Winchester 70 Heavy Barrel

kuparj

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After reading the write up on the SSA raffle rifle I wanted to retrieve from storage a rifle my father gave me many years ago. The serial number on Hathcock's rifle (46628) seemed familiar. I finally got the Winchester M-70 out of storage this weekend. This rifle is serial number 46632. When I was a youngster my dad shot with the Air Force Pistol team at the Pentagon (1959 - 1960). I believe he traded a 1911A1 Hard Ball .45 to a marine sergeant friend at Quantico for this rifle. This is all family legend of course, no paperwork or documents to back this up. But it is interesting that it has a sporter stock that has been modified for a heavy barrel. The barrel is a Winchester. No "U.S Property" Marking on the left side of the receiver. It has 1.25 inch swivels with a 1907 sling. Original safety has been replaced with a later one. Scope is a 8X USMC Unertl 2639. Could this have been a team rifle at one time?

As far as I am concerned, without documentation, it is a nice Heavy Barrel WIN70 with a serial number very close to a famous rifle. Got a chance to clean it. Back to the safe it goes.

Enjoy the pictures.
 

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cplnorton

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Have you tore it apart to see the barrel date and maker? If WRA it's a late one as the front block isn't a dovetail. To me the barrel almost looks fatter than the normal profiles I see, but that might be the pics.

Honestly it's basically impossible to prove a Marine Model 70. There is Chandler's list, but sometimes I think that asks more questions than it answers.

There is one thing that sort sticks out to me as odd. The Marine Unertl scope, the team rifles never used them. They used lyman Super Targetspots. The team rifles had those and not the Unertls. Now it could have been swapped or added at anytime. But the only time that the Unertl scope was ever used on the Model 70 was as a sniper rifle in the 60's, and an extremely limited number.

The Marines also had way more than the 373 Model 70's that the books say they did. I found another order in 1942 after the first 373 and I think from this second order is where the actual snipers probably came from, but that is only my opinion.

But I have counts in the 50's with the Marine Corps saying they had something like 2600 Model 70's. As a Marine you could buy one. I have the docs where they detail that any Marine who wanted a Model 70 could buy them thru the Marines Corps and get them at the price the govt had paid. Also the Marines would give out Model 70's in competitions as prizes.

Now were these Marine Model 70's, the pre war style, the post war style, target rifles, sporters, or whatever. There is not enough evidence to know.

I do have a Model 70 from a famous Marine Colonel and I am curious what the inside of that barrel channel looks like. Where they modified it to fit the larger profile barrel. I would love to see if it is like the one I have where the Marines modified it.
 

sandwarrior

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I'm not a collector or 'expert', but that safety you mention looks like a 'butterfly' safety. That's not a later safety, it's an earlier one. Can you get closer pics?
 

RTH1800

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    It’s a Tilden safety. Very common and popular aftermarket unit. They also made a good scope mount for the model 70. Denver Colorado.
     

    sandwarrior

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    It’s a Tilden safety. Very common and popular aftermarket unit. They also made a good scope mount for the model 70. Denver Colorado.
    Yeah, I went and looked at some of them on Gunbroker and it does not look like the early safeties. They had a 'thumb flat' horizontal above the lever. The 'thumb flat' on this one hangs off the lever vertically like modern safeties. So, aftermarket does make sense.
     

    Forgetful Coyote

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    After reading the write up on the SSA raffle rifle I wanted to retrieve from storage a rifle my father gave me many years ago. The serial number on Hathcock's rifle (46628) seemed familiar. I finally got the Winchester M-70 out of storage this weekend. This rifle is serial number 46632. When I was a youngster my dad shot with the Air Force Pistol team at the Pentagon (1959 - 1960). I believe he traded a 1911A1 Hard Ball .45 to a marine sergeant friend at Quantico for this rifle. This is all family legend of course, no paperwork or documents to back this up. But it is interesting that it has a sporter stock that has been modified for a heavy barrel. The barrel is a Winchester. No "U.S Property" Marking on the left side of the receiver. It has 1.25 inch swivels with a 1907 sling. Original safety has been replaced with a later one. Scope is a 8X USMC Unertl 2639. Could this have been a team rifle at one time?

    As far as I am concerned, without documentation, it is a nice Heavy Barrel WIN70 with a serial number very close to a famous rifle. Got a chance to clean it. Back to the safe it goes.

    Enjoy the pictures.
    Do you know the outer diameter at the muzzle? Its like .780 or .790 right? Just wondering..
     

    Frank Green

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    The rifle looks correct to be a Win. Mod. 70 used by the USMC. The rifle looks identical to Carlos rifle (which has the original safety) which I have handled several times and have pictures of it. Attached is one of them.

    His gun doesn't have the front sight block on the barrel. I cannot remember though if the front of the barrel is drilled and tapped for the screws for the block or not off the tip of my head.

    The barrel on Carlos gun has a .770" muzzle diameter. It's basically a standard Win. Target barrel contour. Now with me saying that and you say your barrel is .785" that is totally possible as I've seen other barrels measure .780". Remember back in the day the barrels where done on a tracer lathe. Not cnc machines. So the dimensions did vary more than what most people think.

    I'll be able to look at Carlos gun at the end of August teaching a class at Quantico and the next day at Lejeune as I will be down there and can take more pic's of it and look at more detail if you need it.

    Later, Frank
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    Charger442

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    The rifle looks correct to be a Win. Mod. 70 used by the USMC. The rifle looks identical to Carlos rifle (which has the original safety) which I have handled several times and have pictures of it. Attached is one of them.

    His gun doesn't have the front sight block on the barrel. I cannot remember though if the front of the barrel is drilled and tapped for the screws for the block or not off the tip of my head.

    The barrel on Carlos gun has a .770" muzzle diameter. It's basically a standard Win. Target barrel contour. Now with me saying that and you say your barrel is .785" that is totally possible as I've seen other barrels measure .780". Remember back in the day the barrels where done on a tracer lathe. Not cnc machines. So the dimensions did vary more than what most people think.

    I'll be able to look at Carlos gun at the end of August teaching a class at Quantico and the next day at Lejeune as I will be down there and can take more pic's of it and look at more detail if you need it.

    Later, Frank
    Bartlein Barrels

    im squinting and maybe its wishful thinking, but it looks like two fill screws at the end of Hathcocks barrel there for the front sight block.
     

    Frank Green

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    im squinting and maybe its wishful thinking, but it looks like two fill screws at the end of Hathcocks barrel there for the front sight block.
    I think it is but not 100%. When I'm down there at the end of August...I'm going to take a bunch of close up pic's of the whole rifle. I've got a couple on my phone but not everything of what I would like to have for detail.

    Not a detailed pic....but here is my kid sitting in the living room dry firing it. You couldn't wipe the smile off his face. He's looking forward to being able to shoot it. Myself as well!
     

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    babyguppy

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    Came across this article.
    Figured someone might be up for a good read about the model 70 :)
     

    sandwarrior

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    Came across this article.
    Figured someone might be up for a good read about the model 70 :)
    Not exactly a good or flatering read about the M70, or snipers for that matter.
    Canfield maybe has a dim view of snipers, seeing the low stats of numbers killed. But what he doesn’t see is the value of the targets. Or, the psychological value of sniper kills. Combine that with the fact, that no other sniper rifle of the time could accomplish what the M70 did at the ranges it did.
    Re-read the article and focus how ‘anti-sniper’ Canfield is. His article is based on total kills. Not the value of each one.
    Not worth a read for those in the know.
    p.s. He also recommended not shooting a 6mm Lee Navy because his friend had one blow up and kill him. Never put forward the truth that his friend used unsuitable 30-40 brass that caused the accident. Using the right brass would have saved his friends life.
     

    babyguppy

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    Not exactly a good or flatering read about the M70, or snipers for that matter.
    Canfield maybe has a dim view of snipers, seeing the low stats of numbers killed. But what he doesn’t see is the value of the targets. Or, the psychological value of sniper kills. Combine that with the fact, that no other sniper rifle of the time could accomplish what the M70 did at the ranges it did.
    Re-read the article and focus how ‘anti-sniper’ Canfield is. His article is based on total kills. Not the value of each one.
    Not worth a read for those in the know.
    p.s. He also recommended not shooting a 6mm Lee Navy because his friend had one blow up and kill him. Never put forward the truth that his friend used unsuitable 30-40 brass that caused the accident. Using the right brass would have saved his friends life.
    I love my model 70 pre-69's
    from article
    "Despite this rebuff, the Marine Corps report went on to state that “[the] Model 70 Winchester is the most accurate American made, Caliber .30 on the market.”
     
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    sandwarrior

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    I love my model 70 pre-69's
    from article
    "Despite this rebuff, the Marine Corps report went on to state that “[the] Model 70 Winchester is the most accurate American made, Caliber .30 on the market.”
    Yeah, the Marine Corps said that, Canfield said it didn't much matter. That's where I'm coming from. It mattered!
     

    308pirate

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    Yeah, the Marine Corps said that, Canfield said it didn't much matter. That's where I'm coming from. It mattered!

    Author's Bio​

    Bruce N. Canfield

    Internationally recognized Historian of post-Civil War U.S. military weapons
    Long-time collector of U.S. military weapons
    Author of thirteen books on U.S. military weaponry:
    1. A Collector's Guide to the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine (out of print)
    2. A Collector's Guide to the '03 Springfield (out of print)
    3. A Collector's Guide to U.S. Combat Shotguns (out of print)
    4. A Collector's Guide to Winchester in the Service (out of print)
    5. U.S. Military Bolt-Action Rifles (currently out of print)
    6. An Illustrated Guide to the '03 Springfield Service Rifle
    7. Complete Guide to the M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine
    8. U.S. Infantry Weapons of the First World War
    9. U.S. Infantry Weapons of World War II
    10. Johnson Rifles and Machine Guns
    11. Complete Guide to United States Military Combat Shotguns
    12. The M1 Garand Rifle
    13. U.S. Small Arms of World War II

    Field Editor for American Rifleman and Contributor Editor for Man at Arms, two of the most respected arms magazines in the world.
    Member of Man at Arms "Panel of Experts" and contributor to American Rifleman's "Dope Bag"/Q&A column.
    Approximately 200 articles published in several national and international publications including American Rifleman, Man at Arms, The Gun Report, Military Surplus, The Garand Collector’s Association Journal and the German Waffen Digest and Deutsches Waffen Journal.
    Contributor to numerous books by other authors.
    Designated "weapons expert" on the former History Channel program "Cajun Pawn Stars".
    Numerous appearances on the NRA’s American Rifleman Television.
    Consultant and on-air presentations for the Arts & Entertainment (A&E) Network's highly acclaimed program; Story of the Gun, the History Channel's Tales of the Gun, TNN's Great Guns and The American Shooter.
    Lectures on U.S. Military Weapons and History at numerous venues across the country including NRA Conventions, Springfield Armory National Historic Site, Fort Constitution Arms Collectors Association, Cabela’s and other arms collecting organizations.
    Former member of the Garand Collectors Association Board of Directors.

    Nowhere on that bio do I see things like "infantryman", "sniper", "infantry officer", or "combat veteran"

    So I agree who the fuck cares about his opinion of what an effective sniper or sniper rifle is.
     

    sandwarrior

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    Nowhere on that bio do I see things like "infantryman", "sniper", "infantry officer", or "combat veteran"

    So I agree who the fuck cares about his opinion of what an effective sniper or sniper rifle is.
    Unfortunately, Canfield may know the weapons he collects inside and out, but he doesn't understand the tactics the way the users of this weapon do. Him throwing shade on it's value and the value of the specially trained people who use this weapon made me not give a shit about him anymore either.

    That said we have some very strong collectors on this site, forum even, who I am a lot more willing to believe in. As they have a real connection to sniping and sniper rifles and the value thereof.
     

    pmclaine

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    I love my model 70 pre-69's
    from article
    "Despite this rebuff, the Marine Corps report went on to state that “[the] Model 70 Winchester is the most accurate American made, Caliber .30 on the market.”
    The Winchester was supposed to just be the control rifle from which to judge the massaged and worked over Springfield.

    Despite all the government work and expense the suggestion was “buy the Winchester”.
     

    Kilosierra

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    The Winchester was supposed to just be the control rifle from which to judge the massaged and worked over Springfield.

    Despite all the government work and expense the suggestion was “buy the Winchester”.
    A very accurate and cogent statement on the gist of the article. Pretty much all Canfield said was:
    1. In World War 2, Army Ordnance and the USMC Quartermaster thought specially selected and tuned Springfields would be more rugged and could shoot about as good as a rack grade M70 target gun while not needing any special parts and tools added to the existing supply chain.
    2. Army Ordnance thought M1 sniper variants were more practical for regular battlefield sniping as was typically done in Korea in spite of M70’s being more accurate overall and would not require adding specialized parts and tools to the supply chain.

    About the only things he missed is the Remington M40’s were probably cheaper then new Winchester’s while delivering the same level of practical performance and being easier to work on and that the existing stock of M70’s at the time were bought in different batches over the years and not all parts were interchangeable between batches.
     
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    pmclaine

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    A very accurate and cogent statement on the gist of the article. Pretty much all Canfield said was:
    1. In World War 2, Army Ordnance and the USMC Quartermaster thought specially selected and tuned Springfields would be more rugged and could shoot about as good as a rack grade M70 target gun while not needing any special parts and tools added to the existing supply chain.
    2. Army Ordnance thought M1 sniper variants were more practical for regular battlefield sniping as was typically done in Korea in spite of M70’s being more accurate overall and would not require adding specialized parts and tools to the supply chain.

    About the only things he missed is the Remington M40’s were probably cheaper then new Winchester’s while delivering the same level of practical performance and being easier to work on and that the existing stock of M70’s at the time were bought in different batches over the years and not all parts were interchangeable between batches.
    Winchester was not an easy company to work with in WWII making Garands.

    Springfield improved the Garand as the war progressed. Winchester would have asked for a change in contract with appropriate increases in cash.

    Though most of the Garand changes were either product improvements or efficiencies on production Winchester produced 1941 design Garands for the duration and it was accepted the Win Garands were not as good as the Springfield product.

    I have seen it on heel stamps but also Gus Fisher mentioned the shooting teams generally only used Springfield as they were considered more consistent tolerance wise.

    The 03 is a fantastic rifle.

    I consider the Model 70 the 03 designed for retail sale and to produce profit.

    The govt, than as now, didn’t work with profit in mind.

    Model 70, like the Springfield, is a Mauser but in the case of Winchester much more simplified.
     

    sandwarrior

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    Winchester was not an easy company to work with in WWII making Garands.

    Springfield improved the Garand as the war progressed. Winchester would have asked for a change in contract with appropriate increases in cash.

    Though most of the Garand changes were either product improvements or efficiencies on production Winchester produced 1941 design Garands for the duration and it was accepted the Win Garands were not as good as the Springfield product.

    I have seen it on heel stamps but also Gus Fisher mentioned the shooting teams generally only used Springfield as they were considered more consistent tolerance wise.

    The 03 is a fantastic rifle.

    I consider the Model 70 the 03 designed for retail sale and to produce profit.

    The govt, than as now, didn’t work with profit in mind.

    Model 70, like the Springfield, is a Mauser but in the case of Winchester much more simplified.
    The Wnchester model 70 was based off the U.S. Model of 1917 .30 Cal., Not the 1903. The Winchester M1's are considered top of the line for a reason. It was the 1917's that didn't fit specs when they first started building them, also the M1 Carbines. None of the rifles were bad they just didn't fit the tolerances that were laid out to them in their contract.
     
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    pmclaine

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    The Wnchester model 70 was based off the U.S. Model of 1917 .30 Cal., Not the 1903. The Winchester M1's are considered top of the line for a reason. It was the 1917's that didn't fit specs when they first started building them, also the M1 Carbines. None of the rifles were bad they just didn't fit the tolerances that were laid out to them in their contract.

    I'm thinking you are thinking Remington's Model 30 and the M17 while the Model 70 is a Springfield 03 without all the crap and the Armory had to pay Germany $1 per rifle up until our entry into WWI for stealing the Mauser design.

    The Mauser claw extraction and the safety in the cocking piece are Mauser. The blade ejector I see Springfield. Flat bottom receiver is Springfield.

    I stand by Winchester Garands being less than Springfield. Pugsly was loathe to change tooling when it wore out and often a Win heel stamp is barely legible. They relied on the same design and tooling as the first model Garand after the gas trap while Springfield improved. the govt did not want to renegotiate the rifle contract for tooling changes. Look at the op rod track cut on a Win from late war and compare it with a early war and late war Springfield.

    Gus Fisher built Garands for USMC rifle teams and has noted they tended to stick with Springfield as being more uniform. He is the Garand Collectors Association resident rifle guru now.

    Both made good Rifles the differences are hair splitting but one was concerned about profit while the other just had to tax more. HR made boringly identical Rifles and IH had initial problems......too bad TRW didn't make them all.
     
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    HogsLife

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    After reading the write up on the SSA raffle rifle I wanted to retrieve from storage a rifle my father gave me many years ago. The serial number on Hathcock's rifle (46628) seemed familiar. I finally got the Winchester M-70 out of storage this weekend. This rifle is serial number 46632. When I was a youngster my dad shot with the Air Force Pistol team at the Pentagon (1959 - 1960). I believe he traded a 1911A1 Hard Ball .45 to a marine sergeant friend at Quantico for this rifle. This is all family legend of course, no paperwork or documents to back this up. But it is interesting that it has a sporter stock that has been modified for a heavy barrel. The barrel is a Winchester. No "U.S Property" Marking on the left side of the receiver. It has 1.25 inch swivels with a 1907 sling. Original safety has been replaced with a later one. Scope is a 8X USMC Unertl 2639. Could this have been a team rifle at one time?

    As far as I am concerned, without documentation, it is a nice Heavy Barrel WIN70 with a serial number very close to a famous rifle. Got a chance to clean it. Back to the safe it goes.

    Enjoy the pictures.

    Beautiful rifle. Love my M70z

    If youre ever interested in putting the proper safety / bolt shroud back on there, that’s it below.


     

    kuparj

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    Beautiful rifle. Love my M70z

    If youre ever interested in putting the proper safety / bolt shroud back on there, that’s it below.


    Thank you for the heads up on the safety. I purchased it and will put it in the rifle case. At this point I am going to leave the rifle as I got it from my father. I'll leave it up to my daughters if they want to change it out.

    Again, thank you!
     

    HogsLife

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    Thank you for the heads up on the safety. I purchased it and will put it in the rifle case. At this point I am going to leave the rifle as I got it from my father. I'll leave it up to my daughters if they want to change it out.

    Again, thank you!

    That’s a good call man. I would do the same if it was a family heirloom.
     
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