Pre-64 model 70 ideas wanted ...

Bobcape

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Oct 21, 2008
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169
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Black Hills, SD
I have a pre-64 model 70 that was once a .270 Win (I think; anyway it's standard length and bolt face) that I am just not shooting at all right now. I'm thinking about tearing it down and building something fun for semi-long range, out to maybe 1,000 yards for fun. I'll plan on using it for antelope and deer out to 750 or 800 yards and if I ever get drawn again probably no more than 600 yards for elk. I don't want it to be too heavy and I'm not a fan of recoil if I can help it. I want to avoid a muzzle brake if possible. The first cartridge I thought about was the .280 AI since it uses a standard bolt face and should feed well out of this smooth old action. I'm not looking to go larger than .30 caliber. I'm drawn more to an efficient cartridge than to one that is squeezing out the last foot per second at the cost of barrel life. I have several wildcats and am not put off by case forming or prep work.

I'd appreciate suggestions on cartridge recommendations, barrel makers and smiths. Thanks for you help!

Bob
 

Bobcape

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Black Hills, SD
Hmmmm ... I hadn't thought about chambering it for a normally short action cartridge. It does give some more options to the .284. Thanks.

Bob
 
Last edited:

the444shooter

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May 8, 2001
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611
If it's truly a Pre-64 Winchester, and assuming it's in original condition, sell it to somebody that appreciates Winchesters and use the money to get something else. Pre-64s command a premium, and you can get a better base model rifle to build on.

Just my .02
 

Bobcape

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Black Hills, SD
If it's truly a Pre-64 Winchester, and assuming it's in original condition, sell it to somebody that appreciates Winchesters and use the money to get something else. Pre-64s command a premium, and you can get a better base model rifle to build on.

Just my .02
Yes it is a Winchester pre-64 Model 70. It is not in original condition. It has been bead blasted and blued and it is currently wearing a 6.5/240WBY improved barrel. I bought it in the 70's as a cracked stock, rusted .270 and I made it into a 7X57 I believe. Then about 1985 or '86 I wanted to try this odd ball wildcat and chambered it for that. I just lost interest in it and haven't shot it in 8 to 10 years. I like the action and want to build it into something that I will use. The action has been trued and the threads straightened. Anyway, I'm open to ideas.

I guess I would trade it for a Surgeon action if you offered $100 to boot. :D

Bob
 

DougH9

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Feb 7, 2005
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83
You might want to see how it feeds improved cases. I ran some improved cases in a pre-64 just to see how they fed, and I remember them not feeding so well (although I did not have bullets seated).

I would go with a 270 Hawk, because it would be easy to make with 280 brass.
 

Fiftydriver

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Jun 12, 2004
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For a hunting rifle, I always look at the game that will be hunted and the range the shooters wants to be able to target these specific animals at.

For deer and pronghorn, really anything 25 cal or larger are more then enough out to 600 yards in an accurate rifle, proper bullet selection is important obviously.

Out to 800 yards, I would say 6.5mm would me my minimum recommendation with a 140-142 gr class bullet. the 6.5-06 AI loaded with the 142 gr SMK at 3050 to 3100 fps would be great.

When you throw elk into the mix however, even at 600 yards, I have to step up in caliber. Because of the huge selection of bullets, the 7mm really is hard to pass up. If you do not want increased recoil that you would get with the 30 cals.

A 160 gr Accubond, 175 gr SMK or 180 gr Berger would be good choices for long range shooting. Terminally, my opinion is still open on the Berger. Some reports are very good, some are very bad. The 160 gr Accubond will work and work great but ballistically its not as impressive but still plenty for 600 yard shooting.

As for chambering, the 280 AI would be the first choice if you want to stick with a standard bolt face. It will get near 7mm Rem Mag performance and nearly duplicate the 7mm WSM in performance with any bullet weight in same length barrels. Plus feeds better, and more capacity if these are a concern.

So for what you want to do, I would recommend a 280 AI with either 160 gr Accubond or 175 gr Sierra SPBT or SMK.
 

Bobcape

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Oct 21, 2008
Messages
169
Location
Black Hills, SD
For a hunting rifle, I always look at the game that will be hunted and the range the shooters wants to be able to target these specific animals at.

For deer and pronghorn, really anything 25 cal or larger are more then enough out to 600 yards in an accurate rifle, proper bullet selection is important obviously.

Out to 800 yards, I would say 6.5mm would me my minimum recommendation with a 140-142 gr class bullet. the 6.5-06 AI loaded with the 142 gr SMK at 3050 to 3100 fps would be great.

When you throw elk into the mix however, even at 600 yards, I have to step up in caliber. Because of the huge selection of bullets, the 7mm really is hard to pass up. If you do not want increased recoil that you would get with the 30 cals.

A 160 gr Accubond, 175 gr SMK or 180 gr Berger would be good choices for long range shooting. Terminally, my opinion is still open on the Berger. Some reports are very good, some are very bad. The 160 gr Accubond will work and work great but ballistically its not as impressive but still plenty for 600 yard shooting.

As for chambering, the 280 AI would be the first choice if you want to stick with a standard bolt face. It will get near 7mm Rem Mag performance and nearly duplicate the 7mm WSM in performance with any bullet weight in same length barrels. Plus feeds better, and more capacity if these are a concern.

So for what you want to do, I would recommend a 280 AI with either 160 gr Accubond or 175 gr Sierra SPBT or SMK.

Thanks for your advice. I've nearly decided on the .280 AI. It will do everything I want. As far as the action goes, I've always like the pre-64's but would you suggest, as "the444shooter" suggested, trading it off and starting from scratch with a custom action? I don't have an unlimited budget, so if that would mean a large increase in the amount invested in the action, it would have to be subtracted form optics or barrel, etc.

If I recall, when this action was first built into the 7X57 it shot well. I think it wore a Shilen select barrel and shot within 3/4 of an inch back in the 70's. I believe bullets, barrels and procedures have gotten much better in the last 30 years so it may be capable of much better.

What barrel maker would you suggest? I've got a little time to decide. I'd like to be shooting it when the snow melts next spring.

Bob

ETA - My primary deer and antelope rifle right now is a .260 AI. I'm very happy with it and it is not going to be replaced with this new rifle. I have two other 6.5's and love the caliber, but want to go a little bit heavier if I get drawn for elk again any time soon.
 
Last edited:

Kevin Cram

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Mar 9, 2004
Messages
1,217
Location
Danville, PA
HI Bob,

I think you've picked a great choice for an all around cartridge out to 800 yards max. The 280 AI will do everything you want with a 162g A-Max and be nice enough on recoil you shouldn't need a brake. You should see 2700 to 2800 fps, maybe a little faster with H4831sc. The feeding shouldn't be an issue since it was originally a 270 and the 280 AI is only approximately .040 longer. Sounds like a winner to me!!
 

mmd5542

New Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
3
I have a pre-64 model 70 that was once a .270 Win (I think; anyway it's standard length and bolt face) that I am just not shooting at all right now. I'm thinking about tearing it down and building something fun for semi-long range, out to maybe 1,000 yards for fun. I'll plan on using it for antelope and deer out to 750 or 800 yards and if I ever get drawn again probably no more than 600 yards for elk. I don't want it to be too heavy and I'm not a fan of recoil if I can help it. I want to avoid a muzzle brake if possible. The first cartridge I thought about was the .280 AI since it uses a standard bolt face and should feed well out of this smooth old action. I'm not looking to go larger than .30 caliber. I'm drawn more to an efficient cartridge than to one that is squeezing out the last foot per second at the cost of barrel life. I have several wildcats and am not put off by case forming or prep work.

I'd appreciate suggestions on cartridge recommendations, barrel makers and smiths. Thanks for you help!

Bob
Hello Bob,

Just curious if by chance you still have the old stock. I am looking for an original recoil pad for one of these. I am in need of the red rubber pad and the inlays that go between the wood and the pad.

Matt
 

Bobcape

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Joined
Oct 21, 2008
Messages
169
Location
Black Hills, SD
Hello Bob,

Just curious if by chance you still have the old stock. I am looking for an original recoil pad for one of these. I am in need of the red rubber pad and the inlays that go between the wood and the pad.

Matt
It is wearing th original stock with the red recoil pad. After much thinking, I am going to try to sell the rifle and start with a different action. I'm at work now, but later this evening I will list it for sale. Thanks.

Bob
 

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