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Old April 19, 2018, 08:02 AM   #1
dvdcrr
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Win. Model 70 in 243 Win.

A local shop has some model 70's for sale. I was wondering if any Model 70 owners could share their impressions and experiences with the various models, for example featherweight, sporter, super grade. I have owned only one Model 70 and so have little experience with these. And the caliber I was thinking about was a short action 243 Win. Although information on rifles in other calibers is welcome!
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Old April 19, 2018, 08:48 AM   #2
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I shoot a new featherweight in 308. the gun is all it should be. smooth action, awesome trigger, nice metal wood fit, accurate, traditional contruction with no plastic or crappy mags, etc.
....while I have shot two different ruger American predators there is no pride of ownership in them or any of the other economy guns sold currently, yes they are extremely accurate but that is were it ends.
....I would love to have a 243 featherweight also. jmho.
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Old April 19, 2018, 09:03 AM   #3
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I've owned and shot three Mod70's, an XTR Mod70 in 7mm RM, A FW in 30-06 and a Sporter in .308. All very good guns, indeed. A FW in .243 would be an awesome rifle.
Alltho it doesn't really matter, the one you're interested in, is it push-feed or CRF? Either way, you'll like that rifle.
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Old April 19, 2018, 10:09 AM   #4
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I've got a new production (USA/Portugal) FN-Win Model 70 Sporter. Probably the best rifle I have aside from Hawkeye collection.

Love it.
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Old April 19, 2018, 12:06 PM   #5
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"...featherweight, sporter, super grade..." Differences are mostly cosmetic. It's really not about the rifle. An M70 will do anything you're capable of doing with one.
Anyway, the Featherweight has light whippy barrel. Weighs 6 lbs 12 ounces with a 22" barrel. 22" is a good length for balancing accuracy with ease of carry in the field. The .243(and its daddy, the .308) loves the length.
A Sporter is not chambered in .243(never has been either). It comes in .270 Win and that'll do the same things a .243 will do and more. The .270 will kill any game in North America, including big bears and moose with ease. The Sporter has a 24" barrel only with a more expensive walnut stock. Same MSRP as a Featherweight.
A Super grade is exactly the same rifle but has a more expensive walnut stock FN thinks is worth $439.99 more. It's also 1 pound heavier than a Featherweight.
The real question is what are you planning on using a .243 for? It's a varmint/deer/bear/antelope, out to 300ish yards(all bullet weights drop like bricks past 300), cartridge.
Oh and mine is a Cooey M71 .243. That's a Canadian made M70A(the old M70 Police was an M70A. Bottom or the receiver is round. Same rifle otherwise.) I put an M70A walnut stock on it. Glass bedded it and did the trigger. It'll shoot minute of deer(barrel's not up to better) all day, every day.
So will any factory M70. Do some accurizing(bedding, adjusting the trigger and working up a load) and it'll usually go to a consistent inch with no fuss.
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Old April 19, 2018, 02:17 PM   #6
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The 70 in a 243 is a very good pick and they are a very accurate and is very easy to reload for
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Old April 19, 2018, 02:59 PM   #7
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I have two Model 70's, both are Controlled Round Feeding and made during the USRAC era.

The first is a Model 70 Classic DBM in 7mmRM, it is a big and heavy and very accurate rifle that I really like but did I mention it's heavy?

The second is a Model 70 Featherweight in 300 WSM and is a really nice and light rifle that handles that big powerful round VERY well. It is very accurate and I will never sell it.

If I wanted a Model 70 in 243, I would get the featherweight for sure.

Good Luck.
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Old April 19, 2018, 03:20 PM   #8
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There's not many brands I wouldn't be willing to buy. But they must be blued/black with a wood stock. I don't care if it's some off the wall hard wood, has to be wood.
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Old April 19, 2018, 03:20 PM   #9
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It comes down to when it was made. Winchesters have been all over the place as to quality.

Most people fawn over pre-64's, but in reality the rifles made before WW-2 are the pick of the bunch. After WW-2 quality was already on the decline. By 1963 when the last of the CRF rifles were made things were way down.

The 1964 to about 1980 rifles are probably the least desirable Winchesters. The design was cheapened and quality was spotty.

Starting in the early 80's Winchester offered the XTR series which are some of the better rifles ever made by anyone. And they are often bargain priced. Everyone wants the CRF versions instead of PF.

In the early 90's Winchester bought back the CRF with their Classic rifles. While not a 100% copy of the original Pre-64 it is close enough. IMHO they are a BETTER rifle than the Pre-64's. And used prices often reflect that.

From 1992 up until Winchester closed in 2006 they offered the CRF Classics as their top end rifles and still offered PF versions as their budget guns. Both were very good rifles, at least for a while.

After 2000 quality again started to slide. Most of the guns built in 2000 to bout 2003 or so were acceptable, but from about 2003-2006 there is a good chance of a lemon. But still most were OK. It is just more of a gamble on anything after 2000 and the closer to a 2006 production gun the greater the odds of a bad one.

There were no Winchesters made from 2006 until late in 2008 when FN started producing it. The FN rifle is VERY similar to the Classics made from 1992-2006 with some minor changes. Most notably the trigger. The early guns were built in SC and are highly thought of. Recently production has been Portugal. I don't think there is anything wrong with the Portugal guns. But the "Made in USA" guns are more sought after.
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Old April 19, 2018, 03:26 PM   #10
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And on the Portugal guns, they are made with USA made barrels.
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Old April 19, 2018, 04:42 PM   #11
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The old late 1980's push feed winntuff rifles looked pretty cool
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Old April 19, 2018, 04:45 PM   #12
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I have a FN US CFR made .270 SS with wood stock featherweight and its one good shooting, good looking and light.
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Old April 19, 2018, 05:11 PM   #13
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I've owned 4 model 70s. One from some time in the 80s an XTR, a push feed. Another is a Stealth from 2004, also a push feed and 2 Featherweights from about 2011 which are CRF.

All of these guns have been great. My thoughts on the CRF vs Push feed are that I have no preference for either, both serve their purpose.
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Old April 20, 2018, 01:55 AM   #14
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For me, the model 70 Winchester gives me everything I want in a bolt-action centerfire, and nothing I don't want. I've had a couple of them, both in 270 Winchester. The first one I bought brand new in 1973, a push-feed version with a 22" barrel. I was not as accurate as it should have been, but after it had the action glass bedded and the barrel floated it was quite accurate.
The next one is a Classic Sporter I got in a trade in the late 90's, second hand/like new. It is the CRF version with a 24" barrel and it's probably the best rifle I will ever own. It has not had an action-bedding-barrel-floating job; it would probably shoot more loads substantially better if it was done, but I have some pet loads that shoot so well in it that I don't think I want to mess with it.
I like the full-size Sporter and would only have it in 270 or 30-'06. That being said, the Featherweight is so nice I ought to have one. I got quite tempted by one that I saw in 6.5x55mm Swede at a gun show once. As far as stocks go,.....I'll take Walnut.
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Old April 20, 2018, 07:55 AM   #15
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I currently have Six M70 rifle a .223 Youth, .30-06 (actually a M670), and .375 Ruger (originally a 7mm RM XTR) on push feed actions as well as a Stainless Classic FWT in .30-06, Stainless Classic in .338-06 and a Extreme Weather in .270 on the CRF actions. The last three are my go to hunting rifles for mule deer and elk all sporting McMillan stocks with Edge fill, all are fairly light as well weighing from 7.5 lbs to 8.5 lbs all up (with optics, full magazine, and sling). I started putting them together after spending some time in the rain forests of Southeast Alaska hunting black bear where you really appreciate an "all weather rifle".
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Old April 20, 2018, 11:03 AM   #16
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I'm a huge Wincester fan. I dont think there is a bad one or at least I havent found one. But then I dont have a USRAs Winchester.

I like the Featherweights, but the pre FN Featherweights tend to walk when they get hot 7-10 rounds. For a hunting rifle thats not a problem, if you need more rounds then that you should sell the rifle and go to the meat market.

I have a FN Featherweight (US Made) in 270. The bedding prevents the walking when hot.

I have a 1949 made 30-06, nothing fancy but it shoot as well as any of my target Model 70s, including one in 308 built by the AMU I got through the CMP Auction.

In the early 80s I bought 6 Model 70 Actions from a guy for $235 (for all). I made some nice target rifles but on the last action I built a 243 for my wife. Douglas prem. barrel stuck in a New Wincherster stock I got from a guy to went to a plasic (molded) stock for.

It would be what you call a standard Model 70 in weight. Its a tack driver. Its probably one of my best shooting Model 70s.

I have a lot of Model 70s, and there isnt one I'd get rid of. However I would be in the market for another Action. I could sure use a 6.5 CM in a Model 70s.

My main deer/antelope rifle is a Featherweight in 257 Rbts. But if I was going to suggest a rifle for Deer/antelope it would be the 243. I've banged a lot of steel to 1200 yards with wife's 243. They are shooters.

My wife shot this guy with her home made Model 70 at 543 yards, using Hornady 100 gr. BTSP.



Dont let anyone tell you the post 64s arent any good. But again I dont have a USRAs Model 70 nor the FN Port. made guns so I cant speak for those.

Just my opinion but a hunting rifle for anything smaller the elk, a 243 would suit the bill. Though I have a couple 300 WMs and a 375 H&H, My FN Made Featherweight in 270s is my go to elk rifle.

I think a Pre-64 should be in '06 and sport a 4X El Paso Made Weaver. That would be the classic Model 70 and is the Alaska State Gun.
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Old April 20, 2018, 08:08 PM   #17
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Thank you for that great post, and outstanding picture to boot!
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Old April 21, 2018, 03:40 AM   #18
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I have a customized rifle that started out as a Winchester model 670 in .243 but had it rebarrelled to .358 Winchester. No problems ever with this rifle built during the time that Winchester was owned by the Olin Corporation.

Jack
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Old April 22, 2018, 01:34 PM   #19
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I’ve had a Model 70 Supergrade in 270 since I was 12 (27 years now). It is a little heavier than some of my other high powered rifles, but not enough to make me not want to carry it. Has always shot well, with just about any load I’ve put through it
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Old April 22, 2018, 10:40 PM   #20
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Had a 1965/1966 heavy barrel in 243 win. Not a good year.

Around 1980's, a new M70 223 rem. Could not shoot MOA.

My current Savage Axis 223 shoots well, as it came from the factory. Cheap 3x9 scope and all.
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Old April 23, 2018, 10:09 AM   #21
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I have a late 80's push-feed youth M70 in .243.

It's basically a Featherweight with sights and a birch stock. It's always shot pretty well. With the right load it would shoot under an inch.

Smoothest action that I own.


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Old April 23, 2018, 10:34 AM   #22
Don Fischer
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Had three but never shot two of them. The one I shoot I have now. A feather weight I got new about 2006, 6.5x55. Really really a nice rifle and shoot's very well but not as good as my 700's or even my Mossberg Patriot's. Could be because I worry about messing it up if I try bedding it! Still plenty accurate for hunting and that's what I got it for! Stays just over an inch at 100yds.

Something about Winchester's I've noticed over the year's is that no one ever talk's about their mod 70 as super accurate. Never heard of one in the bench rest or long range shooting world's either. I don't understand why because everyone talks about their accurate rifle but seldom hear about really small groups from them. I bought my mod 70 6.5x55 because of two thing's. The cartridge and it is a beautiful rifle! Handle's very well to say the least!

If I was to want a new rifle and found another in a cartridge I might want would I buy it? Sure if I could afford it. But I don't understand the cult with the pre 64's. The did go form nice rifle's to pretty much junk for several years but I don't think even todays mod 70's are junk, good as any I would think!
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Old April 23, 2018, 11:01 AM   #23
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Quote:
Never heard of one in the bench rest or long range shooting world's either.
You're kidding, Rigth?

The Model 70 was the "go to rifle" for accross the course bolt guns in NRA High Power. The dominated the Long Range Matches, and were picked as supplemenat sniper rifles by both the Marines and Army.

The Army Marksmanship Unit armors did fantastic work with these rifles.

AMU built (post 64) Model 70 target rifle in 308. Comes with both Irons and scope blocks. Now my primary rifle for PRMs.



This was my 1000 Yard Rifle I used when I shot for the AK NG Rifle team. Again set up for Irons (Any Rifle -Iron Sight Matches) or Glass (Any Rifle-Any Sight) 300 WM



Famed Marine Sniper Carlos Hathcock used a Model 70 in '06 as his sniper rifle.

The problem with Winchesters is Winchester wouldnt cut the Army a deal in mass producing sniper rifles. Even when they had to produce the Garand, they wouldnt use their master armorers, they hired a new crew to manufactor Garands.

Peter R. Senich's books on American Sniping is full the the use Model 70s in sniper use.

Model 70s just dont fit the Space Gun Crowds we find in competition now days.
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Old April 23, 2018, 11:34 AM   #24
FiveInADime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraigwy View Post
You're kidding, Rigth?

The Model 70 was the "go to rifle" for accross the course bolt guns in NRA High Power. The dominated the Long Range Matches, and were picked as supplemenat sniper rifles by both the Marines and Army.

The Army Marksmanship Unit armors did fantastic work with these rifles.

AMU built (post 64) Model 70 target rifle in 308. Comes with both Irons and scope blocks. Now my primary rifle for PRMs.



This was my 1000 Yard Rifle I used when I shot for the AK NG Rifle team. Again set up for Irons (Any Rifle -Iron Sight Matches) or Glass (Any Rifle-Any Sight) 300 WM



Famed Marine Sniper Carlos Hathcock used a Model 70 in '06 as his sniper rifle.

The problem with Winchesters is Winchester wouldnt cut the Army a deal in mass producing sniper rifles. Even when they had to produce the Garand, they wouldnt use their master armorers, they hired a new crew to manufactor Garands.

Peter R. Senich's books on American Sniping is full the the use Model 70s in sniper use.

Model 70s just dont fit the Space Gun Crowds we find in competition now days.
Lol. But, but, but... The M700 is what the snipers shoot.

Somewhere, someone in my extended family, has my great-grandfather's (my namesake) matching Winchester small-bore and high-power rifles. He taught his 12 kids to shoot with the 52. Wish I would have had it when I was shooting smallbore.

And maybe I would have shot high-power if I would have had the M70.

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Old April 23, 2018, 12:06 PM   #25
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Something about Winchester's I've noticed over the year's is that no one ever talk's about their mod 70 as super accurate.
Well, to me talk is cheap and seeing is believing.

I do have a M70 (circa 1970) chambered in 30-06 and it will shoot 10 shots into a 9/16" C to C group with my handloads.

I have never had the opportunity to shoot longer distances at a range with it as it was a home range where the above occurred.

After I could shoot groups like that, my load development with it was complete. After all it is a hunting rifle, not a target rifle.
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