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Model 70 question
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WACA Guest
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August 22, 2021 - 11:04 pm
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Hello all,

I have a model 70 that I’m trying to find out when it was made. I found a site on line that gave a list of serial numbers starting with the first number of each year. My serial number falls in the range for a 1950 vintage rifle.

What has me wondering is my number has a capital U as the first digit. Whereas none of the serial numbers in the list I found started with a U. I am hoping someone can tell me the significance of the U and if it’s not a 1950 vintage rifle, because of the U prefix, what year is it? The serial number is U145xxx.


Kingston, WA
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August 23, 2021 - 12:01 am
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None of the pre-1964 production Model 70 rifles have a serial number prefix letter… they are all simply numerals. In 1968, Winchester added a “G” prefix to the serial numbers on the Model 70 to be in compliance with the Gun Control Act (GCA) that was enacted in November of that year, and that prefix was used at least through March 2006. When FN took over production of the Model 70 is 2008 (in Columbia. SC) I do not know what the serial number prefix they used.


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August 23, 2021 - 12:19 am
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A pre-’64 would have the ser. no. etched on the bottom of the bolt.

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August 23, 2021 - 5:02 pm
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Mystery solved. 

It turns out that the reason it has a U in the serial number is because it’s a Ted Williams/Sears model 53. After looking at the rifle, I was so sure it was a model 70 I didn’t even look at the barrel. duh. That kinda explains why I couldn’t find a serial number with a U prefix.

It’s a push feed, so made after ’64. My understanding is it was made in the late ’60s or early ’70s. I was unable to find a listing with serial number dates for the 53 anywhere. Any ideas as to a specific year of production?

Thanks for trying to help with me putting out the wrong info Burt and Clarence. I’ll try to be more observant when I post another question in the future.


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August 24, 2021 - 12:40 am
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Well…  I would have suggested that Akum’s Razor to have offered the answer: “That rifle was made just for “U”!  But now I guess, his formula would have suggested reading all nomenclature!  (And never omitting to read toilet installation instructions showing… which way “UP”! 🙂 🙂 🙂 )  Sorry, again, I couldn’t resist. 

But a serious question predicated upon gun industry practice of utilizing alfa prefixes or suffixes reflecting some sort of connotation.  My own Win 88 Carbine without “H” designation as slipping under the ’68 year regulatory wire.  Wasn’t an alfa suffix “X”, some such, used on the pre ’64 Model 70 where inadvertent ‘duplicate’ serialization would have otherwise resulted?  



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