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First post from new member - looking for info on my Model 70
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March 12, 2021 - 2:18 am
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Hello, new to WACA and looking forward to gaining some knowledge from everyone.

I own a Winchester Model 70 Carbine, .30 GOV’T -06, serial number 76530, passed down from my dad and I would like to have a reputable appraiser look at it. Any recommendations in the SF Bay Area? 

Thanks for your advice and help.

 

Update with more information: Manufactured date is 1947. Not looking to sell it, just get better idea of the value. Plan to keep it in my family.

IMG_6236.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_6238.jpgImage EnlargerIMG_6932.JPGImage Enlarger

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March 12, 2021 - 3:50 am
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Hey Wiley1 welcome to the forum, you’ll get your moneys worth and then some! If you haven’t gotten your member packet in the mail yet you could try to post a link to some pictures of the rifle or on a url host site, and I bet someone here could give you a pretty good idea of value. There are a few VERY KNOWLEDGABLE  model 70 gentleman here and they always seem willing to help. You could edit the topic to include there a question about a model 70, which might help get their attention. 

Welcome to the addiction!

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March 12, 2021 - 12:07 pm
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Welcome from Western Pa.  As Bill has said, there are some model 70 experts here.

Al

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March 12, 2021 - 5:17 pm
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Thank you Bill and Al. I’ve added a few photos and modified the topic to include Model 70.

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March 12, 2021 - 6:07 pm
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Hi Wiley-

Welcome to WACA!!!  Your Dad certainly had excellent taste in hunting rifles IMHO… Laugh

First off…  Please confirm the barrel length.  Everything else being equal it has a huge impact on value.  The M70 “carbine” had a 20″ barrel (measured from bolt face to muzzle).  Your gun looks to have the standard 24″ length barrel, but it may just be the camera.  “Carbines” were last cataloged in 1946, although some were certainly made as late as 1954.

Given the serial number, I’m presuming your rifle has a “transition” type II-1 action, meaning a cloverleaf tang with smooth rear receiver ring (bridge) that is factory D&T for scope mounting.  The barrel marking is style 3A, which is correct for the date of manufacture.  The low comb NRA style stock is likewise correct, but the recoil pad was added after market.  The rifle at some point probably had a “half block” Lyman 48WJS receiver sight installed, as there is a small “divot” in the stock from the protruding elevation screw.  The receiver sight could have been factory installed, as that sight was a cataloged option through 1949.  Your rifle has some carry wear, but it’s hard to grade condition from the photos.

To give you an idea what this style/configuration gibberish looks like, I’ll attach some photos of a transition M70 standard rifle (S/N 74118) that was made around the same time as yours.  This one is a 22 HORNET, but the barrel marking is the same 3A style. This is not one of my guns, just internet photos I saved to my computer:

001.jpegImage Enlarger004.jpegImage Enlarger013.jpegImage Enlarger006.jpegImage Enlarger009.jpegImage Enlarger012.jpegImage Enlarger

As for value…  The rifle has plusses and minuses.  The standard rifle (24″ barrel) in 30-06 was by far the most common style/chambering of the pre-64 M70.  So if it’s got a 24″ barrel it’s not a rare gun.  OTOH a genuine carbine (20″ barrel) is probably worth 3-4X what a standard rifle in the same chambering/condition would fetch. The presence of an added recoil pad generally takes the rifle out of the category of a “collector” gun.  OTOH the transition guns are quite popular with people who like to shoot/hunt because they still exhibit some of the pre-war manufacturing quality while being the earliest M70s that were factory D&T on the bridge for modern scope mounting.

I don’t like to put $$$ numbers on guns without seeing them, and to make matters more complicated pre-64 M70 prices have been going up over the past year.  I don’t know anybody in the Bay Area, but you could contact Justin Hale (pre64win.com) in Woodinville WA and send him a slew of photos.  I only mention them b/c they specialize in the pre-64 M70 and handle a great many of them in all kinds of condition.  So they probably have as good a sense as anybody about what they’d expect to pay for and/or get out of a rifle in the condition of yours.

Hope this helps!!! Laugh

Lou

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WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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March 12, 2021 - 9:39 pm
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Hello Lou –

Thank you for all the great information…very helpful! Yes, my Dad did a lot of hunting in his younger days and always bought top line guns (rifles and shotguns). 

Your reply led me into a 2 hour online deep dive to learn more and I’m really enjoying it.  I believe barrel length is 24″, but included a few more pictures in order to confirm this and the “transition” type, which I believe is Type II-1. Your photos of the 22 HORNET look very similar to my 30-06.

Question – what is the meaning of D&T acronym?

I appreciate the referral to Justin Hale and I will contact him. 

Finally, I’m having issues with the bolt. The safety is stuck in the FIRE position. It’s also difficult to get into the receiver and I don’t want to force anything. I think it’s just very dirty and needs a good cleaning. Any suggestions on what type of cleaning fluid to use and methods for cleaning and then oiling are greatly appreciated. 

Cheers!

IMG_6939.JPGImage EnlargerIMG_6949.JPGImage EnlargerIMG_6954-1.JPGImage Enlarger

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March 12, 2021 - 10:36 pm
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Hi Wiley-

Yes, you are correct.  The rifle is a type II-1 standard rifle in 30 GOV’T’06 and except for the added recoil pad looks the part of an original and intact 1947 standard rifle.  That “clamshell” safety was only used in the 1946-48 period that type II rifles were made.

The barrel length is measured from the bolt face (when the bolt is closed) to the muzzle (includes the threaded part of the barrel), so it’s about 3/4″ longer than the distance from the front edge of the receiver to the muzzle.  It goes without saying that you need to make certain the gun is unloaded before measuring this way.

Sorry about the abbreviation.  “D&T” is shorthand for “drilled and tapped”.  During the pre-war (type I) period, the top surface of the bridge (rear receiver ring) was roll marked with wavy lines (like the front ring), but unlike the front, which always had two D&T 6-48 holes for mounting a target type scope block, the bridge was NOT drilled and tapped.  The biggest improvement of the type II receivers was that Winchester made the bridge smooth and added two 6-48 holes to the top to permit mounting a telescopic sight base like the vintage one-piece Redfield JR on the rifle.  Compare the pre-war type I receiver below to the type II receiver on your rifle or the Hornet pictured above:

Pre-war-M70-receiver.jpgImage Enlarger

For cleaning I typically just use the “usual” stuff.  I clean the bore and remove any powder residue and congealed grease with a powder solvent like Hoppes #9, then lightly oil the bore and action/bolt interior with a light gun oil.  That should be enough to get the gunk out and make sure everything is sliding/moving freely.  Just avoid letting a lot of oil seep into the wood alongside the barrel channel and receiver inletting, as the wood on the inside of these stocks is not finished and can soak up the oil and eventually discolor the wood.  If there is any surface rust, a GENTLE rubbing of the surface with penetrating oil, e.g. Kroil, and 4-0 steel wool will remove it without scratching the blue finish.  Just be gentle.  Kroil might help free up the safety as well if there’s any gunk or rust.  Remove the bolt and let the Kroil soak around the safety overnight.

As far as getting the bolt in/out, first clean/oil everything well.  The bolt will usually slide right in, but it may help to depress the bolt release button (that you had to push to get the bolt out) as that will move the bolt stop down out of the way as the bolt slides forward.

When it comes to sticky safeties, if a little Kroil and oil doesn’t get it working, my suggestion is that you not try to “fix it” yourself by disassembling the bolt sleeve.  Too many little springs and plungers and pins that can get lost and can be hard to get back.  The safety design is remarkably simple and there are only a couple of bearing surfaces that can make it stick, but it’s better to let somebody who knows which surfaces those are to work on the bolt.  If you have a local gunsmith you like, take it there. Otherwise, talk to Justin about it.  He recently fixed a stuck safety for another WACA member (Tom Black) and apparently it came back perfect.

Hope this helps!!! Laugh

Lou

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WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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March 12, 2021 - 10:36 pm
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One quick note, the safety won’t move when the bolt is out of the rifle.  RDB

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March 12, 2021 - 11:13 pm
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Another Bay Area guy!   Welcome!

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March 12, 2021 - 11:28 pm
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Louis Luttrell said

When it comes to sticky safeties, if a little Kroil and oil doesn’t get it working, my suggestion is that you not try to “fix it” yourself by disassembling the bolt sleeve.  Too many little springs and plungers and pins that can get lost and can be hard to get back.  The safety design is remarkably simple and there are only a couple of bearing surfaces that can make it stick, but it’s better to let somebody who knows which surfaces those are to work on the bolt.  If you have a local gunsmith you like, take it there.

Before turning it over to the local gun butcher, immerse the whole bolt in carburetor cleaner or toluene (lacquer thinner)–Kroil won’t dissolve old oxidized oil nearly as well.

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March 12, 2021 - 11:42 pm
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Hello Lou – thanks for all the additional information and clarifications. I do occasional skeet shooting with a 20 gauge shotgun and target shooting with my .22, so I’ve cleaned other guns before but don’t believe this one has been cleaned in many years. I have some Hoppes #9 but will also get some Kroil. I will definitely not try to disassemble the bolt sleeve and will leave that to an expert!  I hope to be able to take this one to the gun range some day. Thanks again.

 

Hello rogertherelic – thank you for the clarification on the safety not moving when bolt is out…I wasn’t sure about that so didn’t try to move it while it was out.

 

Hello Manuel – thanks for the welcome. I’m enjoying being a member!

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March 12, 2021 - 11:43 pm
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Hello Clarence – thank you for the additional cleaning suggestion. I will give that a try if the Kroil doesn’t loosen things up!

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March 13, 2021 - 12:08 am
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clarence said

Louis Luttrell said
When it comes to sticky safeties, if a little Kroil and oil doesn’t get it working, my suggestion is that you not try to “fix it” yourself by disassembling the bolt sleeve.  Too many little springs and plungers and pins that can get lost and can be hard to get back.  The safety design is remarkably simple and there are only a couple of bearing surfaces that can make it stick, but it’s better to let somebody who knows which surfaces those are to work on the bolt.  If you have a local gunsmith you like, take it there.

Before turning it over to the local gun butcher, immerse the whole bolt in carburetor cleaner or toluene (lacquer thinner)–Kroil won’t dissolve old oxidized oil nearly as well.  

Hi Clarence-

Agree that many folks, a.k.a. “butchers” (today’s gunsmiths in business) know more about some guns than others.  You, by contrast, can work on my guns any time!!! Laugh

Getting all the gunk out is step #1.  Roger’s comment is also helpful/true.  Check out the 1958 Arnold drawings before trying to take a pre-64 M70 down to all its bit and bobs…  A scan of the originals can be found on the McCracken library site (free download).  Laugh

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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March 22, 2021 - 6:09 pm
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Update: 

I ordered some KROIL, but in meantime used carb cleaner and lacquer thinner to spray and soak the bolt. This broke up the gunk nicely and eventually I got everything loosened up. Then applied some HOBBES 9 penetrating oil and continued working the bolt out of the gun. Bolt is now back in the receiver and working smoothly. Also got the clamshell safety loosened up, although it is still fairly stiff when putting into the ON position.

Thanks for all the good help everyone!

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June 22, 2021 - 5:20 am
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Hi Pat.  Thanks for your note through our website.  I decided to come over to take a look at the photos and to reply, rather than to asking you to resend the photos to me personally.

As Lou and others have mentioned – yours is a 1947 (or 1948 – depending on who you ask) production rifle and is a Type-II-1 “transition” rifle.  From the serial number, it likely came from the factory with a smooth receiver bridge which was later D&T to accommodate a scope mount.  In all likelihood, it also came from the factory with curved stock butt and a steel buttplate.  It is very possible it came from the factory with a Lyman 48 WJS receiver sight (the correct Lyman 12S rear sight slot blank is present), but this sight would have been removed when the scope was installed.  As someone mentioned above, the small notch in the left side of your stock would have been done to accommodate a receiver sight with the 125 or 130 pt slide.  That would not have been a factory correct sight for this rifle, but it is not out of the question for someone to install this who was seeking to shoot the rifle over longer ranges.

From your photos, here are the things I can see which are likely modifications from the original rifle which came out of the New Haven factory:

  • At least one hole added to the receiver bridge
  • The stock butt has been cut flat to accommodate a recoil pad
  • The bolt handle shaft has been ground down to clear a scope with a bell eyepiece
  • The stock has been notched to accommodate a long slide receiver sight

Bluing and stock finishes are very difficult to judge from photos, but the bluing appears original to me in the photos you have posted and the stock finish may be as well.

From a collector standpoint, the modifications mean serious collectors will not be interested in the rifle.  However, this does not mean the rifle is not desirable or does not have value.  Pre 64 model 70s remain enormously popular far beyond the purist collector circles.  For every snooty purist* like Lou, there are a dozen guys out there with a collection of model 70 shooters.  They would rather have your rifle than a museum piece and as a result there is still high demand for rifles like yours. 

*It’s ok, Lou knows this is true… we’re also great friends and he’ll take this in the spirit intended.

In unmolested and mint condition, your rifle could easily be worth $3000.  The modifications take away more than half that value, but your rifle would likely still hammer for around $1000 at a firearm auction.

I hope this helps and don’t hesitate to write back here or privately if you have additional questions.

Justin

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June 22, 2021 - 10:39 am
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I’m not so sure about the bolt being ground down.   RRM

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June 22, 2021 - 10:42 am
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My bad. I looked at Lou’s picture. Sorry.   RRM

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June 22, 2021 - 11:00 pm
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Hi Justin, thanks for the very thorough and quick reply to my questions. This is exactly what I was looking for and I appreciate your efforts.

I also continue to be impressed with the deep knowledge of our members and their willingness to share it!

Pat

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June 23, 2021 - 5:19 pm
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If this were my gun I wouldn’t care what it is worth.  I would never get rid of a family gun.  I’d find a range and go shoot it.

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June 23, 2021 - 7:27 pm
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You are right on, Chuck! That’s exactly what I’m going to do now that my curiosity is satisfied.

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