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Help with Winchester model 70
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February 26, 2020 - 2:56 am
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Wow–some gun if it’s legit!  Lewis will no doubt tell you pretty soon.  Must say…checkering looks like it was cut yesterday, but then the metal is also mint.

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February 26, 2020 - 3:37 pm
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Hi Deluxe-

I want to be circumspect here…  Let me let you what I look at to form an own opinion about the authenticity of a 9M/M M70 and you decide.

First, as far as I know, the 9M/M chambering used all the same internal components as the 30 GOV’T’06.  Even the magazine spring is a No.1, not a No. 3 like in the 7M/M.  If I have a 9M/M barrel, real or replica, all I need to do is to screw it onto an appropriate 30-06 and I’m done. So all attention goes to the barrel.  

There are, I suppose, two obvious ways to make a fake 9M/M barrel.  One is to start with a 7M/M barrel (rare in itself), bore it out, and doctor the caliber stamp, after which one would likely need to refinish the barrel.  In this situation, the ramp and left/right side roll markings and proofs are going to be correct (but might show signs of the refinish).  So the caliber stamp has to be “right”.

The second, and unfortunately more common way these days, is to make a replica barrel from scratch.  In this case, the front ramp and all the markings on the barrel deserve scrutiny.  This is often hard to do w/o the rifle in-hand and out of the stock.  Check the height, width, length, distance from the muzzle face, stippling on top, and sides where the ramp meets the barrel for any discrepancies.  Ideally compare to a beat up 30-06 barrel of the same configuration/vintage if one is handy.  IMHO it seems that many replica barrels fall short of getting the integral ramp entirely correct.  On the subject rifle, the junction between sides of the ramp and barrel look unusually crisp, but this is hard to say with carbine barrels in general.

Next check the roll markings.  The subject rifle is S/N 21088 (1938) and it has period correct Style 1 barrel markings.  Keep in mind that the left and right side markings (excepting the actual caliber designation stamp) were applied using roll marking dies, while the caliber stamp was a separate hand struck die.  Look very closely (using whatever magnification is handy) at the ends of all the strokes that form the dashes and letters of the roll marks.  Only a die can produce “square” ends to strokes.  Other commonly used (non-factory) means of applying these marks, such as a pantograph/rotary graver or laser engraving, produce rounded ends to strokes.  It is true that the roll marking dies were brittle and that the corners of letters/dashes could chip/wear and become rounded.  But not ALL of them.  Likewise, the roll dies commonly chipped such that little “gaps” in letters are common on genuine stamped barrels.  The example below (borrowed from an RIA catalog) shows both square strokes and gaps in letters:

Pre-war-30GOVT06-stamp.pngImage Enlarger

IMHO… The stamps on a genuine M70 barrel in a rare caliber should not look any different than those in a common caliber, except for the caliber stamp itself.  When it comes to 9M/M caliber stamps there are some specific things to look for in the exposed stamp and especially the under barrel markings, but that’s a lecture for another day.

Obviously, signs of finish restoration on a M70 would be the same as on any contemporary Winchester model.  Some restoration artists are pretty darned good these days, so I am wary of a gun that looks like it just came out of a vacuum sealed time capsule.

Hope this helps, Laugh

Lou

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WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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February 26, 2020 - 5:28 pm
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Louis Luttrell said 
IMHO it seems that many replica barrels fall short of getting the integral ramp entirely correct. 
  

How is it done on replicas?  Is the ramp silver-soldered to the brl?  If so, wouldn’t high enough magnification show the solder line?

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February 27, 2020 - 3:15 am
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Hi Lou, 

Thank you for your input. From what I’ve read in the forums you are the go to guy on model 70s and I appreciate your fast response. I have a 7mm carbine and a 30-06 of the older vintage which I will check the front ramps against the 9 mm with verniers. To me the condition of the gun is to nice to be original. Is it possible that someone had a factory barrel and put it on a 30-06 gun. I have a friend that has a 35rem factory barrel in a cardboard tube. I assume it is factory because he is a high end collector and honest. It had only the Winchester proof mark and not the oval p mark. We’re factory barrels available for purchase with only the Winchester proof?

Thank you,Gerald

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February 27, 2020 - 4:24 am
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Deluxe 76 said 
We’re factory barrels available for purchase with only the Winchester proof? 

Separately purchased barrels should be marked “OF” or “P” within a circle on the rear underside. 

Of course, if you’re spending hundreds to create a fake worth thousands, such “incriminating” markings can be removed.

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February 27, 2020 - 3:55 pm
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Hi Gerald-

I believe that the “oval P” mail order proof mark went away sometime in the early 1950’s when Winchester implemented a policy that rifles had to be returned to the factory for barrel replacement.  After that you supposedly couldn’t mail order a barrel from the factory.  But who knows?   Also, there were apparently a goodly number of unused pre-64 M70 barrels (and other parts) still in the factory at the time of the Olin to USRA transfer.  It is widely held that these parts included rare caliber barrels, SG stocks, etc.  So maybe the one your collector friend has came out of the factory at that time?  Just speculating…

Hi Clarence-

The original way to fake a short (carbine) barrel was to cut down a standard barrel and simply solder on a ramp.  In the old days (before Whitaker and Rule’s books spread the word that the pre-1952 ramps were forged integral to the barrel) some folks would simply use one of the later Winchester soldered on ramps.  These, of course, are obvious not only b/c the joint is clearly visible, but b/c the ramp itself is all wrong.  Some fake barrels have been made with “replica” integral-style ramps either soldered on welded in place.  Apparently it’s hard to do this right, i.e. get everything lined up and get a weld without tiny bubbles that can be seen once the excess is milled away.  But I think nowadays, the individuals who specialize in this sort of fakery just make the whole barrel from scratch, integral ramp and all, so there is no joint to disguise.

Having looked at a lot of M70 barrels, I believe that I can recognize the work of a couple different non-factory “artisans” making reproduction (a.k.a. fake) barrels based on things like how they mill the sides of the ramp and what the markings look like (as described above).  I do not know who these folks are nor do I want to know…   I also do not have an accurate sense of just how “perfect” a job can be done, but I’d assume that a shop wanting to invest in all the right equipment could produce a replica barrel that maybe none of us could dismiss as fake.  This (paranoia?) is why I’m really not into spending money on “rare” chamberings in M70s these days.  Most of the uncommon M70s I have are ones I’ve had for at least 30 years.  Which is not to say that there wasn’t plenty of fakery going in the 1980s-90s, just maybe that it wasn’t as sophisticated… Cry

Best,

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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February 28, 2020 - 7:18 pm
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Deluxe 76 said
Hi Lou, 

Thank you for your input. From what I’ve read in the forums you are the go to guy on model 70s and I appreciate your fast response. I have a 7mm carbine and a 30-06 of the older vintage which I will check the front ramps against the 9 mm with verniers. To me the condition of the gun is to nice to be original. Is it possible that someone had a factory barrel and put it on a 30-06 gun. I have a friend that has a 35rem factory barrel in a cardboard tube. I assume it is factory because he is a high end collector and honest. It had only the Winchester proof mark and not the oval p mark. We’re factory barrels available for purchase with only the Winchester proof?

Thank you,Gerald  

 

Does the cardboard tube that houses the 35 Remington barrel have any link to the Winchester factory in New Haven, CT (E.g. address labels, postmark, etc.)?

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February 11, 2022 - 7:57 pm
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$20,000.00 Rifle ?

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