Winchester Model 70 Reviews

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:05 am
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 9:44 pm
The Winchester Model 70 is a high quality bolt action rifle that is available in a variety of different models, calibers, and barrel lengths. The Winchester rifles are available with open sight but are also drilled to use scopes. The Magazine of the Rifle is internal.

The Model 70 Black Shadow is designed for rough hunting conditions and has a Matte blued barrel so that the rifle does not betray your presence with a reflection. Rifle has a composite stock. The rifle is available with a 24 or 26 inch barrel and in the calibers of 270 Winchester with a 5 round magazine, 30-06 Springfield with a 5 round magazine, 7mm Remington Magnum with a 3 round magazine, or 300 Winchester Magnum with a 3 round magazine

The Model 70 Compact is a scaled down version on the standard Model 70. The shorter length makes the rifle makes it an ideal rilfe for smaller individuals including women shooters and younger shooters. Because of the smaller size of the weapon, the Compact is an ideal "mountain rifle." The Rifle is available in the Calibers of 243 Winchester, 308 Winchester, and 7mm-08 Remington. All Compacts have a 4 round magazine. The Rifles have wood stocks.

The Model 70 Coyote is a hunting rifle mainly used for small game and is otherwise known as a varmint rifle. The Rifle has a 24 inch medium weight stainless steel barrel and come standard with wooden stocks. Special stocks are made for using a bi-pod or to use on sandbags. The Rifle is available in .223 Remington, 22-250 Remington, and 243 Winchester with the first caliber having a six round magazine and the other two calibers having a five round magazine.

The Model 70 Featherweight is a 22 inch barrel version of the Model 70 and is available in a large variety of calibers. The Rifle is available in 22-250 Remington, 243 Winchester, 6.5 x 55mm Swedish, .308 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington, .270 Winchester, and 30-06 Springfield. All Featherweights have a 5 round magazine. The stocks of the Featherweight are checkered wood.

The Model 70 Classic Safari Express is a heavy version of the Model 70 designed for very large game and is available in several heavy calibers. The rfile is available in .375 H&H Magnum, .416 Remington Magnum, and .458 Winchester Magnum. All Safari Express Rifles have a 3 round magazine. The stocks of the Featherweight are checkered wood.

The Model 70 Classic Sporter LT is a sporting rifle available in a variety of different calibers and with a 24 or 26 inch barrel. In the shorter 24 inch barrel length, the rifle is available in .25-06 Remington, .270 Winchester, and 30-06 Springfield. All 24 inch barrel versions have five round magazines. In the longer 26 inch, The rifle is available in 7mm STW, 7mm Remington Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, and .338 Winchester Magnum. All 26 inch barrel versions have three round magazines. The stocks of both versions of the rifle are checkered wood.

The Model 70 Classic Stainless is designed with a stainless steel barrel and action combined with a composite stocks to make a very rugged rifle. The synthetic stock allows the rifle to takes humid conditions without affecting accuracy. The rifle is available in .270 Winchester and 30-06 Springfield with a 24 inch barrel and five round magazines. It is also available in the calibers of 7mm STW, 7mm Remington Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, .300 Ultra Magnum, and .338 Winchester Magnum with a barrel length of 26 inches and with three round magazines. Finally, the rifle is available in .375 H&H Magnum with a 3 round magazine and a 24 inch barrel.

The Model 70 Stealth is a heavier weight varmint rifle and is designed to be especially accurate witha heavy barrel. The Rifle has a combination Kevlar, fiberglass, and graphite stock with a full-length aluminum bedding block. The Rifle has a 26 inch barrel and has a Matte finish on all exposed surfaces. The Rifle is available in .223 Remington, 22-250 Remington, and 308 Winchester with the first caliber having a six round magazine and the other two calibers having a five round magazine.

The Model 70 Classic Super Grade features a top of the line recoil pad and is available with either a 24 or 26 inch barrel. The Rifle has checkered wood stocks. With a 24 inch barrle, the rifle is available in 25-06 Winchester, 270 Winchester, and 30-06 Springfield. All 24 inch barrel versions have five round magazines. In a 26 inch barrel, the Rifle is available in 7mm Remington Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, and .338 Winchester Magnum. All 26 barrel versions have a three round magazine.
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 6:10 pm
Winchester Model 70 Commercial, 2010-2011
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 6:36 pm
Winchester Model 70 Featherweight Review

The Winchester brand has long been associated with the North American hunter. Since its original introduction in 1936, the "Rifleman's Rifle" has regularly made the short list of top firearms. There have been literally dozens (if not hundreds) of reviews of the Model 70 since its introduction, so what at BigGameHunt could we add that hasn't been said before? We thought we would take a two part up-close look at two current production Winchester Model 70's, first the standard Featherweight, and in part two the Super Grade.

First a little history, the Winchester brand is owned by the Olin Corporation and licensed by the Herstal Group commonly known as Fabrique Nationale or FN for short and Browning Arms Company. Olin is an American company that produces ammunition under the Winchester name, as well as ammunition for the military, and bulk chemicals. For 140 years Winchestser firearms were made at the famous New Haven, Connecticut facility until it was closed in early 2006. In 2008, new Winchester Model 70 production began at FN's Columbia, South Carolina facility. For this review we will be looking at new Model 70's produced at the Columbia plant.
Winchester Model 70 Featherweight

When the new Model 70 was first introduced three years ago there were only a couple of variations available and today, in early 2011, that has expanded to ten variations, from stainless varmint configurations to the classic Super Grade. Since Winchester is most associated with classic wood stocked guns with blued metal, we decided to look at the least expensive option in this review, the standard Featherweight, our next review will take a look at the most expensive model, the Super Grade.

The Model 70 Featherweight looks like a classic Winchester rifle has for years. The checkering is cut, not impressed and is placed on both the pistol grip and forearm. The checkering is very well done, it is most likely done by some type of machinery, but it is still precisely done and close inspection reveals solid craftsmanship.

Featherweight cut checkering around the pistol grip.

The stock is made of walnut with a Schnabel fore end and has a satin finish. There is no raised comb cheek piece on the stock and it is completely symmetric regardless of side, this means that the stock will work for either a left hand or right hand shooter, of course a south-paw may feel more comfortable with a left hand action but currently the Model 70 is only made in right handed actions.

Schnabel Fore End with standard sling swivel.

The wood quality on the Featherweight can be characterized as good but not amazing. Since the Featherweight retails for $700 to $740, the quality of wood on the rifle is about average to a little above average, it does not have a lot of character, but after viewing a few different featherweights its clear that the rifles come with wood that is about equal to their price. In other words, the wood quality is comparable and perhaps even a little better than those from other manufactures in the same price range. Our review model has no blemishes or knots, but then it also has no swirls or tiger stripes to give the wood real character, it's simply good but not awe inspiring. The butt stock is capped with a Pachmayr Decelerator pad and is sufficiently soft but still fairly rigid.

The walnut on the review model was good to perhaps a bit above average.

The Featherweight is offered in a variety of chamberings. For short actions you can pick up a Featherweight in 22-250 Rem , 243 Win, 7mm-08 Rem, 308 Win, 300 WSM, 270 WSM, and 325 WSM. Long action offerings are available in 25-06 Rem, 270 Win, 30-06 Springfield, and 300 Win Mag. Short actions come in at about 7 lbs, while long actions can be a touch over 7 lbs, which is relatively light for an all wood stocked gun. Magnums offerings come with a 24" barrel, while non-magnums have 22" barrels.

Winchester Model 70 300 Win Mag

One rather odd aspect of the current Model 70 offerings is that none are offered in 223 Remington. While we cover mostly big game hunting guns here, the 223 is a widely popular cartridge for varmint and small game hunting and it's not even offered in Winchester's Coyote Light model. So if you're looking for a new 223, you'll need to look elsewhere, or purchase a 22-250 then go through the rather high cost of having the gun rebarreled and the bolt face modified.

All Model 70's now feature a target crown on the muzzle of the barrel and all barrels are made through a hammer forging process. The bluing on the Featherweight is typical for most entry level wood guns, nicely done, but not highly polished or a particularly deep blue.

Perhaps the single most important reason to consider a Model 70 is in the action. All Model 70's derive from the Winchester Model 54, which itself derives from the Mauser design. This means the action combines controlled round feed with a three position safety. Controlled round feed competes with the more common push round feed of other rifles such as the Remington Model 700.

Moderate amount of knurling on the bolt handle.

Controlled round actions grab the shell off the magazine and completely hold the end of the brass while it is being inserted into the chamber and then removed from the action. This means the shell is "controlled" at any point that the bolt is in motion. Combine this with the massive side claw extractor and the action is considered to be more reliable than comparable push round designs. Reliable is arguable though, because regardless of how large the extractor is, a truly stuck round is going to remain stuck until rammed out with a dowel from the barrel muzzle end. Nonetheless controlled round feed is a favorite among dangerous game hunters.

Mauser style actions like the Model 70 also tend to feature the famous three positions. Pushing the safety all the way forward to the barrel end of the rifle sets it in fire mode, the mid position is to extract rounds with the sear blocked, and the all the way back position completely locks out the action. Simple, straight forward and always works.

When Winchester released the new Model 70 they included an upgraded trigger that they are calling the M.O.A. Trigger which, according to Winchester literature, helps the Model 70 deliver "1 inch groups at 100 yards." The new trigger is user adjustable, but the stock must be removed in order to access the trigger adjustment set screws. Be careful when adjusting this trigger system, lightening up too much will cause the set screw to fall out, and tightening it too much will cause the trigger to bind and become unusable. While the literature says the trigger was set to 3.5 lbs., our review model consistently broke at 4.5 lbs., not a big deal since its adjustable, but something to consider if your out-of-the-box trigger feels a tad on the heavy side. The trigger may be adjusted up to 5 lbs. of pull and down to a minimum of 3 lbs.

Removing the stock to adjust the trigger can take some finesse, Winchester has done a superb job of bedding the action making for a tight fit between the action and the stock. The front screw that holds the action near the recoil lug is supported by a hard plastic insert in the action, which should help to stiffen up the action. The barrel is completely free floated from the recoil lug forward to the muzzle of the barrel.

When adjusting the trigger you'll also need to remove a hunk of hard glue that Winchester has placed over the two trigger adjustment screws. When you're finished making the trigger adjustment you may also want to put a dab of glue or blue Locktight on the screws to prevent them from jarring under recoil.

The M.O.A. Trigger delivered a clean crisp feel. True to the marketing literature there is zero take-up, zero creep, and very, very little over travel. Combining the crisp trigger with the adjustability and safety makes for a pleasing combination. Now if it was just adjustable without removing the stock, Winchester would have hit a grand slam, rather than just a home run.

One last item to note, is the Model 70 bolt is field strippable without any special tools. This is refreshing if you have tried to take apart other bolts that require tools and a bit of patience. Being field strippable makes it easier to work on the bolt in the field in the unlikely event that a mishap occurs, such as a broken firing pin. This isn't a huge advantage over other manufactures though, because some will be quick to point out, that you could just carry around a spare entire bolt assembly owing to its relatively small size and weight.

In conclusion the new Model 70 Featherweight offers good wood and bluing for the money. Throw in the upgraded trigger and this is definitely the best Model 70 yet, although they will probably never be worth as much as the collectable pre-64 variety. You should not consider the Featherweight if you're looking for a 223, a left handed bolt gun, or simply prefer a two position safety system. If you're a fan of the Mauser style action and want to consider other options look to either the Ruger Hawkeye or any of the Kimber rifles. The Ruger offerings are similar in style to Winchester and have more variations that are priced $50-$70 below the Featherweight. Kimber also has a variety of rifles, although they will be priced at least $300 above the Featherweight. Given the other offerings on the market at this time, the Model 70 is a solid buy. It's not the cheapest but it offers a good dose of quality for the money spent. In our next review will take a look at Winchester's top of the line Model 70 Super Grade.
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:05 am
Winchester Coyote Lite .22-250 rifle review
Winchester Coyote Lite .22-250 rifle: Lite in name, and in nature, this new rifle from Winchester is designed for the true hunter, with synthetic weather resistance. ST tests the Coyote Lite .22-250.

Winchester Coyote Lite .22-250 rifle.
The Coyote model is the perfect genesis from the tried-and-tested Winchester Model 70 bolt-action.

Whereas the original Model 70 is a classic rifle with blued-metal and figured walnut stock, the Coyote takes a completely different path.

It was made as a true hunting tool, with each feature designed to aid the hunter in a successful stalk. This model offers a 24in stainless steel barrel, with matt blued receiver and synthetic stock, in a profile that transcends a hunting model with a blend of varminter.

The test model came in .22-250, making it great for foxes and legal for roe in Scotland, though .223, .243 and .308 models should soon be available.

Over a barrel
The barrel profile strikes a good balance between medium and heavy, but includes flutes to reduce the weight. Nicely recessed, the flutes extend two-thirds of the way along its slow-tapered length; they not only look good, but also allow a heavier profile barrel and therefore good rigidity and accuracy.

The finish is an evenly brushed stainless steel and, at 24in long, I was expecting some good accuracy and velocities from the Coyote in the field test. Sadly, it was not threaded for a sound moderator, which would have been very handy, as increasingly shooters are realising the benefits of reduced noise.

Action stations
Pure Winchester, the action is the same as the stalwart Model 70. It is simple and strong, and incorporates a push-feed and coned breech design, which aids in the smooth transfer of cartridge from magazine to barrel, as well as a hinged magazine floor plate, with three-position safety located at the rear of the bolt. The rear-angled bolt handle is comfortable and sweeps down nicely, giving the shooter a sense of authority as the action is cycled.

Cartridges are accurately fed into the chamber and just as reassuringly extracted and ejected by the fixed blade ejector, which sits at the rear of the bolt raceway on the left. This Controlled Round Push Feed (CRPF) system ensures the cartridge enters the chamber directly without damaging the bullet's tip.

The large centralising Win '64-style claw extractor is the reason here. The bolt body is nicely jewelled for looks and has twin opposing locking lugs that give a solid lock up when the bolt is closed. Though I dislike the three-position wing safety, it does allow ease of access and relatively quiet operation, and no interference with regard to scope clearance.

Happy with the trigger?
Winchester has always favoured an uncomplicated and simple trigger design, and there's nothing wrong with that. On the Coyote, the trigger pressure was set at a conservative and safe 5.5lb. If this is too heavy then the mechanism is easy to adjust: the threaded shaft contains three lock nuts that affect the trigger pressure and let-off. After a little adjustment, the Coyote had a 3lb trigger pull that was ideal: safe and crisp, with no over-travel. The trigger blade is quite thin, which bothers some people, and there was enough room within the trigger-guard for a gloved hand, handy on those cold winter stalks.

Super synthetics
The new 'Lite' version of the Coyote gets its name from the reduced weight of the barrel fluting and the use of a Bell and Carlson synthetic stock to replace the heavier laminated version. The stock is the first thing that strikes you about the Coyote Lite. All black, with its four striking cut-out ventilation holes in the fore-end making it look like a shark's gills, it gives the Winchester a contemporary look and will stand out. The vents go all the way through the fore-end and are there to assist in heat dispersion and aid cooling after an arduous day's varminting - possibly. Who cares - they look rather good.

The fore-end is of typical flat beavertail style, with heavy recessed finger grooves on the top elevation. This allows a good hold when supporting with the hands or when a Harris bipod is attached for prone shooting. The pistol grip is nicely racked and chequered, and, despite no cheekpiece, the comb height is not bad and so scope eye-relief is actually quite good. A solid black Pachmayr Decelerator rubber recoil pad finishes the stock.

Extra care has been taken with the bedding of this rifle and an aluminium bedding block contacts the action ensuring a positive grip and uniform platform for stock-to-metal fit.

The recoil lug is factory-bedded with a synthetic bed material, which, though minimal, is ample for positive location, despite the fact that the rear securing screw has little stock material to bind with. Overall, though, it is a well laid-out and strong stock design that incorporates two sling swivel studs to the fore-end for versatile bipod mounting and simultaneous sling attachment.

Changing sights
The long receiver is drilled and tapped for scope bases and I fitted a one-piece Weaver-style base as I also wanted a quick-change facility in order to try out some new night vision equipment for fox use. As an all-round scope I chose the excellent Kahles Multizero CS. Possessing a magnification range of 2.5-10x50 and equipped with a great bullet-drop compensating turret system, I was looking forward to a good field test.

Twist and shoot
Most .22-250 rifles have a barrel rifling twist rate of one-in-14in, making them great at stabilising the lighter, faster bullet heads from 40 grains to 50 grains. Any heavier than this and accuracy begins to deteriorate due to the instability of the bullet. The Coyote on test actually had a tighter twist rate, of one-in-10in, and so should shoot the heavier 55-grain bullets better. I chose a good section of factory ammunition and shot some reloads as a comparison.

The reloads shot well, and a 40-grain Nosler ballistic tip, with 41.25 grains of H414 powder behind it, screamed over the chronograph at 4,012fps. Accuracy was good at slightly more than 0.65in at 100 yards for a five-shot group. The 50-grain loads were equally accurate, all between 0.5in and 1in, and the best load was a Sierra 50-grain Blitz King bullet, propelled by 38.5 grains of VIT N140 powder, to achieve a velocity of 3,855fps and 1,650ft/lb energy.

I tried some heavier loads of 55 grains and the best was a factory load of Remington Power Lokt Hollow Points, which shot a constant 0.6in grouping at 100 yards. The 60-grain bullets were just about okay at more than 1.25in at the higher velocities but, despite the twist rate, failed really to shine. Stick with the 50-grain loads for flat-shooting accurate loads from this rifle against foxes, or shoot a more controlled expanding bullet such as the Sierra 55-grain Game King for roe in Scotland.

Indeed, so complete was the Coyote Lite, with its weatherproof skin and handy configuration, that I shot several long-range foxes with instant results. The Kahles scope certainly helped here, too, but Winchester, despite showing its age with the action layout, has come up with a great fox tool in .22-250 and deer rifle in .243 or .308 calibres.

Make: Winchester Coyote Lite

Importer: BWM Arms Ltd (01235) 514550

Calibre: .22-250

Action: Bolt-action model 70

Barrel: 24in Fluted

Overall length: 44in

Magazine: Floor plate four shots

Stock: Black synthetic and bedding block

Weight: 7lb 8.5 oz
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:19 am
Winchester Model 70 Ultimate Shadow .270 Win.


At first glance, the Model 70 Ultimate Shadow, with its flowing lines and integrated, rubberized, oval-dot gripping surfaces on the pistol grip and fore-end looks very different from other composite rifles. When you pick it up, you’ll know why. The stock immediately gives you a comfortable, secure hold even when wet or cold. It feels tight in your hands and gives you better control from any shooting angle. The Ultimate Shadow is also lightweight. You can carry it into remote, rugged country without worrying about any extra weight, or dinging up the rifle when the hike gets rough. The free-floating barrel and M.O.A. Trigger System contributes to exceptional accuracy and its classic, Controlled Round Feed action continues to make the Ultimate Shadow’s receiver the most reliable and smoothest cycling in the industry. The Ultimate Shadow is offered in a 22", 24" or 26" blued barrel and available in popular standard calibers and three WSM calibers.
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:37 am
Winchester Model 70 Featherweight

The Winchester Model 70 Featherweight is a bolt-action rifle chambered in 11 cartridges, including three Winchester Short Magnum calibers. Winchester introduced the M70 in 1936 and it has been modified and updated throughout the years. It now has nine variations with the Featherweight being Winchester’s most prolific and ubiquitous model.

The Featherweight features a Grade I walnut stock with a satin finish and cut checkering on the grip and fore-end. It uses the popular Pachmayr Deceleration recoil pad. Its three-position safety system allows shooter to cycle unfired cartridges with the safety on. It also features Winchester’s MOA trigger system. The engineering of the MOA system is meant to minimize excessive movement in the trigger mechanism during firing, resulting in a decrease in shooter error.

Winchester recommends the Featherweight for general game hunting.

Action: Bolt
Caliber: .22-250 Rem.
Stock: Walnut
Material/Finish: Steel/polished blue
Barrel Length: 22"
Weight: 6.75 pounds
Twist: 1 in 14"
Length of Pull: 13.75"
Overall Length: 44.25"
Drop at Comb: 0.5"
Drop at Heel: 0.75"
Sights: Open
Capacity: 5
MSRP: $899.00 - 949.00
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:42 pm
The Rifleman's Rifle: Winchester's Model 70

The Winchester Model 70 is one of the best known rifles in the world. It is probably equaled only by the Mauser 98 as a revered icon among bolt action rifles.

The Model 70's immediate predecessor was the Model 54. The Model 54 was produced from 1925-1936. But the M-54 had some drawbacks, chief among them a bolt, safety, and stock not designed for use with telescopic sights. Early Model 54's had no gas escape port, although this was corrected in later production. So in 1936 Winchester introduced a similar but revised and improved rifle, the famous Model 70.

The Model 70 corrected the faults of the Model 54 and was produced from 1936 to 1963 with only relatively minor changes. During this time the Model 70 became a legend in its own time, the favorite hunting rifle of a plethora of knowledgeable sportsmen and gun writers of the era who sang its praises. The Model 70 also became the favorite American action on which to base a fine custom sporter. The pre-1964 Model 70 is now a collector's rifle, particularly in scarce calibers, and specimens in excellent or better original condition bring high prices on the used market.

Between 1936 and 1963 the Model 70 was built in a number of variations and calibers. Not all calibers were available in every variant. Models included the Standard Grade, "Carbine" (not an official designation, but a short 20" barreled Standard version produced between 1936-1946), Featherweight, Super Grade, Super Grade Featherweight, Super Grade African, National Match, Target, Bull Gun, Varmint, and Alaskan. Calibers included .22 Hornet, .220 Swift, .243 Winchester, .250 Savage, .257 Roberts, .264 Winchester Magnum, .270 Winchester, 7x57 Mauser, .300 Savage, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .300 H&H Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, .338 Winchester Magnum, .35 Remington, .358 Winchester, .375 H&H Magnum, and .458 Winchester Magnum. A few Model 70 were produced to special order in 7.65mm Argentine and 9mm Mauser, based on left over Model 54 barrels. These are very rare, and along with specimens in .250 Savage, 7x57, .300 Savage, and .35 Remington command premium prices. The more recent .358 Winchester, available only in the Featherweight model, is also a rare caliber.

Pre-1964 Model 70's usually had 24"-26" barrels and were equipped with open sights. The action has a flat bottom, two front locking lugs, an excellent single stage adjustable trigger, a full length Mauser-type extractor, fixed ejector, and a steel trigger guard and hinged magazine floor plate assembly (aluminum in Featherweight models). The breech was coned for smooth and reliable feeding and enclosed the cartridge head to the extractor groove. The Magazine capacity was 5 rounds for standard calibers, 4 rounds for .300 and .375 H&H, and 3 rounds for Winchester Magnum calibers. Checkered walnut pistol grip stocks were universal. Standard rifles weighed about 8 pounds. Post WW II production was usually drilled and tapped for scope mounts. I have read that production of Pre-1964 Model 70's stopped at serial number 581,471.

Super Grades usually have jeweled bolts, fancy grade walnut stocks with a raised cheekpiece, deluxe wrap around checkering, black forearm tips and black pistol grip caps. "Super Grade" is marked on the floorplate.

For all of its vaunted reputation, the pre-1964 Model 70 was not perfect. The Standard Grade rifle came with a 24" medium contour barrel in standard calibers like .270 and .30-06 and had a substantial stock. Add a scope and mount and it usually weighed in at around 9 pounds, empty. Of course, the weight minimized recoil while the long and relatively stiff barrel got full velocity from its cartridges and had a fine reputation for accuracy, but shooters began to think it was too heavy. Also, more modern rifles like the Weatherby Mark V and Remington 721, 725, 700 series fully enclosed the cartridge head and were therefore stronger. From Winchester's point of view its biggest flaw was that it was relatively expensive to mass produce given the technology of the time.

In 1964 a revised Model 70 was introduced. This new Model 70 retained some of the good features of the pre-1964 Model 70, but was in fact a new action. It was a stronger and more modern action that was more economical to produce. The pre-1964 Model 70, like all Winchester rifles designed prior to WW II, required a lot of hand labor. The new Model 70 introduced labor saving innovations intended to keep it competitive in price with Remington and Savage bolt action rifles.

To put it mildly, the new rifle was not an immediate success. Some of the Model 70's biggest fans were bitter about the changes, and castigated the new model in print. Jack O'Connor, who had helped popularize the pre-1964 Model 70, put it this way in his The Rifle Book:

"Sometime in the very early 1960's I was informed by Winchester brass that the Model 70 was being redesigned. I told them I was glad to get the information so I could lay in four or five more before they loused the rifle up."

"Then I saw the pilot model of the 'New Model 70.' At the first glimpse I like to fell into a swoon. The action was simplified, the trigger guard and floor plate made of a flimsy-looking one-piece stamping. The stock had stodgy lines and no checkering, and the barrel channel was routed out so much a herd of cockroaches could hold a ball below the barrel. On my first glimpse of the 'New Model 70' I was surrounded by the designers and by Winchester brass. I told them the creation would not sell, that it was one of the ugliest rifles I had ever seen."

Before the new Model 70 was introduced to the public, Winchester took some of this criticism to heart and substituted the aluminum trigger guard and magazine floor plate assembly from the previous Model 70 Featherweight. They impressed a moderate amount of (reverse) checkering into the stock, and cleaned up its lines somewhat (but not enough). The soaring barrel remained, as Winchester was committed to using a free floating barrel on the new Model 70 and had over estimated the gap required.

The new Model 70 abandoned the full length extractor and fixed ejector of its predecessor in favor of a smaller claw extractor and a plunger ejector in the bolt face (similar to the Weatherby Mark V). Thus it became a "push feed" rather than a "controlled feed" action. There were never any feeding or ejection problems with the new Model 70, but Winchester was roundly criticized for abandoning controlled feed.

The case head was completely enclosed in the new action, which was stronger than its predecessor. The much copied three-position safety was retained, as was the adjustable trigger. The machined, flat bottomed action had a large, integral recoil lug. In the event of a ruptured case it handled escaping gas well. The polishing and bluing remained good, the bolt was jeweled, and the stock had a high gloss finish. However, the new action's good points were overlooked and, as Jack O'Connor had predicted, the new Model 70 did not sell very well. Within just a few years the stock was slimmed some more, the barrel channel gap was reduced, and the impressed checkering diamonds became positive.

About 1972 the Standard Model 70 rifle, particularly the stock design, was again revised. The pistol grip stock was entirely redesigned, becoming slimmer and more shapely with a restrained Monte Carlo comb and sculpted cheekpiece. It was decorated with a generous amount of well executed cut checkering in a traditional Model 70 pattern and a black forearm tip and steel pistol grip cap, which were set off by white line spacers. The durable satin stock finish looked great, and detachable sling swivels were included.

Jack O'Connor was an honest man, and he freely praised the newly revised version of the Model 70 in print, announcing that the Model 70 was back. I had the temerity to telephone the great man (who didn't know me from Adam) to discuss the revised Model 70 with him, and he politely answered my questions and shared with me some of his vast experience. Unfortunately, many of his fellow gun writers of lesser stature were unwilling to revise the anti-new Model 70 position to which they had publicly committed themselves.

The revised Model 70 Standard rifle looked much like the current (circa 2002) Super Grade, but of course it came stocked in standard grade walnut. I regarded it as the best looking mass-produced rifle of its time, and I still do. Never the less, Model 70 sales continued to lag behind the Remington Model 700, which had become the top selling bolt action rifle in the U.S., even though it incorporated more cost reducing measures in its design than the new Model 70. Winchester had committed the unpardonable sin of tampering with a legend, and few shooters were willing to cut them any slack.

In 1974 I purchased a new Model 70 Standard rifle in .270 Winchester caliber. It came with a medium weight 22" barrel, adjustable iron sights, and a jeweled bolt with a knurled bolt handle. It measured 42.5" overall with a 13.5" length of pull, and weighed 7.5 pounds. The metal finish was a well-polished deep luster blue. I mounted a Weaver K4 (4x) scope in Weaver mounts and rings.

About that time I ran across a late pre-1964 vintage Model 70 in like new condition, and I was surprised to find that my revised new Model 70 was a much more handsome rifle in every way, not to mention stronger and more accurate. The standards had changed without my realizing it, and the legendary pre-1964 Model 70 looked dated and plain.

At the range I found that the new Model 70 would average three shot groups of about 1.5" at 100 yards with 130 grain Hornady factory loads (which this rifle favored) or my equivalent handloads using the same 130 grain Hornady Spire Point bullet. Occasionally I would do everything just right and a group of around 1" would be the result. I never had any sort of malfunction with the Model 70, and at the range you could feed a cartridge directly into the chamber and close the bolt (which is not possible with most controlled feed rifles).

In 1992 Winchester again revised the Model 70 action, this time restoring the full length extractor, receiver mounted ejector, coned breech, and controlled round feed (CRF) while retaining the other good features of the push feed Model 70 action. The new, revised action became the heart of the Classic models, available in many variations, which now constitute the bulk of the Model 70 line. There are super-short, short and standard length Model 70 Classic actions.

The Classic controlled feed Model 70 action was designed from the outset for a hunting rifle, not adapted from a military or target rifle. Its coned breech ensures smooth and reliable feeding, the full length Mauser style extractor grabs a big slice of the rim of the case, and the fixed blade-type ejector allows reloaders to remove their brass by hand if they so desire. The flat bottomed action is partly glass bedded and the integral recoil lug is substantial. With the bolt back the opening is large and thus the action is easy to reload rapidly. The Model 70's 3-position safety is highly regarded by most users and has been widely copied.

The Model 70 Classic action is perhaps the finest Mauser pattern, two front locking lug, bolt action ever mass produced for a hunting rifle. It offers just about everything the aficionado of such actions could want, including strength, accuracy, and exceptional feed reliability. It is the odds-on choice among bolt actions for ultra-critical hunting applications such as rifles for hunting dangerous game.

But the push feed action is still available (2003) in three somewhat less expensive models. These are called the Coyote (a bean-field type rifle with a brown laminated stock), Stealth (Kevlar/fiberglass stock), and Black Shadow (composite stock).

In 2003 Winchester announced a new super-short Model 70 action designed for the equally new WSSM cartridges. This new action is approximately .5" shorter than the previous short Model 70 action and is offered in Coyote, Super Shadow, and Featherweight models. The Featherweight and Super Shadow versions come with 22" barrels and weigh about 6 pounds. The Coyote weighs 9 pounds and is supplied with a 24" barrel in all calibers.

The Super Shadow and Coyote models in WSSM and WSM calibers now feature a new "controlled round push feed" (CRPF) action. This action variation uses the extractor of the push feed rifle in a modified bolt face that no longer completely surrounds the case head, and the fixed ejector of the Classic model. This change was apparently required to get any sort of adequate feed reliability from the stubby WSSM cartridges, and is also being used for the WSM cartridges (which have their own feeding issues). The supposition is that this new CRPF action will eventually replace the old push feed action in the Model 70 line.

The new CRPF Super Shadow and CRF Ultimate Shadow models features a composite stock with rubberized grip surfaces and an energy absorbing butt pad. Rather than checkering the rubberized grip surfaces incorporate large, oval-dots in two sizes, rather like a rubber shower mat. There are swoopy lines molded into the plastic stock to accent the contour of the cheekpiece and forearm. These are certainly the most bizarre looking Model 70's ever introduced, and make the much maligned 1964 version look quite restrained by comparison!

In 2003 Model 70 Classic controlled feed models include the Featherweight (named the "Bolt Action Rifle of the Century," with some justification), Super Grade, Safari Express (the former African), Compact (a "mountain rifle"), Sporter LT (the former Standard), Laminated, Stainless (Composite), and three variations of the new Ultimate Shadow. There are left handed versions of the Sporter LT and Featherweight. The Stainless and Ultimate Shadow versions come with synthetic stocks, the Laminated comes with (guess what) a brown laminated wood stock, and the rest come with walnut stocks. Model 70's are made in a wide range of calibers from .223 Remington to .458 Winchester Magnum, although not all calibers are available in all models.

Olin/Winchester never really recovered from the negative reaction to the changes of 1964, and in 1981 Olin sold the rights to manufacture Winchester firearms to the newly created U.S. Repeating Arms Company. U.S. Repeating Arms made every effort to remain true to the Winchester heritage, and the Classic controlled feed Model 70 rifles are evidence of that.

In 1992 the French company GIAT (who also owned Browning) purchased USRAC, and in 1997 control of both USRAC and Browning were sold to the Walloon region of Belgium (home of FN). The corporate offices of both Browning and USRAC are now located in Morgan, Utah in the U.S.A. Unfortunately, in March 2006 the Winchester/USRAC plant in in the U.S. was closed as unprofitable. This brought production of Model 70 (and Model 94) rifles to an end, and the Belgian owners have stated that they have no intention of establishing Model 70 production elsewhere.

The Model 70 was ultimately undone because it was too expensive to produce, not because the cheaper rifles that have replaced it are better. Through all the changes, the Winchester Model 70 remained a quality firearm, and an international legend. It still deserves the title, "The Rifleman's Rifle."
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:18 pm
IDEAL FOR ANY AFRICAN HUNT. The new Model 70 Safari Express in a matte blued finish is the perfect choice for your once-in-a-lifetime hunt because it’s built to handle the heavy cartridges necessary to take dangerous game. Important details like the Pre-’64 type claw extractor, Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad, barrel band front swivel base, hooded-blade front sight and express-style rear sight make the Safari Express ideal for any African hunt. The dual recoil lugs and two steel stock reinforcing crossbolts handle the punishment from heavy magnum loads. The time-tested Three-Position Safety has been a hallmark of the Model 70 for decades. The secure hex socket action screws won’t snag on clothing, and the one-piece steel trigger guard helps maintain rigidity and provides added strength. The handsome cheekpiece positions your eye instantly and firmly on target. Flip open the flush-mounted, hinged steel magazine floorplate for fast and easy unloading. Large calibers are available, making the Model 70 Safari Express the finest big game rifle in the world.
The most respected bolt-action rifle in the world. The Model 70 remains the All-American rifleman’s rifle. It has always been a rifle for the ages, and today’s new Model 70 is the bolt-action rifle for the future. Experience for yourself the precision, accuracy and unparalleled performance this rifle has to offer.

Today’s Model 70 has the all new M.O.A. Trigger System, improved fit and finish and enhanced accuracy to go along with its classic Pre-’64 controlled round feeding, Three-Position Safety and solid, sure handling. The M.O.A. Trigger helps the model 70 deliver the extreme accuracy benchmark 1" group at 100 yards. It’s what you deserve in your rifle.

Three Position Safety
Convenient to operate with the thumb of the firing hand, the Model 70 safety design lifts the firing pin away from the sear. When the safety selector is in the middle position, the action can still be operated, allowing unfired cartridges to be cycled with the safety on. It is smooth to engage and easily identifies the safety status of the rifle.

M.O.A. Trigger System
Zero Take Up
Take up is the distance the triggerpiece travels prior to the sear moving toward release and the shooter feeling resistance. The M.O.A. Trigger System has no take up because the take up spring keeps the triggerpiece in constant contact with the actuator. Unlike competitors’ designs, the unique geometry of the M.O.A. pre-loads the entire trigger system to bias-out normal manufacturing tolerances.

Zero Creep
Creep is the perceptible movement of the trigger prior to the release of the firing pin or striker and has a negative influence on accuracy because it causes inconsistency and uncertainty during the pull of the trigger. This contributes to jerking the trigger, thus adding to the movement of the gun during firing. The 2:1 mechanical advantage created by the trigger design’s unique geometry is how creep has been virtually eliminated in the Model 70 M.O.A. Trigger.

Zero OverTravel
Overtravel is the rearward movement of the trigger after the firing pin or striker has been released. It can actually jar the gun away from its intended point of aim and is also very distracting to the shooter. The Model 70 M.O.A. Trigger System is set at the factory to have no perceptible overtravel. Where you aim is where you shoot.
Made in the U.S.A. with ISO 9001 Quality
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:28 pm
The Model 70 Is Back in Action!
Winchester announces the return of the Model 70 for 2008, and we've got the lowdown on what's new and improved
When Winchester shut down it's New Haven plant a year and a half ago it spelled the end of two iconic firearms, the Model 94 and the "Rifleman's Rifle," the Model 70.

Since that day, there has been massive speculation about when (not really if) those two firearms would come back into production.

As of today, the Winchester Model 70 is back and the biggest news is that it is being made in the United States-not overseas as many had prognosticated-in a factory down in Columbia, South Carolina that makes machine guns and sniper rifles for the military. I got to spend a day at the range with the new Model 70 at its unveiling and came away with the following impressions:

New Trigger
The most notable feature on the new Model 70 is its new trigger, one that is adjustable down to 3 pounds, though the triggers will come preset from the factory with a 3 3/4 pound pull. (If a heavier trigger pull is your thing you can set it to break up to a maximum of 5 pounds.)

The trigger itself is a simple thing, incorporating just three pieces. Winchester calls the trigger the M.O.A., rightly linking the need for a good performing rifle to have a good trigger, which the M.O.A. certainly is.

As the illustration shows, the actual trigger, called the "trigger piece" by Winchester, is a lever that bears against a pivot-or "actuator"-that supports the sear, which in turn retains the firing pin. As the trigger pushes against the actuator, the actuator moves out of engagement with the sear. The sear then drops, allowing the firing pin to travel forward. Simple.

One benefit of this design is that there is zero takeup in the system. Likewise, while there is a certain amount of creep and overtravel-you need both for a mechanical trigger to function-the perception on the part of the shooter is that there is none. You get nothing but a clean break when you pull the trigger. This trigger feels very, very good. And for shooters who find the addition of safety levers to the trigger itself unsightly-a la Savage Arm's AccuTrigger-the lines of the M.O.A. are neat and clean.

Of course, the other major factor when it comes to achieving top accuracy is a quality barrel. The barrels on the Model 70s are cold-hammer forged, a process by which a billet of steel is molded around a mandrel at unbelievable pressures as it is stuck by a series of massive hammers. The mandrel has the rifling pattern on it and during the hammering process the lands and grooves are impressed into the interior surface of the barrel.

Guaranteed Accuracy
Do the rifles come with an accuracy guarantee? Yes. In its promotional material Winchester says, "you can expect 1 MOA accuracy for three-shot groups from your Model 70 using a properly managed barrel, quality match ammo and superior optics under ideal weather and range conditions."

My experience shooting the Model 70 with a variety of factory ammo at targets out past 300 yards indicates that shooters can expect top-notch accuracy.

Three-position Safety
The new Model 70 comes with a three-position safety that has been redesigned to be smoother and easier to operate. The way Winchester's engineers accomplished this boils down to this: When the gun is put on safe, the firing pin is moved out of contact with the sear. This is the way the old safeties worked too. What's different in the new design is that the firing pin needs to travel less to separate from the sear. Because the swing of the three-position safety is the same as it was before, and it is moving the firing pin less, it operates with greater mechanical advantage. Viola! A smoother operating safety.

Control-round Feed
The new Model 70s incorporate the pre-'64 style controlled-round feed.

Four Grades
The Model 70 will be introduced in four different trims-Featherweight Deluxe, Sporter Deluxe, Extreme Weather SS and the top-of-the-line Super Grade. For pricing and specs, see here.

The Super Grade comes stocked with better walnut that includes a cheek piece framed by a sculpted shadowline. It is available in two calibers. In .30-06 it comes with a 24-inch barrel and a published unscoped weight of 8 pounds. In .300 Win. Mag. the rifle has a 26-inch barrel and tips the scales at 8 1/4 pounds. The MSRP on the '06 is $1,149 while the .300 Mag. carries a suggested retail of $1,199.

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Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:42 am
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:17 am
My new winch & my Ruger#1 Tropical (sold) .375 H&H the both
WR.jpg (112.79 KiB) Viewed 25184 times

My new Winchester Safari Express cal .375 H&H
W70Se1.jpg (112.56 KiB) Viewed 25184 times

W70SE2.jpg (113.61 KiB) Viewed 25184 times

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:23 am
Others pics of my new Mod 70 Safari Express .375 H&H

WR5.jpg (108.72 KiB) Viewed 25184 times

W70SE3.jpg (112.26 KiB) Viewed 25184 times

WR3.jpg (103.36 KiB) Viewed 25184 times

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:28 am
Stocks Winch 70 Safari Express vs Ruger #1 Tropical

WR2.jpg (104.86 KiB) Viewed 25184 times

WR4.jpg (107.36 KiB) Viewed 25184 times

Ruger sold to buy The Winch , I keep the Hawke Scope 1.5-4.5 x24 illuminated.
Last edited by bebo on Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:46 am
great looking guns you have there thanks for sharing them :)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:43 pm
I love mine in 270 win a real tack driver
"Im just a Peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns"

Copper BB
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:13 pm
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:16 pm
We love the model 70. I just finished up my review of the gun you can read it at: ... fle-review

Very happy with my 2012 Winchester Model 70 FW, 300 WSM

Copper BB
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:48 pm
Does any one on here now where i can get a Model 70 308 Coyote Light please?

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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:49 am
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:49 pm
An interesting aspect of the Winchester Model 70 is the number of the most successful hunters using the rifle, the solid backing of dealers who rate it invariably higher than almost any other rifle, and an amazing amount of years as a very high quality built rifle. The most amazing shortfall in calibers is in one direction, lack of a really short action chambering in .223 Remington. From Featherweight to Super Grade the quality control, the workmanship, the out of the box accuracy is all amazing. I know of not one brand of rifle with this good a reputation as a solid rifle investment. Browning has been more innovative, and of course FN owns both companies. Both companies have also recently offered more budget oriented rifles which are good values. The Model 70 is pretty much the single rifle that gets either listed as one of the best current rifle offerings or severe criticism is leveled at any reviewer who overlooks The Riflemans Rifle!

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Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:39 pm
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:24 pm
The Model 70 Featherweight already has a review that I cannot possibly top so I'll simply give my first day out observations. Mine is in 30-06 which some will say, along with the 270 are the most reliable and common hunting rounds in the world. I have shot 30-06 rifles all my life. A few were Model 70's but I've also owned others including Weatherby. The Weatherby was probably my proudest possession but I could miss a buck with it just as easily as I could with the Model 70.

Today's 2018 Model 70 is every bit as good as the pre-64 model thanks to Browning stepping up to the plate and FN Herstal understanding what a great rifle it is. The pre-64 moniker is set in stone and I don't expect those rifles to loose any of their over inflated values so don't sweat that. Just know, that sooner or later, people will figure it out and only the truly rare rifles will hold their value.

So on the first day out, with only a mediocre bore sighting in my garage, at 25 yards I shot 6 rounds in the bull and 3 of those went through the same holes previously shot. Needless to say, 25 yards is hardly a good test but when you only expect to be on the paper, being dead nuts on impressed the heck out of me. I moved out to 100 yards and shot 2.5 inches high but the windage was good so a few clicks and few more rounds and I shot sub MOA with ease. In fact, I was having so much fun I went throgh 24 rounds before I knew it. Well, actually I did know it because I stopped to clean the barrel twice which is just a habit I have with new rifles.

So my only dilemma now is this. Winchester said it would shoot MOA, in fact they say the trigger is a MOA trigger but mine shoots sub MOA, should I send it back and have them fix it? :D

While I'm on the trigger subject, that trigger sure feels like a Timney or an Elfman. I wonder... Hum.. Mine is glass break and at least at nice as my buddies Tikka.

Overall, I'm giving it 5 Stars and I would definitely recommend this product to my best friend.

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