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Old September 23, 2020, 11:41 AM   #1
stagpanther
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a dream come true--new rifle

Well, I finally did it and got one for my very own; a model 70 (this one in 270 WSM), a rifle I have admired as one of the finest rifle designs of all time. In case you're wondering, the barrel is stamped made in Portugal by Browning Viana. I think the FN owned factory stamps them that way to facilitate their importation of both company's rifles. It does have a controlled-feed bolt BTW.

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Old September 23, 2020, 12:16 PM   #2
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Nice rifle!

What kind of scope are you planning to use?
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Old September 23, 2020, 12:19 PM   #3
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thanks--I already have the optics gear on hand--a vortex diamondback tactical FFP 4x16x44 sitting in a gamereaper one piece mount.
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Old September 23, 2020, 05:40 PM   #4
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Well--my love affair came to an abrupt halt when I stripped the gun to clean and adjust it.

First order of the day--after cleaning everything--was adjusting the triggerpull which comes from the factory at around 4 pounds pull. The manual says it's fully adjustable in both triggerpull and overtravel through the two screws on the front of the trigger housing (a change in design, for the worse, from the original model 70 simpler trigger design). Fine--only one problem--both screws are fixed in place by a blob of epoxy-like glue.Took me an hour to get that junk off, wondering why it was on there when the manual shows it open for adjustment. I quickly realized why--turning either or both screws does nothing at all to change the trigger functions. I've seen this same type of modular trigger design in other makes of rifles--can't be sure where but I think either a howa or browning, I think I'll have to disassemble the trigger to get at the hammer and trigger springs.

The biggest surprise--and disappointment--is the mating of the receiver to the stock. Near as I can tell--the "bedding", such as it is--is accomplished by the receiver resting on the magazine well wall--which in turn is what the single-piece bottom metal sits on. The bottom metal inlet is actually far deeper than the bottom metal would properly sit and space the bolts with--so what it looks like is that two "blobs" of plastic are injected into the stock to achieve proper alignment (and compensate for the crappy inletting)--one blob is on the rear bolt hole and the other on the front lug area. between the two blobs, this sets the proper alignment of the receiver to the stock, but all but guarantees to sabotage the accuracy of the rifle. To be honest--I'm shocked by this cheap and short-sighted treatment which will bite the ultimate purchaser IMO.

Feel free to chip in any time Scorch!!

Anyway, I got at least a week or two of planning and work to make this a viable stock.





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Old September 23, 2020, 06:00 PM   #5
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Seems to me that you should be able to return this rifle?
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Old September 23, 2020, 06:17 PM   #6
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The other model 70 I worked on also had a pretty badly executed stock, I don't know if they ever really came any better. As for the trigger, the manual says they are adjustable down to 3 lb pull, which I guess is within "slop" range of 4 lbs. The original trigger was far simpler, more robust and much more adjustable in range.

Between the stock and the trigger, it's like delivering a corvette powered by a Volkswagen engine.
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Old September 23, 2020, 06:32 PM   #7
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Wow, interesting description of the rifle. I have a 70 FW stainless bought new. The bedding was nicely done and the trigger was adjustable.

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Old September 23, 2020, 07:25 PM   #8
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thats the current state of Winchester. If you want a nice M70, need to buy used. The way this company has been run lately is a crime. Same with Remington.

2 iconic companies ruined by bean counters.

There are MUCH better options today for a new rifle to gamble on a Winchester or Remington.

I bought a new rifle this year. Didnt even look at or think about those 2.
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Old September 23, 2020, 08:35 PM   #9
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I'm pretty sure I can fix it into a good shooter--it's just a shame it wasn't built better--it wasn't cheap at around $900. My guess is that they downgraded the upper-end wood stocked model 70's to be more readily compatible into the production line with the synthetic stocked ones. Thank God they took the time to invent the 350 Legend. hahahah
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Old September 23, 2020, 08:58 PM   #10
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Wow, interesting description of the rifle. I have a 70 FW stainless bought new. The bedding was nicely done and the trigger was adjustable.
Maybe I just got lucky. LOL
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Old September 23, 2020, 09:29 PM   #11
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For $900 you shouldn't have to do anything beyond shoot it.

I would have returned it.

I spent 900 and got production rifle with Cerekote action and barrel. Full length aluminum mini chassis. No bedding issues. Even the front swivel studs are screwed into the chassis. A performance trigger that is easily adjusted, but came at just a titch under 3 lbs with zero creep. Breaks like glass. Threaded barrel. Hand painted stock that is awesome. Adjustable cheek. The action is smooth as butter in July. There is no work needed to make things right. It shoots an honest 1/2 MOA.

This is what Winchester should be held to. As consumers we should force the these companies to be better. Return defects. That gets their attention. Buy other brands. That gets their attention. Stop settling for subpar quality.

Too many options out there to fix a brand new rifle.
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Old September 23, 2020, 11:04 PM   #12
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When FN started production in 2008 they changed the trigger. That is the only major change. I have a 2008 production Extreme Weather in 308. Mine has been great for me. I did replace the stock with a McMillan but the factory stock shot as well. I just like the ergonomics and the 1/2 lb weight difference of the McMillan better.

Are you also a member over at "The High Road"? One of the moderators over there, Robert, has a Winchester 70 in 375 H&H that he posts about a lot. He has commented that the rifle needed some bedding work done when he bought it, but that it has been perfect for him since. It might be a good idea to PM him for details.
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Old September 23, 2020, 11:07 PM   #13
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Joed,

is your rifle made by FN, or is it one of the "Classics" that was made in New Haven. It looks like one of the New Haven rifles. Those were made from 1992-2006 and are a more accurate copy of the pre-64 rifles. Those are really great Winchesters if it is. Most of the FN made guns are fine, I just like the ones from that era better. Mostly due to the older trigger style.
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Old September 24, 2020, 01:00 AM   #14
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Feel free to chip in any time Scorch!!
GONG!!! You rang?

Yep, pretty standard new M70 stuff. A customer of mine bought 5 M70 Super Grades this year (22-250, 243, 270, 30-06, 338). Beautiful rifles, very nice (for factory) wood and metal workmanship, but the insides have the same thing you found. I reworked the triggers because he won't shoot a crappy trigger, but I left the bedding alone. They shot OK in spite of "the way things are supposed to be".

The triggers are adjustable between 4 lbs and 5 lbs. If you drop below that the trigger pull gets inconsistent. Nice part is that if you take them apart, you can replace the trigger return spring and adjust the take-up and overtravel to make them pretty nice. But they have to come apart. Or you can just buy a Timney if you don't have the patience for it.

The bedding you got actually looks better than the US FN-built rifles. They used a hot-melt goo to bed the rifles, and it almost always got ruined when you took the action out of the stock. I would remove all the factory bedding compound, and pillar bed it, giving the recoil lug clearance on the bottom, sides and front. Pillar bedding will also take care of the rear action screw mess.

Don't forget to seal up all that exposed wood with some sort of finish. I don't know what the weather in your area is like, but if it's exposed to hot/cold/high humidity, the wood will swell and ruin the finish it it isn't sealed. Just a quick wipe of TruOil or even Minwax will keep youf finish safe.
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Old September 24, 2020, 04:35 AM   #15
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Wow. Beautiful rifle on the outside, but that inside looks horrible, and I don't even know that much about rifles. At $900, Winchester & me, we'd be having a chat.
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Old September 24, 2020, 06:54 AM   #16
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GONG!!! You rang?

Yep, pretty standard new M70 stuff. A customer of mine bought 5 M70 Super Grades this year (22-250, 243, 270, 30-06, 338). Beautiful rifles, very nice (for factory) wood and metal workmanship, but the insides have the same thing you found. I reworked the triggers because he won't shoot a crappy trigger, but I left the bedding alone. They shot OK in spite of "the way things are supposed to be".

The triggers are adjustable between 4 lbs and 5 lbs. If you drop below that the trigger pull gets inconsistent. Nice part is that if you take them apart, you can replace the trigger return spring and adjust the take-up and overtravel to make them pretty nice. But they have to come apart. Or you can just buy a Timney if you don't have the patience for it.

The bedding you got actually looks better than the US FN-built rifles. They used a hot-melt goo to bed the rifles, and it almost always got ruined when you took the action out of the stock. I would remove all the factory bedding compound, and pillar bed it, giving the recoil lug clearance on the bottom, sides and front. Pillar bedding will also take care of the rear action screw mess.

Don't forget to seal up all that exposed wood with some sort of finish. I don't know what the weather in your area is like, but if it's exposed to hot/cold/high humidity, the wood will swell and ruin the finish it it isn't sealed. Just a quick wipe of TruOil or even Minwax will keep youf finish safe.
I thought you might help shed light on this. Winchester rates their rifles in grades, this is a grade 1--which I think, counterintuitively, means their lowest grade stock though the outside finish is very nice. You confirmed what I thought--I could keep returning the rifle until I was blue in the face and never get a better inside finish. As for the trigger, I think I worked on a browning or howa that was very similar, as I recall it was simply a matter of slipping the hammer and trigger out in the right progression to get at the Hammer and trigger springs and work them a bit.

I live on an island in the North Atlantic--so it does get humid on occasion. As soon as I'm done working on any wood stock I finish it inside and out with protective oils.

I've decided I'm going to do this in stages. The "spacer blobs" are critical for maintaining the proper alignment of the receiver in the stock, and they started crumbling the moment I first removed the receiver. So I'm going to first get a front and back pillar installed and leveled to the space of the blobs. When they are firmly set, then I will do the bedding on the inside. I don't think doing the pillars and bedding at the same time is a good idea in this particular case.

It's interesting to note that they did away with the 2-piece bottom metal and went with the one piece--gone is the middle receiver screw and in it's place is now a cross bolt in the stock. Not sure if that's just a feature on the short actions or if all their model 70's are made that way now.

Quote:
Mostly due to the older trigger style
100% agreement there--heck I would have preferred the old style trigger over the control feed bolt had I had a choice.
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Old September 24, 2020, 07:53 AM   #17
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You got a standard m70. That’s what they are. David Miller makes a nice laminate stock M70....for like $25k and 5 years. ....but you will have no complaints. Your pants will fit better too from the smaller wallet and lack of food in your diet!

First, the trigger. Yep, the new MOA. You may not like the design, but it is an improvement. The older trigger mated too far from the pin centers with inaccurate parts. You could fit/tune them to be ok, but never great. I’d bet a good smith could tune the MOA trigger for like $50. The epoxy is because if they get loose or set too light, the trigger goes haywire and pulls/safety are too variable. I actually emailed Winchester to tell them I thought their directions were unsafe on my XPR. Either disassemble and tune or fit a Timney. I did the timney on my older m70 trigger....wow!

I get that you don’t like that bedding, but in a world of no bedding, at least they did something! Try it. I’ll bet it shoots! Bedding doesn’t have to be perfect to work.

Don’t buy a borescope. That would drive you insane....get the trigger decent , loctite it and shoot it!

BTW, nice rifle.
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Old September 24, 2020, 08:11 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by jmr40 View Post
Joed,

is your rifle made by FN, or is it one of the "Classics" that was made in New Haven. It looks like one of the New Haven rifles. Those were made from 1992-2006 and are a more accurate copy of the pre-64 rifles. Those are really great Winchesters if it is. Most of the FN made guns are fine, I just like the ones from that era better. Mostly due to the older trigger style.
My rifle is made by FN. I think they had a bunch of stainless rifles at the shot show that year. The store had a few in .243, .257 Roberts and 7mm-08, I opted for the .243 Win. Have not had one problem with it yet.
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Old September 24, 2020, 08:46 AM   #19
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I've already done pillar and bedding job on a model 70, so I have a fair idea of what it takes. I'm pretty confident I can fix the rifle up so it will shoot well, but the "bed blobs" have to go--in the world of heavy recoil cartridges they are a temporary placeholder as things get progressively worse.

As for the trigger--it is what it is. Like I said, the adjustment screws really do almost nothing at all. I'm not the only one who feels this way, apparently https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5ta3bMTW2Q.
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Old September 24, 2020, 10:33 AM   #20
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Super! I’m sure pillars will help.

So,what will you do for a trigger??
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Old September 24, 2020, 11:13 AM   #21
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So,what will you do for a trigger??
I'll probably just tune the existing trigger. I'm not sure when and who's it was, but I'm pretty sure I've worked on the same kind of set-up before cause I recognize the "layout.", it's just a matter of sliding the hammer and trigger out of the modular housing in the right sequence to get at the springs. If I can get it down to around 2.75 lbs I'll be happy.
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Old September 24, 2020, 05:25 PM   #22
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I have another project that has popped up that will likely take me most of the next two weeks--so I forged ahead and have been working day and night on getting this gun up and running. I really like the robust 1-piece bottom metal--I think that will go a long way towards alleviating the wood compression under it over time. What I don't like is now the receiver bottom flat surface only contacts the stock in the immediate vicinity of the receiver screws and of course the lug. IMO this takes away some of the advantages of the flat-bottom receiver fully contacting the stock and one that I'm going to try to correct with bedding. Plenty or room for both pillars--the front pillar I found I had to cut so it clears the inlet by a few 16ths of inches because the hole in the bottom metal is countersunk.
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Old September 25, 2020, 06:34 AM   #23
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Here are a few detail pics. This is the bottom metal inlet with front and rear pillars installed. The front pillar is raised above the inlet and beveled in order to fit inside the countersunk hole in the bottom metal itself. The rear pillar I believe is crucial since there is very little area under the trigger area that contacts the stock.



Front pillar and lug area inside the stock. I drilled out some the lug stop and filled with devcon steel putty. The biggest change I see in this 1 piece scheme is that most of the contact area between the stock and receiver is now just the front lug area and the small area just behind the trigger. The inlet area behind the lug and front screw area drops off about 1/8" below the actual receiver bottom, so I filled it in as best I could though there is very little space between the stock wall and the magazine wall.



Here's the rear pillar area inside the stock most of the area in front of it does not contact the receiver--hence I built it up with steel putty and put in a steel pillar.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg bottom inlet.jpg (78.7 KB, 297 views)
File Type: jpg front pillar.jpg (113.9 KB, 301 views)
File Type: jpg rear pillar.jpg (80.0 KB, 297 views)
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Old September 25, 2020, 06:41 AM   #24
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Here she is in all her glory after assembly and protective oiling inside and out. Can't beat the look of a classic walnut-stocked rifle, huh? I will do the trigger later, for now I will level the scope and hopefully maybe get a chance to get some break-in shots in the next week or two if I can sneak away from another project.





One thing the factory did do well was free float the barrel within the stock, the centerline of the bore precisely matched with the top fore-end edge.
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File Type: jpg glam shot.jpg (117.2 KB, 300 views)
File Type: jpg bottom shot.jpg (73.3 KB, 298 views)
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Last edited by stagpanther; September 25, 2020 at 07:03 AM.
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Old September 25, 2020, 07:49 AM   #25
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If you’ve never had, shot, or reloaded for one before, I believe you’ll enjoy the .270 WSM cal. I helped a friend out, figuring a good handload for their M700 SPS in that cal. Just a factory rifle, with no mods other than a factory trigger adjusted to around 3 lbs. turning out consistant sub moa on each outing to the range. Stayed within the higher end of the Hodgdon data range using IMR 4350 and Hornady 150 grn. S.Ps.

Why on earth did they change that wonderful old M70 trigger? Beautifully simplistic system (IMO).

Beautiful rifle, BTW, hope it shines downrange for you.
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