Problems w/ Model 70 WSSM

aaroncarp

Active Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
43
Hey everybody, a buddy of mine has a model 70 243 wssm and we went out to the range today and he was testing a varmint load (62 grn Barnes Varmint Grenade w/ 58 grns H380 at 2.250" OAL). Anyways he shot them today and was having trouble closing the bolt, but the rounds did chamber. Finally i asked him to pull one out to before he fired it and sure enough the bullet was jammed into the lands and stayed there. We got the bullet out using a cleaning rod and now, after the gun has been cleaned well, the guns bolt will cycle smoothly only when the safety is in the intermediate position. When in the fire position it is extremely difficult to lock in place. Can anyone help us figure this out?

We checked the fired brass, and it will not chamber, but it shows no pressure signs. The length of the fired brass is all about .005" longer than the book recommends, but that shouldnt cause it not to chamber. We have now tried to chamber rounds that are set at factory OAL and shorter and nothing will chamber correctly. Is this a common problem? I am afraid jamming the bullets into the lands caused a huge pressure spike that could have tweaked something. But I am no expert.

Thanks in advance.
 

Greyfox

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Joined
Jan 21, 2008
Messages
5,525
Location
Northeast
Yes it was/is a common problem with the Model 70's in the WSSM's. I had the same issues several years ago with a 223 WSSM Coyote with chambering issues and bolt problems, including rust inside the bolt. The throat and chamber clearly appeared to be cooked in less than 100 rounds. It was a new rifle. Sent the rifle to Winchester(New Haven). They sent it back with a target with a two shot half inch group claiming it was fine but it still had the same issues. I have seen and heard of several others that have had the same issues. IMO, the WSSM's are over-bored monstrosities. I sold it at a loss toa fella that wanted it for a project.
 

4bycamper

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Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
622
Location
Eastern Colorado
Hey everybody, a buddy of mine has a model 70 243 wssm and we went out to the range today and he was testing a varmint load (62 grn Barnes Varmint Grenade w/ 58 grns H380 at 2.250" OAL). Anyways he shot them today and was having trouble closing the bolt, but the rounds did chamber. Finally i asked him to pull one out to before he fired it and sure enough the bullet was jammed into the lands and stayed there. We got the bullet out using a cleaning rod and now, after the gun has been cleaned well, the guns bolt will cycle smoothly only when the safety is in the intermediate position. When in the fire position it is extremely difficult to lock in place. Can anyone help us figure this out?

We checked the fired brass, and it will not chamber, but it shows no pressure signs. The length of the fired brass is all about .005" longer than the book recommends, but that shouldnt cause it not to chamber. We have now tried to chamber rounds that are set at factory OAL and shorter and nothing will chamber correctly. Is this a common problem? I am afraid jamming the bullets into the lands caused a huge pressure spike that could have tweaked something. But I am no expert.

Thanks in advance.
In my best guess, the firing pin might be bent or the pin hole in the bolt might be clogged. This would explain the easy cycling when the safety is on.

I have a Browning in 25 wssm, and have noticed the brass tends to be on the thick side around the neck and shoulder area. There used to be a wssm web site and I learned a lot when I was there. Seems the factory barrels for the 223 and 243 wssm were chromed lined to prevent early burn out. If you buy a used rifle with the chrome in the throat thin or gone the barrel will toast rapidly. This is likely the source of the horror stories you may hear from time to time. Try full length sizing the brass and bump the sholder back at least .002 . Also keep an eye on the 'beltline' just above the rim on the brass. The shiny ring will signal the end of life for that piece unless you can buy 'small base dies' for your wissum.

The capacity of the wssm is about the same as the 243 win. So much for "massively overbored" :D In my opinion the 25 wssm is the best of the bunch. It neither has or needs a chrome bore. It is the easiest to reload and the easiest on brass.

I'm keeping the Browning because it is ridiculously accurate for a skinny barrel 6 lb rifle. 3/4 inch group a 200 yards when I do my part and keep the barrel cool, and it heats rapidly.
 

Hairtrigger

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Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
385
Location
NW OHIO
I am on my 4th 223wssm. All are Winchester coyote 70 rifles
The first 3 each were sold to guys at the shooting range when they see how well these can shoot

Bumping the shoulder as mentioned is a must unless you are shooting your rifle fast I doubt the barrel is gone
4bycamper gives good advise. Prolly should have said that first
 

aaroncarp

Active Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
43
Thanks guys,

I will have him look into it. I would like to think his barrel isn't home because I doubt its had more than 300 rounds thru it. But again, its not my rifle so I'm not entirely sure. I'll have him look at the firing pin issue. He was thinking of rebarelling it into something with more options for brass anyways, so that is always another option.
 

Lefty7mmstw

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2012
Messages
4,714
Location
Dakota del norte
the short action length and mag bolt really limits your options on a re-barrel. I have a 25wssm with many rounds down the bore.... Not sure how many but I've got quite a few empty bullet boxes from it.

I doubt she's shot out at 300 rounds... possibly long brass or something wrong in the bolt like others have said. Have you opened the bolt up?? A m70 takes about two seconds...

As to the chrome lining.... I owned a 223wssm for about two hours a couple of weeks ago. I got it home, cleaned it, and found a pitted bore. The chrome should have stopped the barrel's ability to pit, but it didn't...
 

aaroncarp

Active Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
43
We opened the bolt up and cleaned the firing pin. I'm not quite sure what I was looking for, I'm no expert on that stuff and I've never had a model 70 so I am going into this clueless.
 

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