View Full Version : Pre 64 Model 70 Winchester

November 26, 2001, 06:55 PM
I have a Pre 64 Winchester Model 70 made in 1947 in 30.06 caliber. The barrel is marked; .30 Govn't '03. Is that how Winchester designated that caliber or is this abnormal?

November 26, 2001, 11:18 PM
I have some digital photos available of the markings, if they would help, contact me at [email protected] and I will send them.

Harley Nolden
November 27, 2001, 05:33 AM

Here is some interesting info on the designation 30-06

NOTE: The 30-06 is a slightly-modified version of the original 1903 cartridge, which was loaded with a 220gr round nosed bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2300 fps. A change was made in 1906 changing the bullet to 150gr and the case shortned by .07", with an increased velocity of 2700 fps. The 30-06 can be chambered and fired in any rifle made for the 1903 round, however, the opposite is not always true.

As indicated in the "Other Names" category the initial Springfield round was designated 30-03 Springfield, and with the modification in 1906 the designation changed to Ball cartridge, caliber 30, Model 1906. As with most all military regalia, the name was shortened to 30-06.

Also located in the other names section, the round was called the .30 Government. The original .30 cartridge was designated the 1903 cartridge, the year it originated. The modified round was designated the 1906 ctg., the year it was modified, with the modified name of 30-06. The first two digits, 30, indicating the caliber of the cartridge, the 2nd two digits, 06, indicating the year of modification.


Jim Watson
November 27, 2001, 11:31 AM
You may have a mismarked rifle. One of my pre-64's is stamped .30-06 SPRG, the other says .30-06 SPFLD. Neither is quite as old as yours, the 1938 Target has a 1955 factory barrel.

I doubt Winchester made any .30-03 M-70s. They did, however, make .30-03 M-95 lever actions. I do not know their exact marking, but what you have would be appropriate.

I speculate AND SPECULATE ONLY that in 1947 they were just getting back into commercial production after WW II and somebody experienced only in GI weapons may have grabbed an old caliber stamp and applied it.

Your 1947 may fall in the Transitional range with features of pre- and post- war design. Those are interesting in and of themselves.

You need a Winchester collector and a good reference book. Mismarked guns did not use to have a whole lot of collector value, but people are paying for about anything these days. Fakes abound also, unfortunately.

James K
November 27, 2001, 04:07 PM
If the barrel is original Winchester, that rifle was probably a special order. I can't find that Winchester ever made either the Model 54 or the Model 70 in .30-'03. But many sportsmen liked the .30-'03 and the ammo was made up to WWII, so it is not impossible that someone with enough bucks would order a Model 70 in that caliber and that Winchester would oblige.

In the pre-WWI era, there was debate in the sporting press about the supposed advantages of one caliber over the other, which was one reason Winchester chambered their Model 1895 for the .30-'03 for many years. One of the alleged advantages of the older cartridge was that its longer neck was better in retaining long, heavy bullets without them intruding into the powder space.

1947 would have been pretty late for a .30-'03 aficionado, but who knows?