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1949 Model 70 270
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Scott L
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August 8, 2023 - 12:28 am
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Hi guys, I have a \’49 model 70 in 270. It has a drilled bolt handle. To my knowledge the drilled bolt handles came in the featherweights in \’52 and beyond. could this be a custom job from winchester. The serial numbers are all matching, 118177. Thank you for your help, Scott

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August 8, 2023 - 1:36 am
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What’s the serial number?

 

Mike

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August 8, 2023 - 2:39 am
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Mike,

118177

As stated in the original post 😉

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August 8, 2023 - 12:35 pm
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Scott;

Are you sure that it is not a replaced bolt?

Check the S/N on the bolt very close. Any evidence of buffing prior to stamping S/N?

RR

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August 8, 2023 - 12:54 pm
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JWA said
Mike,

118177

As stated in the original post 😉

  

Was past my bedtime, looked for it and missed it. Sorry. Was trying to make use of the book I’ve been reading. August of 49 receiver according to Rule’s book. Now I’m wondering if barrel has a date stamp. Found it interesting the drilled bolt handles were not exclusive to the FW’s and not all FW’s had drilled bolt handles.

 

Mike

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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
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August 8, 2023 - 2:13 pm
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The hollow bolt knob was introduced as part of the Featherweight design, but was eventually applied across all M70 styles.  But there were still a lot of bolts in inventory when they started making Featherweights in 1952 (around S/N 214,000).  Net result was that the 1952 and most of the 1953 Featherweights have type III-2 actions (solid bolt knob).  The type III-3 receiver (drilled bolt) on Featherweights doesn’t become common until around S/N 270,000.  The change to type III-3 was implemented in standard weight rifles at about the same time, circa S/N 275,000-280,000 for standard bolts (0.485″ bolt face recess).  

In the case of Scott’s query, the most likely explanation for a hollow bolt knob on a 1949 rifle is that the bolt was replaced after 1953.  Of course it could have been replaced by Winchester, in which case it might have the correct electropencil S/N on it, or it could have been replaced six months ago by a local gunsmith.  We all know there are no R&R records on M70s and that the serial number is based on polishing room records so it only dates receiver manufacture, not rifle manufacture. 

FWIW… A rifle originally assembled in 1949 would have a type III-1 receiver, i.e. the exposed part of the bolt release lever at the left rear of the receiver would be notched, the right side of the bolt sleeve would be flat, and the bolt handle solid.  If, by chance, S/N 118177 (’49 receiver) sat around and wasn’t factory assembled until after 1953 (as a type III-3 with a hollow bolt) it would have had the smooth bolt release (no notch) as well as the hollow bolt knob.  If the rifle (or bolt) was assembled after about 1959, the right side surface of the bolt sleeve would be rounded (type III-4).  

I don’t know of any of this helps… Confused  I was just thinking that if, for example, Scott’s rifle had at some time lost its bolt, the whole bolt (including bolt sleeve and firing pin/striker assembly, firing pin spring retainer, etc.) would have needed replacing (not just the bolt body), and it might be possible to approximately date the bolt (independent from the receiver PR date) as being type III-3 (1953-1958) or type III-4 (1959-1963).  

Best,

Lou

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