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Thread: Old M70 why'd they do that ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master Harter66's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    90 miles North of Texarkana 9 miles from OK in the green hell

    Old M70 why'd they do that ?

    I've been going through the family heirlooms and making needed notes and doing the things that decades of use and disuse need to be done . Of course there are diamonds that just need to be dusted of and wiped down and there are a few that saw a lot of seasons a few shots and haven't been touched in a decade .

    The latter is such the case in a 1957 purchased new in 1958 M70 06' . It had about 25% of the stock finish completely gone and 1/3 or more in various states of not stuck to the wood at all .

    In the course of this I was reminded that of all the unique Mauser lended designs on hand it is the only one with 3 action screws and one in the barrel .
    Blasphemous as it may be we have 2 that borrow some that have a single lug 1 screw and a barrel band which was a design success coming out of WWII . Dozens of 700s , 95s , and 98s we've had had only 2 action screws , even the Italian and Japanese cousins only had 2 screws . The possible exception would be the 03' or 1917s but not having had a complete example or that much inspection time I can only guess at the barrel bands .

    So was there a reason for the 3rd action screw ? Added insurance to avoid patent details ? Just a work around for the magazine floor plate ? Does it really make a difference in action stability ?

    The barrel screw I can see relative use but I have seen more rifles without the screw either rebarreled or restocked than with . So is the M70 Mauser like and wants for a free float or like the 03 and Mannlicher wants to be held down or tip pressured ?

    That's a lot of questions ...... Free discussion appreciated .
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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Landy88's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
    Tip pressure and very modest torque on that middle screw.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Space Coast, FL
    My Father was an Engineer and sometimes I have a bit up tongue when I get home from working with a few, another discussion. That said, maybe the thinking was to play with fore end pressure and decades later we may have a better understanding of barrel harmonics. Look at how far metallurgy and the machining process has evolved and the unknown amount of rounds reaching those conclusions. I am positive some here have been over a bad barrel and watch it head for the weeds heating round after round, hard to fix a bad barrel but some can be calmed down to minute of deer for the Bass Pro hunter maybe. In my lifetime as a child pie plates were used, now it has to cut 1 MOA or it's a dog. But you can have a good one out there in free air forward of chamber and it keeps dropping them in there. Way back think I remember articles referencing armorers fixes for the front ends of SMLE's, the action shimming and front end work of the Finnish chasing barrel/accuracy wandering issues. Lots to ponder, excellent mental volley ball!

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Butler, MO
    No real idea on the three screws for the trigger guard, it seems more complicated than necessary when you had forty years of two screw Mausers for an example of what worked.

    Considering the Model 70 Winchester was designed in the 1930's, well before epoxy was used for solid bedding, and people thought an air gap for a fully floated barrel was poor workmanship; I believe the forearm screw was a simple somewhat cost effective way of marrying the forearm to the barrel without unsightly gaps.

    I have inletted forearms to the barrel on a few rifles, to prove I could do it. I have also went back an floated a few after shooting some of them.

    Start with a good barrel that is precisely fitted to the action, and its kind of hard to get one to shoot poorly.


  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    stubshaft's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Southernmost State of the Union
    I have no idea why they did it but can say that overtightening the middle screw will play havoc with accuracy, at least it does in all 6 of my model 70's.
    Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway!

    When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Western North Dakota
    Quote Originally Posted by stubshaft View Post
    I have no idea why they did it but can say that overtightening the middle screw will play havoc with accuracy, at least it does in all 6 of my model 70's.
    I also learned, quite by accident, that a loose middle screw would give the most amazing 4 inch horizontal spread at 100 yards. After tightening, the gun went back to 1 inch or less groups.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    "So was there a reason for the 3rd action screw ? Added insurance to avoid patent details ? Just a work around for the magazine floor plate ? Does it really make a difference in action stability ?"

    The middle screw is there to simply hold the front of trigger guard in place and prevent the magazine spring tension from pushing it down and unlocking the floor plate.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    Deep South Texas
    On the standard weight Model 70 with the boss on the barrel with the barrel screw, the traditional wisdom back in the day was to remove that screw for best accuracy.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    The model 54 Winchester had the same 3 screw setup if I remember right. So at the time I guess Winchester figured it was logical to carry on the same system. Have a 54 action but can't get to it to confirm the 3rd screw. The 54 action had a stamped combination trigger guard and floor plate. But where the forward screw is located is in a different location that the model 70. Frank

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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