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Old July 15, 2011, 09:18 AM   #1
ndking1126
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FN Production Winchester 70

I've never paid much attention to Winchesters rifles, but all the sudden I've been reading an awful lot of good press about the current production FN produced Win 70's.

My questions are basic.. how could I tell if it's FN production? When did they start? Do they have some kind of a unique identifier if I'm looking to buy one used?

Thanks!
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Old July 15, 2011, 09:40 AM   #2
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I don't own an FN Winchester M70 but the good press has been around for the last couple of years at least. I think the first indicator of an FN M70 is the use of a claw-extractor. My understanding is that the pre-64's used the claw extractor but then the post-64's used the push-feed extractors up until FN took over. i'm sure someone here can chime in and give their expert opinions, as I know very little of the history of Winchester. As for buying used, I think you'll be hard pressed to find an FN M70 used, and if so, the price will be comparable to one that's NIB. I know there are a couple of online gun shops that are selling last year's M70's at an affordable price but I can't recall their names. Winchester firearms have gone up significantly in price since last year, so if you can get one from a year or two ago it might be more affordable.
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Old July 15, 2011, 10:23 AM   #3
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Anything sold as new will most likely be FN produced. Winchester closed the doors in 2006 and FN started making rifles in 2008.

The CRF claw extractors were on all model 70's made thru 1963. In 1964 they went to push feed actions. During the early 90's Winchester brought back the CRF rifles and sold both CRF and PF rifles until the doors closed in 2006. A Winchester with the claw extractor made from 1992?-2006 will be labeled as "CLASSIC", and will be stamped that it was made in New Haven CT. This should be on the left side of the barrel. The FN rifles will say "Made in USA, BACO Inc, Morgan Utah" on the right side of the barrel. They are made in South Carolina, the main office is in Utah.

The new Winchesters are probably the best rifles being made right now. Better than many costing hundreds more in my opinion. The "CLASSIC" rifles made in the 90's are among the best of the Winchesters as well. After about 2000 or so quality started slipping and many of the last of the Winchesters have spotty quality.
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Old July 15, 2011, 10:47 AM   #4
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If someone didn't already say, most Pre FN - visually--going back aways, whether the aforementioned Classics or prior XTR era, had thinner red recoil pads, versus the FN's thicker black/dark gray. People can always change these out, but it's an almost sure-fire visual clue.
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Old July 15, 2011, 11:16 AM   #5
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Look at the trigger, the New FN Model 70s have a completely different trigger.

And quality.

I own several Model 70s, pre and post 64s. Without a doubt the new FN Model 70s are the best of the lot.

Hard thing to say since I cannot find fault with any of the other Model 70s.
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Old July 15, 2011, 11:22 AM   #6
ndking1126
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Quote:
FN started making rifles in 2008
Wow, like I said I haven't paid attention to Winchesters, but it wouldn't be much of a stretch to call me a gun nut, so I'm surprised I've missed them that long.

Thanks for the info, though. I'm considering purchasing an off-roading toy or maybe a new deer rifle in .25-06 and nice scope. and stumbled upon these Winchesters while doing my research.
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Old July 16, 2011, 08:19 AM   #7
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They are worth a try,I got 3 of them and they are really nice and accurate.
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Old July 16, 2011, 08:35 AM   #8
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I just visited the FN plant in SC week before last and I found out that FN has owned Winchester for several years even when they where in New Haven. They just closed it for money reasons. They did come back out with the Model 70 and it looks and feels like a great rifle would like to own one in the future.
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Old July 16, 2011, 07:04 PM   #9
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Nothing beats a Featherweight 70 .270 or 7mm-08, old or new.
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Old July 16, 2011, 08:06 PM   #10
kraigwy
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Quote:
Nothing beats a Featherweight 70 .270 or 7mm-08, old or new
Unless its a match set, one in 257 Roberts and one in 270 Win.
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Old July 17, 2011, 07:31 AM   #11
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yup there real nice. No doubt the nicest winchester ever made but they sure are proud of them.
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Old July 17, 2011, 02:48 PM   #12
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All of the FN Model 70s will have the claw extractor and a factory installed Pachmayr decelerator recoil pad, which is about a 1" thick black recoil pad on the back. Most of the pre-FN Model 70s have way thinner recoil pads.
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Old July 17, 2011, 08:00 PM   #13
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My 2004 Classic LH in 7mm RM had a Decelerator pad; however, the quality of the FN production is first rate.
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Old July 19, 2011, 02:25 AM   #14
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I could be wrong but basically any win 70 with a claw extractor that is not a pre-64 is a new FN made winchester. The time period in between I believe they had switched to a push feed system similar to the remington 700.
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Old July 19, 2011, 05:54 AM   #15
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No.

CRF was brought back and made by Winchester from the early 90's until they closed in 2006. That was 14 or 15 years, so there are a lot of post 64's out there with CRF. These are labeled as Winchester "Classics". They made both PF and CRF during those years. Their top of the line Classic rifles were CRF while they continued to make their budget line in PF during those years.

While the new FN made rifles have a lot going for them the Classic Winchesters can be as good or better. FN changed the trigger and I much prefer the trigger on the older Winchesters. The problem with the Classics, or any Winchester, is that the closer you get to a 2006 production rifle, the worse the quality. Find one made during the 90's and you have as good a rifle as the new FN's. Even one made during the last years would be a good candidate for a custom rifle. The design is solid. If you have the little things that should have been done at the factory tweaked by a Smith you will have a good rifle.
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