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Winchester model 70 feeding issue

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by handsonaudio, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. handsonaudio

    handsonaudio Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Old Virginny
    Gun Details:
    1964 (post-64) Model 70
    .243 Long action, push feed

    Problem Details:
    With multiple rounds loaded in the magazine, when the bolt is pushed forward, the top round will feed halfway into the breech and then "pop up," getting caught halfway in and halfway out when I attempt to close the bolt all the way. In the other scenario, during extraction, the top round in the magazine will pop out of the action as the bolt is pulled back.

    I recently bought the rifle used and it has always had this problem, so I have no working baseline to compare it to. I've read of similar issues posted on this forum and others and the suggestions always involves the magazine spring and follower. I've tried fiddling with both the position and the shape of the spring to no avail.

    Note the photo. Can one of you verify that this is the correct spring and follower for a post-64 Model 70 long action in .243? I'm starting to suspect it's not.
     

    Attached Files:

    stillquietvoice likes this.
  2. WVRJ

    WVRJ Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
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    456
    If you could find someone who has a 70 like yours you could maybe compare and see,but I don't think it's the right one.
     
  3. murf

    murf Member

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    Nov 16, 2010
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    5,223
    Location:
    arizona
  4. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,555
    It might seem a little weird but try scratching up a couple of cases of loaded ammo with course wet/dry sandpaper to create more friction between the case and the bottom of the feed rails.

    This keeps the cartridge captive under the feed rails for longer during the loading cycle, and retains the cartridge in the magazine when the bolt is withdrawn. If this works increase the coefficient of friction by making the underside of the feed rails rougher, similar to what was done to the cases.

    More magazine spring tension might also help, but I am guessing the short cartridge in the long action is also not helping things.
     
  5. handsonaudio

    handsonaudio Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Old Virginny
    WVRJ, yep, that was my intention by reaching out on here. I though it would be easy to find this info online for what I thought was one of the most popular/common sporting rifles, but I was wrong.

    Murf, thanks for the link. I've browsed midwest quite a bit, but your link highlighted another problem -- I have a long action magazine but it's not he "KFC" type. It's got the spacer in the rear (since it's for a .243) and is marked with an "A." Is there a chance the magazine box isn't correct either?

    See photos.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. handsonaudio

    handsonaudio Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Old Virginny
    I'm pretty sure my magazine box matches this one from Numrich, labeled "MAGAZINE BOX, .243, .308 CAL., BLUED (STAMPED A)":

    https://www.gunpartscorp.com/products/1218930
     
  7. handsonaudio

    handsonaudio Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Old Virginny
    Now I'm even more confused. The above link does not list whether the "A" stamped magazine box is for a short or long action.

    Numrich also has a similar "G" marked magazine box, listed for a long action:
    https://www.gunpartscorp.com/products/949880

    Murf's link shows the same magazine box from Midwest, a "G" marked box, listed for a short action:
    https://www.midwestgunworks.com/page/mgwi/prod/U353070160

    One of those descriptions has to be incorrect.... right?
     
  8. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,555
    I think your box magazine (A) long action blocked for short action cartridge is correct for your rifle.
     
  9. handsonaudio

    handsonaudio Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Old Virginny
    John-- Thanks for the confirmation. Also, I tried what you suggested with sanding the brass/magazine feed lips, but unfortunately it made little difference.
     
  10. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,688
    Location:
    NE FL
    I think you might be milking the bolt. Try working it as if your life depended on it. I had a 700 in .243 when I was a young man and I had to "work" the bolt for it to feed.
     
  11. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,555
    I've had a couple of rifles like that, but it doesn't make me happy. Some times the trick is timing the bolt speed and amount of force as you work the action.

    I would try blocking the magazine box the equivalant height of 2-3 cartridges under the follower spring to create more spring tension, and see if the last round in the mag popping out on its own problem goes away... Indicating insufficient magazine follower spring tension, and a new spring is needed.

    I might also make sure the extractor and ejector race ways and springs are clean and travel freely... just because. I would also check the feed ramp for gouges or sharp lips and put a light polish on the ramp itself.

    Different bullet profiles might also help (Hollow point verses soft point verses round nose verses ballistic tip, ect...)

    My guess is insufficient follower spring tension coupled with magazine feed rail geometry problems. ( if the feed rails were contoured for a long action cartridge, and the only thing they did to chamber it for a short cartridge was to block the magazine to the correct length it might explain feeding problems) The rifle IS from the time that Winchester was trying out major cost cutting methods.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
  12. handsonaudio

    handsonaudio Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Old Virginny
    351, I had a similar thought, but when I vary the speed at which I'm working the bolt, my results are still inconsistent. Usually I just end up denting the brass on cartridge that pops halfway out as I pinch it between the bolt and the action.

    John, I realize my initial description might've been confusing. In actuality, the last round in the magazine is the only one that always feeds correctly, when spring tension is at its lowest.
     
  13. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    2,555
    Ah so. So the cartridge case base is not being released from the feed rails early enough for the push feed bolt to push the cartridge strait into the chamber ( which is the opposite problem from what I was envisioning) Don't do it until you are absolutely sure what the problem is but widening the feed rail distance right where you want the case base released from the magazine might be a fix, or polishing the underside of that point might help ( decreasing the friction holding the base of the cartridge captive in the magazine at that point, instead of increasing the friction as I first suggested)

    I still think the long action rifle converted to a short action cartridge without changing feed rail geometry is the underlying problem. I saw the same problems you are experiencing in a 80's era M70 push feed short action rifle that just used a magazine block to chamber the rifle for the super short .223. That rifle really had bullets it liked to feed smoothly, and bullets it didnt.
     
  14. handsonaudio

    handsonaudio Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Old Virginny
    John -- I suspect you're right, and thanks for the detailed response. Since the rifle is new to me and my first .243, I've only tried one type of round in it; though, I handload so I've been able to vary the OAL to see if that made a difference. Spoiler alert: it didn't, not consistently anyway. I'll see what I can do re: the feed lips on the magazine box and report back.

    I also agree in regard to the design, which is a shame really. This is also my first model 70 and, while I'm sure it's not indicative of post-64 push-feeds across the board, this one has been a disappointment (not just because of the feeding issue).
     
  15. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,555
    Disclaimer!
    Altering, tuning, and timing of feed rail geometry is considered an advanced WECSOG course, where only the roadrunner is allowed the use of rotary dremil tools, and the coyote is limited to 1200 grit sandpaper and 000 steel wool. (WECSOG= Wile E. Coyote School of Gunsmithing)

    The next things I would look at are;
    Does it feed better from one side or the other?
    Are there longitudinal scratches on the case after feeding?(ink up the case first to highlight)
    If you run your finger along the underside of the feed rails are they sharp or do you feel a burr?
    If you polish and lightly lube a case and lightly lube the underside of the feed rails does it work better?
    Will it feed a .308 cartridge better? (NOT CHAMBER, just feed up out of the magazine)
    Will it feed an empty case?

    One of the cost cutting ideas with the post-64 M-70 was that push feed rail geometry is easier to tune than CRF.

    "Usually" the feed rail geometry for a .338 federal, 308 win, 7mm08, 260 rem, and , 243 win are the same... BUT,
    strait cartridges are easier to make feed correctly than sharply bottle necked cartridges. .243 has a pretty defined bottleneck.

    Because the last round works well I would say there is nothing wrong with your magazine box, follower, or follower spring.

    Go slow, don't remove any metal before sleeping on it a couple of days and considering all possible ramifications, the ledge you remove might just be the one you are standing on. Beep-Beep!

    I have actually had pretty good luck with push feed M70s, they are inexpensive, strong, safe, and have been accurate for me, but their extractor is weak. I also think their esthetics are superior to many of today's rifles.

    Does anybody remember Ghiiiliiieee's FN-FAL feed rail geometry fix? A classic case of "put down and slowly step away from the dremil tool and nobody gets hurt!"
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
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