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Here is a new member to the family. Winchester Model 70 Heavy target model.
March 7, 2020
3:18 pm
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Hi Everyone, I just wanted to share this new find, that I am very excited about. We have a Winchester Model 70 target model with a marksmanship stock. Dated 1957. Serial number 413487. The rifle is in 98+ % condition and the bore is pristine. The optic is an original Unertl 8X scope in amazing condition as well 98+ % The glass is not fogged and as clear as the day it was made. I am just starting to do some more research and wanted to share and get some expert thoughts from the group. I hope this sparks some attention. 

Thanks everyone.

 

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March 7, 2020
3:25 pm
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What an exceptional find!  I have little specific knowledge on these but from what I can see, this is a fantastic collector piece.  

March 7, 2020
3:37 pm
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That's a dandy!  Congratulations!  The heavy barreled guns really lessen the recoil and that adds to the fun of shooting flies at a hundred yards. Good find.  You might find that regular G.I. ammo is really accurate in that rifle and that lessons the cost of shooting.  Wishing you much fun!!!   Roger B.

March 7, 2020
4:33 pm
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I second the comments about this collectible beauty!

James

March 7, 2020
6:41 pm
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Beautiful rifle! Great package with the scope - "turnkey" target rifle about completely set up! Perhaps a sling if you're into that! (Hope you're posterior isn't in one re acquisition cost! :))
Likely even chance closely sighted-in. Thanks so much for posting! Also for a really decent set of quality pix for a centerfold quality rifle! Too many nice Winchesters appearing here with 'teaser only' dearth of pix.
Big congrats!
Best!
John

March 7, 2020
8:42 pm
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rogertherelic said
You might find that regular G.I. ammo is really accurate in that rifle and that lessons the cost of shooting.

If you mean US-made .30-06, that hasn't been cheap in a long time...because most of it was used up 20 yrs ago.  Even the foreign made stuff is now scarce enough to be close to commercial in cost. 

March 7, 2020
9:04 pm
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I have some of the US GI ammo. It does pretty well. However My reloads are made up to National Match standards and are giving me a 1/4 MOA at 100 yards. That was my first time out with it. It’s a real honey to shoot. 

March 7, 2020
9:11 pm
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I'm not the least bit surprised it has turned out to be a wonderful rifle to shoot.  It looks like it had been very well cared for.  A premium rig made by a top notch company during a golden era.  Unfortunately, an era we will likely never see again.

March 7, 2020
9:27 pm
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Hi segami-

Lovely rifle.  Looks 100% correct to me, even the scope blocks!!! Laugh

It's interesting that the serial number of your rifle falls within the narrow range of the last batch of "Van Orden" (Evaluators Ltd) M70 target rifles.  It's not on Chandler's list, however.  The two closest VO numbers, 413481 and 413492, bracket yours pretty close.  Just goes to show (I think) that the rifles Winchester used to fill the Van Orden orders for their "Special Target" model came (randomly) out of a larger production run of G7044C.

Enjoy!!!!

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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March 8, 2020
12:43 am
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Hi Louis, I noticed that as well about the serial numbers. It has me wondering if the two page list that I found on the VO rifles is complete and possibly missing some rifles from the list. I was thinking to contact the Cody museum to get a complete history on this rifle. Does that sound like it may be beneficial to do this?  I am not sure how much info they would provide to me. I was also curious if all VO rifles would have been marked “US Property” or only the ones that, lets say made it into actual service. 

March 8, 2020
4:52 pm
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Hi segami-

The list in Chandler was originally compiled from index cards kept by Evaluators Limited (as there are no known records from Winchester).  It's possible, I suppose, that the list is incomplete but there would be no way I know of (short of an original sales receipt) to prove that a M70 G7044C with a S/N in the VO range but not on the list was (or was not) procured via Evaluators Limited. 

I do not think Cody would have much.  If documents do exist, they have not (yet) been scanned.  At least I could find anything in the McCrackin library digital files available on-line.  There are files related to WWII government contracts, including M70s, but nothing related to post-war sales.

My speculation is that the list in Chandler is more or less complete.  It's notable, however, that various US military marksmanship units obtained rifles directly from Winchester.  So there are plenty of legit "US Property" marked M70 target rifles that are not VO "snipers", just as there are plenty of M70 target rifles bought by civilian marksmen that have no service connection.  

As for "US Property" markings, I do not have a definitive answer.  I suspect that the Evaluators Limited rifles were NOT routinely "US Property" marked, unless it was done by the military unit that acquired them. Pauline Muerrle has said, at least in reference to M52 rifles ordered direct from Winchester, that the "US Property" electropencil marking was applied at the factory before shipment.  But Evaluators Ltd was a civilian business (and they also sold to civilians).

So, for example, my VO sniper (S/N 351439) was sold to Victor Dawson of Silver Spring MD and is not marked "US Property".  S/N 335339 sold to USART in 1955 is marked "US Property" (pic below).  S/N 338247, which originally went to US Army, Philadelphia, and was sold via Ward's auction a few months ago with DCM paperwork that further supports its military service, was not marked.  Big Larry's well documented VO Sniper that he's posted about a couple times, was "US Property" marked until somebody tried to sand it off.

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Anyone have a more definitive answer than my "maybe"????  Laugh

Lou

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WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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March 9, 2020
12:06 am
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Lou, thanks very much for the input, That was very informative. While it would have been a real treat to find out that it was a VO rifle. I do need to be thankful that I was able to find such a beautiful rifle and scope in this condition and Knowing that these are becoming rare as the years pass. So I presume I am one of the lucky ones. Laugh

March 26, 2020
5:13 am
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Good looking rifle and a great find. I also have a 1957 heavy target that is a fun shooter.

March 27, 2020
2:45 pm
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That's real nice! I've got a 1947 version in 220 swift, topped with an old school Unertl scope, Heavy barrel, that we take woodchucks out at a long distance, as needed, or for fun! An old friend, set it up that way, in the 60's(unfortunately he's gone), when Unertl's were popular, and he did a great job with it, taking chuck's out at 12-1400 yrds. I haven't popped them that far out, but my son, a former Marine Corpse sniper has! Along with a few Coyotes!

IMG_06111-2.jpg WACA #5411 NRA LIFE OGCA LIFE

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