applied to model 70s by the knucklehead gun show dealers - if you were looking at a model 700 and a model 70 and could buy either for the same price - which would you buy and why ?

    :confused:
     
  2. lonegunman

    lonegunman Member

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    I would not bother with ANY model 70 that was not a "classic" pre-64 type with a Mauser type extractor. In their last few years they made many "classic" rifles that are awesome. I own two of them and enjoy them both.

    Model 70's are easily as accurate and well built as anything Remington makes. The problem is that Remington stayed in the game and made decent models available in every caliber you can imagine.

    Winchester checked out of the accurate, competitive shooting market thirty years ago. They checked out of the quality hunting rifle market when they went to their cheesy post 64 products. They made "custom shop" type products but they marketed them poorly and Remington simply passed them by.

    The Army Marksmanship Unit still uses quite a few model 70 actions on match rifles and they win nearly everything worth winning in the competitive shooting world.
     
  3. BornAgainBullseye

    BornAgainBullseye Member

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    Yes I look for them, but cry when I see the pricetag. So I stick with my mausers, and mabye change one up a bit. wallah new gun.
     
  4. jbech123

    jbech123 Member

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    I own mostly model 700's. That said, For me personally, what the model 70 brings is the CRF. I see no reason to go with a 70 that doesn't have that. I do like the looks of the model 70 featherweight, and have threatened to get one for awhile now, but IMHO they are overpriced, and since it is not something I need, my threats have been idle ones.
     
  5. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    I own a push feed model 70. It is an accurate rifle with a fantastic trigger from the factory. I shot a doe with it this Saturday.

    It doesn't feed nearly as smoothly as my mauser or my ruger.

    I don't see that there would be any advantage to switching to a 700. If I weren't somewhat attached to the rifle (it was the first gun I bought for myself) I would try to trade it for a controlled round feed model 70... Or even a ruger m77.
     
  6. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    Great thread Shawnee. I've noticed a huge trend away from the classics in the last few years. I can remember a few years ago there were a LOT more threads about pre-64's and other classics. Now I'm surprised how many members ask "what's a pre-64?". IMO the pre-64's are valuable not only for the design attributes already mentioned, but for the quality of construction, fit & finish that we'll never see again in production guns. What most folks forget when they see an old pre-64 is; it's got 50 years of wear and tear on it. If we could see a pre-64 just as it came from the factory they are stunning compared to today's junk. I'll try to post pics of my 1950 Supergrade later. Anyone who's ever handled a M70 made in the 40's or 50's that was in good condition probably isn't asking "what's the big deal with M70's?".
     
  7. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    I have my first deer rifle a 1953 (it was used when I got it in 1963) .270 Model 70 with a Unertl 4x scope in Buhler mounts and it is still good to go and in decent shape. It shoots 1.5" 100 yard groups with good ammo. My 1955 30-06 has a 1.75-6x Leupold in Warne detach mounts and shoots with the same kind of accuracy. It was my back up rifle for anything. My 1959 .243 Featherweight has a 2-7 Leupold in Gentry mounts and still gets shot quite a bit at local game. It is a MOA rifle. My 1961 .264 has a larger 2.5-10x Vari x 3 , is a sub MOA rifle with the right ammo, and has shot a few antelope and goats which I reserve it for. My 1999 or so CRF staiinless Ultimate model 70 is a very smooth rig . I adjusted the trigger to 2 pounds and it is in .270 WSM and it shoots under MOA groups with Federal 150 grain Nosler Partitions. I like it , it is my regular hunting gun up to elk. I took it to Africa this year and shot 6 species with it with 1 shot kills, whats NOT to like?
     
  8. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    I have had the pleasure to shoot several different M-70's.

    To be honest, I group them in with Mausers. Same action style with a few differences. At least the Pre-64 and Classic models.

    I have shot the CRF and PF models and they both felt and acted as a rifle should. Solid and well built IMO.

    The newest version of these wonderful rifles however I have only seen reviews about and not laid eyes upon in the flesh so I refuse to comment about...only to say that the gun-rag writers are fawning over them as if they are the second coming...go figure...


    as for the final question...comparing both the 700 and 70 together and had the money for either AND they had it chambered in the caliber I was looking for...

    I really don't know. rifles are much like people...each has its own personality...previous experience would have me lean towards a M-70, but again, I cannot say definitively.

    NOW older rifles? No question. A M-70 would have a place in my gun cabinet before any other rifle. And wth the Schnabel forend.

    D
     
  9. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Shawnee,

    LOL, that's what I like about you. You have a preconcieved notion about something (whether it is right, wrong, or even makes sense), and then you word your questions in such a way as to suggest the response you would like to see.

    But, to play your game:

    1. I am always looking for Model 70's. All my boltguns are Model 70's or are built on a Model 70 action, except for my Smith-Corona 03-A3 and a lonely Sako. They are also all in your hated .30-06 cartridge, except for my .308 FN SPR (Model 70 CRF action) Tactical Rifle and my Terry Cross built 6.5x55 Match Rifle (a Model 70 CRF action).

    2. My 1968 built Winchester Match Rifle in, ho-hum, .30-06, seems to be pretty well built.

    [​IMG]

    But Golly Gee, "the ubiquitous Remington model 700?", I don't know if ANYTHING can match that.:rolleyes:

    3. Obviously, I would buy any Winchester Model 70 over the "ubiquitous Remington model 700". The reasons are many. The Model 70's trigger is better, the safety is better, the extractor is better, the bolt handle is better, and the receiver is stiffer.

    But, hey, this is just MHO. Now, I am curious as to exactly what the difference is between the "BS evaluations applied to model 70s by the knucklehead gun show dealers", and the guys with agendas who post leading threads?:D

    Don
     
  10. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    At least he didn't try to assert that anyone who shoots anything larger than a quarter bore does so out of machismo. Not yet anyways. He did finally quit creating silly nicknames for the 30-06. But what do I know? I'm a non-thinker!
     
  11. Cover Dog

    Cover Dog Member

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    My only Winchester Mdl. 70 was purchased about 7-8 yrs ago. It came out of their custom shop. It's all stainless and chambered in 358STA. It was purchased for use on large bears but it has only been on elk hunts so far.

    After receiving the gun, I shipped it to have an Answer brake installed and upon return it went to McMillan for one of their stocks.

    It's heavy, as it needs to be, but it will shoot 250gr. Nosler Partitions into .5 MOA all day. I have been using 250gr. Swift A-Frames which it shoots at .990 MOA and at 3060fps it gererates 5200lbft of energy.

    Anyone else shoot a 358STA???
     
  12. freonr22

    freonr22 Member

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    i dont have a model 70, but a model 54, and there is almost no kick, ive had old mausers, gustof, and husqvarna, and the fell and smoothness of all 3 of these is superlative to the rifles of modern day ive handled. and thoughts on the m54 vs model 70?
     
  13. Cohibra45

    Cohibra45 Member

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    About 8 years ago, I bought a Pre-64 model 70. I believe it was made around 1954 and I really like it. It is a lot heavier than the Husky that I got from my brother, but it will still be the last to leave the stable if I decide to sell any guns!!!!!

    BTW, it is the 'standard' not featherweight and has a Monte Carlo stock with hand checkering. I installed a Leupold LPS 1.5-6x scope and it shoots like a 'house a fire'!!!!!!:D:D:D
     
  14. Cohibra45

    Cohibra45 Member

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    I just want to add, if anyone is even thinking about purchasing one, then by all means go ahead if you can swing it!! They are only increasing in value and are not coming down!!!

    I believe I paid $750 8 years ago, but mine is around 95% and still looks like it was handed down by my father...just a couple handling marks that shows it was used like all great hunting rifles are suppose to look!!!:cool:
     
  15. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Agree.


    I have a pre 64, post 64 push feed, and a couple of short action classics. Three of these are target rifles.

    The M70 is a smooth and slick action.

    I recently purchased a Patrol Bolt rifle.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Talked to FN, turns out these "Patrol Bolt Rifles" were some of the last rifles finished at New Haven Conn.

    And mine has the older M70 trigger. Per FN, it will accept drop in triggers.

    [​IMG]

    I would say my M70 classic in 6.5*55 matches the quality of my M700 Classic Series in 6.5 *55. The M700 is a great action, but I prefer a M70. And I think the 30-06 is a great round, shot this with a M98 Match rifle in 30-06. ( I shot a 199 with the thing, but did not blow out the center, this target just looks more impressive)

    [​IMG]

    The pre64's I have looked at showed a lot of tooling marks. I confirmed with a club gray beard, who is a pre 64 collector, the old pre 64's had their own issues. The first one he bought, new, in the 50's, would not feed rounds.
     
  16. doctorxring

    doctorxring Member

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    M70 and M700

    .


    1. I have 2 pre-64 M70's and one more on the way. These are very
    fine rifles and always will be.

    2. I believe the XTR series of the post-64 M70 are as fine as any M700.
    The 3 position safety is superior to anything Remington has produced.
    The M70 trigger is excellent, but the Remington is also very good.
    Both have to be adjusted post-factory to produce a good release.
    The push feed M70 is plainly an excellent action.

    3. As far as the "which I would buy" I have really no declarative "this
    or that" statement. I own both and use both. I would have to say
    that over the years I have preferred the M70's for hunting and the M700
    for target rifles. This probably has more to do with the aftermarket
    in respect to the M700.



    By the way, Jack O'Connor is still "on the throne" for many hunters and shooters, me included. So tread carefully around that name. He used
    both, but had a fondness for the M70.


    best, dxr

    .
     
  17. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Stand down, DrXring... O'Conner and Clapton are sacred words to me too.

    I didn't start this thread to bash the 70 no matter what those two troll-weenies bray from the porch.

    As I said in the OP - the 70 seems very seldom mentioned any more and I wondered if any of the post-64 versions are worth their keep. And that's because if they are sweet I might just buy one as sort of a toast to Jack.

    :cool:
     
  18. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    I am bashfully admitting I cannot figure out how to get my pictures under the kb limitations to list them.:(
     
  19. mothernatureson

    mothernatureson Member

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    model 70

    Ive got a push feed one in 06 that is a nice solid rifle. Built in the mid 80s with a blind magazine.I did handle one of the new model 70s made by FN. Nice rifle, seems well built and good wood. Nine hundred bucks, but it had the schnable forend. My rifle is used for beer hunting, and would never get rid of it. Just my opinion.

    mothernatureson
     
  20. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    I've never had or shot a pre 64 M70.

    That said, I have had many M70's and R700's come and go through the years. Mostly all good.

    But I still gravitate back to the M70's, right now I have 4 of them, 2 push feeds and 2 classics.

    I have a Laredo put out in '97, classic action, damn good shooter. I have flirted with the idea of selling it. But can't bring myself to do it. In fact, it would have to be hard times before I would part with any of them. The very last would be a sweet M70 Featherweight in .257 Roberts.

    Which would I buy? It's not as simple as one brand or the other. It's the caliber, configuration, stock, feel, that does it. ANY gun you look at, and then know, "that's the one" is the one I look hardest at.

    Remington just doesn't have anything right now that trips my trigger. Some of the older C Grade or Custom shop guns though...
     
  21. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Horsemany...

    If your photo files are jpgs any photo file 600 pixels by 600 pixels (or smaller) should post without problems.

    Good Luck !
    :cool:
     
  22. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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  23. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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  24. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    I've been watching those 375's too. It's a sickness I tell ya.
     
  25. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    As far as I'm concerned, there NEVER was nor will there EVER be a factory rifle to compare with the Pre '64 Winchester Model 70.
    My first was a Pre-War .30-'06 that I have owned for almost 50 years.
    With this rifle and a 4x Redfield scope I have taken over 30 PA whitetail bucks.
    I shoot only reloads and I rarely have to adjust the scope from year to year.
    I own four other M 70's.
    Another inherited Pre-War '06.
    A very fine 1950 era .257 Roberts
    A .220 Swift.
    A late 50's era .270 winchester.
    My hunting Buddy, also the proud owner of a Pre-War. 270. shot a 5 shot/one hole group at 100 yds at sight -in time last year, his rifle topped with a 6x Kollmorgen Optics glass.
    Jack O'Conner was without a doubt the dean of outdoor writers.
    Those who remember Jack will agree that he was truly a hunters writer having expirenced a wide variety of hunting on all the continents.
    A great fan of the .270 Winchester, he stressed shot placement and not the power of the super magnums that were coming on the scene.
     
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