May 3, 2019
I am looking at a Biesen rifle. I have grown up hearing about them my whole life. My grandfather always wanted one and my uncle off and on flirted with getting one when Al was still alive.
I have encountered one that looks magnificent, but it isn't the typical checkering you are used to with a Biesen?
I don't know how much variation there were in his designs, I am just used to the fleur d lis checkering he did and seems to be most common. This is a 270 M70 pre 64, but the checkering does not have the fleur d lis pattern to it. Did he do patterns that weren't fleur d lis checkering in them?
Just curious about it. Its a nice price and a beaut of a rifle in 99% condition.
May 3, 2019
February 18, 2011
Unfortunately, 'it' happens. My personal totally non-statistical feeling particularly concerning Internet sales, more often better off in pausing to examine than rushing to buy. Hands on, differing somewhat.
The only customization I've ever been affected by was Sedgley Springfield Sporters. Never ended up owning one. Most I saw even decades ago, flawed or in later years, commonly faked. Also, too often simply more dear to sellers than to me.
For me, by far the best in Winchesters pretty much across the board, such as pre '64 Supergrade. Completely satisfying my urge for adorned. Understated and 'genuine Winchester'. Opposite end of spectrum, occasionally the plain Jane Win rifle simply nicely redone. Meeting someone's specs/needs. Yet still such rifle to be fielded as first consideration; "beauty" at best, a nice adjunct. Even occasionally the sadly non-collector item, very nice prewar Model bearing a couple of extra properly placed bridge scope holes. I have a few and revere them for the yet fine 'pedestrian' '06 models they are.
Hope you find your "grail"! Often less matter of absolute diligence; more a matter of cash talking!
May 3, 2019
Well this wasn't an internet sale, but someone was apparently mistaken as the person the gun was already sold to happened to be me, wife just knew the gun was sold not that it was sold to me.
So I now have 3 months to pay for it! Yay....
Not very good photos but they are the ones
1951 Al Biesen 270 model 70 with a 23 inch barrel. I was mistaken earlier about the non fleur de lis checkering... I think in my researching I got confused or something...blame it on the chigger bites...
February 18, 2011
Setting aside the confusing acquisition circumstance of 'no I don't, yes I do... I've reread my own post and find it more than a bit 'obtuse' too. Wish I'd edited it. Oh well!
Your new rifle:
Metal. It appears you essentially have a pre 64 Model 70 action and third party barrel. The stock, also a custom. My take, a handsome rifle in the category of many custom take-offs utilizing the great 'pre' 64 M 70 action. If you got it at a good price and are satisfied, so much the better! For me... As trying to state above, the 'real deal' within original specs. No 'dissing' other tastes here.
But also to kindly suggest that such Thread perhaps better in other than a Forum dedicated to "Collectors" espousing preserving originality. I'm personally not against a well used workhorse in 270 Win being "repurposed", just the dialogue you seek perhaps more productive in such as Gunboards Forums.
Not trying to speak for this Forum or other members here...
Just my personal take.
May 3, 2019
I would think there would be collector interest in a winchester M70 that was customized by the man who did gun and stock work for Jack O'Connor. It isn't original but I would think there would be collector interest in such rifles. If not that is fine, I was just sharing for those who were interested, if there aren't any on this forum than the post can fall down and that is no issue.
April 15, 2005
Please do not let this dissuade you from future topics and discussions, but I highly suspect that your Model 70 rifle has limited esoteric interest within the Winchester collecting community. The vast majority of collectors will most likely give you the "deer-in-the-head-lights" stare if you mention that you have an "Al Biesen Model 70 rifle".
WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
August 25, 2009
As a collector of Winchesters and model 70s in particular, I welcome discussion on known gunsmiths and their fine work. Here in the Northwest Biesen was and still is admired and appreciated. I have owned two of his rifles and am now looking at another. He had a knack for enhancement and the patience to make a beautiful stock. I suspect that being a friend of O'Conner furthered his mystic and appeal.
July 8, 2012
November 1, 2013
I'm not a model 70 collector, but like to see fine guns. Before this I knew nothing about Al Biesen. So now I am happy to have learned something new.
It's probably true to say that Super Grade Model 70s were the finest rifles one could buy in their price range, but even dedicated M.70 collectors (as I once was, before Father Time caught up with me) would gain a valuable perspective on the meaning of "craftsmanship" by examination of the work of Bieson & others in his class (of which there are a good many), or shops like Griffin & Howe and Sedgley.
March 31, 2009
November 5, 2014
It's true enough that a majority (at least a very significant minority - but I'd go with substantial majority) of the folks who call WACA home are most interested in collecting or shooting antique (pre-1899) Winchesters (and lever guns at that - except Bert, of course, who loves anything Winchester that was designed by John M. Browning).
In a way I'm a little surprised that to date the WACA membership has been tolerant of people like me and iskra, who express an interest in something as "modern" as the M70 that wasn't around before 1936!!! Thanks, guys!!!
That said, I agree with Clarence and THANK YOU for posting photos of your new Al Biesen rifle!!! In the world of M70 lore, Jack O'Connor holds a notable place, and Al Biesen, who made many fine custom M70 rifles, besides being an exceptional talent in his own right, is an indelible part of that O'Connor/M70 mystique. So to me, Al Biesen and other skilled custom makers of the day are part of the history of the model and hence appropriate to post/discuss here (as long as the custom rifle is a "pre-64" Winchester, of course). Bert... Feel free to "smack me down"....
I'd agree somewhat with Bert, that the subset of WACA members who fancy (non-factory) custom rifles is a relative minority, but there are a subset of folks out who see value in these "historic" custom firearms and like learning about them.
I'm sure you've noted that we frequently end up discussing "restoration" work on antique lever guns (itself a form of "custom" work). The purists HATE it, but some like having a rifle that looks like they imagine it did when new. To each his own... IMHO it should all be "allowable" and not provoke critical comment. Again, just my "take"...
For iskra... I suppose you'd be OK with this one (photos aren't mine but the gun is - sorry I've not done my own pics as yet):
Custom rifle, 300 MAGNUM S/N 87160, factory special order made up for Dr. Russell C. Smith. It's only had four owners to date, including our own vicvanb. Beautiful rifle, but I'd bet the subject Al Biesen gun is better made!!!
Just my unsolicited opinion...
WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters
May 3, 2019
November 7, 2015
Congrats on a nice rifle, KingCobb, and thanks for educating us about this fine gunsmith. I generally hunt with a model 70 but have no interest in collecting them. I’m afraid the model 70 is much like my beloved 1911; every gunsmith seems to know how to make it “better” so there are very few unmolested examples to be found. As discerning collectors generally avoid modified guns and I can’t seem to recognize all the modifications I’m better off not collecting them. I do enjoy examining them in collections, in the field and at shows and I’ll admit the custom models are outstanding eye candy, at least for me.
August 27, 2014
November 5, 2014
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