Win. Pre 64 Model 70 conversion(s)?

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by highsierra, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. highsierra

    highsierra Member

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    I have a dilemma. I inherited two Win. Pre 64 model 70's, 1 on .308 and one in .30-06 when my father passed away several years ago. Both rifles were purchased by my father in 1958 and 1960 respectively and were shot in high power target matches for years. I even remember shooting them as a kid growing up in the marksmanship programs at our local club. So, there is a significant amount of sentimental value attached to these rifles and parting with them would be unthinkable.

    Over the years my personal interests shifted first from target shooting to long range metallic silhouette (sp) matches in the 1980's. Still, no amount of paper punching or metal clanking could compare to knockinig down big game animals in the west. My personal favorite is hunting the deer high in wilderness backcountry of the Sierra Nevada of CA where I reside. Consequesntly, my firearms reflect my main interest "hunting". I typically hunt with one of three rifles. If I plan on a long hike I pack my custom Brown Precision Rem. 721 in .30-06 or my Remington 700 stainless Mountain Rifle in 6mm Rem. If weight is not an issue, and I really need tack driving precision for long(er) range shooting, my customized Rem 700 VS in .308 is my goto rifle. This year I took a pronghorn in WY at 625 yds, another pronghorn in NV at 359 yds, and a Coues deer in AZ at 350 yds with this .308.

    Now back to the dilemma. What should I do with the two Win pre 64's????? Both are set up for "target" shooting...and honestly, I'll never use them for this. Call me crazy, but what I really would like to do is "convert" these two rifles into something that I would use. This way they dont just gather dust in the safe, and I still can feel connected to the past memories of my father while actually using them.
    I already own two hunting rifles that I am extrememly happy with that are of the same calibers. Having more rifles in these two classic calibers is not a bad thing though. Makes for easy reloading! Cheaper ammo means more shots down range...and I love to practice! Still, part of me would love to play around with some other calibers. I still dont own a magnum caliber rifle...which might be nice if I ever get drawn for a good elk hunt...or decide to head north for moose or ??? up in AK. If I were to "convert" one of these rifles to another caliber, what my options even are is probably the first question. I dont think either of these actions could be used for a "magnum" caliber, right? Obviously a restocking job will be necessary too. I have used both MPI in Oregon and Brown Precision in California for jobs in the past and have been EXTREMELY happy with their work.
    How about the barrels? I'm not sure of the twist on either. Maybe rebarreling would be the best option. Or, would machining the existing barrels be the better choice? One friend suggested I have one turned down and have a carbon wrap installed on it by Christensen Arms. Is that a good idea?

    Above all, I want to maintain the accuracy of these two guns while modernizing them enough to where they would be funtional for my needs. Any suggestions you might have would be appreciated.

    Here are some photos of the rifles as they are today:

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  2. 406pat

    406pat Well-Known Member

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    Man I'm a huge fan of classic target rifles and I'd hate to see 'em go, but your rifle is your rifle!

    I'd look at a 338-06. You can use 30-06 brass and you get near .338 win mag performance without having to open up the bolt face.

    the .338-06 will shoot everything from the 180 AccuBond to the 300 Berger and will work for any game on this continent.

    A guy over on the hide is sharing his experience here

    Thoughts on a .338-06? - Sniper's Hide Forums

    He's getting 2300 fps with 300 gr SMKs out of a 24" tube which would be supersonic to about 1400 and roughly mimic .308 trajectories for long range rock busting. I ran the numbers once and I believe this load would still have over 1200 lbs of energy at 1000yds but I could be mistaken.

    That's my .02 and if you're looking to throw out those old target sights and bases let me know. They look pretty rough and are probably no good but I'd like to take a look anyway:rolleyes:
     

  3. JesseJames

    JesseJames Active Member

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    If they have enough sentimental value that there is just no way you could ever sell them, then I can't see stripping them for their actions either. I personally would keep them the way they are, and hand down Grandpa's rifles to my children. IMHO Jesse.
     
  4. barreltwister

    barreltwister Active Member

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    I wouldn't tear those rifles apart..never,...ever.

    Old factory M70 Target models are very hard to find.

    Buy another Pre'64 in a sporter or a Fwt .........

    Just this morning I picked up a really nice 1963 Fwt in 308 for $600,...they are out there.
     
  5. Nimrod

    Nimrod Well-Known Member

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    Not in a million years!

    Bob
     
  6. DZelenka

    DZelenka Well-Known Member

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    +1000
     
  7. tnshooter111

    tnshooter111 Well-Known Member

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  8. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    No way! Model 70 actions are out there for $300-500. Those rifles are worth more than a few times that, and are sought out. They just don't make them like that any more. IMO
     
  9. Gary Kaney

    Gary Kaney Well-Known Member

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    What everybody else said.
     
  10. Gary Kaney

    Gary Kaney Well-Known Member

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    I should also included. I did a coversion on one of my pre 64"s and i'm sorry to this day that i ever did.
     
  11. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    test post
     
  12. Sleepy Time

    Sleepy Time Well-Known Member

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    I find that people that ask these kinds of questions usually already know the answer to said question and are just looking for people to confirm their thoughts. :D

    Put em in the safe. Take em out every once in a while and let em sit on the couch with you. Put em back in the safe. You may not feel that your are utilizing them, but some day someone will be so happy you left them that way. Maybe even feel some connection to a man they never even met, just heard stories about.
     
  13. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    They are worth far more in one piece than tore down for the actions. Even if the barrels are getting a bit rough or long in the tooth. If you need actions and cannot afford to buy something else than sell them and let them go to a collector and take the money and buy the parts and have a new rifle built. You should be able to get a long way down the road towards a custom build by selling them and taking the money and putting it on a new build. IF they are in fact target models and haven't been messed with their worth even more than a standard Pre-64 Mod 70.

    All that said I will say this. Even though the Mod 70's are prized for their quality they are still old technology. Many of the new actions out there are by far better quality. Build yourself a new gun and let the collectors smile over a new acquisition. You both will be happy.
     
  14. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I agree with everything you said except for the Pre-64 action being old technology. If you want that style of action, the Pre-64 is the standard by which all others are judged. Comparing that action design to the current knock offs including the current
    Winchester Model 70 action, the current actions take shortcuts. Take a close look at the way the bolt handles are mated to the bolt body as well as the smoothness, and feeding, of the current designs. I have not been impressed by the Kimber, Montana, etc. IMHO.