View Full Version : Your experiences with Win Mod 70's up to 2006
Major Dave (retired)
September 11, 2011, 11:46 PM
I bought a Win Mod 70 just before they were discontinued in 2006, and I am very pleased with it.
I had heard that the quality of the Mod 70's had been declining for a while, but I saw very few signs of it in the one I bought.
It did have one manufacturers glitch, in that the bolt stop wouldn't engage, thusly allowing the bolt to slip out of the rear of the action every time you cycled the bolt. I took it back to the Gander Mountain store where I bought it, and their gunsmith corrected the problem, in a few minutes, at no charge. He said the wood of the stock had not been properly inletted to allow the bolt retention mechanism free movement.
I put a Timney after market trigger in my new rifle just because I wanted to be sure I would have no problems. Had it set at 2 1/2 pounds to match my other rifles.
I have hunted with it the last 5 years, and now it is my favorite rifle.
Did I mention that it is a Classic (controlled round feed) Featherweight?:D
So, do you have any horror stories of poor quality Win Model 70's?
September 12, 2011, 02:47 AM
People might have complained about the cheaper models. I have a 1980's push feed F/W XTR in '06 which is my favorite huntin' rifle. It shoots better than a F/W should with my hand loads. I also have a pre 64 300 H&H. The deal with the pre 64's is these rifles were pretty much hand fitted at the factory, thus the expence. Fit and finish on these rifles is better than post 64 Winny's or even Remingtons. The controlled feed bolt was very popular. The push feed bolt though is pretty slick. Second shots on a push feed would be a little faster. IMHO. The trigger in my F/W is adjustable and I got a nice crisp trigger after adjusting.
Those who shot match rifles based on bolt gun actions prefered the push feed over the controlled feed bolts. The push feed has a pretty slick bolt which was easy to operate in the rapids where speed was needed.
I think what did Winchester in was not the quality of the rifles but the short mag of the week. It was hard to find a Winchester in a regular cartridge for awhile. There was an effort to win back the shooting public by bringing the controlled feed back in the classics. But then there are those who believe no Winny made after 1964 is worth having and will tell you so.
September 12, 2011, 07:56 AM
I have several Model 70s Pre-Post '64s and the new FN Model 70. I never had any problems with any of them.
My favorite is a post '64 Featherweight in 257 Roberts. Close behind is a FN Featherweight in 270 Win. The wood is almost identical in the two.
I don't believe the quality of the pre & post '64s are just as good but a bit different, as the FN is a bit different.
If I had to pick the best quality wise of all the Model 70s it would be the new FN Models.
Years ago, I bought 6 Model 70 actions off a guy (for a total price of $235 for the lot). I've made some dern good target rifles out of those actions as well as a Standard Weight 243 (hunting rifle for my wife).
In my opinion the Model 70s make the best target actions. Especially in the heavy calibers. I believe that "flat receiver has a lot to do with it.
The Model 70 has always had some great triggers but the FN's are in a class all their own.
There are defects that slip through on all products (as the OP mentioned with his bolt stop, but over all the Model 70 is as good, (or in my opinion) better then any other out there.
September 12, 2011, 08:00 AM
I bought an economy version the Ranger about 1980 in 30-06.
It is unfailingly reliable.
Very accurate, I have signed and witnessed 100 yard targets with groups under .75". And that was using a $3.00 garage sale scope.
Still have it.
Any more questions?
September 12, 2011, 08:10 AM
I have had several of the pre-64's and post 64's. The only problem I have had was with the cheap model with the W on the synthetic stock, whatever they call it.
When you tried to feed a cartridge out of the left side of the magazine it would fly all the way out of the rifle, LOL.
Other than that one they have all worked flawlessly.
September 12, 2011, 11:02 AM
Quality started to decline around 2000 and the closer you get to 2006 the worse it got. Still most of the guns made even as late as 2006 were fine guns. It is just that you are more likely to get a bad one the closer you get to the 2006 close of the factory.
I've had 4 from that era. Two of them were made right around 1999 or 2000 and are great guns. Sold one of them like a fool. The other is my favorite rifle and ain't going anywhere. One made very near 2006 was pretty bad and I sold it quickly. I decided it wasn't worth the effort to get it shooting right.
The good thing about those rifles is that they don't hold a lot of resale value and you can sometimes find them at bargain prices used. I recently bought a stainless classic in 300WSM for $420 including a pretty decent scope. I almost gave up on it when 3" groups were the best I could get at 100 yards on my 1st 2 range trips. But with some tweaking and after loading up some handloads my last 9 shots were under 1". Eight of the 9 under 1/2". This one is a keeper too, but I now know why it was being sold so cheap. There were a few details that needed attention and should have been done before it left the factory. The original owner gave up on it and sold it cheap.
If you do get a good one, the 1994-2006 CRF Classics are my favorite rifles. The FN guns made since taking over in 2008 are probably the best overall quality of any of the Winchesters, but they changed the trigger. The new trigger is better out of the box, but is the more complex enclosed style similar to the Remington trigger. The older Winchesters are probably not as good out of the box, but once worked on are great. Plus I just like the more rugged, foolproof design that can be inspected and cleaned much easier.
September 12, 2011, 12:23 PM
I own a 1964 Model 70 in .30-06 - and am generally pleased with it.
The rifle shoots 2" groups at 100 yds easily (reflects my shooting abilities - not the rifle's).
September 12, 2011, 03:02 PM
I own a 95 or 96 Model 70 in 243 win. I purchased it used about 8 months ago. When I bought it, it was really dirty so it took a good long cleaning session before I shot it. It had a factory synthetic stock which had been added by a previous owner when the "youth" outgrew it.
It would only shoot about a 2" group with factory ammo (Federal and Prvi) so I began searching the trouble. I wound up getting a Hogue overmolded stock for it and the groups shrank down to 1". My reloads are now starting to get even closer. I'm very happy with the performance of this rifle.
September 12, 2011, 10:52 PM
I do think somewhere in the 2000s, the later it got toward 2006 the accountants got increasingly involved and the wood grade/finish was cheapened. I had a Classic Featherweight I purchased new right at plant closing. It was perfectly fine, not a thing "wrong" but its artificially induced satin finish was not nearly as special as the nicer wood and more natural semi-gloss of the earlier models--some of which had great grain "right there" (not buried under flat polyurethane), including the less applauded pushfeed XTRs.
I got a ca 1990-95/push feed "Black Shadow" K-Mart special--cheap Winchester syn stock, no floorplate, low-brow small glass Simmons 3x9, etc) .270 that's a tack driver. With a look perhaps only a mother could love, I certainly don't worry about "hurting" it in the field. Still, I love the signature thin red pad/fleurdelis (sp?)checkering/slim Schnabel forend combination of the Classic Featherweights of the XTR and Pre 2006 era, and would really like to get a 1990-2000 (or so) vintage 7mm-08 or.270 again some day. The checkering and Schnabel forend thankfully continue on the FNs, and I'm sure the thick black pad is more effective, but it just doesn't look quite right without the "classic" thin red pad! Maybe a transplant is in order :) - though I think I still like the earlier wood better.
September 12, 2011, 10:56 PM
I bought one in .270 Win at Walmart for $300.00 about 2003. It is very, very accurate. I took off the package scope, added a Buckmaster 3-9X40 and have taken several pigs with it...
September 13, 2011, 05:16 PM
I bought a new Supergrade in .270 in 2003 and am very happy with it.
I adjusted the factory trigger down to 3 lbs 4 oz.
I put a Leupold VX-L scope on it and it shoots factory 140 grain Winchester Fail Safes and 150 grain Remington Core Lokts under 0.7 inches.
It shoots my hand loaded Remington 130 grain Core Lokts under 0.6 inches.
It is well finished, has nice wood and I have now problems with it.
The only down side is that the wood is too nice to beat around in the field so I always seem to be extra careful with it.
September 13, 2011, 05:36 PM
I've had two model 70s.
The first was a Sears version, push feed, it worked fine and I took several deer with it. It never had a problem that wasn't operator error.
The second is a mid 50s control feed. It also works fine and I have got several deer with it. Again I've had no problems with it.
Both rifles are well balanced, fit my shoulder well, and aim naturally. Both rifles are moa, give or take a fraction, given good ammo.
I wouldn't hesitate recommending one to someone else.
September 13, 2011, 10:33 PM
I have a win 70 stealth I got slightly used in 2005. Only problem it has is the last round tends to pop out of the internal mag when pushing it into battery.
September 14, 2011, 08:03 PM
Back in 1999 I bought two stainless classics with the claw. One is a 30.06 and the other is a .300 win mag. I hunted very little with them and killed one deer each with them and they have been safe queens for the last 7 or 8 years. Don't ask me why, they are good rifles and the bolt works back and forth like butter on them. Well the .300 Win. Mag is a little much for my whitetail hunting and it is a heavy rifle since I have big high power Nikon Monarch on it. Both rifles shoot pretty good, but for the past few years I have been using of my Model 700 XCR's in either a 30.06 or 7 MAG or my Browning Bar Safari in 30.06.
September 14, 2011, 08:29 PM
Got my Classic Featherweight in 2003. At that time you could order a lot of different calibers, and this one is in 6.5X55. Great rifle, accurate, and never a single problem.
September 14, 2011, 08:43 PM
My first Model 70 was purchased new in 1956 for the exorbitant price of $91.00. Since then I’ve been thru about 10 to 15 of them. I was always looking for something better, but never found it. I always came back to the Model 70, no longer looking for something better.
September 14, 2011, 09:05 PM
I worked as a part-time bank teller in college and managed to put together enough green to purchase my first bolt action centerfire rifle. Tuscumbia Hardware put this Model 70 (pre XTR but post 60s crude) on sale.
It is a .243. At that time, Winchester did not make a medium action length like Remington. The long action had a box in the magazine to take up the space from the shorter cartridges (.308, .243, .22-250, etc.). This bothered me later in the 80s when I learned of the varying action lengths. But, with age came wisdom and over the years this rifle earned a spot in my heart for its general handling characteristics, trigger, and accuracy. The $129 spent on the fixed six power Leupold scope was only $20 shy of the rifle's sale price and this seemed like a fortune at the time. Did I say it was accurate? Three shots at 100 yards with Federal Premium ammo (85 grain Sierra BTHP):
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