Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters




sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_Print sp_TopicIcon
Looking for a Van Orden/Model 70 Target steel buttplate
December 3, 2019
3:56 pm
Avatar
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 13
Member Since:
June 21, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

My understanding is that it is supposed to be a plain looking checkered steel buttplate such as this one that Classic Parts and Firearms used to have in stock:

 

http://cfnparts.com/Winchester%20Pre-64%20Model%2070%20Rifle%20Parts-292?product_id=14842

 

Unfortunately Classic Parts and Firearms has been out of stock for several years. Does anyone have an idea of where one of these could be located? The Van Orden rifle I've got did not come with its original buttplate and I was hoping to rectify that. 

Also, I've seen some similar looking buttplates advertised as Model 52, but wasn't sure if they were identical, is there any interchangeability there?

December 3, 2019
5:00 pm
Avatar
Charleston, SC
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 488
Member Since:
November 5, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi tzachary-

Can you tell me which "flavor" VO rifle you've got?  There were two... 

The one called the "Sniper" rifle had an uncheckered, linseed oil finished, STANDARD style stock with special order butt stock dimensions that copied the 03 Springfield National Match rifle (less drop, more pitch, slightly shorter LOP than the standard M70 NRA style stock).  THOSE used the regular steel butt plate with "widow's peak" that were fit to M70 standard rifles.  I have detail photos of one such stock at home that show the butt plate, so if that is the style stock your gun has it may be helpful for me to post them.

The other VO rifle was called the "Special Target" and was described as having an uncheckered, oil finished, MARKSMAN style stock.  This was basically the same as every other G7044C (30-06 target rifle of the day) except that the VO literature mentions special butt dimensions.  I've not been able to examine one of those with it's original stock, so I don't know what (if anything) was "special" about the dimensions.  THOSE rifles used the same flat checkered steel butt plate as the regular Marksman stocked M70 and M52 target rifles of the era.  Like the one in your picture...

VO-Sniper-Outer-Envelope.pngImage EnlargerVO-Special-Target-Outer-Envelope.pngImage Enlarger

Both of those butt plates are commonly found on eBay in the $40 range.  So it should be easy to find one once you're sure what you're looking for. The only caveat is that, to the extent that VO stock dimensions were "special" one might expect that the butt plate fit will be poor without some grinding on the edges.

Hope this helps Smile

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

WACA-Signauture-3.jpg

December 3, 2019
6:01 pm
Avatar
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 13
Member Since:
June 21, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You'll have to forgive me, Model 70's are an area where I'm still learning, but would the "Marksman" stock be the one with the wide forearm? That's the one I have. 

If I can remember, I'll take the adjustable buttplate off of the rifle when I get home, trace the end, and post the dimensions so we can have them for comparison's sake. 

December 3, 2019
6:44 pm
Avatar
Charleston, SC
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 488
Member Since:
November 5, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yes.  The Marksman stock used on the VO "Special Target" is the one with the beavertail and a hand stop adjustment rail in the bottom of the fore end. Like this:

50415-A.jpgImage Enlarger

OTOH... The Sniper stock is unique to the VO "Sniper" rifles.  It's basically a low comb NRA-style standard stock except uncheckered and with different butt stock dimensions.  No beavertail and different butt plate. Like this:

351439-1.jpgImage Enlarger

The marksman stocks use the checkered steel butt plate that you pictured in your original post. The same butt plate was used on M70 and M52 rifles assembled with marksman stocks, so in principle a butt plate from either of them would be the factory correct replacement part.

One thing...  The checkered marksman butt plates are slightly curved top to bottom.  I think this is visible in the first photo above. If your rifle was fit with an adjustable butt plate that is flat on the surface that contacts the stock then some wood was removed when it was installed and you will have to re-contour the butt (removing just enough wood to put the curve back).  This will slightly shorten the LOP, but not by much, and will leave a little overhang at the edges of the plate that you'll need to grind off.  If you try the other "fix", heating the butt plate and bending it flat, then the holes in the butt plate won't line up with the holes in the wood and you'll need to plug the holes in the stock and re-drill them to match the flattened plate.

Dimensions of your rifle butt would help.  I can also post a couple photos of a marksman butt plate with a dial caliper on it to give you an idea of the size.

Best,

Lou

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

WACA-Signauture-3.jpg

December 3, 2019
9:28 pm
Avatar
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 487
Member Since:
September 28, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Lou,

Did the model 75 target use the same butt plate? They sure look the same.  I would need the dimensions to confirm and the spacing on the screw holes.  If so I've got one....and the proper screws.

 

Erin

December 3, 2019
10:32 pm
Avatar
Charleston, SC
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 488
Member Since:
November 5, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi tzachary and Erin-

The photo below shows rough dimensions of a M70/M52 Marksman butt plate I pulled from my parts chest.  My measurements maybe a few thousandths off b/c I used a dial caliper, and the external dimensions vary slightly on all of them anyway b/c they were ground to fit the wood.  But it's a place to start...

IMG_0669.jpegImage Enlarger

Hope this helps!!! Laugh

Lou

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

WACA-Signauture-3.jpg

December 3, 2019
11:24 pm
Avatar
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 487
Member Since:
September 28, 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

They are one and the same. The width and screw hole spacing are identical. Mine is .080" shorter than Lou's. Probably a benefit if the stock was slightly shortened. Tzachary, if you are interested send me a PM on this site or you can call me at:  nine 06 seven48 zero213.

 

IMG_4660.JPGImage Enlarger

 

Erin

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments
December 3, 2019
11:36 pm
Avatar
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 13
Member Since:
June 21, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I just got back to the house. Let me eat some dinner and I'll take off the buttplate to see what I'm working with here.

December 4, 2019
12:46 am
Avatar
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 13
Member Since:
June 21, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

For some reason, my last post didn't go through. After taking the dimensions, I'm thinking the stock was cut down slightly to install the adjustable buttplate. The end of the wood was only 0.4" from where the area routed out for the rear sling swivel starts, plus my straight edge lays basically flat on the buttstock.

 

I'm torn now between attempting to "restore to original", or just leaving a fine historical rifle in the the same condition I received it from a prominent figure in the Southeastern shooting community before he passed.

December 4, 2019
2:50 am
Avatar
Charleston, SC
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 488
Member Since:
November 5, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi tzachary-

Your call, of course, but if it were mine I think I'd leave the original stock and butt plate alone if it were cut that short.  It's a survivor!!! Go with that!!!  If you want to restore it you can always keep a lookout for a suitable M70 Marksman stock.  They don't often turn up unmolested/uncut/not bedded, but patience may pay off... Big Larry did that with his and it's a nice looking gun!!!

For historical interest, I would look real close at the butt stock dimensions (as best as they can still be gleaned) to address the question of whether the VO "special target" stocks were really different from the regular marksman stocks.  If only so you can tell me... Wink I'm a detail "geek"... Laugh The "sniper" stocks (some of them at least) were clearly different dimensionally (as claimed in the VO literature), but the regular M70 marksman stocks already copied the Springfield 03A3 National Match rifle dimensions, so I've no idea what Evaluators Ltd meant when they claimed "special dimensions" on that version... 

Would you mind sharing the serial number and what sights (if any) are still on your gun (for my survey)?  Is it "US Property" marked??  I've found a few of these VO guns that were shipped to US military for shooting team use, and they've all been worked over a lot (not surprisingly).  The one I own (S/N 351439) was one of the civilian-sold VO snipers and is probably about as close to what came out of Evaluators Ltd as anything around these days.  But they all have historical value and the milsurp ones are probably more interesting even if less "original"...

Best,

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

WACA-Signauture-3.jpg

December 4, 2019
3:48 pm
Avatar
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 13
Member Since:
June 21, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Louis Luttrell said
Hi tzachary-

For historical interest, I would look real close at the butt stock dimensions (as best as they can still be gleaned) to address the question of whether the VO "special target" stocks were really different from the regular marksman stocks.  If only so you can tell me... Wink I'm a detail "geek"... Laugh The "sniper" stocks (some of them at least) were clearly different dimensionally (as claimed in the VO literature), but the regular M70 marksman stocks already copied the Springfield 03A3 National Match rifle dimensions, so I've no idea what Evaluators Ltd meant when they claimed "special dimensions" on that version... 

Would you mind sharing the serial number and what sights (if any) are still on your gun (for my survey)?  Is it "US Property" marked??  I've found a few of these VO guns that were shipped to US military for shooting team use, and they've all been worked over a lot (not surprisingly).  The one I own (S/N 351439) was one of the civilian-sold VO snipers and is probably about as close to what came out of Evaluators Ltd as anything around these days.  But they all have historical value and the milsurp ones are probably more interesting even if less "original"...

Best,

Lou  

Sure thing. The width of my buttstock was the same as the dimension you listed for your buttplate above, but the top-to-bottom dimension came in at (I believe, I've slept since then Laugh) 4.8". I don't know if it makes a difference, but the rifle came with an old-school two-way Al Freeland "Sur Grip" buttplate. 

As for the rest of the gun (333,438), it is "U.S. Property" marked, and is listed by Chandler (Death From Above Vol. 1) as having shipped to USART (I've always assumed that to be Sam Burkhalter's United States Army Reserve Team) on June 19th, 1955. Just in time to get them zeroed in for the 1955 National Matches. I've got a history of the National Matches book at home and haven't looked yet, but I'm guessing that of the Marines who cleaned up at the '55 matches, several were using the Van Orden rifles. When I purchased it several years ago, it did not have any sights on it, although I would like to put the right Lyman 48WH/77A on at some point. 

December 4, 2019
4:29 pm
Avatar
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 1196
Member Since:
November 1, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

tzachary85@gmail.com said 

4.8". I don't know if it makes a difference, but the rifle came with an old-school two-way Al Freeland "Sur Grip" buttplate. 
   

Could that have been installed for the use in the National Matches?  (If they were legal at the time.)  If you can find any photos in your NM book of shooters using one, I'd leave it alone.

December 5, 2019
4:47 am
Avatar
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 13
Member Since:
June 21, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

clarence said

Could that have been installed for the use in the National Matches?  (If they were legal at the time.)  If you can find any photos in your NM book of shooters using one, I'd leave it alone.  

 

From the photos I've looked at at the time (mid-50s), it looked as if folks were using the regular buttplates.

For instance, there are a few guys in this photo that show up in the documented list of Van Orden rifles.

Marine Corps Rifle & Pistol Team, Camp Perry, Ohio, September 7, 1955Image Enlarger

Best I can tell, which admittedly isn't much, is that the Al Freeland adjustable buttplates didn't start showing for another 15-20 years.

December 5, 2019
4:36 pm
Avatar
Charleston, SC
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 488
Member Since:
November 5, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi tzachary-

Thank you for sharing the S/N of your VO rifle and the team photo. I see at least ten Winchester target rifles in the first two rows, although the one on the front row far left might (???) be a 28" extra heavy barrel M70 bull gun (G7092C) rather than a 24" medium heavy target model (G7044C) as supplied by Evaluators Ltd.

Is that photo from a published source or something in your collection?  Is there a list of the names of the riflemen in the photo?  My VO gun (S/N 351439) was one of the civilian-sold VO "snipers" (Victor Dawson of Silver Spring MD in March 1956) so it wouldn't be in the photo, but I do know the owner(s) of a couple VO rifles that are "US Property" marked and fall into the 1954 and 1955 shipments to USART.  One (or more) of theirs might actually be in the photo. 

A couple other VO things of potential interest of you haven't yet run across them...  One is that some time ago I found on-line a photo of S/N 333437 (Barry Conway of N Syracuse NY in May 1955).  I do not know who owns this one today.  Note that it has the smooth "sniper" stock (same as mine):

SN333437-1.jpgImage Enlarger

Also (I've posted these before so nothing new), these are the instruction sheets that came inside the 11 June 1955 brown envelope (pictured above) accompanying a VO Special Target rifle shipped to USMC Quartermaster General.  These same sheets likely accompanied yours to USART:

Sniper-Rifle-Sight-Adjustment.jpgImage EnlargerRange-Card-Sniper-Special-Target.jpgImage Enlarger

Hope some of this is informative Laugh

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

WACA-Signauture-3.jpg

December 5, 2019
4:57 pm
Avatar
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 13
Member Since:
June 21, 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Louis Luttrell said
Hi tzachary-

Is that photo from a published source or something in your collection?  Is there a list of the names of the riflemen in the photo?  My VO gun (S/N 351439) was one of the civilian-sold VO "snipers" (Victor Dawson of Silver Spring MD in March 1956) so it wouldn't be in the photo, but I do know the owner(s) of a couple VO rifles that are "US Property" marked and fall into the 1954 and 1955 shipments to USART.  One (or more) of theirs might actually be in the photo. 

A couple other VO things of potential interest of you haven't yet run across them...  One is that some time ago I found on-line a photo of S/N 333437 (Barry Conway of N Syracuse NY in May 1955).  I do not know who owns this one today.  Note that it has the smooth "sniper" stock (same as mine):

SN333437-1.jpgImage Enlarger

Also (I've posted these before so nothing new), these are the instruction sheets that came inside the 11 June 1955 brown envelope (pictured above) accompanying a VO Special Target rifle shipped to USMC Quartermaster General.  These same sheets likely accompanied yours to USART:

Sniper-Rifle-Sight-Adjustment.jpgImage EnlargerRange-Card-Sniper-Special-Target.jpgImage Enlarger

Hope some of this is informative Laugh

Lou  

Lou,

Thanks again for the instruction sheets, they'll have to suffice until I can track down some hard copies one of these days. 

 

The photo is an "Official U.S. Marine Corps Photograph", so I'm guessing it is public domain. I found it over on William McMillan's website, which is still updated fairly regularly. 

https://www.wwmcmillan.info/natMatches_1955.html

The gentlemen in the photo who we have documentation from Chandler as having purchased Van Orden rifles are listed on the roster on this page:

https://www.wwmcmillan.info/usmcPI-R&PT-Roster-1955.html

* On Roster #1, you'll see MSgt James A Moore's name. In Chandler's book, Sgt. Moore is listed as having purchased Van Orden rifle #220896 in May 1953 while he was at Parris Island. 

* Also on Roster #1, you'll see LtCol Walsh's name. In Chandler's book, Col. Walsh is listed as having purchased Van Orden rifle #220956 in August of 1952 while he was at Parris Island.

In addition to those, we also know from Chandler's book that at least ten other Van Orden rifles were shipped to Marines in the Parris Island Rifle and Pistol Team on July 17th, 1952. 

I'm currently trying to dig for a more exhaustive list of Winchester Model 70 serial numbers via a gentleman at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. He seems to think they have that documentation laying around somewhere in the archive. None of that has to do with my particular rifle, but I knew that there would at least be some information out there that might shed some light on when those other M70s were used in matches, and had talked to some USMC historians about other items, so I at least had a place to start.

 

As for my particular rifle, I wish I had some United States Army Reserve Team (USART) photos of guys with their rifles back in the day when LtCol Sam Burkhalter was running the team, but I've yet to find any just yet. I'd love to eventually track down what matches it was used at, but I'm at a bit of a loss as to where to even start. 

December 5, 2019
10:53 pm
Avatar
Charleston, SC
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 488
Member Since:
November 5, 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi tzachary-

Thanks for the info!!!  Please let us at WACA (or me: luttrell@musc.edu) know what you find out!!!  I'm not a military collector and don't want to acquire another VO (or team) rifle, but I am interested in the history.   

If you get S/Ns of other team rifles besides those acquired via Evaluators Ltd it could be a valuable resource. There have been a bunch of G7044C rifles that have turned up, some apparently even "US Property" marked, whose S/Ns are very close to the VO list published in Chandler, often in a gap of just a couple in Chandler's VO list.  It's possible, I suppose either that the VO list in Chandler is incomplete, or (maybe more likely) that the guns used to fill the Evaluators Ltd orders were pulled out of a larger run of G7044C.  It's certainly possible, even likely, that the US military acquired team rifles directly from Winchester rather than through Retired General Van Orden's civilian shop, but no way I'm aware of to establish that a military marked G7044C was a genuine team rifle unless it's on Chandler's published VO list.

Good luck finding another set of the original VO literature... That is the only original set I've found thus far.  The photos once posted by someone on Sniper's Hide forum, as it turned out, were of this exact set of papers.  I bought them off eBay a while back...  

I do have high resolution digital scans of these documents, including the product Lyman and Western Cartridge Company brochures that were included in the envelope.  They're in my Dropbox account and I just "shared" access with you, assuming that your gmail account is the one listed on your posts.  So if you get a strange e-mail from Dropbox, it's from me.

BTW... I'm sure you know what they should look like, but below are the sights on my VO rifle.  I believe them to be period correct and possibly original to the gun.  They were on it when I bought it.  Note that the Lyman type scope blocks (0.360" tall barrel and 0.185" tall receiver) have the Winchester "dimples" on the left side:

VO-Lyman-48WH.pngImage EnlargerVO-front-sight.pngImage Enlarger351439-Action.pngImage Enlarger

Best,

Lou

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

WACA-Signauture-3.jpg

Forum Timezone: UTC 0

Most Users Ever Online: 628

Currently Online: 28 gauge, dane62
34 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)


Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 16

Topics: 6695

Posts: 53981


Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 903

Members: 8799

Moderators: 4

Admins: 3


Top Posters:

1873man: 4029

twobit: 2484

TXGunNut: 2180

Maverick: 1469

Big Larry: 1377

JWA: 1237

clarence: 1196

Wincacher: 1180

Brad Dunbar: 1069

Chuck: 1054

Navigation