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Old January 29, 2014, 03:46 PM   #1
NavyChief
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Jack O'Connor Custom Tribute Winchester M70 Review

Well, I got my new Winchester JOC Custom Tribute yesterday and to be honest, never been more disappointed in a gun in my life. The major issue was the checkering. The forearm checkering felt like velvet and the right side of the forearm has a series of 3 ridges about a half inch apart The checkering honestly looked like it had been sanded down and filled with linseed oil or a wood finish. The next issue was the ebony grip cap. The cap is about 1/32 an inch higher than the wood where it joins the stock. Not a lot but you can feel it easily when you slide your hand up the stock and you can see it when the gun is held horizontally. Then I checked the barrel and it is only floated about 10 inches and then makes contact with the wood. I couldn't get a piece of paper or a crisp 20$ bill to go past 10"'s. Finally, the metal butt plate extends about 1/16" below the stock and overhangs both sides about the last 1/3 the way down. Can't figure out what happened here but I am very disappointed. I called Winchester and they sent me a UPS label for pick-up and said they will look at it and see what they can do. I got the impression that they think I don't know what I am talking about but I know good checkering when I see and feel it. My Kimbers, my Brownings, even my new model Winchesters all have very sharp and clean checkering. They said to expect 4 weeks so I will update on the site then but for now, I couldn't be more disappointed in the quality I received in that gun. Maybe I should have just gone with the Kimber Super America and had the O'Connor floor-plate installed? What a waste of the most beautiful piece of AAA walnut I have ever seen in my life. Maybe they will get it fixed, we'll see. Sincerely, Jim.
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Old January 29, 2014, 03:52 PM   #2
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your's is the 1st I've heard about with issues... I'd be interested to hear what Winchester had to say about it...

BTW... welcome to the forum...

BTW #2... they don't like double posts, & will likely delete which ever has fewer posts on it
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Old January 29, 2014, 04:19 PM   #3
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Old January 29, 2014, 04:32 PM   #4
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BTW... NAVY... did you look it over at all, before purchased, or did you buy it on an online auction site ??? if you bought it on line, most all sellers should allow an inspection period, especially with the cost these things are going for... if that's the case, I'd likely return it, & buy another, & report the seller

this is off topic, but I wonder if any gun that could reach this kind of value, could be counterfeited ( though the nickel signature might be harder to accomplish ) so this is more of a generic question, if any of this kind of rifle has been counterfeited in the past
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Old January 29, 2014, 04:39 PM   #5
NavyChief
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Read Rifle Magazine January 2014 Issue

Mystro, you need to read the January issue of Rifle magazine, pp 32-38. I am not the only owner of a Winchester Jack O'Connor Custom Tribute who is disappointed with the quality control. Apparently the author, Brian Pearce, had some criticisms as well with the fit and finish of his rifle. I also understand that you have a Tribute rifle and are very happy with it but there is a huge difference between what should be expected from a 1500$ Tribute rifle and a 2500$ Custom rifle. The extra thousand isn't just for a better piece of wood. I don't want any hard feelings here but if I am unhappy with what I bought, I'll tell whoever I want and post anywhere I damn well please. And please don't single me out as "THE ONLY ONE" with any issues with my type of gun if you haven't done any research on the subject.
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Old January 29, 2014, 04:41 PM   #6
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Last edited by Mystro; February 2, 2014 at 01:07 PM.
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Old January 29, 2014, 04:47 PM   #7
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Magnum Wheel,

It isn't a counterfeit because the serial numbers are validated and verified at Winchester as well as at the Jack O'Connor center when you order the free rifle case that comes with the gun. I did purchase it online from a dealer and I only saw pictures that couldn't show these flaws. Besides, the problems with this gun came from Winchester, not a dealer. I have seen dealers ding stocks, mar blueing and all kinds of stuff but I don;t think they could have had anything to do with the fit and finish of this gunstock. I'll respond to the post and I hope to give Winchester a glowing review after this is all over but right now, I couldn't be any less disappointed with my new gun and retirement gift after almost a quarter of a century of service in the worlds finest Navy. I had hoped to have nothing but fond memories and reminisce about the great times in the Navy when I enjoyed this gun at the range and in the field, and I may still have that opportunity. we shall see. I do understand the point about the counterfeit however but if they had two serial numbers that were the same then the registration or the JOC center would likely have caught it and I can't imagine a gun dealer with their reputation and feedback doing anything like that.
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Old January 29, 2014, 04:53 PM   #8
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Mystro,

I just found this forum in my search for all of the others. I have spent years on Campfire but I do plan to post on every forum I can find that has anything to do with firearms. By the way, here is the link to Rifle online for the article on the Custom Tribute http://www.riflemagazine.com/magazin...272partial.pdf

I had read this article and bought the gun anyway because I had wanted one for more than a year but was waiting for the right piece of wood to come along.
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Old January 29, 2014, 05:37 PM   #9
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Other guns

I will not simply use this forum as a place to vent my frustrations about my recent purchase. I also managed to purchase 3 new beautiful Kimber rifles in December after selling some of my collection off. I purchased a pair of 8400 WSM Classic Selects with beautiful wood and the fit and finish is impeccable. I have two custom rifles built on M70 actions and they are every bit as detailed and finely crafted as they are. I also purchased an 84M Varmint in 22-250. This is not supposed to be a top end gun and the looks are meant to fall short of the accuracy, which is what this gun is built for. However, the Claro Walnut is every bit as nice as the wood on the 8400 Classic Selects and they all handle and balance unbelievably well. The Varmint is a light gun and made for the walking varminter and even with the heavy barrel and the big Leopold 50mm scope, it balances and handles extremely well. The last of my sell of cash went to a new Browning A-5 Stalker 12 gauge. I know, why the lust for the pretty wood and finishes on the rifles but then a plastic stock shotgun? Don't worry, I have a pair of doubles, a pre-war Browning in 20ga, a Browning Gold select and a beautifully engraved and English stocked Browning pump when I need to dress up for a quail hunt back in Oklahoma with my family. I hope they all lose my attention and the JOC takes it's rightful place on the throne as the centerpiece of my long-gun collection. By the way, I do have a Weatherby Mark V but it is an Ultra-Lightweight in 270 Win in one of those grey marbled looking stocks and while it has no aesthetic appeal, I do love it and those tiny groups in the field.
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Old January 29, 2014, 05:40 PM   #10
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So, why are you unhappy with the best rifle Winchester has yet to put out? Care to elaborate?



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Old January 29, 2014, 05:47 PM   #11
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Damn...that took a nice picture ColColt. Jack even used a Leupold so your gun is hunting JOC correct. I framed my JOC book so it would stay nice. I hung mine up on my office wall
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Old January 29, 2014, 05:50 PM   #12
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You still take the prize for product photography though Mystro. I just ordered one of the custom cases and one of his books. Maybe mine will have "Lewiston" embossed on it.

BTW-I got my two boxes of SST's today. Hope to get out to try them out as soon as the freeze is over.
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Old January 29, 2014, 05:50 PM   #13
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I sympathize with you, Navy Chief, and am interested in how Winchester (hopefully) resolves your issues. Nothing worse than a poor checkering job to spoil the looks of an otherwise fine rifle. I could never get past that, not to mention your other rightful concerns. Best of luck and welcome to The Firing Line.
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Old January 29, 2014, 05:53 PM   #14
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Every once in a while, Winchester has shipped 70's with sloppy workmanship on their stocks since 1964. Their early broach rifled barrels were not all that accurate with the bullets available before 1964 as proved by Remington's button rifled ones being very good. Winchester's later hammer forged ones were not much better. While there action is second to none for a box magazine controlled feed type, all else goes all over the scale. All contributed to Winchester's financial straits in the late 1960's when Remington was contracted to make the new sniper rifles for the USA armed services as Winchester was not thought to be business stable at the time.

I think they need new thinking and doing to rise again far above all other commercial rifles.
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Old January 29, 2014, 05:57 PM   #15
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Mystro, I'll just let this end here but you are free to respond.

I haven't trashed anyone or "trashed talked" about anyone. I simply stated I received a firearm and was very disappointed. I also stated that I contacted Winchester and I'll keep everyone up to date on the progress. I know people make mistakes but when they do, consumers have a right to voice their displeasure. As a business owner I would think you would rather have someone bring up your problem and then tell about how hard you worked to resolve it than to have someone never say a word in publicly but let everyone know how dissatisfied they were. If you are worried about the value, or perceived value, of your gun going down because of my comments then you shouldn't worry. If you are worried that my posts seem to discredit your glowing review of your gun then that is ridiculous. We do have two completely different guns. I know the barrel and actions are the same but that's about it. The wood, finish, fit, buttplate, and detail are, or at least should be, different. I paid a lot of money for that gun and I have every right to voice my displeasure until I am satisfied. I don't understand why you think I should just stay quiet and hope everything goes OK. I don't have a lot of confidence in that theory. By the way, in the interests of full disclosure, I do plan to post this on the forums in response to your posts there. I do however believe that the pm format is afforded some privacy and none of your postings will ever be put on any gun forum. Again, I hope to go back and answer every forum with a glowing review of the Winchester service center and even call and thank them personally but the fact of the matter is that I should have never had to post anything other than how happy I am with my gun after spending that much money on a Custom rifle from Winchester and no consumer should ever keep quiet when they receive an inferior product at this price point. No hard feelings here but I just can't understand why you want me to keep quiet because Winchester failed to live up to the standards they boast about with this gun.
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Old January 29, 2014, 06:14 PM   #16
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This is the specs from Winchester between the two JOC Rifles.

RECEIVER – Steel; Polished blued
BARREL – Hammer forged steel; Polished blued; Free floating; Featherweight contour; Target crown
ACTION – M.O.A.™ Trigger System; Pre-64 action; Three-position safety; Controlled Round Feed; Controlled ejection
STOCK – AAA High Grade French walnut; Ebony forearm tip; Shadowline cheekpiece
FEATURES – Engraved floorplate; Engraved pistol grip cap; Jack O’Connor signature in Nickel on trigger guard; Checkered metal buttplate; Custom owner’s manual; Custom brochure; Custom hang tag; Voucher for free custom embroidered case that is redeemable through the Jack O’Connor Center • Case will not ship with the rifle


Specs:
RECEIVER – Steel; Polished blued
BARREL – Hammer forged steel; Polished blued; Free floating; Featherweight contour; Target crown
ACTION – M.O.A.™ Trigger System; Pre-64 action; Three-position safety; Controlled Round Feed; Controlled ejection
STOCK – AA High Grade French walnut; Ebony forearm tip; Shadowline cheekpiece
FEATURES – Engraved floorplate; Engraved pistol grip cap; Jack O’Connor signature in Nickel on trigger guard; Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad; Custom owner’s manual; Custom brochure; Custom hang tag; Voucher to purchase an embroidered custom case from the Jack O’Connor Center
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Last edited by Mystro; February 2, 2014 at 01:07 PM.
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Old January 29, 2014, 06:23 PM   #17
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Poor quality workmanship on stocks has been a fairly common complaint on the Sporter and Featherweight rifles. Not all, the problems seem to be spotty, but enough. I've not heard of any complaints about metal fit, finish, reliability or accuracy with any of the FN rifles. My EW has been a darn good rifle. I've not read many reports either way about the JOC tribute rifle. The handful I've read prior seem positive, but sometimes lemons get out the door. I like the features and stock design. Just not enough to pay the premium for one. Plus I'm more SS/ synthetic oriented anyway. Good luck, I hope Winchester can make things right.
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Old January 29, 2014, 06:35 PM   #18
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Thanks and I too love a good SS rifle in a work ready stock

I know Winchester can make things right, I just hope they do and do it in a timely fashion. I have four pounds of H4831 and 4 pounds of H4350 with about 500 noslers, a couple hundred Winchester CT BST's and a couple hundred Norma cases that sincerely need to get together, and soon. Just waiting on my rifle..........

Last edited by NavyChief; January 29, 2014 at 06:37 PM. Reason: forgot to say thank you
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Old January 29, 2014, 06:51 PM   #19
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Mystro, regarding the same gun concept

I understand your theory and yes the heart of the action and barrel are likely from the same specifications but one stock is hand fitted and the other is a drop in and epoxy bedded. One has a ground recoil pad attached and the other has a hand checkered steel buttplate that is hand fitted to each individual stock. One is AAA figured while the other is AA. I guess that is like saying that a Camaro is the same as a Z28 because they have the same engine. But, my point was that we have two different guns completely. No two guns are the same on many levels regardless of how much they look alike. And if you had purchased a Jack O'Connor Custom Tribute, your gun would still differ from mine. Very similar yes, but some differences would likely exist. No, a Camaro is no more a Z28 than it is a Corvette. If it was, they would cost the same. Just as the Jack O'Connor series goes. If they were the same gun, they would cost the same amount.
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Old January 29, 2014, 06:55 PM   #20
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Actually the H.O. engine was the major difference between a camaro and a Camaro Z28.
Chief, I agree that rifles in that price range should be right when the leave the custom shop.
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Old January 29, 2014, 06:55 PM   #21
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"I'm a good guy with a gun" What do I care if I give up some freedom or rights?....The Goverment will take care of me. This kind of thinking is now in the majority and it should concern you.

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what free entitlements you can bleed from your country"

Last edited by Mystro; February 2, 2014 at 01:07 PM.
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Old January 29, 2014, 07:05 PM   #22
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I'd be most interested in seeing some pictures, close up, of this rifle instead of talk. As for me and mine, I'm happy as a well fed baby.




Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; February 3, 2014 at 10:02 AM.
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Old January 29, 2014, 07:12 PM   #23
reynolds357
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Col Colt, I see a defect on your rifle. There is a speck of lint on one of the checkers. You should blow that lint off immediately.
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Old January 29, 2014, 07:14 PM   #24
ColColt
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By golly, you're right. I'll call the factory tomorrow. I'm not going to live with that after what I paid.

Another pic of the stock.


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Old January 29, 2014, 07:17 PM   #25
ColColt
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Another dissatisfied customer. One hole? Maybe we should gang together and boycott Winchester. I think you need to post that one holer.

Quote:
I shoot 3 shots and only found one hole. Who want to buy this POS?
Pick me, pick me!!
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