Would you buy it?

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
3,529
3,076
For the most part I try to buy rifles that are somewhat unusual or desirable, both for me and if I need to unload something I can get good money for it and it wont sit there waiting to sell.

I have a rifle here I worked on that I have the opportunity to buy and falls into that category in my mind.

A 20" barreled M70 that's marked, "Winchester Model 70 Carbine Short Action 308 Win." Certainly not a common M70. Action runs as slick and smooth as melted butter on plate glass. Knurled bolt knob. Great wood.

I can buy it for $500 with 60 pieces or so of once fired remington brass, couple boxes of factory ammo, and die set.

Here's the caveat. I've shot this rifle and it struggles to shoot well. 1.5-1.75" with fliers that make the group 3" with factory ammo.

I really think it's a stock/bedding issue that could be fixed as the stock is by far the tightest I've ever run into. Didn't know if I could even get it apart. Never seen anything like it.

Rifle is worth that for what it is all day every day and then some. But if it's a mechanical issue and not the tight stock........... :?











 
Thebear_78":806gbtgs said:
If it’s a push feed I would probably pass.


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It is. 83 model from what I can tell from the serial number. Old enough that it's still made in New Haven CT, but a push feed.
 
IMHO,

It could be several things, but easily taken care of.
#1) It more than likely doesn't like the ammo you were shooting.
#2) Pressure point at front part of stock could be too much pressure on the barrel, throwing the groups off.
#3) The action screws may be too loose, or too tight. It amazes me many people never check to see if action screws are too loose, or too tight.
#4) Scope and/or scope mounts may be just a tad loose.
#5) It might have a slight dent in the crown of the barrel.
#5) The scope may have broken, and not noticeable from the outside.

To tell you my experience with the M70 push feeds, I've had a few, and they were never inaccurate. I had to do my due diligence in finding ammo they did like, though.
Handloading will also tighten groups a lot. I usually got mine shooting within 2/3rds of an inch.

Now, I can remember an M70 push feed .270 Win I had bought from a guy when I was a young airmen in the Air Force. He never told me he had accuracy issues. He just needed money for rent. So I bought it.
I went out and shot it, and I couldn't get any groups inside a pie plate at 100 yds. Well, come to find out, the scope that came with the rifle had been broken internally. After I got done shooting it, the reticle inside started turning, and would move from side to side when tipped on either side. So I bought a good scope, and that fixed the problem.

Anyways, that's my 2¢ worth.


Hawk

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Would I buy it? Sure. I've built several rifles on the push-feed Model 70s, and all shot very well. Accuracy issues can be addressed by working out the cause of the inaccuracy. Hawkeyesatx has pretty well covered the bases for readily addressing that issue. The action would serve as a good build for something I really wanted. The wood has some fine character which makes it attractive for an appropriate build. Just my opinion, and worth about what you paid for it.
 
DrMike":13ozmllb said:
Would I buy it? Sure. I've built several rifles on the push-feed Model 70s, and all shot very well. Accuracy issues can be addressed by working out the cause of the inaccuracy. Hawkeyesatx has pretty well covered the bases for readily addressing that issue. The action would serve as a good build for something I really wanted. The wood has some fine character which makes it attractive for an appropriate build. Just my opinion, and worth about what you paid for it.

I'm on the fence about it. I don't have an issue finding and fixing the accuracy problem if it's caused by a fixable issue, whatever that may be. It kind of has a reputation for not being much of a shooter from the owner. However if the bore isn't concentric, chamber is out of alignment with the bore, etc, no fixing it short of barrel replacement.

If giving it stock clearance and bedding wouldn't fix it, I guess it would make a dandy re-barrel to something else in the future, but I might pass. Undecided about it.
 
If you dont want it, send it over here. I've never had any problems with push feed Model 70s & have had more than a few. The hatred is misplaced.

Winchester from that era's idea of bedding often resembles little more than a gob of silicon sealer near the recoil lug but they usually shoot pretty well. The wood looks decent. If all else fails JES could make a dandy 358.
 
358 WCF":3u29ddkt said:
If you dont want it, send it over here. I've never had any problems with push feed Model 70s & have had more than a few. The hatred is misplaced.

Winchester from that era's idea of bedding often resembles little more than a gob of silicon sealer near the recoil lug but they usually shoot pretty well. The wood looks decent. If all else fails JES could make a dandy 358.

Yeah I have a 69 model if I remember correctly, push feed M70 in 06 that is one of the sweetest shooting rifles I own. Push feed doesn't scare me a bit.

This one does have the dob of whatever it is they used sometimes in the stock. But that stock is wedged on there TIGHT, TIGHT, TIGHT! Needed to try and get it apart to do some trigger work on it that was requested by a buddy.

I was convinced somebody had bedded it and had it welded fast. I ended up putting a heavy doubled up cloth across the underside of the barrel and rapped it hard 4-5 times with a heavy mallet until I thought I felt it move. Even after it moved it was difficult to get the stock removed. Went back in just as tight. I can't believe it never cracked anywhere. It's gonna need some wood removed and bedded.

Don't think it can be rebored to 358, but if it got to that point I'd have to talk to JES. Only measure .550 at the muzzle. I've heard JES wants .125 on either side of the bored caliber.
 


Don't think it can be rebored to 358, but if it got to that point I'd have to talk to JES. Only measure .550 at the muzzle. I've heard JES wants .125 on either side of the bored caliber.[/quote]

Maybe a 338 Federal? It will be a tad under .125/side.
 
You could cut the barrel back until you got enough barrel diameter


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Why buy a rifle with known problems ? It's pretty and looks to be in great shape, just like my first wife. Lots more problems surfaced as time went by.
 
Elkman":qxe2f8ut said:
Why buy a rifle with known problems ? It's pretty and looks to be in great shape, just like my first wife. Lots more problems surfaced as time went by.

Ha. I hear ya. I really was only intrigued by it for the rifle as it is by the factory, 308 carbine, plus it got above average wood on it.

If relieving the wood where necessary and bedding it turned it into a shooter, it's worth more than that. However as a re-barrel project for $500, I'm really not interested.
I'm leaning toward giving it a pass at that price.

I'm getting close to being at my quota filled on rifles. A 25-06 in the right gun is on my agenda and I wouldn't want to pass on that because I have this project and spent money.

Sometimes I know right away I'm buying a rifle.......this was one of those I knew I needed to think over a couple days.
 
I know a push feed Winchester is sacrilege.... I get it. But LOTS of push feed rifles out there shoot like a house a fire. I would answer these questions. Do you like the way it looks? (seems handsome enough to my eye). Do you like the way it handles? Will you have a use for a short barreled 308? (No sense buying a rifle I wont use/ don't need - yes NEED does have something to do with it...) Did I have a rough day at the range? Is it worth a scope swap down the road if needed?

On the plus side, Winchester does know how to make rifles. Quality control might be suspect some times, but they usually shoot, eventually, and always work. And its a rare rtifle (in my reading...) in 308 that cant be made to shoot. Heck that's what enablers ... er.. reloaders...er... Guys like us are here for. :) CL
 
Not for $500. I would for $300 as stated earlier and explain I needed wiggle room to fix what might be wrong with it.
Though the barrel diameter may be too small at 20" I would consider cutting an inch or so off to turn it into a 358 Win or a 338 Fed.
 
I've never seen a post 64 Winchester that didn't shoot. Might need a bit of tinkering here and there but they will shoot. I have a couple of post 64s, pre 68s and a few pre68s and they all shoot nice groups. If I were looking at that rifle, I'd ask to tor try something. I'd put shims under the receiver right behind the recoil lug and behind the tang, just large enough to relive the barrel. Call it a poor man's free float and see how it shoots that way. If shows signs of shooting well or gives good groups, I'd snap it up in a heartbeat.
One of my .308s is a Winchester push feed. It's a youth rifle I won in a raffle. The stock was some kind of el cheapo hardwood and way too short for me so I stuck it in a Ramline. Groups with the 165 gr. Speer hot Core have been running at one inch or less and mostly less. Ive since picked up a short action Featherweight stock and will probably put the barreled action into it and hope I don't lose the good accuracy I now have. Well, at least it's look a hell of a lot better.
Paul B.
 
Back when the post 64 model 70 came out, Winchester put out some stocks that had not been properly cured and warped terribly. My friend had one in which the fore stock clearly was pressing on the left side of the barrel resulting in 100 yard groups the size of basketballs. We kept relieving the channel on the left side until the barrel cleared. There was less than an eighth of inch of wood left at the front end on the left side and a gap you could drive a truck through on the right side. But it then shot lights out. A new stock was the eventual answer. By the time the rifle under discussion was made, Winchester should have worked that problem out, but it would not hurt to check.
 
Elkman":12vnwl7x said:
Why buy a rifle with known problems ? It's pretty and looks to be in great shape, just like my first wife. Lots more problems surfaced as time went by.
That's great! LOL........I spit out my coffee! :lol:
 
No, not a push feed m70. I'd rather have a Remington. A CRF m70 is one of the very best though!
 
CRF rifles gained their claim to fame with dangerous game hunters in Africa many many years ago. There is however NOTHING that CRF adds to the accuracy of a rifle. Push feed rifles are every bit as accurate a CRF rifles, and normally more so. Tolerances for CRF rifles are for the most part not as tight as push feed at lockup. I don't want to start a disagreement but that makes it no less a fact. If you want the rifle buy it, but try to get a better deal due to the work and time you may have to invest once its yours.
 
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