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October 17, 2022 - 2:15 am
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m70do.jpgImage EnlargerHello

I have a prewar model 70  the serial number is 3 digits with a D prefix and O suffix I have read that the D prefix is for is for duplicate serial number what does the O suffix represent

Thank you in advance

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October 17, 2022 - 2:34 am
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James,

Winchester did not ever use a “D” prefix letter or an “O” suffix letter on the Model 70. Duplicate serial numbered guns were hand stamped with an “X” suffix when they occurred.

Bert

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October 17, 2022 - 3:15 am
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Hi Bert

I am trying to figure out how to post a picture

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October 17, 2022 - 3:34 am
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james alfano said
Hi Bert

I am trying to figure out how to post a picture

  

It appears that you were successful.

Why do you believe that it is a pre-64 rifle?

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October 17, 2022 - 3:46 am
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m70ddo1-1.jpgImage Enlargerm70ddo1.jpgImage EnlargerPre war model 70

I can try to post a better picture

Thanks for the replies

The receiver has the cuts for stripper clips that tells me it is an early model 70

Sorry for the double picture

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October 17, 2022 - 9:31 am
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james alfano said     what does the O suffix represent
  

Looks like a zero to me.

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October 17, 2022 - 1:15 pm
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Have you checked the bolt to see what s/n is marked on it? I agree, the last digit appears to be a zero, but done manually possibly since it is not as deep. 

Steve

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October 17, 2022 - 1:50 pm
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.30-06? Looks like the gun has a military connection.

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October 17, 2022 - 2:03 pm
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Tedk said
 Looks like the gun has a military connection.

  

That horrible web sling?  Doubt the military would permit such an abomination on a 70 procured for competition.  The added checkering panel doesn’t like very GI either.

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October 17, 2022 - 3:06 pm
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James-

My understanding is that Winchester initially used a “D” prefix to denote duplicate M70 serial numbers.  According to Roger Rule’s book this applied to M70 serial numbers below 10,000.  For anyone interested, Roger shows the example of S/N D8690 (very close to yours) on p 126.  Above S/N 10,000 (still in 1937) they changed to the more familiar “X” suffix to denote duplicates.

I agree that the last digit is a zero.  The minor misalignment in numeral height and spacing seems to be an inherent property of the die marking machine used to apply serial numbers.  So my best guess is that your rifle’s S/N is D8740.  I can only imagine that the guy in the Polishing Room applying M70 serial numbers was having a bad day when S/Ns 8690 and 8740 were applied…  Wink

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October 17, 2022 - 5:43 pm
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Louis Luttrell said
James-

My understanding is that Winchester initially used a “D” prefix to denote duplicate M70 serial numbers.  According to Roger Rule’s book this applied to M70 serial numbers below 10,000.  For anyone interested, Roger shows the example of S/N D8690 (very close to yours) on p 126.  Above S/N 10,000 (still in 1937) they changed to the more familiar “X” suffix to denote duplicates.

Lou  

Lou,

Interesting, but I have my doubts about it being accurate.  What I am struggling with is why the Winchester Polishing Room employees would have used a “D” prefix to mark a duplicate Model 70, but not on any other models to identify a duplicate serial number?  For all of the many different models that I have been surveying/researching, Winchester simply did nothing with the duplicate serial numbers through the year 1939.  In 1940 (I do not have an exact date yet), they began adding the “X” suffix.  I have documented duplicate Model 94, Model 64, and Model 71 serial numbers that are pre-1940 with no prefix or suffix, and then in 1940 (and beyond), with an “X” suffix.  Currently, I have identified (79) duplicate Model 94/64 serial numbers that follow this pattern.

In regards to the subject Model 70, the “D” suffix does not appear to be hand stamped.  It is too correctly sized, aligned, and of uniform depth.  When a duplicate serial number was identified in the Polishing Room, the numeric digits had already been machined stamped which then required someone to hand stamp an “X” (or presumably in this case a “D”).

Bert

Model 94 PR date 1/10/1941

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October 17, 2022 - 7:04 pm
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Hi Bert-

I don’t doubt you for a second!!! Smile

I was recounting what Roger’s book says on the matter and have never seen a “D” prefix pre-war M70 first hand.  The (not totally clear) photo in Rule’s book does look very much like the OP’s photo and the two guns are eerily close in S/N assuming his is #8740 (including the “D” appearing rather too well aligned with the digital S/N).

I can’t imagine how Roger could know that the change from “D” prefix to “X” suffix that he describes occurred around S/N 10,000 (Sept 1937), unless he had access to factory documents that I haven’t found.  There can’t have been so many duplicated S/Ns that finding them would be a regular occurrence.  Absent documents, or an extensive survey like yours, I think that’s one of those “best guess” statements based on personal/anecdotal observation…

So 1940 is the best estimate for the year the “X” suffix began being used???  I have got at least a dozen (more, but I haven’t counted lately) pre-64 M70 “X” guns recorded in the M70 survey and as you said earlier, the “X” (which comes in two heights) is always hand struck and typically poorly aligned.

Thanks!!! Smile

Lou

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October 17, 2022 - 7:19 pm
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Louis Luttrell said
Hi Bert-

I don’t doubt you for a second!!! Smile

I was recounting what Roger’s book says on the matter and have never seen a “D” prefix pre-war M70 first hand.  The (not totally clear) photo in Rule’s book does look very much like the OP’s photo and the two guns are eerily close in S/N assuming his is #8740 (including the “D” appearing rather too well aligned with the digital S/N).

I can’t imagine how Roger could know that the change from “D” prefix to “X” suffix that he describes occurred around S/N 10,000 (Sept 1937), unless he had access to factory documents that I haven’t found.  There can’t have been so many duplicated S/Ns that finding them would be a regular occurrence.  Absent documents, or an extensive survey like yours, I think that’s one of those “best guess” statements based on personal/anecdotal observation…

So 1940 is the best estimate for the year the “X” suffix began being used???  I have got at least a dozen (more, but I haven’t counted lately) pre-64 M70 “X” guns recorded in the M70 survey and as you said earlier, the “X” (which comes in two heights) is always hand struck and typically poorly aligned.

Thanks!!! Smile

Lou

  

That’s very interesting.  I hadn’t remembered that from the Rule book.  The mark in the Rule book, despite being a little hazy on the D, is very similar to the OP’s.

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October 17, 2022 - 8:58 pm
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Louis Luttrell said
Hi Bert-

I don’t doubt you for a second!!! Smile

I was recounting what Roger’s book says on the matter and have never seen a “D” prefix pre-war M70 first hand.  The (not totally clear) photo in Rule’s book does look very much like the OP’s photo and the two guns are eerily close in S/N assuming his is #8740 (including the “D” appearing rather too well aligned with the digital S/N).

I can’t imagine how Roger could know that the change from “D” prefix to “X” suffix that he describes occurred around S/N 10,000 (Sept 1937), unless he had access to factory documents that I haven’t found.  There can’t have been so many duplicated S/Ns that finding them would be a regular occurrence.  Absent documents, or an extensive survey like yours, I think that’s one of those “best guess” statements based on personal/anecdotal observation…

So 1940 is the best estimate for the year the “X” suffix began being used???  I have got at least a dozen (more, but I haven’t counted lately) pre-64 M70 “X” guns recorded in the M70 survey and as you said earlier, the “X” (which comes in two heights) is always hand struck and typically poorly aligned.

Thanks!!! Smile

Lou  

In answer to your question, Yes, 1940 is the earliest I have found thus far.  Unless one of us finds something buried in the boxes of material at the Cody Museum, I doubt that an exact date can be pinned down due to the very infrequent occurrence of duplicate serial numbers.

It would be interesting to know what the earliest “X” marked Model 70 serial number is that you have identified… and seeing a picture of it.

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October 17, 2022 - 9:35 pm
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Hi Bert-

The earliest “X” marked M70 I’ve seen/handled in S/N 2184x (1936), but I have some doubts about that one… No photo, sorry…  It’s an oddball caliber, possibly a prototype/test rifle, possibly an “oops” receiver that got thrown in a drawer and marked later, possibly a fake… So we’ll skip that one… Wink  Otherwise, I don’t have any “X” guns before 1942, which fits with your survey but doesn’t narrow it down any… CryThe only “X” M70 I own is S/N 422990x (late 1957), which fits all your criteria for crappy hand stamped marking…

Question for you…  You’ve got 79 M94/64 “X” serial numbers.  That’s a pretty good number!!!  What’s the denominator???  Meaning how many 1940 or later S/Ns in the M94/64 survey so far?  Your “X” number is high enough that it might give us a rough (order of magnitude anyway) estimate of how often these “mistakes” occurred…  I’m guessing less than 1:1000???

Thanks,

Lou

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October 17, 2022 - 10:41 pm
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Lou,

Thus far I have 13,373 Model 94s and 2,210 Model 64s in my research survey (a total of 15,583) that are post-1939 production.  Of the (79) duplicate serial numbers documented, (65) of them are post-1939 production or in numeric terms, .0041% of the total.

The (14) that are pre-1940 are cases were two completely different configuration guns were observed with the same serial number (e.g. a Model 94 Carbine with a type-6 upper tang marking, and a Model 64 Rifle with a type-7 upper tang marking).   I am relatively certain that there are a fair number more duplicated serial numbers in the pre-1940 years, but identifying them is somewhat more difficult as it requires finding both guns with the same serial number.  In the case of my research, I have found and documented (14) guns sharing (7) serial numbers.  In each case, it was clearly evident that each gun with the same serial number was a notably different configuration.

For comparison, I also have (2) duplicate Model 71 serial numbers that are pre-1940 (S/N 17 – October 1935 and 15377 – February 1938) with no “X” and (6) that are post-1939 serial numbers with an “X” (18109X – March 1940 is the earliest).  In total I have (8) duplicate Model 71s out of a total of 2,782 (.0028%).

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October 18, 2022 - 5:40 am
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Hello Everyone

Rifles such as the M70 I posted is an example of a rifle that survived 80+ years without being abused. As collector grade the rifle is far from that the stock has that panel on the sides which is very cheesy. Carrying the rifle, the panel feels nice in hand. For a hunting rifle that is a nice touch even though the checkering is crudely done I can live with that. As far as the M1 Garand web sling that is a fantastic shooters aide. I’ll take that cotton canvas sling over any leather sling. Speaking for myself I have several high-end leather slings those are for show not go. I use the M70 I posted for hunting The M70 is chambered in 30.06 I have serveral other rifles that I hunt with and collect. I really like these older M70s great rifle to go afield with. This year I will use the M70 for hunting As far as the bolt on this rifle I did not notice any matkings. 

 Everyone

Thanks for all the replies

Jim

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October 18, 2022 - 4:47 pm
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Hi Bert-

That’s interesting!!!  If the M64/94 survey is representative, then about 1:250 serial numbers were “X” duplicates, and your sample seems large enough that the estimate has got to be somewhere in the ballpark.  That’s a little surprising…  I would have thought that the guys in the PR would have been better at remembering to advance the numbering machine…  

Once I merge the two M70 survey lists I’m working with (giving me a sample size of about 18K) I’ll try and get a better count of M70 “X” guns.  Using the 0.04% estimate (65 /15,583 X 100%), I should have seen about 28 “X” M70s by now but have only gotten about 12 out of 7000+ entries (about 1:600).  Still my numbers are too small.  Yours are better and likely more accurate…

We still don’t have an answer for Jim’s original question, though… Cry

I agree that the “D” prefix on both S/Ns 8690 (Rule’s book) and 8740 (Jim’s photo) looks more like it was part of the serial number than a separate after-the-fact stamp.  But given that there are (at least) two “D” prefix guns numbered very close together suggests to me that these are the factory applied serial numbers, not a random somebody’s after-market restamp.  But there was nothing I can think of in the way of design changes going on at that time in 1937 that would have occasioned, even temporarily, a change in the S/N stamp to include a letter.  As far as I know, the only design change affecting the receiver that happened somewhere around that time was the change to the diameter of the bolt stop plunger, and that may have been implemented months earlier.  The other 1937 changes affected the floor plate release button and bolt sleeve, but those “new” parts were compatible with any receiver…

Anyone have an idea???

Lou 

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October 18, 2022 - 5:42 pm
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Lou,

In the immediate post-W II years, the serial number stamping machinery was modified to “auto index” itself, and in many cases, it did not function correctly.  I have noted at several periods of production when the machinery was apparently in dire need of maintenance but was apparently ignored.

The table below is a snap-shot of my duplicate serial number survey worksheet.  Note that S/N 2138903 has a double “XX” indicating that there were three guns manufactured with that same number!

Serial No. Model Caliber Stamp Barrel Band Rec. D&T Butt Plate DOM
2134869X 94 32 WIN. SPL. Milled Yes Checkered 1955
2138044X 94 30-30 WIN. Milled Yes Checkered 1955
2138235X 94 30-30 WIN. Milled Yes Checkered 1955
2138286X 94 30-30 WIN. Milled Yes Checkered 1955
2138335X 94 30-30 WIN. Milled Yes Checkered 1955
2138382X 94 30-30 WIN. Milled Yes Checkered 1955
2138386X 94 30-30 WIN. Milled Yes Checkered 1955
2138527X 94 30-30 WIN. Milled Yes Checkered 1955
2138579X 94 30-30 WIN. Milled Yes Checkered 1955
2138816X 94 30-30 WIN. Milled Yes Checkered 1955
2138903XX 94 30-30 WIN. Milled Yes Checkered 1955
2138915X 94 30-30 WIN. Milled Yes Checkered 1955
2138977X 94 30-30 WIN. Milled Yes Checkered 1955

I suspect that you may also find similar clusters of “X” marked Model 70 serial numbers.

Bert

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