Winchester 348

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,902
1,564
Drug out my Pop's old M71 348 today and loaded up 5 rounds to shoot. Load is 200 Hornady FP, 2.810 O.A.L. with 57 grains of Varget (sometimes load 56.5, shoots about the same.)

Was checking each shot. Don't remember if I had it sighted in for the 200 Swift A-Frames from before, but 1'st shot was noticeably low. Could've adjusted the leaf sight up 1 notch but elected just to adjust my hold instead.

Put 2 together, the third I pulled to the right, made sure on the 4'th I didn't let it drift off and that one went in with the other 2. Just looking at the target without official caliber measurement, four shot group is 1.5", three shot group would be touch over 1/2". Distance was 50 yds. As vague as the front sight is becoming for me, I'm surprised I can do even the 1.5".

These were shot with those old CCI primers from back in the 90's that I bought off a neighbor this past summer. So I at least know they're consistent enough for this type of use. Will adjust the sight up 1 notch for the next outing. Fun stuff.


 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,902
1,564
Hey thanks RL! Did slightly better than what I roughly figured. I like that .16 height variation in the group area. Might of been luck.........pretty hard to attribute it to my hawk like eyesight, the way that front sight looked to me today. :LOL:
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,979
525
Definitely better than minute of whitetail/black bear/moose/etc.! Now you gotta go huntin!
Gotta love shootin' the ol' leveractions!
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,902
1,564
The model 71 is truly a classic and it's too bad that Hornady dropped the 200 grain .348 bullet from their line. Owning a model 71 and a 64 is on my bucket list.

They are grand old rifles for sure. They stand by themselves when combining design, craftsmanship, and cartridge.

The good Lord has a way of blessing me with more than I need with things I put my mind towards. Got 10 boxes of the Hornady 200 FP's in about a 1-month time frame. Picked up four I ran across at a local shop, and 6 from a shop in WV that Dan on here picked up for me. Had about half a box left from before. That'll do me for as long as I wish to use it and then some more than likely.
 

gbflyer

Handloader
Mar 28, 2017
910
87
Hard to come by factory ammo. I have a box of Buffalo Bore but I am reluctant to shoot them.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,902
1,564
Hard to come by factory ammo. I have a box of Buffalo Bore but I am reluctant to shoot them.

None of them are cheap compared to the Hornady's, but Hawk, Barnes, Hammer, and Swift make bullets for the 348. Might be missing somebody that makes them that I'm not thinking of. So plenty of reloading options out there yet as of now, but Hornady was the last cheap bullet available, and was used heavily. Darn shame they quit making them.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,902
1,564
I really can’t explain why I don’t own one of those because I think it was the culmination of winchesters skill at putting together a lever action rifle.

Have you ever had the chance to load one up and run some cartridges through it? If you like history, heritage, and lever rifles, I can't imagine you'd be disappointed owning and using one. They'll never be around again, and today is the youngest you'll ever be. (y) I'm not enabling, just gently persuading. :ROFLMAO:
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,979
525
PCI also made ammo for the 348, loaded with the 200 gr FTX bullet.
I picked up 3 boxes when I owned my last Browning Model 71 in 2018.
Did not try them in the rifle while I had it, so cannot comment on its performance, on paper or game.
Have owned 2, 348's over the past 30 years, just didn't pack them hunting, as I grabbed the BLR in 358 instead (had more ammunition, the BLR is lighter and scoped, and not afraid of it getting scarred in the bush as it was well used when I got it).
The Model 71's were just so nice! Will probably end up with another someday...
 

salmonchaser

Handloader
Dec 13, 2013
3,562
1,053
Believe it or not there was a short time frame at the local gun shop where I grew up you could buy a 71 or a 21 field grade for next to nothing. I clearly remember a cardboard 50 gallon drum stuffed with 71s and 21s. The guy who ran the shop told us everyone was trading them in on 7mm Remingtons and 1100s.
Yes I’ve handled and fired them, should probably start looking for one:)
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,902
1,564
PCI also made ammo for the 348, loaded with the 200 gr FTX bullet.
I picked up 3 boxes when I owned my last Browning Model 71 in 2018.
Did not try them in the rifle while I had it, so cannot comment on its performance, on paper or game.
Have owned 2, 348's over the past 30 years, just didn't pack them hunting, as I grabbed the BLR in 358 instead (had more ammunition, the BLR is lighter and scoped, and not afraid of it getting scarred in the bush as it was well used when I got it).
The Model 71's were just so nice! Will probably end up with another someday...

Cool. You owned 2 Winchesters and the Browning? I'm like you, I hate to be the one putting scars on a collectable rifle. The nice thing about this one is it was the one and only big game rifle my Dad carried for probably 20 yrs or better. He bought it new when he was 18 if I recall correctly. Bluing is all wore off on the bottom of the receiver from where he carried it all those yrs. Other than that not all beat up and scarred up, but as long as I make sure to not fall with it, I don't worry about carrying it. A new scratch or blemish somewhere isn't gonna stand out.

Realistically anymore if I'm hunting with iron sights, shots in the woods are confined to 75 yds and under. Depending on the woods, might not get to 75 yds. Open areas with a good rest could be stretched out somewhat farther. I carried this rifle 2 different yrs and killed 2 deer with it. My Dad killed a truckload with it and a bear back in the 60's. I'd like to add a few more to its history if I can.
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,979
525
Sorry, no; both 71's were Grade 1 Brownings, and were in excellent and good shape with nice and very nice wood.
Haven't seen a Winchester in nice shape when I could afford one.
As nice as the High Grades are, I just can't bring myself to buy one, as I wouldn't be packing it out in the bush.

Age is starting to make its appearance in my ability to use iron sights, but as yet, still good enough for hunting at nominal open sight distances of 100-200 yards on large game like moose. Still enjoy it, as that was how I started shooting as a kid. Was about 12-13 years later before I shot a scoped rifle of any kind.

As a matter of fact, I just received a Leupold QR base and rings for my Marlin in 338 Marlin Express in the mail last night. Might get it swapped out today...
 

PJGunner

Handloader
Dec 11, 2010
1,846
438
I'd love to find a nice M71 to keep company with my two M64s. JMHO, but I think the M64 is a lot better rifle than the M94. Truth be told, the M64 is really a nicer version of the M94. To me, they just feel better. My two are a deluxe made in 1938, the year I was born and the other is the standard model made in I think 1957 which I also think was the last year the M64s were made. The older gun has been through a lot while the newer one not so much. Even so, the quality of the 1938 rifle is so much better than the 1957 rifle, easy to see when you compare them.
Paul B.
 

NYDAN

Handloader
Sep 17, 2013
1,332
376
Nice shooting ShadeTree. It must be great to be able to shoot such a classic firearm. Dan
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,447
2,208
I'd love to find a nice M71 to keep company with my two M64s. JMHO, but I think the M64 is a lot better rifle than the M94. Truth be told, the M64 is really a nicer version of the M94. To me, they just feel better. My two are a deluxe made in 1938, the year I was born and the other is the standard model made in I think 1957 which I also think was the last year the M64s were made. The older gun has been through a lot while the newer one not so much. Even so, the quality of the 1938 rifle is so much better than the 1957 rifle, easy to see when you compare them.
Paul B.
Paul,

I had a M64, and like a mindless fool, I gave it away. The M64 is definitely smooth--a joy to handle and use.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,902
1,564
I'd love to find a nice M71 to keep company with my two M64s. JMHO, but I think the M64 is a lot better rifle than the M94. Truth be told, the M64 is really a nicer version of the M94. To me, they just feel better. My two are a deluxe made in 1938, the year I was born and the other is the standard model made in I think 1957 which I also think was the last year the M64s were made. The older gun has been through a lot while the newer one not so much. Even so, the quality of the 1938 rifle is so much better than the 1957 rifle, easy to see when you compare them.
Paul B.

I wish I had an extra M71, maybe we could do some bartering. Ha. I think the M64 would be a fantastic cabinet mate to the M71........doubt I'll ever get one unless I'd happen across a deal too good to turn down, but I got more rifles than I should have to be able to do them justice so as it is.

I know the M64 was chambered in 30-30.......was there other cartridges it was chambered in?
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,902
1,564
Nice shooting ShadeTree. It must be great to be able to shoot such a classic firearm. Dan

Thanks Dan. I'm sure we'd all agree all rifles are fun in their own way, but there is something set apart about using those old finely crafted firearms of an era past. Using them in their purest form as they came and were meant to be used is a treat. Thankfully I can still make well enough use of them that it's fun and not a frustration, although certainly not at the highest ability on my end.
 
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