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Thread: Winchester Model 70

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Winchester Model 70

    Can someone please give me a quick rundown on the differences between the pre 68 and the post 68 changes? I've never had one and would like to advise my pastor accurately.
    Wayne the Shrink

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    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    There's more than just "pre-64" (not 1968) and "post-64" Winchester Model 70's - there's also "post-91" Model 70's and post-2006 Model 70's.

    Hitting the high sports:

    * Pre-64: Original design with 3-lever trigger, controlled-round-feed bolt (CRF) with an outside claw extractor, and walnut stocks - with attention paid to final finishing.

    * 1964-91: Bolt design was changed from CRF to a push-feed bolt with a boltface/internal extractor, low grade walnut and/or a substitute hardwood stock (usually Birch), and must less effort put into final finishing.

    * 1991-2006: The older CRF bolt was optionally made available again in the Model 70 Classic/Super Grade models, which also had better quality (and better designed) stocks and final finish.

    * Post-2006: Made by FN in North Carolina after the 2006 closure of the Winchester New Haven plant (FN owns Winchester), 1991-2006 CRF features, fit & finish - but with a new design box trigger (looks similar to the Remington 700, but isn't the same ).


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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    In 68 the anti bind hump on the bolt was brought back. This help to "smooth" the feel of the action when cycling it on the post 64 /post 68 models. I believe some changes were made to the trigger and safety also in 68. The post 64 changes were an effort to lower manufacturing costs to stay competitive. My NRA match rifle is built on a pre 64 win 70 action. Its in 243 win with a 1-7 twist barrel. When cycling thru the timed fire stages its as smooth as glass. 2 fingers open the bolt and eject the case the thumb closes it. Most of the post 64 pre 68 Ive handled are now wheres near that smooth. The few post 64 post 68s Ive handled were close but not quite as smooth, but then my action is almost pre war and has been cycled a lot helping to smooth it out.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Thanks, guys, that's what I need to advise him.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    The posts by pietro and country gent pretty much sums it up. '64 also brought an end to hand cut checkering (which wasn't always the greatest, but it was real checkering, and it was hand-cut), and replaced it with some horrid machine "checkering" (kind of hard to call it that).

    The gun press at the time was falling over itself to excuse the obviously bad looks of the post-64 Model 70 saying that older levels of craftsmanship just weren't possible with automation... which is complete balderdash, it was possible, properly automated tooling should do a BETTER job than by hand... it just wasn't done.
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    Boolit Master
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    To throw in one more wrinkle:

    After years of customers or would be ones complaints about post 64 fit and finish Winchester brought out an XTR version 70s - 80s that was still the post 64 / 68 PF action but very nice wood, fit, and finish - these usually shoot very well, too.
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    Boolit Master dave roelle's Avatar
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    I believe that pre 64 actions were forged

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    The pre-1942 Model 70s also had a stripper clip slot in the receiver bridge. Post-WW2 the only M70s with lip slots were the target rifles.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master LAH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landy88 View Post
    To throw in one more wrinkle:

    After years of customers or would be ones complaints about post 64 fit and finish Winchester brought out an XTR version 70s - 80s that was still the post 64 / 68 PF action but very nice wood, fit, and finish - these usually shoot very well, too.
    These are some of my favorites.
    Joshua 1:9

  10. #10
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    don't shoot me but I'm one that never thought he pre 64 rifles were any kind of a looker. bottom line is the best shooting best looking best fit and finished 70s are the ones you can buy new today. The pre 64s to me looked about like a 2x4 the first post guns were but ugly and poorly finished. the mid year push feeds were nice guns and shot well. the new (sort of new) control round fed guns are hands down the nicest 70s ever made
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master LAH's Avatar
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    Can't say I disagree Lloyd.
    Joshua 1:9

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Good points on quality of the latest crf 70s, but one has to factor in the awful new trigger.

    Now, if they put an honest M70 trigger back on the current 70fwt...
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master






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    buy a new ruger, Remington or Winchester bolt gun and you about have to figure the price of a new trigger in on the deal. Even the old model 70 triggers left something to be desired when compared to an old rem or aftermarket trigger. ALL ruger triggers stunk. If were just looking at the pre 64 guns a 721 trigger put the model 70s to shame and cost half as much.
    Quote Originally Posted by Landy88 View Post
    Good points on quality of the latest crf 70s, but one has to factor in the awful new trigger.

    Now, if they put an honest M70 trigger back on the current 70fwt...
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    The Model 70 Winchester was made starting before WW and continued with minor changes, particularly in stock design, until 1964 when Winchester decided to find cheaper ways of making all of their guns. These 1964 changes sent shock waves through the shooting community and general revulsion at Winchester.

    You have to have lived through the 64 changes to understand the emotional impact. True enough the Post-64 rifles shot well enough and killed just as much game as the Pre-64 rifles, but the shooting public shunned the cheaper made rifles and opted to hunt up Pre-64 rifles.

    I recalls those days well, and they can't be understood in terms of mechanical changes. Buying Pre-64 Winchester 70's only matters to collectors and old fuds like me who are still pizzed at Winchester for the Post-64 changes.

    I have several Pre-64 70s made when they were still considered "The Rifleman's rifle". My favorite is the 1954 Standard Weight 70 with a Weaver K3 scope. Cradling it in my arms takes me back to other and better days.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master OldBearHair's Avatar
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    I have one pre Model 70 in 30-06 bought used in 1959 that has not been modified in any way. It will shoot clover leaf patterns easily as in covering the shots with a dime completely. Did it once with factory loads and more times with handload jwords. I suppose it is now time to see what the Lee 170 grain FP Gold Hi-tek coated will do.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    My NRA high power match rifle is built on a pre64 model 70 ( almost pre war) I bought it used as a 270 that had the stock changed out and barrel had blemishes and a lot of wear. We put a hart OTC contour 26" barrel on it in 243 win 1-7 twist. a 2 stage jewel trigger and titanium firing pin, in a Tubbs fiberglass stock with adjustable buttplate, adjustable cheek piece, hand stop rail. Had to change the bolt stop for the shorter 243 win cartridge. Sights are a rpa ladder front on a 8" bloop tube and a Warner rear. Mine just missed having the stripper clip guide cut so used a bolt on one, with the shorter 243 this worked fine for me.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    A few years back I bought a 1967 Winchester 70 Super Grade without the bolt. I thought I got a deal but it turned out to be very hard to get a bolt for it. The 1965 to 1967 or 68 versions have a slightly different bolt than the later models. I don't remember exactly what the differences were but I wouldn't do it again.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Hmm I was lucky enough to get a DBM version

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    Winchester went down the tubes in 1963. AMF Corp took over Win and ruined the whole line. The
    rifles made under them were what gave the Win trade mark a black eye. This is the same company
    that ran Harley Davison in the ground the same way.

    Winchester folded because of the expense of their guns. The couldn't compete with the stamped
    parts guns Remington was putting out. There is no comparison between a pre 64 and the newer
    70s. The Rem 721/722 rifles are better than the 700 series in my book, but not the rifle the pre
    64 M70 is. No factory rifle ever had the amount of hand fitting than the pre 64 line of Winchesters.
    In fact that what put them out of business against assembly line guns.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master






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    I wont argue that in there day they weren't the best gun out there but the price was higher too. I will say though that modern machining technology is so much better that all the hand fitting needed back then isn't nessisary today. Say what you want but in my opinion the hands down best model 70s that ever came off the production line are at your gun shop today with hang tags on them. I'm talking fit and finish and accuracy.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check