View Full Version : What is "Pre 64"?

January 18, 2000, 09:56 PM
I assume that "Pre 64" means "Prior to 1964"....?

What is it about a rifle that makes it attractive because it is "Pre 64"?
What is wrong with rifles that were made after 1964?


January 18, 2000, 11:11 PM
"Pre '64" generally refers to Winchester rifles made before 1964- especially Model 70s but sometimes other models.

The Pre 64 Winchester 70s were very well made rifles with a fit and finish close to what would be considered custom work today. Add to the fact the "controlled round feeding", classic styling, and magnum length actions as well as the hype from gun writers of the time extolling the virtues of the gun and you get the "Pre 64 mystic"- a blend of romantic notions and old world craftsmanship.

If you are at all interested, Winchester is turning out an excellent rifle in the Pre 64 tradition. The Model 70 Classic Super Grade. Actually this is the third iteration Winchester will be manufacturing and is, IMHO, the best yet. The stock has been redesigned by David Miller and the trigger guard/floor plate assembly has been redesigned to a "picture frame" configuration- all steel surrounding the magazine box. Pictures on the Winchester website...

Naturally, this rifle, like most other factory rifles, will need a little love out of the box. This would mean a trigger tune and free float the barrel as Winchester insists on "pressure bedding" to this day.

Other than that, I believe the current production rifles are every bit as good as the Pre 64s and in some regards, better.

January 20, 2000, 02:45 PM
I believe when they refer to a new Winchester as a pre 64. They mean it has a pre 64 claw extractor insteed of a push feed .

Paul B.
January 20, 2000, 04:28 PM
What Is so great about a pre-64 Model 70 Winchester anyway? The quality is no better than any of my Mausers and in one case a lot worse.
The fit has never been overly great when I shot one, and the recoil seems to be more stout. I finally broke down and bought a Pre-64 Winchester Featherweight in .308 Win. (Made in 1954) I also have a Post-64 Youth Ranger in .308. When comparing the two off a bench, the pre-64 definitely kicks a lot harder. The Post-64 does have a Ramline stock, but no recoil pad. The Pre-64 has a pad. Go figure. They weigh within a few ounces of each other. Other than having controlled feed, which I prefer, the Pre-64 Winchester just doesn't thrill me that much.
Before anyone thinks I am recoil shy, I regularly shoot a .338 Win. Mag off the bench, along with a .375x338 Mag wildcat and a .375 H&H Magnum. Sometimes I plink with a .300 Win. Mag. So that's not it. It must be the stock shape. Whatever it is, it does hurt.
Paul B.

January 20, 2000, 09:01 PM

Pre-64 Model 70 stocks are notorious for being uncomfortable to shoot. They were designed at a time when scopes were uncommon and were configured to use open sights.

The quality of the rifles varies. The best were made prior to WW-2 and the worst were made in the late fifties and early sixties. The most notible drop in quality is the stocks. As for the metal work, I feel that the Pre-64's have a fit that has still not been equaled by even the newest rifles.

Overall, the newest M-70's are probably stronger and better shooting. That being said, a nice Pre-64 is a fine rifle.

tony stapleton
January 20, 2000, 10:12 PM
what jeffly said.

Long Path
January 21, 2000, 08:51 AM
By all accounts, though, the new M-70 Classic, which has the big claw and the controlled feed, shoots better than even the better Pre-64 M-70s.

Pre-'64 is also desirable in M-94s, in which the quality dropped notably in '64. The new '94s are well-made, but they aren't the beauts that came out before '64. (they are, however, now mostly better than some of the rifles made in the '70s, from what I understand, if you can abide that new crossbolt hammer safety.)