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Pre-64 Model 70 Complete 22 Hornet Action--What's It Worth?
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April 15, 2014 - 6:24 pm
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For the past several months I’ve been looking for a nice Pre-64 Winchester M70 action that would become the basis for a custom rifle I’ve been dreaming about. My intent is to build a Jack O’Connor style rifle in 270 for a sheep hunt I hope to take in a year or two. This past weekend I found a really nice action and the asking price was so ridiculously low that I would have instantly bought it without an inspection. Nonetheless, I picked it up for a once over and, to my surprise, found out it was a complete Pre-64 Model 70 22 Hornet action made in 1949. Bluing is original and nearly perfect, even the undrilled bolt knob shows only the slightest of wear. The correct follower, spring, magazine box, and floor plate are all intact and the bolt is serialized to the action. The only detractor is one additional hole tapped between the two factory holes on the rear bridge, but that’d be covered with scope bases. All in all, the action is absolutely beautiful and I snapped it up, even through it wasn’t the piece I was looking for. So, here’s my dilemma. I still want to build my 270, but now I’m thinking about putting that project off and possibly building myself a Hornet instead. On the other hand, I could sell the Hornet action and put any profit toward my custom 270. I know Pre-64 Model 70 Hornets are going for ungodly prices right now. I also know any standard Pre-64 M70 action will bring around $500. Would a Hornet action bring a higher price and, if so, any estimate on what that might be? I know, I know, I can put it up for bid on Gunbroker or another auction site with a penny starting price and let the market determine value, but I’d like some sort of estimate so I can make an intelligent decision about what to do with this action, sell it or use it to build a Hornet? Oh, one other thing, if I decide to build a Hornet, I’d like to put a Pre-64 Winchester barrel on it. Other than scouring Ebay and other auction sites for months on end, does anyone know a source for a Pre-64 M70 Hornet barrel? If anyone wants to chime in with advice, please do. I’m open to suggestions on how to proceed. Thanks.

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April 16, 2014 - 9:08 pm
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Pre-64 M70 Hornet actions are pretty scarce and yes, they sell for more than standard calibers. But…there aren’t many guys wanting to build Hornets on M70 actions. And but…with the extra hole in yours the value decreases quite a bit.

If you want a Hornet to shoot, why not go ahead and use your action since you got it for a good price. Don’t plan on finding a M70 Hornet barrel in good shape unless you win the lottery. I’ve only seen 1 or 2 for sale in the last 30 years. Get yourself a good custom barrel from any one of the 6 or8 barrel suppliers that make first rate barrels.

If you decide to build that 270, I have a very nice standard action I’d sell. If interested send me a private message.

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April 17, 2014 - 11:45 am
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I sold a complete barreled action about a year ago for $1000. It was a 1951 vintage receiver. As I recall, the only thing wrong with it was the fact the barrel had been set back. I figure the barrel was a throw away, and I got $1K for the complete receiver with correct floorplate, triggerguard, magazine assy, and trigger assy.
Steve

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April 17, 2014 - 3:16 pm
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Have seen Hornet magazine box, follower and spring go for $400.00+ on eBay.

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April 18, 2014 - 4:22 am
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My son would pay $650 for the action.

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April 24, 2014 - 7:40 pm
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Momentarily reviving this thread, I’d like to weigh in on the subject. (As a sidebar just to mention that I’ve lately experiences difficulty in opening both this forum and specific threads such as this one.)
I believe the referenced action, with the extra hole, is worth no more than the sum of its parts and for that purpose its best use. These are interesting collector rifles when original. But with such non originality as must necessarily result from any build, the result obviously has no respectable collector interest. What remains is a considerably oversized action for the diminutive chambering. There are simply more modern rifles which are far better proportioned for such relatively small cartridges. Then there is the very cartridge itself which is both largely outdated and more than just problematic in terms of ammo.
The quotient here is neither fish nor fowl at best and this likely mated to a substantial investment. I have indulged in a few ‘labors of love’ and if such is the result of a knowledgeable decision, fine. But I believe that other than a unique ‘personal satisfaction’ motive, the outstanding question remains: “Why?”
Just my take.

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April 29, 2014 - 5:54 am
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I love the Hornet in that action….

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April 29, 2014 - 8:26 am
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All this talk about Model 70’s and 22 Hornet got my juices going so I just have got to show mine!
http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/cardiacharp/media/GENE-DESKTOP/Win%20Mod%2070/3ce691ce-47e5-45c0-82a1-fee0d39950d2_zpsa9956e27.jpg.html

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http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/cardiacharp/media/GENE-DESKTOP/Win%20Mod%2070/22b75d6f-7f4e-4f87-9a1b-c12a9bdc5255_zpscf52118f.jpg.html

[Image Can Not Be Found]
Purchased by Abercrombie & Fitch from Winchester and received in their New York store Dec. 5, 1940 and sold by them Jan. 28, 1941 with the upgrade of the Griffin & Howe scope mount and a Lyman Alaskan 2 ½ power scope. This Model 70 Super Grade is as close to 100% as I have seen, albeit the Griffin and Howe installed base.
Gene 😀

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April 30, 2014 - 7:40 am
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Gene, love your Super Grade….what a beauty!

Thanks to all for your inputs. Quite by chance, I found an original M70 22 Hornet barrel and plan to mate it up to my original action and stock. When all is said and done, I’ll have a very stock looking Pre-64 Model 70 Hornet for a fraction of the price of buying one outright. I just couldn’t bring myself to part out the action and, with the opportunity to get an original barrel, the potential to flesh out my M70 collection was too hard to pass up. Yes, I know there’s an additional hole in the rear bridge, but that’ll be covered up by scope mounts and a period-correct scope I have for the gun. She won’t be a collector grade gun, but she’s one I can shoot and enjoy. When I get it back from the smith, I’ll post some pics for all to see. Thanks again for all your inputs.

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April 30, 2014 - 10:45 am
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Glad you were able to find a barrel for it. That is quite the find! I will look forward to some photos once it is built.

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