Pre '64 receiver for custom build?

Naaman

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Been wanting to do a custom build since I got my hands on my first model 70 (and first bolt gun at all, for that matter).

For my second, the plan is to go piece by piece for a "slow build" as budget allows.

I'm considering using a complete action from pre64win.com and then having a barrel made (Bartlien is first on my list), and an ultralight stock (thinking McMillan, but open to suggestions).

The main purpose of the rifle will be for hunting (stalking) in mountainous/wooded terrain.

How will the pre64 compare to the newer FN receivers/actions? Is the pre64 "up to snuff" by modern reliability/tolerance standards? (I'm not really sure which questions to ask, tbh).
 

chevy_man

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    Defiance will sell you a controlled feed brand new custom action.

    Fits the large selection of stocks and chassis, triggers, and bottom metal available for the 700, while giving you the controlled feed and blade ejector. Gives you the flexibility to change as your desires change in the future.


    Unless you happen to have an old m70 laying around, I'd leave them to the collectors and get the newer tech and materials.

    However, if you just have to have one, I would do whatever really makes you happy.
     

    Criver600

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    Been wanting to do a custom build since I got my hands on my first model 70 (and first bolt gun at all, for that matter).

    For my second, the plan is to go piece by piece for a "slow build" as budget allows.

    I'm considering using a complete action from pre64win.com and then having a barrel made (Bartlien is first on my list), and an ultralight stock (thinking McMillan, but open to suggestions).

    The main purpose of the rifle will be for hunting (stalking) in mountainous/wooded terrain.

    How will the pre64 compare to the newer FN receivers/actions? Is the pre64 "up to snuff" by modern reliability/tolerance standards? (I'm not really sure which questions to ask, tbh).
    I have two they can be outstanding, carefully choose the right gunsmith.
     
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    wadebrown

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    Defiance will sell you a controlled feed brand new custom action.

    Fits the large selection of stocks and chassis, triggers, and bottom metal available for the 700, while giving you the controlled feed and blade ejector. Gives you the flexibility to change as your desires change in the future.


    Unless you happen to have an old m70 laying around, I'd leave them to the collectors and get the newer tech and materials.

    However, if you just have to have one, I would do whatever really makes you happy.
    In my mind one highly desired feature for a hunting rifle that the Defiance action lacks is a safety that locks the firing pin. The trigger you install on the Defiance will provide the safety by locking the trigger. We rely on safeties on our hunting guns so many hours that I like the positive safety that locking the firing up provides. The Win 70 has a 3-position safety, the middle position allows the bolt to be operated while still on safe. One other nice feature of the 3-position safety is the bolt will not open when the safety is engaged, another nice feature for huntig gun especailly when in thick brush. I am an engineer so somewhere from a little to very anal but I like the features that a 3-positon safety provides on a hunting firearm and have installed them on a couple of Mausers and a Rem 700 that I hunt with.

    Modern actions will probably tend to acheive a little better accuracy but the accuracy you needed for most hunting situations is much less than what most of try to achieve with target guns. Think about how large the vital region is on a Whitetail, larger than a dinner plate, groups the size of a dinner plate are less than 1 MOA out to over 800 yards, so I have always thought that 1 MOA from my large game rifles is adequate, they all do better but I do not require 1/2 MOA.

    Long story short: I would rather hunt with Win 70 of all vintage, I am not all that concerned about controlled round feed, than with the Defiance.

    Just my two cents,
    wade
     
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    JMGlasgow

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    A 3 position bolt shroud is an option with a Defiance.

    3-Position-Safety_BoltShroud.jpg
     

    Long Range 338

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    Pre 64's are great rifles and demand a premium by those who appreciate them. As far as being as reliability/tolerances that is really going to depend on your smith. Absolutely my favorite for a hunting rifle, you won't be disappointed. As previously mentioned LRI does a lot of Winchester work and one of their K&P barrels would be a fine choice as well.
     

    chevy_man

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    In my mind one highly desired feature for a hunting rifle that the Defiance action lacks is a safety that locks the firing pin. The trigger you install on the Defiance will provide the safety by locking the trigger. We rely on safeties on our hunting guns so many hours that I like the positive safety that locking the firing up provides. The Win 70 has a 3-position safety, the middle position allows the bolt to be operated while still on safe. One other nice feature of the 3-position safety is the bolt will not open when the safety is engaged, another nice feature for huntig gun especailly when in thick brush. I am an engineer so somewhere from a little to very anal but I like the features that a 3-positon safety provides on a hunting firearm and have installed them on a couple of Mausers and a Rem 700 that I hunt with.

    Modern actions will probably tend to acheive a little better accuracy but the accuracy you needed for most hunting situations is much less than what most of try to achieve with target guns. Think about how large the vital region is on a Whitetail, larger than a dinner plate, groups the size of a dinner plate are less than 1 MOA out to over 800 yards, so I have always thought that 1 MOA from my large game rifles is adequate, they all do better but I do not require 1/2 MOA.

    Long story short: I would rather hunt with Win 70 of all vintage, I am not all that concerned about controlled round feed, than with the Defiance.

    Just my two cents,
    wade


    That's also an option.


    I don't understand when people want to pay stupid prices for a 60+ year old action when they can buy a brand new one with exactly the features they want.

    I've seen people pay over $3k for a pre 64, just to spend another $1k getting it rebarelled. Seems silly when you can build something new from the ground up for $3k and have a new custom.
     
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    Mauser06

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    You mentioned ultralight stock.


    If you want to build a light hunting rifle, start with a light weight action.


    Don't know how light you want. Or what you're trying to achieve.


    Also, do some research on McMillan weights...if truly shooting for something particular. I know for a while (maybe still) even edge fill stocks were getting heavier...
     

    powdahound76

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    Or look at the TL3 for a CRF action. Lots of guys loving those too.

    I understand. There is something awesome about the old model 70's. It doesnt have to make sense to anyone but you. I would say do it!!!
    I would use LRI, as noted, they have a way. They have a video somewhere of how Mr Dixon is using his 5 axis machine to true them up. Its pretty darn cool stuff.
    See his vids about stock work too. No need for a pretty stock. Just a basic flat top and let them do the magic!
     

    Naaman

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    Thanks for all the feedback, guys!

    The main reason I'm looking at a pre64 is because I can't get a new FN-built action (or a TSR) to build off of. I also try to maintain the same manual of arms across weapon types for the things I buy (just a "standard" I have when deciding how to kit myself out).

    Accuracy is great, but I'm not that good yet (and my not ever get sub-moa good). I currently am shooting about 1.5 moa with Black Hills SMKs 168gr... with very little trigger time on my M70.

    I was looking at Defiance earlier today, per the advice above. I'm definitely open to a ground up build. I figured it would run me around 4K after barrel and stock are had.

    @Mauser06 I'm not married to the idea of a McMillan stock. Just not fully informed yet on all that's out there. So the heads up is appreciated. I don't need an "ultra light" rifle, but I'd like to keep it under 7.5 lbs if possible (before scope/accessories). The main thing I want with my stock is for it to have a cheek riser and side mounted sling attachments (I don't like carrying the rifle over the shoulder, I prefer to carry it cross-body).
     
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    Dixie Rifleman

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    A pre '64 Win Model 70 is a classic but it wouldn't be my first choice for a light weight build. I have 6 of them, some factory configuration and some are full custom and they are not featherweights. But then my opinion is a Model 70 screams for a wooden stock. You know the old saying about what opinions are worth.

    Anyway there's just something about the smoothness of a well worn Model 70 action. It's my first choice for a hunting action but then I'm a bit older and somewhat nostalgic. That said, blued steel and walnut are not the best choice in a we environment so sometimes I reach for a Rem 700 in a synthetic stock if the weather dictates. And my 700 in a Bansner stock with a light profile barrel makes a better mountain rifle when I'm the one doing the carrying. But in the drier climate of the western US and especially when I'm mounted on horseback it'll always be a Model 70.
     
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    Mauser06

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    So, knowing more, you can probably hit your target weight without going too crazy.


    Research into a build is always best. Do the homework. Figure out exactly what YOU want and checks all the blocks for YOU. No sense in spending the money and still not having exactly what fits the bill FOR YOU.


    I hunt NE timber and hills mostly. Anything over about 6 pounds with glass is getting heavy lol. But, I'm still hunting and tracking white tails and 75-100yds is a poke.
     

    Naaman

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    A pre '64 Win Model 70 is a classic but it wouldn't be my first choice for a light weight build. I have 6 of them, some factory configuration and some are full custom and they are not featherweights. But then my opinion is a Model 70 screams for a wooden stock. You know the old saying about what opinions are worth.

    Anyway there's just something about the smoothness of a well worn Model 70 action. It's my first choice for a hunting action but then I'm a bit older and somewhat nostalgic. That said, blued steel and walnut are not the best choice in a we environment so sometimes I reach for a Rem 700 in a synthetic stock if the weather dictates. And my 700 in a Bansner stock with a light profile barrel makes a better mountain rifle when I'm the one doing the carrying. But in the drier climate of the western US and especially when I'm mounted on horseback it'll always be a Model 70.

    I have some bad experience with Remington... they won't be getting anymore of my money (not that they could now, anyway). But I hear ya. My current rifle is a featherweight, and it seems to be light enough for now (based on my single hunting experience).

    So, knowing more, you can probably hit your target weight without going too crazy.


    Research into a build is always best. Do the homework. Figure out exactly what YOU want and checks all the blocks for YOU. No sense in spending the money and still not having exactly what fits the bill FOR YOU.


    I hunt NE timber and hills mostly. Anything over about 6 pounds with glass is getting heavy lol. But, I'm still hunting and tracking white tails and 75-100yds is a poke.

    Had my first hunt last fall/winter in Arizona (Tuscon area). Rugged terrain, but manageable. I think the rifle was not too heavy. But I didn't have to hike super far (and that may be why I was unsuccessful).
     

    Ledzep

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    Pre-64 model 70s are bad ass. It's extra "unnecessary" work to get one built. Cone breach, breach extractor cut, uncommon stock inlet, etc... But a good tuned up m70 done right is worth owning. No qualms about strength or reliability.
     
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    wadebrown

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    That's also an option.


    I don't understand when people want to pay stupid prices for a 60+ year old action when they can buy a brand new one with exactly the features they want.

    I've seen people pay over $3k for a pre 64, just to spend another $1k getting it rebarelled. Seems silly when you can build something new from the ground up for $3k and have a new custom.
    I have bought pre-64's recently for about $700 in good condition. I did not know three-position safeties were available. I did not say anything disparaging about Defiance actions in fact I bought a few of them early and I really like them on my comp guns. It is easy to say anything other than buying say a T/C Compass for less than $300 is silly as they provide more than adequate precision for hunting.

    I did imply and state that what I stated was my preference and had no desire to start a s**t show.

    wade
     

    264win

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    I have 2 pre 64s and love them.
    Yes modern actions have some advantages, but there is a reason that some people like classic cars too..

    A few things to consider if doing a custom build on a pre 64,

    It’s a large action, so it doesn’t fit as well in some of the smaller ultralight type stocks

    it’s also a fairly heavy action, not a bad thing but something to keep in mind

    The options for bottom metal are somewhat limited if you don’t want to use the factory set up.
     

    chevy_man

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    I have bought pre-64's recently for about $700 in good condition. I did not know three-position safeties were available. I did not say anything disparaging about Defiance actions in fact I bought a few of them early and I really like them on my comp guns. It is easy to say anything other than buying say a T/C Compass for less than $300 is silly as they provide more than adequate precision for hunting.

    I did imply and state that what I stated was my preference and had no desire to start a s**t show.

    wade

    Don't get your panties in a bunch, I'm just tossing out ideas and counterpoints. At the end of the day, aren't we all just going to do what makes us happy?

    Pre64's may have dropped in value. They have been at silly prices around here for years. If you're finding them that cheap they do make sense again.
     

    Clark

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    M70s have an extractor relief cut that Rem700s do not need.

    I have to drill a Rem700 action to pin the recoil lug.

    The Rem700s cost about 1/2 as much as a pre 64 M70, but I spend money on the Rem 700 bolt, extractor, bolt knob, and trigger. So Rem700 and pre 64 M70s wind up being about the same cost.
     

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    Mjnelson

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    I recently built a rifle on a pre-64 70, I scored the old beat up rife from a local pawn shop for $500. ER Shaw barrel for $350, and a Richards stock for $300. Rust blued all the steel and oil finished the stock. Did all the work myself. Great action to work with, smooth and reliable. My personal opinion is it’s probably not going to be as accurate as a modern defiance like what was previously said. However they are a fine actions. That make fantastic hunting rigs. Someone said they need to be in wood and I 100% agree.
     

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    wadebrown

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    I recently built a rifle on a pre-64 70, I scored the old beat up rife from a local pawn shop for $500. ER Shaw barrel for $350, and a Richards stock for $300. Rust blued all the steel and oil finished the stock. Did all the work myself. Great action to work with, smooth and reliable. My personal opinion is it’s probably not going to be as accurate as a modern defiance like what was previously said. However they are a fine actions. That make fantastic hunting rigs. Someone said they need to be in wood and I 100% agree.
    Nice find and work after the find.
     
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    GMZ

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    I’m a big fan of the M70 and have one with Keith at PCR right now getting rebarreled from 6.5 to 7 saum.

    McM Game Scout, Brux #5, and Vortex EH is right around 10 lbs.

    Just be ready for very little aftermarket support and I think only one chassis. I made mine as more of a hunter so I was fine with the box mag as it lets me load fairly long @3.050.

    LRI, PCR, SAC all do killer work on M70s
     
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    Naaman

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    I’m a big fan of the M70 and have one with Keith at PCR right now getting rebarreled from 6.5 to 7 saum.

    McM Game Scout, Brux #5, and Vortex EH is right around 10 lbs.

    Just be ready for very little aftermarket support and I think only one chassis. I made mine as more of a hunter so I was fine with the box mag as it lets me load fairly long @3.050.

    LRI, PCR, SAC all do killer work on M70s
    Once I get everything together, I will be taking it to Keith, as well.
     

    FisherT&C

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    Hi my name is Chase Fisher and I have been a gunsmith for 10 years and specialize in bolt action barrel work. Please take a look at my website www.fishertandc.com and ask any questions you may have. I would appreciate your consideration for your upcoming project.
    Thanks, Chase
    Email: fishertnc@gmail.com
    Instagram: @fishertnc07
    Call or Text: 406-539-4684
     

    hgr2

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    I am finally about complete with a pre-64 build. It has the short stroke kit for the new 260 chambering. It's bedded in a Winchester marksman stock and has a 26" Hart 8 twist barrel contoured the same as the original target barrels were, just 2 inches longer. Starting to see some pretty nice accuracy too. My buddy down in South Texas trued the action and chambered the barrel along with a great trigger job using all the original parts. I plan to go to a 600 yard F- Class match this Sunday and see how it does.
     

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    Naaman

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    I am finally about complete with a pre-64 build. It has the short stroke kit for the new 260 chambering. It's bedded in a Winchester marksman stock and has a 26" Hart 8 twist barrel contoured the same as the original target barrels were, just 2 inches longer. Starting to see some pretty nice accuracy too. My buddy down in South Texas trued the action and chambered the barrel along with a great trigger job using all the original parts. I plan to go to a 600 yard F- Class match this Sunday and see how it does.
    Looks sweet.

    Looking forward to a range report!
     

    Wiillk

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    For that matter, if one wants a light weight rifle with controlled round feed, the Kimber rifles offer it all at the price not much higher than a custom action. However, one is stuck with their stocks. While I am not a fan of lightweight rifles, the Kimber’s are quality rifles.

    I suppose its what one wants and what one is willing to pay. For me, if it works, its what I need, regardless if it is expensive, inexpensive or kinda in the middle . (but not so expensive that it puts me past the D-1 territory.)