April 10, 2015
I have a .338 that has shot some hot loads over time. In fact a couple which required a rubber mallet to pound the bolt handle open. Are the lines in the photos machine marks or hairline cracks. My concern is they appear to originate from the space between the bolt face and lugs. Looking at other Model 70's in my collection I do not see this. Where do signs of parts failure, due to pressure, start? The serial number is 488702 the bottom of the recoil lug has a .458 stamp. This doesn't surprise me because Winchester using old stock magnum actions when they rolled out the .338 in 1960.
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
November 5, 2014
I'm not familiar with a M70 bolt failing at that spot. The M70 receiver tends to crack between the barrel face and the forward most D&T hole in the receiver ring, but that may be more the result of someone over tightening a replacement barrel than a structural failure related to firing. As you can tell I'm NOT a gunsmith...
I'd suggest you reach out to Justin Hale (pre64win.com). Since Justin's a WACA member, he may or may not see this post. But ask him directly and I suspect you'll get an answer. I think they've seen just about every way a pre-64 M70 action can fail.
Best of luck,
WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters
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