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Model 54 bolt
March 9, 2013
4:40 pm
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March 9, 2013
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Can anyone tell me if Winchester would have fitted a Model 70 bolt into a Model 54 rifle. I have a 54 ser# 43905A with a pre-war Model 70 bolt. The bolt is serial numbered to the gun. I read in Rule's Book on the Model 70 where they did make improvements to the 54 if it was sent back. Would they have changed the bolt? The trigger is still a 54 trigger.

March 9, 2013
6:11 pm
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December 22, 2012
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I once asked an experienced gunsmith a question much like that. I have a 54 and wanted to mount a scope without altering the bolt handle. The gunsmith told me that the bolts were quite different.

March 9, 2013
6:31 pm
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March 9, 2013
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I know that the two are not interchangeable. My bolt was changed out for a Model 70 bolt and then it was machined on the bottom to work with the Model 54 trigger. Would Winchester have done that work?

March 13, 2013
4:08 pm
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February 18, 2011
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Sorry. A bit late in catching up with this thread.
It is my understanding that Winchester did exactly such a substitution. Alegedly Winchester's stock of Model 54 bolts was eventually exhausted. That that time, they began offering to fit Model 70 bolts. There are many more Model 54 rifles which have simply had the native 54 bolt altered for low scope and some of these conversions do appear to be patterned after the Model 70 bolt. The differences between these and genuine factory Model 70 bolts are normally discernible by comparison with a known genuine prewar 70 Bolt handle as found on the Model 70 rifle. I too have a Model 54 which I believe has a Model 70 bolt. Of course, the 54 factory stock required notching for the lower handle configuration.
Sounds like you have a genuine factory conversion and, all else equal, a rifle more valuable than a 54 with aftermarket low scope conversion.

March 15, 2013
4:36 pm
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Thanks for the information on the conversions.

March 16, 2013
11:21 am
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GPD328 said
Would Winchester have done that work?

The most you can say is that Winchester might have done the work. A gunsmith outside the factory might have done it--without some actual documentation it's impossible to tell.

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