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Pre-64 Model 70 Magnum barrel script
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August 5, 2023 - 11:45 pm
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When did Winchester add the H&H to the barrels of the Magnums? Were the 300 and 375 added at the same serial number? or since there were less 375’s built did it take longer for those barrels without the H&H script to be built and used up, and the last serial # appear later? Are those last serial’s known or the 1st with the H&H script known and part of the record? I’m guessing the the debut of the Weatherby Magnums facilitated the need.

Thanks

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August 6, 2023 - 3:56 pm
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I could be wrong about all this. I had thought all early Magnum Model 70 rifles were without the H&H on the barrel. If they don’t have H&H, but do say “Magnum”, are they still an H&H? I know rifles in the 50’s had the H&H so I thought there must be a point where this changed. Like I said I could be wrong in thinking this. If so please straighten me out.

Thanks

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August 6, 2023 - 6:23 pm
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Hi Greg-

Winchester changed the caliber designations from “300 MAGNUM” and “375 MAGNUM” to “300 H&H MAGNUM” and “375 H&H MAGNUM” in 1950, when they went to the one-piece roll marking dies that had the caliber stamp as an integral part of the roll marking die.  Before that, the caliber part of the barrel marking was applied with a separate die. 

This happened around serial number 170,000 for both chamberings, albeit with some overlap between the new and old barrel markings.

Yes… If unaltered (not rechambered), the early barrels marked “300 MAGNUM” and “375 MAGNUM” are chambered for the H&H cartridges.  Winchester, apparently, was not too keen on marking their guns with another gun maker’s name on them, and back in 1936 the 300 H&H was about the only commercially produced 300 magnum out there.  By 1950, popularity of the Weatherby cartridges, etc. was on the upswing and Winchester finally broke down and clarified WHICH 300 magnum they were chambering for. Laugh

Hope this helps,

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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August 6, 2023 - 6:56 pm
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Very helpful! Thanks

I understand some were re-chambered, (I assume to only Weatherby Magnums). Were they always marked as being re-chambered to Weatherby whether the original marking was  H&H Magnum, or only Magnum? When buying one of these is it necessary to verify rifles not marked Weatherby are H&H before purchase. I would think a re-chambering would reduce value. Was the 300 more popular to re-chamber, or was it the 375?

Thanks again

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August 6, 2023 - 8:01 pm
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Hi Greg-

My impression is that more were rechambered to 300 Weatherby than 375 Weatherby, but that is, of course, a guess.  It’s also possible to rechamber to something like 300 Ackley Improved (which is basically a 300 Weatherby Magnum without the double radius shoulder), but I’m sure the Weatherby conversion was far more popular.

Not all of the rechambered barrels were re-marked (depended on the gunsmith).  Also true of 22 HORNET rifles rechambered to 22 K HORNET.  One reason, I guess, is that a way to make 300 Weatherby Magnum brass is to fire 300 H&H Magnum ammo in a Weatherby chamber.  It shouldn’t be dangerous, so people didn’t always mark the “improved” chamber. 

The best thing to do is to make sure that a piece of 300 Weatherby brass won’t chamber.  It should only go in about half way before it gets stuck…

Lou

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August 7, 2023 - 4:34 am
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Thanks Lou, Good info. I’m wondering how much I should be concerned with re-chambering. 

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August 7, 2023 - 1:19 pm
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I wouldn’t buy a re-chambered gun

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August 7, 2023 - 3:43 pm
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I’m with you on that. If it isn’t marked as being re-chambered, it would be hard to tell. Having a couple of Weatherby empties in your pocket would be nice, but the cost of a box of them is significant, but maybe not so much if you consider the protection they give from buying the wrong rifle.

What I meant in my last post was, how concerned should I be in finding an unmarked re-chambered rifle being sold as an original H&H in this day and age. Not whether it was safe to fire, or anything like that, or I was thinking of buying one.

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