[QUOTE=Kiwi Nate;366539]Interesting how Winchester has always been plagued with troubles (or did they just plague themselves with troubles). Can I ask, why did the match shooters prefer the M70 to the M700?
I started my Military shooting career in about 1958. We used the M70 back then because there wasn't any Remington M700 Match rifles around. Tradition in the service is a hard thing to change. Gen Custer said, "Don't change nothing till I get back from the Little Big Horn."
Well, I finished up with the .30-06 I have been accurizing which coincided with my reading about Hathcock. As a last excersize, I took the .30-06 out into the hills and took a video blog for the client who owns the old Parker Hale rifle. I shot a couple of goats at 325 yards, then busted a few rocks out at 600 yards, no problems. Next I took out my 7mmRUM and shot a few goats for dog food at 1015-1051 yards. These are the longest kills I have made so far. It was a good experience but its nothing in comparison to what guys have been able to achieve with the .308 and .30-06 with slow, lower BC bullets. Its almost like the RUM utilizes ultra velocity training wheels. Nevertheless, the extra veloctity aids killing, although, the 180gr VLD failed to expand when it slipped behind the shoulder of one of the goats. Looked like a slow SMK wound.
Just in the middle of reading the biography of Carlos Hathcock by Charles Henderson- Marine Sniper. The book certainly has me drawn in, am up to the chapter about the Apache, the man hating female sniper- very frightening.
Anyway, It is amazing to think what Hatchcock and the lads were able to acheive with the .30-06, loaded with the 173 grain Sierra BT at 2550fps. Henderson states that Hathcock kept his M70 zeroed at 700 yards. I crunched the numbers using the current 168gr SMK and for a 700 yard zero, the bullet would strike around 24" high at 100 yards, 59" high at 375 yards and from there, gradually fall to its zero. I wonder if this was actually the zero he used or if Henderson has not gotten it quite right.
I have been working on a client's .30-06 today, its a very old Parker Hale/ Mauser action/ English trigger/ English light weight barrel in OK condition for its age. It had a re-stock and I was asked to bed the old girl. Seems to like the Hornady 165 grain BTSP at 2950fps which for an old rifle, is a healthy load. I will probably take it out for a couple of long shots before the rifle goes back to the owner so it will be great to give it a work out.
I certainly have a lot of respect for how guys like Hathcock and also match shooters, have been able to use the .308 and .30-06 and read the wind at 1000 yards. With my .308 culling rifle, I am absolutely hopeless past 450 yards. Although I should learn to use the .308 out further, the .30-06 is very appealing.
Have any of you guys become smitten with the old .30 for inexpensive LR work?
a year ago I came into an autographed copy of White Feather (signed by the author, Henderson, and Hathcock). Book is far more interesting than the 91 confirmed kills book in my view point. Hathcock and I pretty much covered the same A. O. back then. One thing that always kinda bugged me was that it ws near impossible to shoot much further than 400 yards unless you happened to controll the high ground (most oif the time you didn't)
Kiwi Nate comments:If one typically has targets somewhere between 500 and 1000 yards, keeping the sights set for 700 yards is a good starting point.
Back in the late 1960's when the US Army and Marine Corps was running out of accurate Winchesters for snipers to use, they decided to get a new one. Winchester was in financial straights at the time and the officers wearing stars didn't think a company that might fold would be a good one to use as a supplier. Despite the desires of their cometitive shooting teams' knowing the Winchester action was a better platform to build an accurate and much more reliable sniper rifle on (just as it was better for high power match rifles), and many snipers also shot on these teams, the decision to go with Remington was cast in stone. I think Gale McMillan was instrumental in convincing the brass that the Remington 700 was the better platform. And he ended up supplying his barrels for them.
Why the powers at hand chose Redfield's 3-9X variable as the standard scope dumbfounds me. It was one of the least repeatable rifle scopes on the market at the time. In the late '70's or early '80's, the services finally shifted to a Unertl 8 or 10 power scope with improved optics and internal adjustments as good as Weaver's Micro Track system.
Speaking or scopes, yes the old Unertl had to be pulled back after each shot. The picture I posted shows one with two clamping rings, one in front of and the other in back of the front mount. The front one was used as a stop for pulling the scope back to the same place for each shot so its short, 2-inch eye relief would be set, the back one was the stop to prevent the scope from sliding too far forward in recoil making it harder to get back on target to see the results of the shot. Those scopes were pulled back with a twisting motion in the same direction so they returned to battery at exactly the same place for each shot preloading them at the same points with the same pressure each time.
Just an added note from the same A.O., and yet not taking one thing from Carlos Hathcock. He didn't have the highest KIA's on record for the Marine snipers. Can't remember the name but the guy had around 120 confirmed kills. J.T. Ward had 107 confirmed kills, but operated mostly a little east of our A.O. There was a kid attached to the 1st CAV a few miles to the south (still close) that had a 900+ yard one shot kill with a National Match M14 that had N.M. peep sights. The distance was measured off the range finder on an M48 tank, and they are known to be very accurate. The guy he shot was sitting in a tree watching them at about five in the afternoon. The shadows were moving all over the place, and it actually took him a few minutes to shoot the guy (a double sucking chest wound). There was an S.F. team that probably had well over a hundred kills on an un-named hill that was later known as LZ Melon. All these guys amazed me
[QUOTE]Interesting how Winchester has always been plagued with troubles (or did they just plague themselves with troubles). Can I ask, why did the match shooters prefer the M70 to the M700? QUOTE]Seven reasons.
Receiver's near 3 times stiffer. Don't belive that? Go measure them. Or calculate it with those 4th order mechanical engineering moment of inertia formulas.
Easier to charge a magazine with 5 rounds quickly from stripper clips and a clip guide.
Easier to operate the bolt; it's got a better shaped and longer handle and is smoother with less tight spots.
More reliable feeding from the box magazine.
Extractors rarely, if ever, break.
Holds epoxy bedding better due to its flat bottom and side parts. Round receivers tend to work loose from epoxy bedding after a few hundred rounds.
Field strip the bolt and replace firing pin or extractor without special tools.