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New Winchester M70’s: collectible?
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March 4, 2022 - 9:48 pm
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Hoping to get some perspectives and opinions on whether the new Winchesters being produced today in Portugal and Japan will eventually be collectibles. I’m interested particularly in perspectives on the FN-made Model 70’s, but also on the Miroku lever actions.

I know quality wise the new ones are just as good, if not better.

Of course we don’t know what the future holds and tastes of future generations, but what is your hunch?

If you were looking to buy an eventual heirloom piece today which will also be moderately used on the field and range, imagining price isn’t an issue would you get a new FN model, or a pre-64/pre-war? Or USRAC? 

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March 4, 2022 - 10:35 pm
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Ron P said

If you were looking to buy an eventual heirloom piece today which will also be moderately used on the field and range, imagining price isn’t an issue would you get a new FN model, or a pre-64/pre-war? Or USRAC?   

 My son and I hunt with pre-64 model 70s, mine a 300H&H his a 270. Both are original standard rifles in great condition made in the early 50’s. They have not changed condition wise from our careful use, value has increased, and accuracy has been good. The original purchases were made for the price of a premium grade hardware store gun. When they are passed down in the family I think the next generation will appreciate them and not trade them in for a new gun. When plastic and cheap stamped parts on guns they sell today are junk the old Winchester made out of walnut and steel will still be working!

  Buy the nicest pre-64 model 70 you can find. It doesn’t have to be a rare caliber or model, but it does have to be a Winchester made in the USA before 1964. T/R

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March 4, 2022 - 10:59 pm
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Ron P said
Hoping to get some perspectives and opinions on whether the new Winchesters being produced today in Portugal and Japan will eventually be collectibles. I’m interested particularly in perspectives on the FN-made Model 70’s, but also on the Miroku lever actions.
 

Doubtful as regards post-64 70s, I think, because such a huge number of them will remain in circulation, but if & when the lever-guns ever go out of production, they will immediately become collectables, just as the Miroku 52-repros have now become; few yrs ago, you could take your pick of the latter at most gun shows, but now they’re bringing twice their former retail price.

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March 5, 2022 - 4:57 am
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Your question fits within a far greater perspective of “whither gun collecting” itself.  Yet ignoring, the narrower perspective.  “A flattening of the “Winchester era curve”.

Two categories of rifles emerged from both gun folk perspectives and more definitively within regulatory hovering context.  The “hoops game; jumping though” in ‘black gun’ aspect as more conventionally opposed, hunter/shooter guns.  Context, categorically ‘otherwise’.  In that (as centerfire) context a ‘flattening of sub-species as future generations growing up in Model 70 context as addressed here.  The ‘push-feed high power bolt action era “technology commonplace from contemporary general experience! 

Collector guns ‘too valuable to shoot’, a declining ”species” of collector interest. Many of aspect here, within perspective of “elder wisdom”, aka “fogies”.  Also as grand possessors of the “CRF” aura scepter a hallowed era of rifle development! I love the CRFs as a species.  But factually with guns and ammo quality today, its largely ‘superiority-species aura’ functionally as factually past. 

That said, my popularity here suddenly plunged to corollary nowadays of Putin warm & fuzzy preaching to the Ukraine Rada!  So to conclude quickly.  Shakespeare as I like him:  “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove…”  

I’m an old “F**t romantic, hooked on CRF genre rifles and not bending with PFs to be removed!  The romantic, as Winchester about topping such lofty CRF group…  Personal, “Go figure!”

Best!

John

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March 5, 2022 - 1:11 pm
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Thanks for the insights. I agree. 

For me, performance isn’t everything, unless I’m parachuting into Ukraine or adversaries are in my back yard. 

I prefer a steel Lyman 48wjs sight over aluminum, a 24 standard barrel for my 30-06 and classic non-fancy walnut furniture. If I can’t carry an extra pound around the woods or mountains I need to get into better shape and if I need an optic for a more modern context, I’ll reach for a more modern rifle. 

But the only thing that gives me pause is the condition of older models. I’m not a fan of bore pitting and rust, and pristine ones are out of reach. I wonder if the new FN Model 70’s – which are quality and a relatively faithful rendition of pre-64 models, are a viable alternative which will become collectible. Too much legalese and corporate jargon imprinted on the new barrels, so maybe rebarreled!

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March 5, 2022 - 2:01 pm
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 Ron P,

 Collectors of pre-64 model 70’s are out there with nice guns on the tables of large gun shows. If you don’t know what your looking at, get help! Forum members attend these shows and will help. If you can’t attend you could ask fellow members to steer you to a gun they have seen or own

 When I bought the 270 I went to a table at a gun show of a model 70 collector/dealer and picked his nicest rifle. I knew him and his reputation for years so no buyers remorse. When I told him I was going to hunt with it his jaw dropped. I’ve hunted deer and antelope with that rifle in three states for 10 years, it’s still nice and worth more than when I bought it. Made in the USA when Winchester made great guns. T/R

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March 5, 2022 - 2:06 pm
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Ron P said

But the only thing that gives me pause is the condition of older models. I’m not a fan of bore pitting and rust, and pristine ones are out of reach. I wonder if the new FN Model 70’s – which are quality and a relatively faithful rendition of pre-64 models, are a viable alternative which will become collectible. Too much legalese and corporate jargon imprinted on the new barrels, so maybe rebarreled!  

Ron,  Bore pitting would be a rare problem in guns made after the advent of non-corrosive ammo in the mid-’30s.  Any rebarreled gun is automatically excluded from the “collectable” category.  As a compromise between new foreign-made 70s & pre-64 70s, I would suggest those still made in New Haven in the ’70s, which have not yet increased dramatically in price.  The foremost authority on the mechanical design & function of bolt-actions, Frank DeHaas, wrote that they were made with greater precision than pre-64s.

And may I gently suggest that you do not adopt the phony, pretentious, BS, language that various on-line hucksters like Lock, Stock, & Barrel, or Old Steel, have begun to use in their descriptions; guns have stocks, not “furniture.”

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March 5, 2022 - 6:20 pm
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The early FN Super Grade M70’s had spectacular wood but the first one I had was a very poor performer on the range and the replacement was very attractive but not on the same level as the first. It also had performance issues but FN/Browning eventually fixed it. They refused to tell me what they did, had to disassemble it to discover some of their work. 

I like the fit and finish of the Miroku guns, I shoot Citoris extensively so I have an appreciation for the quality as well. 

Unfortunately I don’t believe I’ll be around long enough to see these modern guns be “collectable”. In the age of newly-manufactured “collectibles” I may be out of step with popular opinion but so be it. I don’t see the value in purpose-built collectibles. IMHO collector value is like respect, it must be earned. In the case of the firearms I like that’s a very slow process, generally requiring more than a few decades.

JMHO of course, worth every penny you paid for it.

 

Mike

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