Icon or Model 70

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by swpc629, May 11, 2013.

  1. swpc629

    swpc629 Well-Known Member

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    I am looking to buy a 308 rifle in the $500 to $1000 range. I have my choices down to the Thompson Icon and the Winchester Model 70 Coyote Outback. I am finding more rifles available in the Model 70 than the Icon. I am looking for some opinions on which would be the better choice.
     
  2. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    My vote says of the 2....model 70
     

  3. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    You might want to read my post here about my experience with my Icon.

    Bottom line: TC has discontinued the production of the ICON. Some spares are being carried, but only for warranty repairs. TC refused to sell me a replacement stock or replace my crappy barrel (even if I paid and shipped them my barreled action).

    In future these guns will probably be worthless because parts will not be available. If you buy one now, you will be hosed in future.
     
  4. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    Hence...of the 2...Model 70
     
  5. 7stw

    7stw Well-Known Member

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    My vote goes to the M70' hands down. The actions are solid, triggers are very adjustable, and barrels are as good or better then the rest of the Industry has to offer. I own three of them, and a custom rifle built on a Winchester, and I love em'. Those coyotes shoot well anyway! IMHO.
     
  6. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    Current production Winchester Model 70's are being made to a very high standard. They aren't cheap, but they are a bargain for what you're getting.

    I bought my first one last year and I continue to be impressed. It FAR exceeded my expectations for a factory rifle.
     
  7. etisll40

    etisll40 Well-Known Member

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    Not a question even, Mod 70, you can get triggers like Jewel for them, most aftermarket parts too.
     
  8. glewis

    glewis Member

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    I own 2 Icons, one in .308, the other a 30-06. I'm very happy with mine, they both shoot better than I, the .308 probably has delivered the best groups of any rifle I own. I also have the Model 70 extreme sporter in 300 wsm. This is a great buy at Sportsmans Whse.

    If the Icon is no longer, wouldn't one be able to get a good enough deal that leftovers or used rifles would still be a consideration. My only beef with my Icons is both have dbm's, I prefer hinged floorplates. Their triggers are much better than what I'm used to on earlier rifles. Overall, I average under 1.5" groups using factory hunting ammo. There's an occasional 3/8", 5/8" 3-shot group. I question my physical ability, set-up and technique to deliver consistent minimum size groups. So much of the shooter's ability is at stake when determining rifle accuracy, and I'm happy with my results with the Icon.

    I'm an Icon fan, glad I got a couple when I did. The Model 70 I mentioned above is the best buy in my safe, not the cheapest, but the best bang for the buck. Can't really afford to plink it much, so far with my talent, the accuracy delivered is similar to the Icon. Great trigger.
     
  9. Cascade_Sherpa

    Cascade_Sherpa Well-Known Member

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    Its hard to argue with the points above in favor of the model 70.....I grew up hunting with post 64 model 70's and killed plenty of small blacktails and roosevelts. My dad was a loyal winchester guy and still is. I guess in the end it comes down to what company is still going to stand behind its product for years to come. Model 70 has all of the aftermarket upgrades available.

    I had no idea that TC discontinued the Icon, that is too bad cause they are/were a pretty nice little rifle. I have one in .243 and it is a tackdriver with a nice trigger, decent DBM, integral picatinny scope base and other nice features. All things being equal I would actually rather have an Icon vs. the model 70.
     
  10. glewis

    glewis Member

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    In my earlier post regarding the Model 70 extreme sporter, the main reason I pulled the trigger on purchasing one was that it featured a B&C medalist stock with full length alum bedding. This is very similar to the interlok bedding system the Icon uses. Judging from my results at the range, these accurizing methods may be wasted on me but I appreciate the emphasis at the manufacturing level on a factory rifle. I bought into the TC marketing regarding the bedding system, floated match grade barrel, 5R rifling, etc.

    Looking at the Winchester site I noticed similar characteristics on the extreme weather (stainless), but thought $1000 was a bit much. Once I verified the extreme sporter from SW was just a blued version of the extreme weather for only 2/3's the money, I jumped all over it. At the time, in order to find similar design/manufacture in a weatherby, I could have looked at the Mark V Accumark, which easily sold for $1700+....and guaranteed to shoot 1.5"
     
  11. EFR

    EFR Well-Known Member

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    I have 3 icons, 22-250, 243, 308 and one Win, model 70 coyote lite 270wsm. Each and every icon is a tack driver. I never messed with bedding, only worked the trigger a bit. The 243 I have at least 3 one hole groups at 100 yds. The accuracy, fit, finish, and quality of the icon is fantastic. On one of them, the rear swing swivel stud was not centered. I called T/C, they said to send in the stock, and they replaced it free of charge. Excellent customer service, (at least it was a year ago). The last I heard, a week ago, from a S&W engineer (where the Icon is made now) they will be discontinuing the Icon, but I believe they are still making it now. In fact, I have a 6.5 Creedmoor Icon on order now.

    The Win model 70 Coyote lite is a different story. My initial groups with factory ammo (to get the brass) were between 3-5" (100 yds) at best, and with Winchester Supreme 150 gr, I could not keep 3 on a 8 1/2 x 11" target. Close examination revealed a reamer mark or gouge 1/4" inside the muzzle. Winchester customer service said to send it back. I did. I waited over a year, calling every three months, and each time Winchester said call back in three months. At the one year and one day mark (from receipt) I asked for my money back. Winchester would not refund my money, but offered a different model. I was able to speak with someone who found the same model and caliber at a distributor, which they sent me, 14 months after mine was sent in.

    Now, the new Mode 70 Coyote lite is shooting fine (after a bedding job and trigger spring), but I will never buy a Winchester again.

    First target, Icon 243, Combined Technology 95gr, 41gr H4350. 3 shots, 100 yds.

    In interest of full disclosure, second target is Model 70 270WSM, Berger 140gr, H1000, 69gr (I think). 3 shots, 100 yds.
     

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  12. glewis

    glewis Member

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    EFR, impressive range work there. Are these regular Icons or Precision Hunters?

    I struggle with a thumper of a heartbeat, 57 year old eyes, inconsistent technique, etc. to be able to ever post pix like that, much less testify to the true accuracy of any rifle I own. I'm really glad I got a hold of the two Icons I have. I read about designs for accumarks, Tecomates, and much more expensive rifles, and I keep thinking- those two Icons in my locker feature all that stuff for a lot less moola.

    Sorry to hear about your winchester experience, I'm lucky I haven't had that misfortune with any rifle purchase to date. Lawd knows I bought enough to score some bad buys.
     
  13. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    Regardless of how great some individual Icons were / are, that is not going to be much use when the day arrives that you need spare parts that are not being made.
     
  14. EFR

    EFR Well-Known Member

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    GLewis: All my Icons are the standard medium action, sporter. One has a solid walnut stock, the other two have ultrawood stocks.

    Don't sell yourself short in the accuracy department. A good trigger, good glass, and a solid rest on a calm day (usually first thing in morning here), some patience and a good gun, I'm sure you can shoot good.

    Westcliffe01: You are absolutely right, but in all honesty, how often do bolt action rifles need spare parts (detachable magazines excepted)? I would much prefer T/C to continue producing Icons, but it will not stop me from buying one more if they stop tomorrow.
    This past winter I rebuilt a Marlin 39A that I bought cheap. The lever was completely worn out and had a lot of lateral play. I could not find a lever, and Marlin would not sell me one, so I bored the hole out and made a small bronze bushing. The lever was honestly worn out, but the bore was still good and I refinished the stock and had the metal re blued. The gun was made in 1941.