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Did Winchester make a pre-64 Model 70 in 30-03 Government
July 18, 2021
6:39 pm
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limestone304@aol.com said

Of a Mis stamped pre-64 Model 70.thumbnail.jpgImage Enlarger

This seems to be the same Rifle in question on another Forum, but until, we can verify serial #’s, it’s a guess as they are both claimed to be mfg. in 1948!  

Compare the two 3s–they aren’t the same.  Even without a magnifier, it’s possible to see that the serif at the upper end of the 6 doesn’t touch the circular part of the number.  The second “3” is the result of a badly cut or damaged 6 die.

July 18, 2021
7:25 pm
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clarence said

Compare the two 3s–they aren’t the same.  Even without a magnifier, it’s possible to see that the serif at the upper end of the 6 doesn’t touch the circular part of the number.  The second “3” is the result of a badly cut or damaged 6 die.  

I don’t think that last 3 had ever been a six.

July 18, 2021
7:32 pm
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What looks like a 3 was supposed to be a 6 and is the result of being struck with a chipped die, it hasn’t been altered.

July 18, 2021
10:02 pm
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Steve,

I thought the same thing, until I imagined a six, there and my eyes told me that there was a six there!

Try it! Concentrate on the supposed 3, that was a six and try to imagine, or picture the six.

I know, it sounds crazy, and if I would have found it at a Gun Show, thinking it was a rare bird, I would have been fooled!

Knowing in advance what were looking for makes it all the difference in the world.

Just my opinion!Smile

July 18, 2021
10:09 pm
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So I went to my Email, where Lou, originally sent me the pic. that I was able to thumbnail, and on my Email, I was able to blow it up larger, unlike on the WACA Forum, and that’s where it was obvious to me that it was a 6!

Steve, try that and tell me what you think!

July 18, 2021
10:29 pm
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I do not believe this rifle was originally, nor is, a .30-03.

I located a Winchester Model 70 in .30 06 from 1948.  Click on the barrel markings and note how it differs from the markings on this one, especially the lack of dashes.

If I had to guess, I think the barrel on the rifle that is the subject matter of this thread has been replaced.

I wonder what the date is on the underside of the barrel?  Odds are it isn’t 1948.

https://www.gunsamerica.com/930835844/Winchester-Model-70-rifle-30-06-PRE-64-1948-manufacture-date.htm

July 18, 2021
10:45 pm
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I have

limestone304@aol.com said
Steve,

I thought the same thing, until I imagined a six, there and my eyes told me that there was a six there!

Try it! Concentrate on the supposed 3, that was a six and try to imagine, or picture the six.

I know, it sounds crazy, and if I would have found it at a Gun Show, thinking it was a rare bird, I would have been fooled!

Knowing in advance what were looking for makes it all the difference in the world.

Just my opinion!Smile 

limestone304@aol.com said
Steve,

I thought the same thing, until I imagined a six, there and my eyes told me that there was a six there!

Try it! Concentrate on the supposed 3, that was a six and try to imagine, or picture the six.

I know, it sounds crazy, and if I would have found it at a Gun Show, thinking it was a rare bird, I would have been fooled!

Knowing in advance what were looking for makes it all the difference in the world.

Just my opinion!Smile  

I have been trying what you suggest.  I just can’t quite get there.  If you think about the bottom of the 6, on other rifles it seems to make basically a perfect circle.  On this one (the “3”) that part of the bottom circle – at about the 1:00 position – starts to curve up.  

July 18, 2021
10:52 pm
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mrcvs said
I do not believe this rifle was originally, nor is, a .30-03.

I located a Winchester Model 70 in .30 06 from 1948.  Click on the barrel markings and note how it differs from the markings on this one, especially the lack of dashes.

If I had to guess, I think the barrel on the rifle that is the subject matter of this thread has been replaced.

I wonder what the date is on the underside of the barrel?  Odds are it isn’t 1948.

https://www.gunsamerica.com/930835844/Winchester-Model-70-rifle-30-06-PRE-64-1948-manufacture-date.htm  

Here’s another example for us to compare.  This one also doesn’t have the dashes, but notice the V’T’06. vs. the one we have been discussing which is V’T03

https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/rifles/winchester-rifles-model-70-pre-64/winchester-model-70-pre-war-variation-4-carbine-30-06-government-20-barrel-lyman-48-wjs-rear-side-mount-receiver-sight-cool-.cfm?gun_id=101684524#md-9

July 18, 2021
11:04 pm
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limestone304@aol.com said

I know, it sounds crazy, and if I would have found it at a Gun Show, thinking it was a rare bird, I would have been fooled!

 

If this gun was legit, or even “apparently” legit, it would be the star attraction in a Rock Island or other big-time auction, not on a gun show table.

July 18, 2021
11:14 pm
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steve004 said

Here’s another example for us to compare.  This one also doesn’t have the dashes, but notice the V’T’06. vs. the one we have been discussing which is V’T03

https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/rifles/winchester-rifles-model-70-pre-64/winchester-model-70-pre-war-variation-4-carbine-30-06-government-20-barrel-lyman-48-wjs-rear-side-mount-receiver-sight-cool-.cfm?gun_id=101684524#md-9  

That’s a 1940 gun.  The markings on that one look more like the subject matter of this thread.  And thus, there’s the likely answer.  It’s an earlier barrel affixed to this 1948 production Model 70 with a weak “6” that looks like a “3”.

July 19, 2021
10:24 pm
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On the topic of worn or chipped caliber stamping dies, here’s an interesting one Austin currently has on auction:

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/905417656

Note photo #19

Both 0’s and the V show damage.

July 20, 2021
3:41 pm
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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

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WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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July 20, 2021
5:04 pm
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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.

July 20, 2021
11:19 pm
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Lou,

Thanks, for weighing in and Clarifying!

I do find it interesting and Educational!

Even if there is some sort of Proof down the Road of a Rogue, Documented Pre-64, Model 70, again I would find the Caliber stamp to be Hard to believe that it would be stamped similar to the 30-06 Stamp.

TonySmile

July 21, 2021
1:23 am
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A chamber cast will settle matters very quickly.

Steve

July 21, 2021
1:55 am
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Would it be fair to say a .30-03 cartridge wouldn’t chamber if it is a .30-06?

July 21, 2021
2:31 am
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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? 

July 21, 2021
3:43 pm
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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

July 21, 2021
5:32 pm
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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.

July 21, 2021
6:04 pm
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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.

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