November 1, 2013
If not, I'll likely re-blue it by someone who knows what they are doing and put it in an aftermarket stock but keep the factory one, and even replace the barrel if needed.
You seem to be on the verge of digging yourself into a hole you'll never climb out of, monetarily speaking. If you want a collector's item, put that money into buying one, not into trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. You said you bought it for a hunting rifle, & that you have without spending another cent.
The barrel truly is an inexplicable mystery, & that it will probably remain, if Lou can't explain it.
November 5, 2014
I was withholding my opinion to see if anyone else would comment. As for me…
The barrel is probably original to the rifle. The style 3A roll marking and under barrel stamp indicates a ’48 barrel on a ’48 receiver. In regular production these barrels had a forged integral front sight ramp and a dovetailed barrel boss. At some relatively early point (well before 1960) the factory offered a “sightless” option for standard rifles (see 1945 catalog call-out below). It was not specifically mentioned on the Super Grade page of the same catalog, but presumably could be had for the asking...
However, the few “sightless” M70 rifles I’ve seen from before 1952 (when the brazed-on ramp was adopted) still had the ramp (with blank) and a dovetailed barrel boss (with blank). They were simply supplied without sights. Presumably, at the time this option appealed to people who were planning to install different sights than those used by the factory moreso than people who planned to use a scope exclusively. OTOH... The special order "sightless" M70 FWTs and standard rifles from the late 1950s and 1960s omitted BOTH the front sight ramp and the rear sight dovetail. Anyone have knowledge of a factory produced sightless standard/SG from the 1940's that lacked the forged front ramp but still had a rear sight dovetail?
Personally, I doubt that your rifle has a factory rampless barrel (I could be wrong, of course). On your gun, the barrel boss is dovetailed and the filler block looks like it was shaped from a cut down Win 22G sporting rear sight. The factory correct blank (flat topped Lyman 12S) is like the photo I posted earlier. My best guess is that at some point the barrel on your rifle was turned down to remove the ramp. FWIW... There are a couple of well-worn older M70s in the current RIA Regional Auction catalog that appeared to have received a similar treatment (no ramp and plugged sight dovetail), along with one where the owner (one Mr. Bubba, I presume ) apparently flattened the ramp on a grinding wheel to get it out of his line-of-sight but didn't bother to turn it round...
Given the degree of wear, shortened stock, and questions about the barrel, I doubt it your rifle any remaining collector value. So if it were mine I'd use it for the purpose you intended in the first place.
As for what you should do... I agree with Clarence. Shoot the rifle first and see if the present barrel will deliver the accuracy you're looking for. If not, you can consider a new barrel, since 270 WCF is a common chambering and take-off barrels are not too costly. If you go the rebarrel route, find a good gunsmith to do the work. Winchester apparently did a remarkably good job (for the technology of the day) timing the threads on barrel and receiver such that barrels can often be swapped with little to no modification and retain proper headspace, but IMHO it would be best to leave the job to somebody who works on these guns. Once you have the rifle shooting to your satisfaction, then refinish it for weather protection and go for it!!! It will surely attract more interest/attention in hunting camp than a "modern" gun...
Happy New Year!!!
WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters
December 21, 2019
Thanks again for the suggestions guys. The intent is definately to take it to the range first and see how it groups. My reason for wanting to re-blue it is more about conserving its condition rather than improving the value. Here in Northern Idaho it's a very wet climate so I'm afraid if I use it too much during hunts the it will eventually be useless.
October 29, 2019
There is nothing at all wrong with making it into a hunting rifle suited for you. You'll have a pre 64 model 70 in .270 with a new synthetic stock, new bluing, and sighted with whatever equipment you chose. Nice set up to hunt elk and deer where you live. I do a lot of my firearm hunting with modern model 70 Classics in stainless steel with synthetic stocks. Love them. It would be different if you were starting out with a pre 64 in top condition and rare features that was unaltered. Do what makes you happy with this one.
Shoot low boys. They're riding Shetland Ponies.
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