Winchester 70 Classic
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  1. #1
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    Default Winchester 70 Classic

    I donít want to get stomped on for this because I might have a hard time expressing it understandably. But here goes.

    I have a Model 70 Classic I built up. I bought the action and held on to it for awhile before I had all the parts collected up. Its basically a stock configuration complete with factory wood, Hart barrel in factory contour and a Sunny Hill one piece bottom metal. Itís a lefty stainless mag bolt face. I put the factory H and H ejector blade and bolt stop in it as Iíve chambered it in .300 H&H. Foolish, I know but I love that old round. It took a few passes with different mag followers, a Williams extractor, and a lot of frustration but Iíve got it ejecting correctly 100% of the time with loaded and empties without modification to the port length.

    So my question is that there seems to be significant rearward bolt deflection up/down upon cocking/firing. Iíve not measured it but itís a bunch. While the rifle is what I would consider a honest 1 MOA shooter by hunting gun standards, I am convinced this deflection is taking away from potential. Is there anything that can be done or is this the nature of the beast? I would be the first to admit that any work here would likely be above my pay grade and I would be happy to compensate for professional intervention.

    Thanks!

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    Save your money. Tightening up the rear of the bolt is not going to make a difference you can readily detect with that cartridge and rifle. JMHO. All commercial grade hunting bolt actions have oversize bolt ways to allow for dirt and fouling in the field. Custom target actions are better because it is basically mandatory for a custom action builder to make a snug boltway to avoid criticism which would hurt sales given the anal tendencies of competition shoters.



    RWO

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    No reason you couldnít sleeve the bolt but I doubt that is where your clearance issue is. More than likely the safety should is loose in the bolt giving the appearance of the bolt rising. A common problem on classic model 70s. Pretty tough to address without an oversize shroud. Makes safety function erratic as well.

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  5. #4
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    True about built in slop increasing dependability. If you were hunting with a .22 hornet, you might survive a malfunction, maybe not if your .300 H&H jams.

    Maybe you could jig up the rifle, take an accurate measurement of the bolt movement in the receiver, then contact Winchester and ask if this is an acceptable amount of play.

    Also true that this design is basically a Mauser and the locking lugs are in the front of the bolt, so eliminating back end play won't affect accuracy much. However vertical play at the rear of the bolt could affect sear engagement and become a safety issue.

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    First, there is absolutely nothing 'foolish' about the .300 H&H Magnum as a round. If you like it, and it works for you, then there's nothing wrong or foolish. More power to you.

    Second, a 1 MOA Win70? That's in the ballpark of where the M70's typically shot group sizes unless special attention was paid to them from the factory. The bolt wiggle, if corrected, won't improve the group size as much as you could get for devoting a similar amount of time and money into other areas.

    For example - how about you work on your loads? You could check out some of the modern all-copper bullets. I have an post-64 Win70 .270 Winchester that rarely shot better than 1 MOA with Nosler Partitions (either 130's or 150's). I tried all manner of powders, primers, seating depths, etc. I could improve a little here, or a little there, but nothing would give me consistent shot to shot improvements.

    Then I tried some Barnes TSX 140 grain .270 bullets. The very first load I tried, to Barnes' specifications for a starting load, delivered a five-shot group of a little more than 5/8ths of an inch. I decided to call "done deal!" and live with it. Now that rifle throws down 1/2" to 3/4" groups very consistently, and the Barnes TSX 140 grain bullet is all I feed that rifle. I don't bother with new loads, new powders, or anything else. For that rifle, a 5/8th group size is very, very good and I'm not going to argue with success. 1 MOA isn't bad either, but if you want to search for improvement, go for it.

    Another place to look at improving that rifle's performance might be free-floating the barrel from the stock - or bedding the action into the stock.

    What Kurt said about the sear engagement on the cocking piece is an issue I would examine with that bolt.

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyop View Post
    First, there is absolutely nothing 'foolish' about the .300 H&H Magnum as a round. If you like it, and it works for you, then there's nothing wrong or foolish. More power to you.

    Second, a 1 MOA Win70? That's in the ballpark of where the M70's typically shot group sizes unless special attention was paid to them from the factory. The bolt wiggle, if corrected, won't improve the group size as much as you could get for devoting a similar amount of time and money into other areas.

    For example - how about you work on your loads? You could check out some of the modern all-copper bullets. I have an post-64 Win70 .270 Winchester that rarely shot better than 1 MOA with Nosler Partitions (either 130's or 150's). I tried all manner of powders, primers, seating depths, etc. I could improve a little here, or a little there, but nothing would give me consistent shot to shot improvements.

    Then I tried some Barnes TSX 140 grain .270 bullets. The very first load I tried, to Barnes' specifications for a starting load, delivered a five-shot group of a little more than 5/8ths of an inch. I decided to call "done deal!" and live with it. Now that rifle throws down 1/2" to 3/4" groups very consistently, and the Barnes TSX 140 grain bullet is all I feed that rifle. I don't bother with new loads, new powders, or anything else. For that rifle, a 5/8th group size is very, very good and I'm not going to argue with success. 1 MOA isn't bad either, but if you want to search for improvement, go for it.

    Another place to look at improving that rifle's performance might be free-floating the barrel from the stock - or bedding the action into the stock.

    What Kurt said about the sear engagement on the cocking piece is an issue I would examine with that bolt.
    Thanks for that and not ribbing me for the old .30 Super. I love that old cartridge but I had no idea when I embarked on this adventure how pricy the brass has become. I tried the Hornady with not that great of results and switched to Norma and havenít looked back.

    Iím with ya with the bullets. Oddly enough, the best Iíve done with this particular rifle is a 220gr Sierra RN, followed closely with 180gr TTSX Barnes. We have a pre-64 in the safe thatís been chambered to .30-338. Itís quite a lot more accurate than this one but it was stocked and chambered years ago by my old friend Truman Wilson.

    It makes absolutely no sense to carry this beast here in rainy SE AK, and at 9# it needs a set of wheels under it. But I like it anywayWinchester 70 Classic

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbflyer View Post
    Thanks for that and not ribbing me for the old .30 Super. I love that old cartridge but I had no idea when I embarked on this adventure how pricy the brass has become. I tried the Hornady with not that great of results and switched to Norma and haven’t looked back.

    You'll never get ribbed by me for using an old, established, cartridge. I have built my own elk rifles in 9.3x62 Mauser and .35 Whelen. We're talking of cartridges over 100 (from 1905) and the early 1920's, respectively. I maintain that a .30-06 will take most any large animal on the North American continent in the hands of a competent shootist, and I reckon the differences between a .270 Winchester, .280 Remington and .30-06 are in the statistical noise. The next cartridge that is enough of a 'step up' from an '06 to make it worth the trouble is, IMO, a .338 WinMag, .35 Whelen or 9.3x62. The .338 comes out on top, but only barely.

    If I ever convince my wife to go to Africa, I'll build up a rifle in .404 Jeffery.

    Most new-fangled cartridges are so much nonsense. They might make only marginal differences for hunting. There are some new cartridges that work "better" for target shooting (eg, the 6.5x47 Lapua), and have design issues for that pursuit. But looking back 100+ years ago, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the .375 H&H; it was one of the most versatile cartridges in smokeless powder history. It is also an excellent teaching point for my students - because the .375 was designed to serve in both bolt action and break action rifles. Telling students to contemplate the issues in rifle design whilst looking upon the case taper of the .375 is a good way to get students actually thinking about a rifle and cartridge as a system, rather than just an exercise in slapping one into the other. As such, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the .300 H&H - it has the same great reliability in extraction that the .375 H&H had. It was used to win 1,000 yard shooting competitions in the 1930's.

    One note, tho: Don't fire a .300 H&H cartridge that's been loaded to .300 H&H pressures in a rifle labeled for .30 Super. They're dimensionally the same cartridge, but the .300 H&H is loaded to far higher pressures. You can fire a .30 Super in a .300 H&H rifle all day long, just not the other way 'round.

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  12. #8
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    New bullet designs have leveled the field also. A premium bullet in a.30-06 can make it perform like a .300 mag with standard bullets.

  13. #9
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    And new powders. Powders like Reloader 15 and 17 can coax more velocity out of existing cartridges without raising pressures excessively. These powders keep the pressure curve "up high, for longer" to get more velocity out of older cartridges.


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