View Full Version : Model 70 featherweight or sporter?

Rustle in the Bushes
July 8, 2012, 02:32 AM
Im trying to pick which new model 70, 30-06 to get. Theres only a difference of 4 oz in weight according to their site- and a difference of 2 inches on the barrel. featherweights at 22" and the sporter is at 24"

Im gonna hunt with this thing eventually but Im also gonna shoot it at the range as I dont even have my license yet. its gonna be my scoped full size rifle that isnt a .22.

Im worried the featherweight might have a thinner barrel and heat up right away, making it a bit lame to shoot at the range. As well- the sporter stock has a raised cheekpiece which is a bit more comfortable.

But the featherweight has classier looks and is a bit more carrieable/quick to point for close shots should they come up.

Does anyone know if the featherweight has a thinner barrel, who is the featherweight for?

July 8, 2012, 06:47 AM
The featherweight is a classy little rifle, no doubt about it. And whichever you pick, it will be the right choice for you. You've got to be the one to think about that four ounces and two inches and decide if it makes that much difference.

Barrel heating is an issue with guns that get shot a lot. Those skinny sporter barrels get hot quickly but in a hunting scenario, the rifle is carried lots, shot little. My hunting rifle is a Savage 110 that weighs 8lbs 4 oz dry. I don't notice the weight when I'm carrying it in the woods. It's just there.

July 8, 2012, 08:25 AM
Rustle...I have a sporter and a featherweight...both in 300 win mag...
I prefer the FW...It has a BOSS system...The sporter has a 26 in barrel...

TX Hunter
July 8, 2012, 10:27 AM
For 30 06 I would probably get the Standard Sporter, I have heard the Featherweights have alot more recoil. Either would be fine, but for a Range Rifle the Standard Sporter with the 24 inch barrel would be perfect.

July 8, 2012, 11:03 AM
I have been hunting and shooting for a long time. I got my first M70 new in 1957 and I still have it. I have a collection of them and other guns.

I still like the M70 and now the CRF is back. Here are links to them.



Note that the Featherweight weighs 4oz less. The old Featherweights weighed a lot less than the Standards. The Featherweight has a 22" barrel and the Std. a 24".

I would rather have the Featherweight. I had heavy rifles when I started and got Featherweights as soon as I could. We carry game rifles day after day and finally get a shot if we are lucky. Get the Featherweight. I know what heavier rifles are like and when your near the car or in a match they are fine. For big game get a light rifle. I have many Kimbers now for that reason.

From my collection of game rifles I would choose a Kimber Montana 84M 308 as my first buy and then a custom to use near the car.


July 8, 2012, 11:25 AM
I prefer a balance that favors the barrel for offhand shooting, so I tend away from the Featherweights towards standard barrel profiles. Featherweights feel great in the hand for carry but they just don't 'steady' for me as well as heavier barrel profiles.

Tim R
July 8, 2012, 06:50 PM
I have an 06 Feather Weight which is my favorite hunting rifle. Easy to carry and hunt with. Recoil at the bench is heavy, but never a problem with an animal in the cross hairs. If I fire 5 rounds off one after the other, the barrel does get warm with the 5th shot a flyer. In 22 years of owning the rifle I have never fired 5 shots at an animal. One round normally gets the job done.

July 8, 2012, 08:07 PM
Love my Sporter in .270.....prefer a stock with a raised cheekpiece so that made it an easy choice for me

July 8, 2012, 09:41 PM
I have an 06 Feather Weight which is my favorite hunting rifle. Easy to carry and hunt with. Recoil at the bench is heavy, but never a problem with an animal in the cross hairs. If I fire 5 rounds off one after the other, the barrel does get warm with the 5th shot a flyer. In 22 years of owning the rifle I have never fired 5 shots at an animal. One round normally gets the job done.

How many rounds can you fire during a range session?

Tim R
July 9, 2012, 04:06 AM
IHow many rounds can you fire during a range session?

Only enough to make sure the scope is still on, so it's not many. After all, I don't want to start working on a flinch. This rifle will put 4 in an area the size of your thumb nail @ 100 yards with the 5th going out to about 1 1/2 inches without a cool down between shots.

In a Winchester case with 165 gr BT on top of 56 grs of IMR 4350 and started with a CCI 200 primer. Bullet seated just off the lands. Works good in the FW, not so well in the Ruger '06.

July 9, 2012, 12:38 PM
I usually do 40-50 rds per range visit with my CZ550, but it is .270. I think most hunting profile barrels will start to change POI as it heats up.

July 9, 2012, 12:59 PM
Had an earlier Model 70 featherweight 30-06. Beautiful rifle, but the recoil was quite punishing.

July 9, 2012, 01:33 PM
You must choose which is the main purpose, hunting or target shooting, and it ain't a target rifle!

You will carry all the time, and rarely shoot. Lighter the better, recoil with a 30'06 is nothing, don't get recoil into your head then it becomes a head game. Like playing football, you will get hit ... so what?

The lightweight is the rifle if you are going to hunt. When you sight it in, shoot 3 at a time, let it cool a while and shoot 3 more. Take your time. Shooting it in takes longer, but carrying more weight and barrel than you need is forever, and the older you get the more you will notice it!

Recoil for light calibers such as an 30'06 is not a factor if you are not injured, if so, maybe hunting isn't your thing...

Old Grump
July 9, 2012, 01:56 PM
Unless you are going after mountain goats I to would get the sporter. 3 rounds and then the group opens up and 5 rounds and your shoulder starts talking to you. May not be your experience but it has been mine. I have a bull barrel on my .308 that is 22 " long, I lose little in velocity but gained a lot in being able to shoot a whole box and still be able to enjoy the shooting experience in my shirt sleeves. I am old and boogered up so my mountain days are way back in my past, a little extra weight to soak up recoil is a good thing. My pencil barrels are slowly being replaced with more robust barrels.

July 9, 2012, 05:23 PM
I wouldn't let the feather weight scare you off. Take it to the range and shoot it. With the premium bullets available today you don't need to use bullets heavier than 150 grains for most big game. 150's will be pretty mild on the shoulder. Plus there are plenty of non premium bullets to shoot as well for range time.

If you reload then you can tailor the loads to your recoil tolerance and trust me the more you shoot the more recoil you'll learn to tolerate. That said you didn't buy a target rifle that is capable of multiple shots. You are going to have to allow for cooling time at the range to keep your groups from walking around. If you do that then you can still have a rifle that is capable of shooting great groups.

Tim R
July 10, 2012, 07:18 PM
150's will be pretty mild on the shoulder.

I might argue with you on this with a feather weight. 130's are pretty mild. 165's and 150's are pretty close to the same felt recoil. I can not wrap around a F/W in 300 Win Mag. 270 and '06 is bad enough. The real advantage of the F/W is the ease of carry in the field. Again, the rifle doesn't boot or have a loud boom when there is an animal in the cross hairs. Where I hunt you are going to put some miles on the boots. Besides, if a '06 won't do it I can always grab the pre 64 in 300 H&H.

July 10, 2012, 09:40 PM
Yes 150 to 165 grains isn't going to be a big difference but the difference between a 150 and 180 is pretty big.

July 10, 2012, 10:13 PM
FWT in .308 with 150's or 165's

July 12, 2012, 07:40 AM
One normally spends a heck of a lot more time packing a rifle while hunting then shooting it.

Being I'm a lazy sort, I'd go the Featherweight. I have two, a 257 Rbts for Deer and Antelope and a 270 Win for Elk.

I know you're talking about the '06, there isn't a whole lot of difference between the '06 & 270. I do have a non-featherweight '06 in Model 70. Not a whole lot of difference in recoil.

The New FN Model 70s have a recoil asorbing recoil pad (forgot what it's called) that does work quite well in reducing recoil.

The best option would be to find someone with both and shoot them before you buy, not always possible.

I really like the Featherweights for hunting, but like I said, I'm old and lazy. Being an old infantry guy I'd pick light any day.

July 12, 2012, 12:38 PM
If you intend to shoot the gun at the range a lot get the standard with the 24" barrel. If you just intend to sight the gun in and then go hunting get the feather weight.

If by hunting you mean sitting in a blind or stand then the extra weight doesn't matter.

July 12, 2012, 05:21 PM
You may have noticed by now that some folks will pick out one thing to focus on, the thin barrel is the one here. Either model is NOT a target rifle. So what if the lightweight changes a tad, you may not be able to shoot good enough off hand to notice for practice anyway. Folks who shoot a lot off of sandbags where they notice the groups opening a tad, may not be able to hit a deer off-hand at ranges where slight drifting would matter anyway!!! So you can still have a ton of fun with the lightweight rifle at the range. My Remington Custom KS, 350 Rem Mag, very light weight, and I, have fun blowing away sandbag shooters at far ranges when I talk them into real world shooting ... off-hand. It is fun, and what is needed to be a good hunter, in all conditions.

Point being: Don't let one thing being rung over and over change your mind. If you want a target rifle buy one, both of your choices are hunting rifles.

July 13, 2012, 07:32 AM
both of your choices are hunting rifles.

Thats right Wild Bill...Both are still hunting rifles and have good soft pads....

Heavy Metal 1
July 16, 2012, 12:20 AM
In my FW the 180s are punishing, but the 165s are stout, but not too bad. I shot mine yesterday wearing a T shirt, did 10 rounds w/o a problem.

As above poster said if a hunting rifle you will carry it a lot more than you will shoot it.