Model 70 & 03 sporter bench time.

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,505
492
Got out for a little shooting this afternoon. First rounds through the model 70 since I refinished the stock. I've said before I'm not sure why this gun shoots the way it does, it's a 69 model so supposedly the junkier yrs. Just a straight up stock gun. No bedding or nothing. Went through an all day rain last yr, more times heavy rain than drizzling, I think I could've filled a 5 gallon bucket just wringing out my clothes. Every part on the gun was completely soaked. Had it apart, redone the abused stock and put it back together. The gun is still dead on left to right and maybe a 1/4" higher than when I shot it last yr and other than the first shot I pulled low, is still shooting 1/2" and under groups. Put 3 fouling shots through it then went on target at 100.



One thing I have to address is the trigger. I had the trigger with a barely perceivable slight creep and under 3 lbs. It's still no creep but feels like 5lbs. Heavy trigger pull that it didn't have before. Apparently the rain got something in the trigger mechanism I didn't get dried off and didn't see. Other than that I'm still happy with the old shooter.



Next up was the 03A3 I picked up a couple months back. I just loaded up the same loads that the model 70 likes with 150's except they were loaded out farther because of the longer throat. It's .100 behind the lands with the bullet seated to the base of the neck. At around 1 1/2" group it's pretty much minute of deer. Ha. But I have a feeling this gun with it's 2 groove rifling will like the longer 165's and 180's better than the stubby 150's. I'll work on it this summer.



 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
34,819
975
Excellent. All my Winchesters that were/are post-64 (push feed) have shot very well. People dissed them at the time, but they were still a good product that performed quite well. Yours is giving you fine service. As for the 03A3, it is doing enough to bring home the venison. I had one that I gave away. Pity, that. However, I did build my 358 Norma on an 03A3, and it shoots very well, indeed. You're golden. Don't get rid of the old Winnie!
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,254
421
I think you’ve done great.

If once you clean the trigger and it’s still heavy, Ernie the Gunsmith has some springs that’ll allow you to get to 2.5 lbs pretty easily. I love P64 70 triggers. Just about monkey proof and pretty easily tuned to break like a good match trigger.

My elk hunting partner has a 67, 68 or 69 M70 and it just plain shoots!
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,505
492
Dr Mike, that 03's biggest asset at the moment with me is the mauser type action. It had some rough tooling marks on the rear ramp of the follower when I got it. I filed those out, then went to 320 grit sandpaper then polished it. It chambers rounds now like it's sliding a bearing across slippery glass. I REALLY like the action on that gun. I'll find a combination it likes better than this initial test. Or at least I should be able to.

Scotty, I'll keep that spring suggestion in mind. I had that trigger breaking under 3 lbs, more towards 2.75 and it did it clean with a creep so minimal you had to pay attention to pick it up. Was my favorite trigger out of my guns. Breaks clean yet but feels like you're pulling against a wall. Must have a small rust burr on the sear or something from it being so wet. Something changed so I should be able to find it.
 

Cleveland48

Handloader
Jul 28, 2015
1,913
23
Both great rifles! I have seen several of the push feed model 70’s shoot fantastic. Plus there just nothing like running a mauser 98/ 03 Springfield. I have a sporterized 98, but now you have me wanting a 03 also! Great shooting.


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ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,505
492
Cleveland48":1n0cpaig said:
Both great rifles! I have seen several of the push feed model 70’s shoot fantastic. Plus there just nothing like running a mauser 98/ 03 Springfield. I have a sporterized 98, but now you have me wanting a 03 also! Great shooting.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks. I like the 03 plenty so far just the little bit I messed with it, seems like a well built solid old gun. But I like older guns. This one has a replacement safety on it for scope clearance, and it has the older 03 milled floor plate and trigger guard instead of the stamped steel that came on the A3's.

Apparently the smith that sporterized it also did some trigger work on it and by today's standards is not up to par, but you have to admire their work and result from the original nonetheless. Instead of the 2 stage trigger it has a LONG pull, smooth single stage with what feels like maybe 3-3.5 lbs. I don't have a trigger scale I borrow my buddies the few times I check triggers, but I want to check it sometime to verify. The long pull makes it a little difficult for bench shooting but at least it's smooth and relatively light. Timney makes a trigger for the 03 for around $60, so that might be in its future.
 

Cleveland48

Handloader
Jul 28, 2015
1,913
23
ShadeTree":1njydrb4 said:
Cleveland48":1njydrb4 said:
Both great rifles! I have seen several of the push feed model 70’s shoot fantastic. Plus there just nothing like running a mauser 98/ 03 Springfield. I have a sporterized 98, but now you have me wanting a 03 also! Great shooting.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks. I like the 03 plenty so far just the little bit I messed with it, seems like a well built solid old gun. But I like older guns. This one has a replacement safety on it for scope clearance, and it has the older 03 milled floor plate and trigger guard instead of the stamped steel that came on the A3's.

Apparently the smith that sporterized it also did some trigger work on it and by today's standards is not up to par, but you have to admire their work and result from the original nonetheless. Instead of the 2 stage trigger it has a LONG pull, smooth single stage with what feels like maybe 3-3.5 lbs. I don't have a trigger scale I borrow my buddies the few times I check triggers, but I want to check it sometime to verify. The long pull makes it a little difficult for bench shooting but at least it's smooth and relatively light. Timney makes a trigger for the 03 for around $60, so that might be in its future.
My 98 mauser has the old trigger in it also. Was a long but smooth pull, that broke at 4.5 lbs I believe. I put a Timney sportsman in mine. I had to inlet quite a bit of wood out, but I got it to work just fine. The factory Timney setting was 3 lbs so I didn’t touch it lol.


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Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,466
736
Nice shooting with two good rifles!

The push-feed Model 70's were good rifles, they just get looked-down upon by the collectors & Model 70 purists because they don't have "controlled round feed." That doesn't stop them from being very good rifles!

One of the big-name African professional hunters relied on a .458 Win mag, a push-feed Model 70, for many years with no complaints. Might have been Selby, I don't know off the top of my head anymore.

My old 1,000 yard match rifle was built on a push-feed Model 70 action as well. I liked how slick the bolt was when competing in the 200 & 300 yard rapid fire events.

And the Springfield? Classic, simply classic! I'd hunt with a rifle that shoots only 1.5" groups, often have. But I think you're right, I think it's got some more accuracy potential than that.

Regards, Guy
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,505
492
Thanks all. I wanted to make a correction I seen I typed when describing the loading on the 03. It's not .100 behind the lands when seated to the base of the neck, but rather .100 behind the lands when seating the bullet to caliber depth in the neck. Would have to go deeper to be at the base of the neck with the 150's.
 

filmjunkie4ever

Handloader
May 4, 2011
1,442
52
Guy Miner":ddzr7cr8 said:
Nice shooting with two good rifles!


One of the big-name African professional hunters relied on a .458 Win mag, a push-feed Model 70, for many years with no complaints. Might have been Selby, I don't know off the top of my head anymore.

I think that was Finn Aagaard. I just finished reading one of his books, and he refers to using a push-feed Model 70 in .458 Win Mag several times.

I like controlled round feed as well, but I don't feel like push feed is necessarily a flawed system. I have an old Remington 700 that has never failed to feed, fire, extract or eject. It has also never jammed even during rapid cycling of the bolt.

FJ4E
 

hunter24605

Handloader
Apr 30, 2016
1,173
386
SJB358":h4r5c4tq said:
I think you’ve done great.

If once you clean the trigger and it’s still heavy, Ernie the Gunsmith has some springs that’ll allow you to get to 2.5 lbs pretty easily. I love P64 70 triggers. Just about monkey proof and pretty easily tuned to break like a good match trigger.

My elk hunting partner has a 67, 68 or 69 M70 and it just plain shoots!


All my M70's, except one, has Ernie's springs in them. Turns a good trigger into a fantastic trigger.
 

Elkman

Handloader
Apr 4, 2010
4,551
1
Scotty My elk hunting partner has a 67, 68 or 69 M70 and it just plain shoots!
Thats me, as well as the push feed 66, M 70, which is virtually identical to yours, I have a low number 03 that my son in law shoots occasionally, and its fit out almost identical to yours with similar accuracy. I put a composite stock on my 70 many years ago and its a sub MOA shooter. I would bed the recoil lug as the original stock on mine was pretty loose and its easy to do. I have had mine since 70 and its been my primary hunter for both elk and deer since the day I bought it.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,505
492
Elkman":2kcfbg2h said:
Scotty My elk hunting partner has a 67, 68 or 69 M70 and it just plain shoots!
Thats me, as well as the push feed 66, M 70, which is virtually identical to yours, I have a low number 03 that my son in law shoots occasionally, and its fit out almost identical to yours with similar accuracy. I put a composite stock on my 70 many years ago and its a sub MOA shooter. I would bed the recoil lug as the original stock on mine was pretty loose and its easy to do. I have had mine since 70 and its been my primary hunter for both elk and deer since the day I bought it.


There might come a day I'll have to address that but it's been so consistent for so long I hate to mess with it. As of now the stock is probably one of the several reasons it's a shooter. It's a very tight fit getting the recoil lug to settle into the stock at the same time the trigger and rear tang settle in. Better to be lucky than good sometimes I guess, Ha.

The gun has taught me a lot about reloading and what is important and what is not. There are steps I pay critical attention to, and other steps I NEVER do and don't waste my time on, that would have some purists and renowned magazine experts, howling.

When a gun over and over out shoots what it should be able to do using 150's or 180's, and a cheap Simmons 3x9 with crosshairs in it as thick as bear claws, it has cemented in stone for me what matters and what doesn't with reloading.
 
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