View Full Version : Need help selecting a Model 70

November 27, 2011, 11:16 PM
My question is about the Model 70 action. I want a good controlled feed action action and have heard that the Model 70 has gone through several phases and that not all are controlled feed. What would be the best way to get a controlled feed Model 70 that uses a detachable magazine? It is for a custom rifle that is more or less a scout.

November 28, 2011, 02:40 PM
I have studied these models for over 40 years so I do have a fair working knowledge of them. All model 70's aint the same even though they have control round feed. Early pre 64 models (1952 and earlier) are the most desireable. In 1964 the push feeds started and it wasnt long before the control round feed was reintroduced. However the newer guns, while great guns, arent on par with the older guns. I have seen a few conversions to box magazine before but I would never have one myself. The key to reliable feeding is the feed rails on the reciever and the magazine box itself. If you go to a detachable magazine you eliminate both of these features and some of the reliability that made the model 70 famous.

November 28, 2011, 03:09 PM
Winchester brought back the CRF in the early 90's with rifles labeled as "Classics". They continued to maunufacture pushfeed rifles in their budget line until they closed their doors in 2006. The first of the Classics are as good as anything Winchester ever made. Toward the end, sometime after 2000 quality started to decline. The Classics made during the last few years are spotty in regards to quality. But if you get a good one they are great.

As a shooter the pre-64's are very much over-rated. From 1964-1990ish they were the only option for a CRF rifle and their prices skyrocketed among folks wanting a CRF rifle, not because they were really that great of a rifle. Now that other, better CRF rifles are available prices for shooter grade pre-64's are declining quickly. The pre WW-2 rifles and some chambered in odd calibers or configurations will still bring a premium.

Ruger started making CRF rifles about the same time Winchester brought theirs back. Kimber is also offering USA made CRF rifles now. FN bought out the new version of the Winchester in 2008 and the new rifles being made in South Carolina are far better in both quality and accuracy than any of the pre 64's.

If you must have a detachable mag CRF rifle there are 2 options I'm aware of. The new Ruger GSR may interest you.


FN also makes their Patrol rifle with a detachable mag. This is built on the same action as the Winchester.


I own examples of all 3. MY FN is with the floorplate. I also own one of the new FN made Winchesters as well as a couple of the classics. All are excellent shooters

bailey bud
November 28, 2011, 05:40 PM
I have a 1964 push feed Model 70- and have absolutely no issues with the accuracy or handling of my rifle. I can (more accurately, my rifle can) shoot a 1" group at 100 yds.

I'd note that were I to guess - I'd say the push feed is more tolerant of short-stroking the bolt - and I'd argue it's faster -- but hey - what do I know --- I've only owned my M70 for 6 months.

I'd have no qualms buying any M70.

November 28, 2011, 07:13 PM
I've got a push feed and a recently got a pre-64. Never had a single issue with either. Frankly, the liabilities of a detachable magazine offset the feed design by a couple orders of magnitude.

If I had a need for a detachable mag, I'd go with a semi-auto.

Tim R
November 28, 2011, 07:24 PM
^^^^^I agree with bailey bud. I have two Win Mdl 70's. One a pre-64 in 300 H&H. Tthe other a very late 70's push feed Feather Weight XTR in '06. Both rifles shoot very well.

The push feed does have a very slick bolt. I don't plan on hunting while hanging upside down in a tree, but the controlled feed however is what seperates Winchester bolt guns from Remmington Bolt guns as well as most other bolt guns. The fresh round is simply going where it's supposed to go. I will take the the Winchester every time. I would not condim anyone for having either the controled feed or the push feed. I don't believe for a second Winchester went down because of rifle quility, I think the problem was more like unless you wanted a short mag you were not going to find a rifle in the tried and true calibers like '06, 270 Win, or 7mm Mag. etc.

Bottom line is I have no problem with buying a Winny mdl 70.

November 28, 2011, 09:19 PM
I knew the pre-64s have a good controlled feed action, but I'm building a custom gun that is more or less on the lines of a Jeff Cooper Scout (although it will be set up for traditional scope mounts as well). I think that my eternal standing before my maker would be jeopardized if I bought a pre-64 Model 70 and cut it up for parts. The early 90s Classic is what I've been thinking about most. Does anyone know if I'll have to buy a rifle for the action or if reputable gunsmiths could get ahold of the FN action only?

November 28, 2011, 10:11 PM
I'd check gunbroker. Mauser action might fit the bill as well.

November 28, 2011, 11:38 PM
I think you would be better served looking for an FN patrol rifle action as jmr40 suggested.


November 28, 2011, 11:58 PM
And the opinion on the 2008(+)-year/Model-70/FN-manufactured/controlled-feed rifles now coming out of their Columbia SC plant?

November 30, 2011, 09:27 PM
I have a new FN Model 70 from S.C. plant. It is a very well made rifle and shoots ad good as any other 30-06. I have it for sale or trade now. The reason is the recoil is too much for me nowdays. I already have another 06 that is heavier and the recoil is less. They are very fine guns. I would have another in a smaller caliber.