Question, Sears model 53/Winchester Model 70

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Copper BB
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:59 pm
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:09 pm
Hello,

I recently acquired a Sears Model 53 30-06 rifle. I did some research and found out it was made by Winchester and basically a Winchester Model 70.

Everything I have learned so far is that it is quite a good gun, however, I'm not a fan of wood stocks and this gun in particular is very heavy. I would like to replace the wood stock with a synthetic one. Does anyone know if a standard Model 70 stock would fit? Or maybe other suggestions? My father in law has a Winchester Model 70 30-06 featherweight and I can not believe the difference in weight.



Thank you.

.410
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:49 am
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:14 pm
The Sears Model 53 was manufactured by Winchester under a contract with Sears. It was manufactured and available from Sears until they stopped selling firearms. It basically is a no frills Model 70 and is quite good. My favorite Model 70s are the Featherweight and the Super Grade. The Featherweight is lighter than your rifle. The Super Grade is heavier. You could take off the wooden stock and lighten the rifle with a synthetic but it would not improve the rifle. You could take off the stock and replace it with a long action Boyd laminated stock and it would not lose an ounce but would work very well. The Boyd Laminate Pararie Hunter is one if the toughest and most attractive Model 70 replacement stocks I have ever seen. If I were to upgrade a Sears Model 53 in 30-06 that would be an impressive change. However the resale value of the rifle to a place like Kittery Trading Post would not match a labeled Win Model 70. To a private buyer or for you to use? A huge upgrade! The finished stock Boyd, requiring virtually no mods would be about $180. Best choices in Boyd would be Black Laminate that they call Pepper or brown that they call Nutmeg. You could also get it relatively cheaply changed to your exact stock length which I always prefer. The action is probably technically a 1968 style feed which is very OK.

.410
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:49 am
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:27 pm
I should also mention if you get a replacement synthetic stock just make sure you get a long action stock for Model 70. I have seen no difference in any measurement on Model 70 versus Model 53. Just do not get a very high end synthetic stock because that “upgrade” is not going to substantially jump it’s value or utility. It will take some weight off the rifle but you will not see more than a six ounce difference. We have replaced some. Then if you glass bed your synthetic stock the weight will increase. I’d replace the stock, dry fit it and bring the screws etc. to proper tension, inspect thoughly, then fire it and see if it is accurate enough.

Copper BB
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:59 pm
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:06 pm
Thank you for your reply.

I have no interest is selling this so value to me is not the issue. I just do not like wood stocks for use. If it was a wall hanger maybe. They look nice until they get scratched and dinged. That is why i am searching for a synthetic stock. If I lose some weight, all the better.

How do I tell a pre 64 vs a post 64 and does that make a difference in stocks?

something like this would be fine for my purposes if it indeed would fit.

. https://www.ebay.com/itm/WINCHESTER-MOD ... SwQlJZy65Q

.410
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:49 am
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:52 pm
The pre-1964 is controlled round feed. It grabs the cartridge around the entire base. The Post 1964 is push feed. It just pushes the cartridge into the chamber. Around 1965 to mid eighties many Model 70s were push round feed. Afterwards, Winchester went back to the controlled round feed. The new ones are probably the best ever. I never saw a single bad Model 70 myself and I have owned a lot more than a dozen and handled over several thousand. The synthetic stocks do not fare near as well as many wood stocked ones. One place you could look is at the big house suppliers like MidWayUSA etc., for a synthetic long action Model 70 stock. Can’t bear to add though the Laminate wood stocks are tougher and will outwear and outshoot the synthetics. That is the US Army’s conclusion too. The synthetic will weigh the least. As to scratching up the stock I have seen realitvely new synthetics that looked awful or just plain broke. I have walked in warehouses filled to the beams with broken synthetics. But as that is what you want it will reduce some weight. Be pretty careful around solvents and insect repellants and too cold and too hot conditions and your synthetic stock may outlast many. Last detail I would want to address is look at offered stocks for sale and decide if you want a cheek piece or no as that item adds weight and I myself don’t want or need one as you would find in a Model 70 Featherweight one of the reasons that rifle weighs less than your rifle.

.410
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:49 am
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:11 pm
Some replacement stocks fit better than others. You could ask most big house suppliers about that fit and as the barrel profile seems like a Sporter barrel taper that is what I would ask for in long action. I have also seen variance in length of pull, 13.75 being average now. I prefer 13.5 and I know most big men also prefer the same. The more clothing you are wearing while using, the more this factor may influence your happiness with fit. Generally a shotgun needs to fit more precisely than a rifle. If you have to adjust your replacement stock it is usually in the bolt closing slot. Boyd Laminated Stocks fit so well it is rare to have to adjust a single thing. Also examine your replacement stock very carefully to see how it fits around the barrel. There should not be a big gap or the barrel should also not rub against the synthetic stock. If it does you have two choices, send it back, or hoe out some plastic or composite so it has a fraction of an inch freeboard.....referred to as a free floated barrel.

Find the dollar bill photos to show just how much the barrel should just come up to the stock. Also look at where your tang area near the pistol grip fits, and where the barrel block (steel that grips the barrel and slides into a precise slot in the stock) fits. On a really perfect fit the tang area and the barrel block should be glass bedded and then the barrel and action lowered into the replacement stock and then tighten all screws and bolts to recommended torque pressures aka tightness. Good luck in that journey. You might have someone do it for you, but my guess it is so simple that any doubts you have at all would be answered by watching how to videos on U Tube. Be careful on over glass bedding as a little goes a long way. Super Grade Winchester coming out of the factories today use very little and it does add weight and a little can be later added to. Removing a lot of glass bedding is a nightmare!

Copper BB
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:59 pm
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:53 pm
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to give me all the advice you have. I will defiantly take it all into consideration.

Copper BB
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:59 pm
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:40 pm
Another question, Do you know the twist rate for this gun?

.410
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:49 am
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:27 am
It is 1 in 10in for nearly certain. Never saw a Model 70 30-06 with a different twist rate. The only one I personally attempted to measure this on was a Winchester 30-06 Anniversary Model which was about $2,200. It was an absolutely beautiful rifle and the only reason I did not buy it was at the time I had a Model 70 30-06 I was fond of. In retrospect I should have bought it as the rifle was worth more than the asking price. So I am basing that on Winchester Model 70 listing s over the years. Unlike calibers that have changed twist rates by the time your Sears Model 53 was built the twist rate of one in ten was clearly established and time tested. So that is the twist rate no doubt!

.410
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:49 am
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:41 am
The ammo that would be best from Jack O Connors use of that for both sighting in and hunting would be 180 grain rounds. The cartridge is available with from 130 grain bullets to 220. The 180 would be the best choice. Both Jack O Connor and his wife Eleanor shot this in Model 70s more under all sorts of conditions than anyone who you could contact today. Those statements are in his The Complete Rifle. And the book titled The Hunting Rifle......published about 1970. I have a letter from him in my copy when he sent it to me after I got drafted out of Idaho in 1970.

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