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“Experimental” serial numbers (Model 70)?
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October 28, 2022 - 12:33 am
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Saw this listing on GB:

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/948069262

Serial is “Exp. 3” (experimental). Never heard of this, obviously not authentic as it’s chambered in 243 Win and that didn’t come out until the 1950’s.

I found another Model 70 with serial number “Exp. 1” 

https://www.lot-art.com/auction-lots/RARE-EXPERIMENTAL-MODEL-70-WINCHESTER-SERIAL-1/406-rare_experimental-23.10.21-milestone

Model 70 actual serial 1 and 2 have been documented. So neither appear to be pre-64 type firearms, but the GB one is labeled pre 64, which is tricky. 

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October 28, 2022 - 1:18 am
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Hard to imagine why a prototype spent so much time on a buffing wheel. 

Mike

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October 28, 2022 - 1:27 am
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https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/82/396/experimental-winchester-model-70-rifle-with-detachable-magazine

same rifle? Sold last year for $4300, new owner trying to sell on GB for $14,999. Very entertaining.  

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October 28, 2022 - 1:32 am
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Looks like someone freshened it up a bit. Maybe just a coat of oil. Anybody care to enlighten me about the safeties on these “experimental” rifles?

 

Mike

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October 28, 2022 - 1:36 am
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“Pre-’64” is often used to attract attention, but it’s clearly identified as 1970 production.  The crudeness of the stampings would be consistent with an experimental design, not to mention the hideous stock.  A detachable mag might have seemed a  plausible means to revive flagging interest in 70s.  It may be the real-deal. 

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October 28, 2022 - 1:43 am
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clarence said
“Pre-’64” is often used to attract attention, but it’s clearly identified as 1970 production.  The crudeness of the stampings would be consistent with an experimental design, not to mention the hideous stock.  A detachable mag might have seemed a  plausible means to revive flagging interest in 70s.  It may be the real-deal. 

  

The second link does mentions the Exp#1 one was made in 1970, but the one on GB makes no attempt to clarify Exp#3’s manufacturing date. It just says pre 64 on the listing name…

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October 28, 2022 - 2:19 am
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Ron P said

The second link does mentions the Exp#1 one was made in 1970, but the one on GB makes no attempt to clarify Exp#3’s manufacturing date. It just says pre 64 on the listing name…

  

If it wasn’t jive BS bloviation, it wouldn’t be GB.  The know-nothings love it.

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October 29, 2022 - 1:46 pm
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There were quite a few Model 70 rifles built with unusual non-standard serial numbers, no serial number or serial numbers in non-standard locations. Some were research/experimental. Some were prototypes. Some were for special contracts. Some were built as custom rifles by Winchester executives for personal use, promotional use or for special clients/customers.

I have attached a few photos here that demonstrate some examples. There are some in Rules book as well. For example, one on Pg 311 and two on pg328. All of my photos and those from Rules book are examples of the single shot style model 70 rifles, many of which had serial numbers in the regular Model 70 range.1aBench3a.JPGImage Enlarger1aDSC_0004.JPGImage Enlarger1aDSC_0076.JPGImage Enlarger1aDSC_0093.JPGImage Enlarger1aDSC_0122.JPGImage Enlarger1aSC_0059.JPGImage EnlargerIMG_0780.JPGImage EnlargerPicture-021-2.jpgImage Enlarger

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October 29, 2022 - 5:03 pm
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1ned1 said
There were quite a few Model 70 rifles built with unusual non-standard serial numbers, no serial number or serial numbers in non-standard locations. Some were research/experimental. Some were prototypes. Some were for special contracts. Some were built as custom rifles by Winchester executives for personal use, promotional use or for special clients/customers.

  

This is interesting info.  Since many members of this site think of the 70 as “dead & gone” after ’64, it’s surprising to me that so much developmental work was still going on post-’64.

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October 29, 2022 - 7:59 pm
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1a1.jpgImage Enlarger2a.jpgImage EnlargerDSC_0013.JPGImage EnlargerDSC_0056.JPGImage Enlargerclarence said

1ned1 said

There were quite a few Model 70 rifles built with unusual non-standard serial numbers, no serial number or serial numbers in non-standard locations. Some were research/experimental. Some were prototypes. Some were for special contracts. Some were built as custom rifles by Winchester executives for personal use, promotional use or for special clients/customers.

  

This is interesting info.  Since many members of this site think of the 70 as “dead & gone” after ’64, it’s surprising to me that so much developmental work was still going on post-’64.

  

Thank you Clarence.

I’ve verified at least 16 of the post 64 single shots.

 All of the pre-64 single shot rifles I’ve observed, with the exception of the AMU Free rifles and the EXP 3 on Rule’s Pg 311 had production serial numbers.

One interesting aspect that emerged from my research, that goes to your “dead and gone” observation, was bolt design. Contrary to popular belief, the post 64 bolt was not initially designed to make it less expensive to produce. It was conceived as a new improved design. Created years earlier (1959) based on feedback from the US Army Advanced Marksmanship Unit (AMU). The design objectives were reduced lock time, increased strength and accuracy. The fully enclosed cartridge head was considered superior for strength & accuracy. The dozen contract single shot AMU barreled actions referenced in Rules book on Pg 311 and the roughly 10 to 15 rifles Winchester built and kept, all had these new bolts. Not the Pre 64 bolt as pictured on the EXP 3 action in the book. All had 1960 serial numbers in the 499800 range. These were excellent strong actions and three were still in use at the AMU as shop test actions as recently as 5 to 10 years ago.

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October 29, 2022 - 10:42 pm
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1ned1 said

One interesting aspect that emerged from my research, that goes to your “dead and gone” observation, was bolt design. Contrary to popular belief, the post 64 bolt was not initially designed to make it less expensive to produce. It was conceived as a new improved design. Created years earlier (1959) based on feedback from the US Army Advanced Marksmanship Unit (AMU). The design objectives were reduced lock time, increased strength and accuracy. The fully enclosed cartridge head was considered superior for strength & accuracy.

  

The most exhaustive evaluation of bolt-action engineering–how the cams, extractors, etc., do their work–that I’ve come across is Frank De Haas’ “Bolt Action Rifles,” & though he found several shortcomings in the ’64 design, he rated the improved ’68 action as superior in design & function to the pre-’64, especially the anti-bind bolt feature.  He found no fault at all with the two-piece bolt construction.

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October 30, 2022 - 2:49 pm
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  Over 20+years I hunted mule deer in Wyoming the first week in October. Sometimes in very dry dusty conditions, the pickup windows would squeak and everything had a layer of fine dust. In our six man group myself and one other had pre64 model 70’s, two other members had  post 64 70’s. The post 64 gun’s were soon traded for something else. Both had bolt binding issues from the dust. Is this a post 64 problem or just chance? Is the fact that my bolt fits loosely that I or the other member of our group with an old 70 never had issues?

  I just took my 1953 300HH to the range prior to this years Wisconsin hunt like I have for the last 29 years. It still shoots as accurate as I can aim and the action works flawlessly. For me, why mess with something that works. T/R  

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October 30, 2022 - 5:16 pm
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TR said For me, why mess with something that works. T/R  
  

Declining sales is the reason I’ve read; would be interesting to see a graph of sales in the post-war yrs.  Jack O’Connor, in “The Last Book,” excoriated the prototype he saw in ’63, & heaped such abuse on the new directors of the company that, on legal advice, he declined actually to name the company, but left clues that were unmistakable.

Do you happen to know if the post-’64s that jammed from the dust were the ’68 models, which would have a “G” prefixed serial?

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October 30, 2022 - 5:43 pm
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  Clarence, I don’t know but they didn’t have the big claw ejector. They looked nice but were the subject of many swear words, one shot wonders. T/R

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October 31, 2022 - 2:49 am
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clarence said

TR said For me, why mess with something that works. T/R  

  

Declining sales is the reason I’ve read; would be interesting to see a graph of sales in the post-war yrs.  Jack O’Connor, in “The Last Book,” excoriated the prototype he saw in ’63, & heaped such abuse on the new directors of the company that, on legal advice, he declined actually to name the company, but left clues that were unmistakable.

Do you happen to know if the post-’64s that jammed from the dust were the ’68 models, which would have a “G” prefixed serial?

  

Clarence,

Some past authors have mistakenly written that the “G” prefix was added to denote the “anti-bind” bolt feature, but that is absolutely not the case. The “G” prefix was added to the serial number in late 1968 purely for compliance with the GCA of 1968 (enacted in November 1968).  

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