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pre war model 70 with barrel date off by one year?
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May 17, 2024 - 10:43 am
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A friend of mine who collects Winchesters recently bought a relatively early first year 1936 model 70 with a serial of 11XX. The gun is fairly clean and appeared to be all original. To his surprise however, the barrel date is “37”. The barrel does NOT have a circle P proofmark. My questions are two fold: 

Is there any possibility that it left the factory that way? If it could be original, what could cause this to happen? We discovered in the Rule book that the model 70s were not available from Winchester until after the start of 1937 but we also know that some early guns do have a barrel date of 36.  

-~Jim~-

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May 17, 2024 - 12:20 pm
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Jim-

Yes, if the serial number was applied in 1936 it may not have been assembled until 1937 as they were not assembled in order. Certainly could be legit if everything else checks out. If you’ll post some good pics our resident experts may be able to help verify authenticity.

 

Mike

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May 17, 2024 - 1:45 pm
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JR70 said
A friend of mine who collects Winchesters recently bought a relatively early first year 1936 model 70 with a serial of 11XX. 

Large stock of brls were made in ’36, lasting to at least ’39, such as the one I have with a ’36 brl.  Absence of the proofmark may mean brl replacement; how is it marked on the bottom?

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May 17, 2024 - 1:56 pm
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Your gun is not a relatively early first year (1936) M70 as S/N 11XX went through the Polishing Room sometime in Sept.- Oct. of 1937.

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May 17, 2024 - 4:10 pm
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Large stock of brls were made in ’36, lasting to at least ’39, such as the one I have with a ’36 brl.  Absence of the proofmark may mean brl replacement; how is it marked on the bottom?

Notice I said it does not have “circle P proof” referring to the mail order barrel replacement marking. It does have the standard WP proof on the barrel. I can post pics later on today. 

Your friend’s gun is not a relatively early first year (1936) M70 as S/N 11XX went through the Polishing Room sometime in Sept.- Oct. of 1937.

There are instances where M70 barrel dates predate S/N dates by up to 15 years. 

Are you by chance talking about SN 11,XXX (aka 11000) or were you talking 11XX aka 4 digit SN? I do know about the barrel PRE DATE phenomenon you speak of for a receiver but this is actually a barrel POST DATE where we have a 1936 serial and a 1937 barrel, not the other way around. I recall reading that the serial in question, 11XX hit the polishing room July of 1936 in the Rule book but I could double check. Needless to say, 4 digit SN starting with a 1 is most certainly first year production, so I assume you misread my post. Looking at the records, the last 1936 SN is 2238. 

-~Jim~-

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May 17, 2024 - 4:19 pm
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JR70 said
Large stock of brls were made in ’36, lasting to at least ’39, such as the one I have with a ’36 brl.  Absence of the proofmark may mean brl replacement; how is it marked on the bottom?

Notice I said it does not have “circle P proof” referring to the mail order barrel replacement marking. It does have the standard WP proof on the barrel. I can post pics later on today. 

Your friend’s gun is not a relatively early first year (1936) M70 as S/N 11XX went through the Polishing Room sometime in Sept.- Oct. of 1937.

There are instances where M70 barrel dates predate S/N dates by up to 15 years. 

Are you by chance talking about SN 11,XXX (aka 11000) or were you talking 11XX aka 4 digit SN? I do know about the barrel PRE DATE phenomenon you speak of for a receiver but this is actually a barrel POST DATE where we have a 1936 serial and a 1937 barrel, not the other way around. I recall reading that the serial in question, 11XX hit the polishing room July of 1936 in the Rule book but I could double check. Needless to say, 4 digit SN starting with a 1 is most certainly first year production, so I assume you misread my post. Looking at the records, the last 1936 SN is 2238. 

  

My mistake, you’re correct.

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May 17, 2024 - 5:00 pm
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Model 70 s/n 1100 – 1199 were manufactured in July 1936. There is nothing unusual about finding a barrel that is dated stamped slightly later (1-year) after the receiver frame was serialized.  I have documented dozens of other Winchesters with the same thing.

Bert

p.s. There is no valid reason to post “XX” serial numbers.

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May 17, 2024 - 7:51 pm
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Hi JR70-

As Bert said, a ’36 PR date receiver with a ’37 date barrel is nothing to get worried about IMHO. 

Most of the 1936 dated 30 GOV’T’06 Model 70s for which I have barrel dates in the survey are stamped ’36, with a decent number of ’35 dated barrels.   The ’37 date barrels were certainly being used by the mid-5000 serial number range, with 5601 being the lowest I can document so far.  Still, receivers were not used in order and a ’37 barrel on a ’36 receiver would come as no surprise to me…

FWIW… My lowest serial number 30 GOV’T’06 (S/N 1099) has a ’36 barrel.

Best,

Lou

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May 21, 2024 - 10:03 pm
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I can think of a couple reasons not to post your full serial #, but maybe they aren’t valid. I’ve seen guns being sold, by someone that doesn’t own them for one. Many people block out the license plates when they put up their car for sale, including our own Gov’t. It could save you a headache. To me it’s one of those “better safe than sorry” things.

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May 22, 2024 - 12:09 am
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Greg Mansholt said
I can think of a couple reasons not to post your full serial #, but maybe they aren’t valid. I’ve seen guns being sold, by someone that doesn’t own them for one. Many people block out the license plates when they put up their car for sale, including our own Gov’t. It could save you a headache. To me it’s one of those “better safe than sorry” things.

  

Criminals and dishonest people are the only people who intentionally hide or omit serial numbers. Honest dealers, auction houses, etc. always disclose full serial numbers.  It allows a potential customer to fully research and evaluate the Winchester in question.  Car license plates are a different subject altogether and not a valid comparison.

Bert 

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May 22, 2024 - 5:12 pm
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Bert H. said

Greg Mansholt said

I can think of a couple reasons not to post your full serial #, but maybe they aren’t valid. I’ve seen guns being sold, by someone that doesn’t own them for one. Many people block out the license plates when they put up their car for sale, including our own Gov’t. It could save you a headache. To me it’s one of those “better safe than sorry” things.

  

Criminals and dishonest people are the only people who intentionally hide or omit serial numbers. Honest dealers, auction houses, etc. always disclose full serial numbers.  It allows a potential customer to fully research and evaluate the Winchester in question.  Car license plates are a different subject altogether and not a valid comparison.

Bert 

  

And people who are new to collecting and are cautious.  All honest gun sales list the serial number.  The experts here can’t give you the best info on your gun without the date of manufacture derived from the serial number.

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