Avatar
Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon
Did Winchester make a pre-64 Model 70 in 30-03 Government
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Avatar
Winchester, VA
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 973
Member Since:
November 5, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
21
July 20, 2021 - 3:41 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

My thanks †o Tony for posting some of my comments/thoughts.  Laugh  I am still in internet limbo and probably will be for a few more weeks, since rural internet (at the new house) seems to be taking time. Confused

In any event, I am not sure that we have seen any photos of the rifle claimed to be in 30-03 that was the original subject of this thread. The image I sent Tony was courtesy of Justin Hale, who had been contacted over a year ago by someone who believed they had a M70 in 30 GOV’T’03.  Justin said it was a 1948 rifle, but didn’t tell me the serial number (I doubt he knew it).  That rifle was clearly a 30 GOV’T’06 with a chip in the die that made the “06” in the caliber stamp eerily resemble an “03”.  I would consider it an honest mistake to read that as “03”, unless a seller tried to represent it as something it isn’t:

30-GOVT-03.pngImage Enlarger

Note that this is a style 3A caliber stamp (commonly used 1941-1948) in that the roll mark says “Winchester – MODEL 70 –” with separate caliber designation stamp.  For comparison, here are two more style 3A stamps.  The first one is also chipped in about the same spot, but more obviously still an “06”, while the final one is more or less intact:

30-GOVT06-1.pngImage Enlarger30-GOVT06-2.pngImage Enlarger

About the punctuation.  With little rhyme or reason it varied from die to die.  Even excluding broken off “periods”, these ’06 dies can read “30 GOV’T’06”, “30 GOV’T 06”, “30 GOV’T.’06”, etc.  Same is true of other caliber stamps in this time frame, e.g. “.270 W.C.F.”, “270 W.CF”, etc… Confused

Regarding the original question of whether a genuine M70 was ever made in “30 GOV’T’03”, as Tony said, I’ve never seen believable evidence of one.  Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but I’d be suspicious.  There were some oddball M70s made during WWII for Government ballistics and R&D labs, like smoothbore 300 H&H MAGNUMs (documented in the wartime “Quotations and Orders” ledgers), and they certainly built prototype guns in the 1950s in some weird calibers, like a .277 bullet in a 308 WIN case, but a 30-03 built in 1948 for Civilian sale is a hard one to rationalize. Laugh

Hope this helps,

Lou

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

WACA-Signauture-3.jpg

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 6357
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
22
July 20, 2021 - 5:04 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Louis Luttrell said

  I would consider it an honest mistake to read that as “03”, unless a seller tried to represent it as something it isn’t:

An honest mistake, possibly, but also a stupid mistake, because the alleged “3” in every photo I’ve seen is clearly a malformed “6.”  Without magnification, the enlarged serif in the upper part of the “6” is visible, & the entire figure is obviously different in shape from the genuine “3.”

There would be some grounds for misinterpreting the malformed “6” as a “3” if .30-03 ammo had been recently in production, but it was discontinued by Win. & other makers by 1939.  What’s the likelihood that Win. would have chambered guns for which new ammo was not available?  Two of the metric calibers offered for the 54 were dropped from 70 production for the logical reason that it’s not profitable to mfg. rifles for unpopular cartridges.  Nothing about this story holds water.  Alien abduction is a more plausible theory.

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 463
Member Since:
March 12, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
23
July 21, 2021 - 1:23 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

A chamber cast will settle matters very quickly.

Steve

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4246
Member Since:
November 19, 2006
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
24
July 21, 2021 - 1:55 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Would it be fair to say a .30-03 cartridge wouldn’t chamber if it is a .30-06?

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 6357
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
25
July 21, 2021 - 2:31 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

steve004 said
Would it be fair to say a .30-03 cartridge wouldn’t chamber if it is a .30-06?  

Yes, the neck is too long; when the ’06 was adopted, SA rechambered existing ’03s by setting back the brl.  Of course a faker could ream out a .30-06 chamber to .30-03 dimensions.

How can this absurd conjecture–a M70 in .30-03–persist? 

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4246
Member Since:
November 19, 2006
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
26
July 21, 2021 - 3:43 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

clarence said

steve004 said
Would it be fair to say a .30-03 cartridge wouldn’t chamber if it is a .30-06?  

Yes, the neck is too long; when the ’06 was adopted, SA rechambered existing ’03s by setting back the brl.  Of course a faker could ream out a .30-06 chamber to .30-03 dimensions.

How can this absurd conjecture–a M70 in .30-03–persist?   

Clarence – because it’s just not going to go away!  It was discussed 11 years ago on a 24 hour campfire “ask the gunwriter” focum.  I participated in the discussion.  Maybe this thread started out with a discussion of the same rifle that started the topic here.  I didn’t have time to review (all six pages) but notice this thread spans from 7/6/12 to 7/11/21.  

It’s amusing as I have pondered this topic since it was posted, I have been thinking of a memory that is in the deep recesses of my mind that Winchester made a group of M70 .30-03’s.  The amusing part is I made this very statement on the 24 hours thread in 2012.  

Also, I noted in the 24 hour thread that Jim Foral mentioned the .30-03 had been referred to as the .30-45 back in the military circles of the day.

Here’s the thread:

https://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/6659668/all/Model_70_in_30Govt03

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 6357
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
27
July 21, 2021 - 5:32 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

steve004 said

Clarence – because it’s just not going to go away!  It was discussed 11 years ago on a 24 hour campfire “ask the gunwriter” focum.  I participated in the discussion.  Maybe this thread started out with a discussion of the same rifle that started the topic here.  I didn’t have time to review (all six pages) but notice this thread spans from 7/6/12 to 7/11/21.  

It’s amusing as I have pondered this topic since it was posted, I have been thinking of a memory that is in the deep recesses of my mind that Winchester made a group of M70 .30-03’s.  The amusing part is I made this very statement on the 24 hours thread in 2012.  

Also, I noted in the 24 hour thread that Jim Foral mentioned the .30-03 had been referred to as the .30-45 back in the military circles of the day.

Here’s the thread:

https://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/6659668/all/Model_70_in_30Govt03  

Amazing the number of folks who have nothing to say relevant to the issue, but are determined to say it…illustrated with photos!  Only noteworthy item I saw was the ’95 Musket with a heel sight. 

The internet makes nonsense self-perpetuating.

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4246
Member Since:
November 19, 2006
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
28
July 21, 2021 - 6:04 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

This was an intriguing quote from the 24 HR Campfire thread:

i also have a model 70 marked 30govt03 but it wont let me add a picture, im pretty sure the bottom of the barrel reads 1908 46

He never did follow up.  It was the only post he ever made on the campfire.  

I have heard you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.  At least that’s what I read on the internet.

Avatar
Steve Garbe
Guest
WACA Guest
29
September 22, 2021 - 1:12 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Gentlemen,

I came across this discussion when I searched the Internet for information on a .30-03 Model 70. My search began when in the process of inventorying some firearms arms for the widow of a deceased friend, I came across his favorite hunting rifle (according to the family), a Model 70 Winchester marked .30-03. The serial number of the rifle is 89869, has a custom stock done by a local gunsmith probably 50 years ago, a Griffin & Howe scope mount and a Lyman Alaskan scope. I can guarantee you that this rifle has not been faked, it is simply an old elk hunter’s rifle that has seen a lifetime use…he bought the rifle new when he returned from World War Two.

I was very puzzled when I saw the chambering as it didn’t make any sense that a Model 70 would be in .30-03. I looked very closely at the “3” and it did not appear to me to be anything other than a “3”. There’s no intrigue here, believe me…the family wants the rifle to go to a grandson who intends to use it for his hunting endeavors. The rifle, other than the custom stock, is in about 90% condition…wear is only on the blueing from being carried in a saddle scabbard. The bore is perfect. If I can I’m going to ask if I may chamber cast the rifle to satisfy my own curiosity. All the ammo that was with the rifle was .30-06.

My thoughts are that it was simply mis-marked at the factory and has a .30-06 chamber. Given that, it is still a real rarity.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

 

Steve Garbe

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 580
Member Since:
September 19, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
30
September 22, 2021 - 3:02 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Steve, I should think a quick way would be to try chambering a .30 Gov’t of 1903 cartridge in the rifle to see if it would indeed chamber.  The neck will be longer than that of a .30 Gov’t of 1906 and shouldn’t chamber if it is actually chambered only for the latter. I am not a model 70 man, though, with my experiences limited to the differences in the model 1895 rifles.  Hope a model 70 expert will weigh in here.  Tim

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4246
Member Since:
November 19, 2006
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
31
September 22, 2021 - 4:31 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Steve – is there any way you can get a look at the underside of the barrel (i.e. now covered by the stock) to see what barrel markings the rifle has?  I disagree with you on one point as I think the rifle has some intrigue.  In fact, I’ll vouch for that as I am intrigued.

It’s interesting as, if the rifle chambers a .30-03 cartridge, that would support it left the factory as a .30-03.  If the rifle won’t chamber a .30-03, that doesn’t mean it didn’t leave the factory marked as a .30-03 – which would support your theory that it is a .30-06 that was mismarked.  It’s not easy for me to picture how that would have happened, but on rare occasions, strange things happen.

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 463
Member Since:
March 12, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
32
September 22, 2021 - 4:58 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

It would certainly be interesting to take a close look at this rifle. Based on S/N, it would fall into the hand stamped caliber designation, which makes more since than a later caliber designation that was included in a 1 piece roll stamp die. That said, I still cannot envision a reason for Winchester having a caliber stamp that caliber, unless left over from early model 95 production. 

Steve

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4246
Member Since:
November 19, 2006
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
33
September 22, 2021 - 5:07 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

This might not be a feasible explanation, but if the numbers were individually stamped, a distracted worker could have grabbed the “3” die a second time, rather than the “6”.  

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 463
Member Since:
March 12, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
34
September 22, 2021 - 5:15 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

The calibers at that time were stamped with 1-piece dies made up for each individual caliber as opposed to having a 1-piece roll die that stamped all the Winchester information and caliber. They were not done with individual character stamps.

Steve

Avatar
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 4246
Member Since:
November 19, 2006
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
35
September 22, 2021 - 5:33 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

seewin said
The calibers at that time were stamped with 1-piece dies made up for each individual caliber as opposed to having a 1-piece roll die that stamped all the Winchester information and caliber. They were not done with individual character stamps.

Steve  

Thanks Steve.  I thought that was likely the case.  There really is no explanation as to how it could have been mistamped (e.g. other than something like a worn or broken die).  It’s not like a .30-03 die would have been just laying on the bench.  

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 6357
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
36
September 22, 2021 - 5:48 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Steve Garbe said  I looked very closely at the “3” and it did not appear to me to be anything other than a “3”.

Steve, have you compared this marking with the photo in response #17?  That “3” is clearly an incomplete “6,” with part of the left side of the numeral “washed-out” as a result of a damaged die, faulty die strike, or some other accident.

Avatar
Winchester, VA
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 973
Member Since:
November 5, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
37
September 22, 2021 - 10:53 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Steve-

It is intriguing…  Like all good things Winchester, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to chamber a barrel in 30-03, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen?

All good suggestions above…  If possible:

1.  Check the underside of the barrel.  There should be a caliber designation stamp and a two-digit date stamp under there indicating the year the barrel was made.  The caliber designation, at the time, for 30 GOV’T’06 was “1906”.  Would be interesting to know how this barrel is marked.

2.  Make a chamber cast and/or try chambering a 30-03 cartridge.

3.  Post a close-up photo of the exposed caliber stamp on the left side of the barrel (I’m curious)… Laugh  As a guest you can’t upload photos directly, but can either use a third party hosting service and post the URL here or you can send the photo to me (luttrell@musc) or seewin ([email protected]) to post on your behalf.

Best,

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

WACA-Signauture-3.jpg

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 6357
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
38
September 22, 2021 - 11:20 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Louis Luttrell said
Hi Steve-

 Like all good things Winchester, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to chamber a barrel in 30-03, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen?

A “lot of sense”?  That would fall into the category of no sense whatever.

Avatar
Steve Garbe
Guest
WACA Guest
39
September 24, 2021 - 2:53 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Gentlemen,

I have access to the rifle and will check the underside of the barrel as well as trying to chamber a .30-03 cartridge. The individual who owned the rifle would not have “special ordered” it in .30-03…probably picked it up at the local hardware store. Now…I would could believe that the rifle showed up at the retailer marked as a .30-03, nobody wanted it, and (me knowing the owner pretty well) he might have bought it because he could have gotten a good discount.

I’ll get some photos and attempt to post them; the “3” looks straight to me, but after spending a few years collecting single shots, I know better than to say nothing is a possibility.

Thanks for the posts,

 

Steve Garbe

Avatar
NY
Member
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 6357
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
40
September 24, 2021 - 4:55 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Steve Garbe said
Gentlemen,

I have access to the rifle and will check the underside of the barrel as well as trying to chamber a .30-03 cartridge.  

This would be great!  To put an end once & for all to this mystery, which I believe is the result of a few mis-marked guns.  If it turns out to be the “real thing,” which I greatly doubt, the owner can go shopping for a new maxed-out 4×4 truck.

Forum Timezone: UTC 0
Most Users Ever Online: 778
Currently Online: deerhunter, clarence, Win61, jsgwoodsman, winfan
Guest(s) 127
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
clarence: 6357
TXGunNut: 5015
Chuck: 4596
1873man: 4319
steve004: 4246
Big Larry: 2339
twobit: 2293
mrcvs: 1723
TR: 1722
Forum Stats:
Groups: 1
Forums: 17
Topics: 12740
Posts: 110962

 

Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1760
Members: 8843
Moderators: 4
Admins: 3
Navigation