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1953 Winchester model 70
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February 14, 2024 - 1:01 pm
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IMG_8417-1.pngImage EnlargerHi y’all I’m looking at a 1953 model 70 feather weight   There is no hole in bolt handle and can find no serial number on bolt all the ones I have do have hole in bolt and serial numbers on bolt very readable did some feather weights come with solid bolt knob? It’s a 308..thanks for all the help serial number with pic added

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February 14, 2024 - 2:39 pm
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The early Fwts had solid bolt knobs. The electropenciled s/n should be visible on the bolt although at times it is light and not readily discernible. If it’s not there the bolt has probably been polished.

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February 14, 2024 - 2:41 pm
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Thanks ted

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February 14, 2024 - 3:30 pm
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Tedk said
The early Fwts had solid bolt handles. The electropenciled s/n should be visible on the bolt although at times it is light and not readily discernible. If it’s not there the bolt has probably been polished. 

Or replaced, as a result of some previous owner thinking it was smart to store bolt separately.  What reason to polish, unless gun had been re-blued?  If some trace of the number can’t be seen in sunlight, even one digit, I’d treat it as a replacement, & therefor a substantial hit to gun’s value. 

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February 14, 2024 - 4:49 pm
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Hi Floyd-

Ted’s correct… Laugh

Even though the hollow bolt knob was supposed to be a feature of the M70 Featherweight from the get go, many of the 1952-1953 Featherweights had type III-2 (solid bolt knob) actions.  The changeover to type III-3 (hollow bolt) didn’t really start until around S/N 273,000 and both bolts can be found up to around S/N 280,000.

Bolt S/Ns are often lightly scribed, but at least traces should be present (although maybe no longer legible).  So the bolt may have been polished or swapped. It’s far less likely that it was never marked.  If it’s a question, it would be wise to check the headspace before firing the rifle…

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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February 14, 2024 - 5:13 pm
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Louis Luttrell said
Hi Floyd-

Ted’s correct… Laugh

Even though the hollow bolt knob was supposed to be a feature of the M70 Featherweight from the get go, many of the 1952-1953 Featherweights had type III-2 (solid bolt knob) actions.  The changeover to type III-3 (hollow bolt) didn’t really start until around S/N 273,000 and both bolts can be found up to around S/N 280,000.

Bolt S/Ns are often lightly scribed, but at least traces should be present (although maybe no longer legible).  So the bolt may have been polished or swapped. It’s far less likely that it was never marked.  If it’s a question, it would be wise to check the headspace before firing the rifle…

Lou

  

Louis Luttrell said
Hi Floyd-

So the bolt may have been polished or swapped. It’s far less likely that it was never marked.  If it’s a question, it would be wise to check the headspace before firing the rifle…

Lou

  

Lou, he does not mention the caliber but if a shouldered case don’t they head space off the shoulder?  If so the shoulder can be sized where you need it.

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February 14, 2024 - 5:56 pm
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Hi Chuck-

If the barrel is original to the rifle and it’s a 1953 serial number then it’s 308 WIN.  The other calibers; 243 WIN, 358 WIN, 270 WIN and 30-06 SPRG were not added until 1955. 

Yes… They all headspace on the shoulder.  It’s also true that most pre-64 M70 barrels/bolts can be interchanged without throwing off the headspace.  Considering the technology of the day, Winchester did a remarkable job of “timing” barrel threads such that the barrel shoulder comes tight against the receiver with the index line scribed in the barrel exactly 90˚ from the extractor cut ending up exactly at the bottom (and the sights on top… Laugh).  If I’m not mistaken the chambers were cut to be a couple thousandths short and the assembler finished reaming the chamber by hand at the time the bolt was fit to establish correct headspace.

I just like to check for excess headspace, at least with a field gauge, if there’s any suspicion that either a barrel or bolt might have been swapped… 

Best,

Lou

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February 14, 2024 - 7:00 pm
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Louis Luttrell said If I’m not mistaken the chambers were cut to be a couple thousandths short and the assembler finished reaming the chamber by hand at the time the bolt was fit to establish correct headspace.
  

The national armories did this by trying different bolts until one was found that achieved acceptable headspace, which seems a little less complicated; or perhaps their tolerances were less stringent.

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February 14, 2024 - 7:02 pm
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Thanks Lou.  I’ve never owned a Model 70.  It’s quite similar to the Newton in appearance.  Today you can order an action and pre fit barrels.  No need for a gunsmith when changing barrels.  So if you have a 308 bolt you can have several different calibers/barrels for the same action.

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February 14, 2024 - 7:21 pm
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Chuck, 

Do you collect Newtons?

Ted

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February 14, 2024 - 7:27 pm
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Lou,

I’m sure you’re aware of the specifics, but wasn’t there a period during late M70 production when aspects of the manufacturing process changed and donor bolts would often not headspace correctly?

Ted

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February 14, 2024 - 7:28 pm
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I have one.  It is a family gun.  It was the first rifle I hand loaded.

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February 14, 2024 - 7:41 pm
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Chuck said
I’ve never owned a Model 70.  It’s quite similar to the Newton in appearance.

Newton?  More like a 1903 Springfield, with improvements.

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February 14, 2024 - 8:51 pm
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Newton manufactured in 1916.

Newton-R.jpgImage Enlarger

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February 14, 2024 - 9:06 pm
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Chuck said
Newton manufactured in 1916.

Newton-R.jpgImage Enlarger

  

Love that stock, though like others of the period, drop at heel is excessive.  Also like the DS triggers, IF the first one can be fired unset without excessive force; on the DS Mannlicher I used to have, unset was so long & heavy it almost made you set them.

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February 14, 2024 - 9:10 pm
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Hi Ted-

I’m not aware that M70 quality control or assembly practices changed prior to 1964 such that bolt swapping became less likely to work.  Enlighten me… Laugh  Do you recall where you read/heard/learned that?

Lou

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February 14, 2024 - 11:51 pm
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Hi Ted-

NICE looking Newton rifle, even if gravity in your house is “off” by 90˚ (or else your couch is nailed to the wall)… LaughLaughLaugh

119B7FDE-7378-419B-94E6-7970161A67EA.jpgImage Enlarger

Factory engraved Newton rifles with extra checkering cannot be all that common, can they…  Where’d you find that one???

Lou

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February 15, 2024 - 12:20 am
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Louis Luttrell said
Factory engraved Newton rifles with extra checkering cannot be all that common, can they…  Where’d you find that one???

Years ago I looked very hard at one of the first model Newtons, greatly impressed by bolt design, but couldn’t bring myself to buy something for which ammo was unavailable, & didn’t know anything then about possible cartridge conversions. 

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February 15, 2024 - 2:05 am
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I think the checkering is the normal factory checkering.  Larry Wales, one of our WACA members, wrote several books on the Newton. There are a handful of engraved rifles in his book, and some with really special checkering. Here is a picture of the 7 lug bolt and a list of things Newton developed.

Newton-Bolt-a.jpgImage EnlargerNewton-Facts.jpgImage Enlarger

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