Where are all the Winchesters???

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by muleythumper, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. muleythumper

    muleythumper Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2011
    I by no means claim to be a "long range shooter ", although I really enjoy reading many of the posts on this site. However, I have shot and hunted most of my life. Growing up, many of my friend's dads had Winchester rifles, which seemed to shoot very well. The model 70 was (is) a classic. The 70 and the Rem 700 were the sniper rifles of choice for the Marines in Viet Nam.

    My question is this: Why don't I ever see much discussion of the Winchester 70 on these forums? It seems to me that all the attention is paid to the 700, Savages, and a host of custom jobs. Is the Model 70 not a "shooter" any longer? Has its reputation as being an accurate rifle faded into the pages of history? What's up with the Darling of Jack O'Connor?
  2. minute of elk

    minute of elk Well-Known Member

    Mar 7, 2012
    my winchester 70 is currently getting trued/rebarrelled in 7SAUM to push heavy bergers a looong way.

    i think the main reason you don't see more about winny's is the mass availability of aftermarket parts for remingtons- which is supposedly due to remingtons being easier to load into a lathe so you can do your own gunsmithing- or so i've been told...

  3. mtntrapper1

    mtntrapper1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2012
    That's generally what I hear also. Ive shot some great Mod 70's in the past. Older models in 270 win, 300 H&H, 243, 270 Featherweight in wood, But Only have the 243 now. Wish I had the old 270 and 300 now! You can have Mod 70's worked on to rebuild, just not the selection of ready made items to work with.

    Minute of elk-- Bozeangeles Wow! If that's Bozeman, I lived there long ago and we used that term when the town started to "bloom". Still have some great old friends there.
  4. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2002
    After the French company bought winchester and browning years ago the quality of both went to crap. It is a poor hulk of what it once was.

    The other factors are aftermarket parts for the remington and the resurgence of savage during the late 90's building extremely accurate factory rifles that are easy to rebarrel. Also many just don't like cutting the extractor groove in the barrel for the winchesters which means a gunsmith has to do it and the average guy can not rebarrel. several factors. I shot an old model 70 action over the weekend rebarreld in a 240 WBY and it is one of my best shooters. That was then and this is now. I will not under any circumstances rebarrel or build a rifle off a Browning action because i do not want the liability for the cheap metal in it. i love the old model 70 actions but will not touch the new ones over the past 20 or so years.
  5. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2010
    There are many Win 70 supporters here including myself.

    Even the new Win 70's are great rifles. But alas, the design makes them harder ($$$) to produce and work on than others.

    700's and Savages are easy to work on with decent results.

    Many will debate which factory rifle is most accurate. But, most will provide good results when setup or customized correctly.

    Out of the box custom actions typically meet or exceed the capabilities of the best blueprinted factory actions.

    I own and shoot a variety of all of these just because I want to.

    Shoot what you like and enjoy it.

    -- richard
  6. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2011
    Everybody above is correct, and Long Time Long Ranger touches on the bigger picture that Winchester Actions are an all around complicated action to manufacture, inlet into a stock, install a barrel, etc. The good Ol' Rem700 starts out as a bar of steel and is elegantly simple. Along with the extractor groove as mentioned on the M70, just go look at a M70 action (out of the stock) and you will see that it's an odd shape given its function, especially how the magazine box integrates into the action.

    With that said I've got a winchester M70 short action wsm and it's a shooter for sure. So it can be done, but definitely takes more effort. And the short action win70 is a bit l longer and I'm able to seat my bullets a touch longer than 3" and get my bullets right up to the lands. I don't believe you can do that with a remington short action. But I will admit that when I started out building my win70 wsm, the goal was a light rifle that fed bullets well to hunt elk and bears in thick timber... and the claw extractor does just that. I did not have the goal of it being a long range rifle... I guess I just got lucky and now it's my favorite gun. I don't think I would ever build target gun based on a winchester action.

    So although not as popular for long range rifles, there are a few of us here that have very accurate rifles built on winchester actions.

    Side note: after some recent experience helping a friend with his winchester that was having some warranty type manufacturing issues, winchester's customer service was downright horrible. Never had a worse experience and was flat out lied to over the phone by more than one customer service agent. Based on that I don't think I'll ever give my money to winchester again unless there is some kind of massive turnaround with the company... and not holding my breath...
  7. muleythumper

    muleythumper Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2011
    All of those explanations make perfect sense to me. I am not a reloader/rifle-builder.............yet!!! but hope to get into it someday. And when I do, I want as much simplicity as possible. So it makes perfect sense that Rem and Sav are seen more often.

    Thanks to all for the input.

    Happy Shooting!gun)
  8. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    For most people "the best rifle" is whatever they grew up with. My dad was a remington guy and so that's what we grew up with. My first rifle was a 700bdl 7mm STW Rem that just never would shoot right. After five trips back to remington I gave up on it and went with a M70 in the same claiber with the BOSS.

    It was a fantastic shooter and from that point on I never was happy without at least one M70.

    I recently bought another M70 in 300wm just to give me a light weight "truck gun" that was easy to get out for quick shots and it shoots exceptionally well. It is the newer version with the controlled round feed.

    The Remington 700 is just the go to for most people who want a custom or want to customize an existing rifle because of all the aftermarket parts and gear that's available for it.

    As I recently found when looking to upgrade the stock on the M70 300wm you are just far more limited in choices than you are with the Rem 700's.

    Functionally there are man things I prefer about the M70 however so odds are pretty good I'll always own at least one or two of them into the future.