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RARE MODEL 70'S at RIA
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May 6, 2014 - 2:15 pm
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I would like your informed opinions on all the extremely rare caliber Model 70’s that have been refurbished and sold at the recent RIA auction. Do you think they are legit or made up?

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May 6, 2014 - 3:23 pm
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Let’s put it this way: In 40+ years of collecting Pre-64 Model 70s, attending gun shows all over the country, reading ads, and searching the Internet, I never heard of M70s in 219 Zipper or 32 W.C.F. Now there are several in one sale? What are the chances they are factory original?

Ever since M70s became highly collectible the fakers have pedaled re-finished rifles as original, re-barreled common calibers with rare barrels, converted Standards into Super Grades, etc. They now have gone further by making barrels. They have roll stamps and proof stamps that are from the factory (or expertly made) and they polish and hot blue barrels to very closely resemble factory work.

All this fakery has really affected collecting of M70s. But experienced collectors are well aware of the problems. Generally, fakes are not perfect–the fakers leave clues. Lots of first-hand experience is the only way to avoid getting burned. And if you don’t have it find someone who does before you buy.

Those who sell fakes, whether dealers or auction companies, must realize that once the word gets around, their reputations suffer and buyers become wary.

As for me, I regard any rare caliber or rare style M70 as guilty until proven innocent. And the chances of a one-of-a-kind rifle being innocent are slim to none.

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"road king"
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May 6, 2014 - 4:18 pm
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Well said vicvand. 🙂

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Tedk
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May 7, 2014 - 7:41 am
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Just wondering how successful the fakers have been in duplicating the integral front sight on the earlier M70’s? Anything to watch out for? Doesn’t seem like it would be that easy to do….

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May 7, 2014 - 8:10 am
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Tedk said
Just wondering how successful the fakers have been in duplicating the integral front sight on the earlier M70’s? Anything to watch out for? Doesn’t seem like it would be that easy to do….

It is not easy to do but it is being done.

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May 7, 2014 - 10:17 am
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Vic,
How can one differentiate between fake and original integral front sights….is there anything that stands out or anything specific to look for?

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May 7, 2014 - 11:58 am
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Bottom line is that if it was once made by man, it can made by man again.

So if it’s done well and done right, I don’t think that there is any way to tell.

I make a lot of barrels for the Winchester lever guns; I don’t make model 70 barrels but I know a guy who does, and his barrels are right on. With the right polish and blue, you cannot tell them from originals.

I fully agree with what vicvanb wrote bottom line is if it looks or smells fishy, it probably is.

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May 7, 2014 - 2:54 pm
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Tedk said
Vic,
How can one differentiate between fake and original integral front sights….is there anything that stands out or anything specific to look for?

We have to be careful what we say–those who fake Model 70s read and learn from us when we pinpoint specific clues that define fakes, and the fakers correct their mistakes and get better and better at what they do.

I am only willing to say that the fake barrels I have seen over the past several years have had a few details that were not exactly correct. One example: A 1951 Super Grade 375 H&H with a sightless barrel (no front sight ramp). Everything looked good–nice original stock, original action, correct polish and color on the barrel. But, the contour of the 375 barrel just ahead of the action was not quite right–the contour just ahead of the chamber area where it tapers was a bit under-sized. As a result, there was a gap in the inletting because the stock had the correct dimensions in that area. There were a couple of other details that also indicated a fake.

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May 8, 2014 - 4:51 am
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The next question is where will we be seeing all these guns pop up as original?

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