Winchester M70 action

BallisticsGuy

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I think your expectations are out of line with any kind of reality. Nobody would question the quality of a pre-war Oberndorf Mauser, ever see the bottom of one of those?
 

drakehammer

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Ok I apologize up front for highjacking. I have one of those push-feed Win Model 70s in .30-06 as well. Likewise, it was left to me by my father. I saw that rifle used and terribly abused from 1977 til about 1995 when I finally got ahold of it. I remember one time as a kid, it being put in a rifle case wet and tossed behind the truck seat one evening after Dad and I got stuck in a downpour. The gun was forgotten until the following weekend, and it's no surprise, it was rusty and pitted and the stock finish was ruined. For all intents and purposes it was ruined. I was able to salvage the rifle after some steel wool and sandpaper and elbow grease. Luckily it still shot factory ammo good enough for our kind of deer hunting. Around 2002, I had it reblued, and I rattle canned that miserable looking stock. About 7 years ago, I got the trigger cleaned up and worked up a few handloads just for giggles. I was shocked at how well that rifle shoots. I now have a few hand loads ranging from 110 gr varmint bullets to 180 gr SPHs that regularly shoot 3-shot groups 3/4” or better. It absolutely loves those 180 gr Pro-Hunters. Just reminiscing.
 
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jdyoung

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Don’t be too hard on the M70. Winchester had to contend with the popularity of the Remington 721 – 700 after WWII. With the return of our WWII forces , labor costs/salaries increased. Winchester started cutting costs to keep up. Obviously one of the areas was in finish of non-visible areas. Doesn’t mean the steel had any less quality or the machining was sub-standard.

Given that a couple of rounds were fired in that rifle other than it’s chambering, you are probably right in opening it up to 35 Whelan.

I’ve got a number of sentimental family firearms to pass on to my son.

Enjoy.
 

35 Whelen

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If it had not had the 308 an 270 fired in it I would leave it as is, but it is the 35 Whelen will be a fine chose. As far as some knocking the 30-06 I strongly disagree. I have a lot of cartridges and like them all, My favorite being the 270Win. an the 35 Whelen. As far as recoil the 308 my rifle is about the same as my 2 30-06's and a number of others I have shot. The 35 whelen has more recoil then the 30-06, I have 3 35 whelens and two of them are heaver then most 30-06. I don't have a 7mm Rem. mag. but have shot some and have seen game taken with them, I'm not impressed with the 7mm Rem Mag. From what I have shot and seen shot I'll take the 270, 30-06, an 35 Whelen over the 308 an 7mm Mag any day. As for the 9.3x62 it is a fine cartridge but from all the things I have seen (including my Woodleigh reloading manual) There is so little if any difference between it and the 35 Whelen. Also from what I have found here in the USA 9.3x62 brass is more expensive an there are more 358 bullets available. You can also use 357 pistol bullets for light loads in practice or on small game.

All in all I think you would be very happy with the rifle rebored to 35 Whelen and would be given your Granddads rifle a long useful life.
 

Pulpwood

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Don’t be too hard on the M70. Winchester had to contend with the popularity of the Remington 721 – 700 after WWII. With the return of our WWII forces , labor costs/salaries increased. Winchester started cutting costs to keep up. Obviously one of the areas was in finish of non-visible areas. Doesn’t mean the steel had any less quality or the machining was sub-standard.

Given that a couple of rounds were fired in that rifle other than it’s chambering, you are probably right in opening it up to 35 Whelan.

I’ve got a number of sentimental family firearms to pass on to my son.

Enjoy.
Yep
 

Greyfox

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To answer your question. Yes the post 64 and 70’s era Model 70’s were quite rough particularly when compared to the pre 64 and mid 80’s and later samples. By the early 60’s, Winchester(controlled by the bean counters) made the decision to cost reduce the Model 70. While some would claim the pre-64’s had declined in workmanship by the late 50’s, it was still far ahead in workmanship, features, and quality when compared to the lower cost/price competitors. It took Winchester about 10 years and a new management team to realize that the first iteration of the post 64 Winchester was a only a shadow of the prior iteration, and cost them their market leadership position that was held for about 20+ years prior. Having said that, I owned a 70’s era Model 70. While it was rough and lacked the fit, finish, and quality of the pre-64, it was as accurate, and not much different in fit and finish to the Remington and Savages of the day(pressed checkering, push feed, stamped trim parts, etc.). Winchester was unable to shake off the stigma associated with the downgrade frim the prior iteration, even though it was little different from it’s primary competition.
The pre-64, being mostly hand fitted, was simply that much nicer. I soon replaced my post 64 iwith a pre-64 which I still own and use today. By the early 90’s the Model 70 had been upgraded with many of the attributes of the pre-64, but by that time it was too late for Winchester regain its former market position. They went through a series of restructurings, and ultimately acquired. The recessionary 70’s in America was a dark period for many American made products. IMO.
 

Coldfinger

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I also know for a fact this rifle has shot both a 308 and 270 out of it. I saw the 308 straight walled brass after the fact and I was there when he shot the 270. Not sure how either fired, especially the 308 but it did? So not sure what’s going on in the barrel either.lol. It looks fine looking down it but I’m sure if it was scoped there’d be something interesting..like bouncing a 277 cal bullet down it.
I doubt either cartridge did any damage to the barrel. The 06 is fine but not one I have any interest in!
 

Coldfinger

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Ok I apologize up front for highjacking. I have one of those push-feed Win Model 70s in .30-06 as well. Likewise, it was left to me by my father. I saw that rifle used and terribly abused from 1977 til about 1995 when I finally got ahold of it. I remember one time as a kid, it being put in a rifle case wet and tossed behind the truck seat one evening after Dad and I got stuck in a downpour. The gun was forgotten until the following weekend, and it's no surprise, it was rusty and pitted and the stock finish was ruined. For all intents and purposes it was ruined. I was able to salvage the rifle after some steel wool and sandpaper and elbow grease. Luckily it still shot factory ammo good enough for our kind of deer hunting. Around 2002, I had it reblued, and I rattle canned that miserable looking stock. About 7 years ago, I got the trigger cleaned up and worked up a few handloads just for giggles. I was shocked at how well that rifle shoots. I now have a few hand loads ranging from 110 gr varmint bullets to 180 gr SPHs that regularly shoot 3-shot groups 3/4” or better. It absolutely loves those 180 gr Pro-Hunters. Just reminiscing.
Rifles were tools of the time for most families. Look how many barns have a rifle covered in dust on a beam or leaning in a corner. They served a purpose like a shovel or sh-t fork.
 

Pulpwood

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Rifles were tools of the time for most families. Look how many barns have a rifle covered in dust on a beam or leaning in a corner. They served a purpose like a shovel or sh-t fork.
Yes they did. My dad used his browning shotgun for a paddle a lot
 

Muddyboots

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Feb 7, 2013
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Michigan
I love the 06 and it is now greatly under appreciated for what it can do in most any situation. You can breathe new performance into it by just going with a 26" barrel that will seriously improve its performance with virtually anything you run down the barrel. You want a 180 to do 2800? Easily with 26" barrel with a lot of different powders. It doesn't have the whiz bang marketing of Hornady nor is it called a CM. But what it does have is over 120 year pedigree that has spawned so many "children" for us to shoot. Personally, I would rebarrel it with a 26", trigger, good recoil pad, see how the stock works and go from there. You will have a rifle that still has its original caliber from your Dad and still be a worthy rifle for most applications. The 06 is still a caliber that can run with anything within normal hunting distances that we all still seem to shoot our animals. It is still a "big boy" caliber so don't try to make it into something it was never intended to be.
 

Jgill19

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Oregon
I've got a buddy that might be interested in the stock if you go to sell it. He's needing a wood stock for a M70 338 win mag. I think this wold fit it??
 

Dean2

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Alberta
What do you defenders of the 30-06 not understand about the fact some of us don't like the cartridge and in my case haven't for over 60 years. I well know the performance characteristics of it, its history and have shot many of them. No one is ever going to talk me into changing my mind on this or the 270. The OP posted that the gun shoots fine, the two wrong loads will have done zero damage in the 06 as neither were a larger projectile and that he specifically wants to keep the original barrel but wants something other than an 06. The 338/06 and 35 Whelen are reasonable suggestions, to tell him to suck it up and live with the 06 isn't really helpful, nor are suggestions to re-barrel since he specifically doesn't want to do that.

Like I said before, 35W is a great choice and getting the action cleaned up at the same time will make a very nice and functional piece that you will be able to hand down to your children.
 

Privi457

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California
I'll inject a chuckle:

"Dean, you just don't understand. A rebore of a rifle that's not worth much as a push feed 06' makes too much sense. He has to get a new barrel, new stock, blueprint the action, open up the bolt face for some obscure 7mm wildcat, redo the rails so it will feed, add a 40mm rail and a muti $1000 scope. Then he will have spent what he could but a purpose built long range rifle for and he'll have to leave it to the kids as it won't be worth 30% of his investment.

In addition we all know a 35W or 9.3x62 won't kill anything anyway.";)😂🇺🇲


That's a POed elephant. That's Don Heath. His rifle a 9.3x62 Mauser. Don survived, elephant did not.

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 11.36.56 AM.jpg
 

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