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Model 71 Research Survey
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Kingston, WA
Forum Posts: 11092
Member Since:
April 15, 2005
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May 21, 2024 - 3:40 am
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450 Fuller said

Excuse the delay. M 71-6749 has a capped pistol grip. It has all the attributes of a Special excluding checkering.

It also has a 98 a bolt peep with Marbles fold-down 95 rear sight.

I have another  M-71 history item: it is No. 1334, possibly late 1935-early 1936 production. Flat uncrowned muzzle.

A Standard grade but with 98a bolt peep. No provision for SG sling swivels. This rifle originated in Knox County, Illinois

with an owner named Barnes. His name is etched on the receiver. The rifle is now owned by a retired Danish banker in  Northern Denmark.

He is a WACA member, I believe. You may know of this rifle or its owner.

I have owned  pre-war Standard Grade Model 71s with Special attributes like sling swivel FE caps , capped pistol grips, and special sights. Less Special features on later rifles, but checkering seems to be the dividing line on Standard vs Special/Deluxe variants. Assembly of the pre-war rifles must have been interesting at New Haven. All of the pre-war and some 1940s rifles seem to feature 1886 -styled checked early hammers.



S/N 477 was the final Model 71 manufactured in the year 1935.  S/N 1334 was manufactured 3/17/1936.

The primary difference between a Standard Rifle and a Special Rifle is the physical shape (contour) of the butt stock pistol grip. The Special was specifically shaped to install a grip cap whereas the Standard was not.  That aspect remained true for pre & post war production rifles.  99. 9% of the Specials were made with checkered stocks… the Standards were not.  If a customer requested a Model 71 with checkered stocks, they got a Special.  When you encounter a Standard with checkered stocks, it is 100% aftermarket work.

The QD sling bases and mounts were standard on the Special (but could have been omitted on special order).  Conversely, 98% of the Standards did not have QD sling mounts, but they could have been installed on special order.

From 1935 through 1946, the No. 98A bolt peep was the standard rear sight, with the No. 22-K sight being a lower cost option.  A much higher percentage of the Specials were equipped with the No. 98A versus the 22-K, and there were more Specials manufactured and sold than Standards. The No. 98A was replaced by the Lyman No. 56 in the post-war years.  In the pre-war years, Winchester would (on special order) install a Redfield receiver sight (I have 116) documented in my survey).

In regard to the hammers, the pre-war rifles all have the knurled style hammer found on the late production Model 1886 rifles. In the year 1948, the serrated hammers became the standard. 


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