Winchester M70 Europen Featherweight barrel

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by californiagunner, Jul 6, 2022.

  1. californiagunner

    californiagunner Member

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    Hi Guys:
    It's been awhile. I just purchased a pristine Winchester M70 XTR European Featherweight in 6.5 x 55 Swede made in 1986 only. It was never fired until recently to sight in a Leupold scope. I want to shoot it in Steel Silhouette matches (200-500m) which requires 10 shots in 10 min. We all know how skinny barrels open up the groups after a few rounds. My question is: Does anybody know what aftermarket light varmit barrel could be fit to it to help keep the groups tight ?
    Thanks, Wayne
     
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  2. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    I’m pretty sure any of the major players in the aftermarket barrel game can craft you a barrel What you need is a quality smith to install it next to whom you marry I’d say this is the next most important person in one’s life minus family of course!
     
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  3. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Also do you really want to “Alter a rifle that was only made for a single year???”


    If it were me I’d find a donor somewhere else to work on maybe a nice 06’ Convert it to a 6.5-06 that’s me though
     
  4. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I'd find a different rifle to build on instead of an excellent sporter.

    You could probably sell that rifle and pick up a nice Savage, Tikka or Bergara and have money left over.

    That 70 is probably somebody's dream hunting rig, I know I sure wouldn't mind it as-is in my safe.
     
  5. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Based on the year it was made the rifle is a push feed. I’d be more likely to rebarrel it because of that.
     
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  6. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Rebarrels on those are also really easy. Good Smith or even a prefit could be done qnd easily restoreable.

    Heck a Ruger American barrel/nut would probably be doable and user installable.

    I put a ruger 77 barrel on a pushfeed Winchester, and a Winchester barrel on a Ruger American.......cause why not.....
     
  7. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

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    Have you shot a test course to see if the accuracy actually falls off?

    Honestly, I wouldn't mess with it if they only made them for one year. But it's your rifle and your money so do as you see fit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2022
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  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    There wouldn't be much collector interest in a Winchester of that era even if only made one year. At that time Winchester was making a butt load of special commemorative rifles in small batches. For the most part none have any collectability. If you do decide to rebarrel it, you won't ruin a rare collectible rifle. It's just not the most cost-effective route IMO.

    You could sell it at a small premium due to the unusual cartridge it is chambered in though. You can buy another complete rifle out that would do what you want to do for less than it will cost you to rebarrel the one you have. There is more to it than screwing on another barrel. The stock is going to have to be modified to work with the thicker barrel. In fact, a better stock would be a better choice.

    If I liked the rifle, I'd keep it as is and hunt with it and spend $500-$700 for a Tikka or Ruger Predator in 308 or 6.5 CM. Take either out of the box and be competitive. If I didn't like it, I'd sell it and put the money into another rifle.

    Also. Ten shots in 10 minutes isn't particularly fast. With that much time it might do fine as is.
     
  9. Demi-human
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    Demi-human maybe likes firearms a little bit…

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    I’d run it. It will be the easiest to carry in, if not the more challenging to shoot.
    And a Swede isn’t a burner, save the clams for when the barrel really is toast.
     
  10. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    Do we? It wouldn't be hard to see what happens with a ten shot string. Shoot from a bench 30 or 45 seconds between shots and see what kind of group you get. I wouldn't do anything until you verify that there is, in fact, a problem.
     
  11. Bill M.

    Bill M. Member

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    I have a Model 70 featherweight in .280. Controlled feed from mid 90's, I think. It will put the first 2 touching each other in the same spot every session. The third shot will be in a little clover leaf. The next 2 will open considerably (1.5" to 2.5" group for 5 shots) and the gun will not shoot tight again until it has throughly cooled. So it is not a gun I would pick for anything but hunting. Test it. Re Barrel it? Keep it for hunting? Me, I like the action and the idea of a barrel. But mine stays the way it is. Be hard to return it to its original state unless you do the barrel and the stock. So maybe economically just sell it and buy what you need to shoot.
     
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  12. californiagunner

    californiagunner Member

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    Good replies guys. I'm 84+ and don't hunt anymore and in good health, but still shoot competitive Steel Silhouette rifles. The first range test session was a little disappointing due to the left side of then stock touching the barrel. Cleaned the channel up and will test next Tuesday. The more I think about it, I think I'll keep the stock barrel on it and maybe sell it in the future if I don't shoot it anymore, no "Safe Queens" for me.
    Thanks, Wayne
     
  13. californiagunner

    californiagunner Member

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    Hello again: I range heat tested my Winchester M70 6.5 x 55 Featherweight today. 8:00 am @ 75* ambient, low humidity (Sacramento, CA), 100 yds. benchrest. With two different Hornady bullets (140 ELD and 140 HPBT) both at 44.8 grs. IMR4451, 2742 and 2724 fps. The HPBT printed the best 10 shot group in 12 min. time for both loads. Both loads registered at a max of 122* max. at 12 min. measured at 1/2" in front of the receiver with an industrial grade pyrometer after each 10 shot group. The HPBT 10 shot group measured the best at 1-3/16" wide and 1-1/2" wide. I think I'll keep this rifle "as is". and compete with it.
    Wayne
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2022
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  14. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    I like the idea of keeping the stock barrel and I like your range report. If you want to change anything on the rifle the best thing you can do with that rifle is to glass bed the recoil lug. You don't need to remove any wood to do this job. The glass bedding should not continue forward into the barrel channel but only around, under and behind the recoil lug. It's good to use a paper shim like a slim piece of sandpaper under the barrel toward the front of the forearm to hold the barrel in the center of the channel while the glass is setting up. I've done this several times with Brownell's AccuGlas and it always works good. Once the bedding sets up you can free float the barrel with the thickness of a sheet of sand paper if you like a free floated barrel. Hold the sand paper together at the top when you work on the barrel channel so as to keep the barrel channel the same contour as the barrel.
     
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  15. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    As above those Winchesters really respond to Glass bedding.If you shoot in competition a Timney " Target" trigger will give you down to a 1 pound break with little movement , that really helps. I turn mine up a bit to three pounds with no movement, that works also for hunting.
     
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  16. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    Yes, as Gordon says, a Timney trigger is a good upgrade to a Model 70. A Model 70 is a user friendly rifle out of the box but there are upgrades that can make it work better. In addition to a Timney trigger I like to have a competent gunsmith install a black Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad and they make the rifle easier to hold during the shot. Another upgrade is to install McMillan sling swivel cups and swivels so you don't have to worry about rigid sling swivel studs twisting when side pressure is put on the sling. Shooting steel targets at long range is really fun and these upgrades along with a good scope really work.
     
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  17. .45Coltguy

    .45Coltguy Member

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    Glad you're keeping it as is; that's a rifle you won't find everyday and in a great cartridge. What a find.
     
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  18. BobABQ

    BobABQ Member

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    A rifle made for a single year? Keep it stock and enjoy shooting it. Try shooting it using the silhouette time intervals and see how it shoots? Maybe it won't open up as much as you think.
     
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