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pre64 Model 70 bolt questions.
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December 30, 2023 - 2:53 am
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Hello all. 

  I have scoured the internet for an answer to my question  for weeks. No luck so far. I figure a Winchester collector forum might be able to answer my needle in a haystack question. This is my first post. Please be gentle. My idea might be blasphemous for a Winchester collector. So here it goes……..

  I was asked to make a family heirloom rifle shoot again. To be specific its a Kimber of Oregon BGR in 270. Its a bit of a clone of the pre 64 model 70.The rifle is missing the bolt. This is a bit of a problem. Parts are non existent. Making a bolt is something that is in my abilities. But I want to start somewhere. I’m not  going to butcher a rifle to make the Kimber shoot again. Buying a used bolt is the plan. The last generation of the pre 64 bolt would be the ideal starting point. But they in there own sense are a collector item. So are expensive. 

  My question is. How much different is the physical shape of the Classic CRF bolts to the post war pre64 bolt? Does the bolt sleeve lock work the same way?  I read somewhere that the bolt is longer. But is the shape of the bolt head the same? Would anyone have both models and be able to physically insert a classic bolt into a pre64 rifle? Any way I look at it the bolt needs some machining to work in the Kimber. I would rather carve up a Classic then the more rare pre64. I toyed with the idea of using a Mauser bolt. But the bolt sleeve and safety are something of an eye sore. The Winchester bolt is more appropriate looking. 

  To anyone that may be concerned about my project. I do have experience building rifles so I know of the dangers of improper bolt fit. My first rifle was a 50bmg scratch build roughly based on a Mauser action and using a ANM2 barrel. Another was a scratch built falling block in 38-55 using a Model 94 Winchester barrel. I have re barreled actions requiring chambering and headspace. I’m not what people call a professional. But I can do the work. And I do have the proper tools and gauges. 

  Thanks in advance! Any input will be appreciated..

  Carl 

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December 30, 2023 - 4:00 pm
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Hello Carl-

I cannot help answer your question, as I don’t own any Model 70 Classics and I am not a gunsmith. 

But I do have a pre-64 Model 70 stripped bolt body you can have if you can use it.  Thing is it’s a PRE-WAR bolt body (the one with the “shoulder” at the root of the bolt handle).  The serial number is no longer completely legible, but the first two digits are 28XXX so it’s from 1939.  It has the standard bolt face recess and has not been altered.  The pre-war bolt bodies will work with the post-war pre-64 bolt sleeve/safety/firing pin/mainspring assembly, it’s just the bolt handle shape that’s different.

Anyway… I have no use for it, so if you want it either for getting dimensions or for conversion, send me an e-mail at [email protected].  BTW… I don’t believe that have spares of any of the other bolt parts, just the body.

Good luck with your project!!!

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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December 30, 2023 - 5:09 pm
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  Hello Lou

  Wow, That would be amazing! 

I can’t express enough appreciation on your willingness to help me out with my slightly crazy project. 

Thanks again!

Carl

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December 30, 2023 - 9:01 pm
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Carl,

This may be useless information but have you asked Dwight van Brunt whether he might have or might know someone who has, a Kimber of Oregon spare  BGR bolt? Dwight was once the general sales manager for Kimber of Oregon (and, afterward, for a time the general sales manager for the other Kimber in New York.)  He owns and operates Sportsmans Legacy.com from his home in Montana and deals in Kimber of Oregon products, among other lines.  I can’t say I know him although I’ve spoken with him on the phone once while he was still in Colton and later bought a Marlin Mountie from him on Gunbroker. I’ve found him to be a straight up and pleasant guy to deal with. I encourage you to call him and see what he might be able to do to help. Just Google Sportsmans Legacy.  Lou has made you a very generous offer and Dwight might have an opinion on the feasibility of the conversion. 

I’ve owned and used a couple of Kimber of Oregon BGR/89 rifles and think highly of them, although I sold them off because people put me in a painful armlock and threw serious money at me.  Anyway, my very limited understanding of the BGR action is it is a cross between the Mauser 98 and the Pre-64 Winchester Model 70.  The differences I could detect are probably cosmetic but, still: the BGR doesn’t have a coned breech and it has the more elaborate bolt release on the left receiver wall.  For some reason, I seem to remember the action length and length of bolt throw are longer than on the Winchester – but that may be a false memory. 

If nothing else, Dwight might have access to plan drawings and specs for the bolt you need to replicate, which would really move your project along. I could be wrong but, if we only knew the differing dimensions, you could determine whether starting with a Model 70 bolt or an FN bolt might be a better start.  

I understand you’ve already scoured the Internet but if that did not include searching for old New Product reviews of the Kimber 89/BGR, one or two of them might offer more detail on the differences between the Pre-64 Model70 and the then-new BGR.  I recall the BGR’s introduction was a highly anticipated event and it was thoroughly reviewed.  If you could find a review by the late John Amber or his peers, I think it would be helpful. 

I join with Lou in wishing you the best of luck. If you can get it done, you’ll have something to brag about.  

Happy New Year!

Bill 

- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; life member, NRA; member, TGCA; member, TSRA; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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December 30, 2023 - 9:42 pm
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Carl-

I think Bill has some great suggestions!!!  I honestly do not know about the compatibility, but can imagine that the coned versus flat breech issue might be critical even if everything else works…  

If you think the part will help, send me your mailing address, either by WACA PM or e-mail.  If the [email protected] e-mail doesn’t work, use [email protected].

Keep us posted…

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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December 30, 2023 - 11:31 pm
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  Thank you so much guys!

   I fired off an E-mail to Dwight. Hopefully he can shed a light on my bolt problem. I did consider the cone breach issue. I assumed I could modify the lug opposite the claw extractor to resemble the K98 bolt I have in my hand. I too believe the Kimber is a Hybrid Mauser that closely resembles a pre 64 Winchester. The Mauser bolt does slide into the Kimber and picks up the round. Even the bolt release works. But the mouser has the guide “key” on the top of the bolt and keeps it from inserting further. Even my 1903A3 bolt slides in. Seems like all the designers were working with the same plans..lol 

  I have read a few reviews of the rifle. Not professional ones though. Just a few on forums. Seemed mixed. And not much in the way of details of the internal workings.

  Lou, I sent you an Email to [email protected]. Not sure if you received it or not. Would have came from [email protected]. No, I’m not a cat killer. Just an unfortunate event that happened years ago when I was learning how to drive. Lets just say the nickname stuck.. 

 

Thanks again guys. And will keep you posted. 

  Happy New Year!!!

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December 30, 2023 - 11:51 pm
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   So I got a super quick reply from Dwight. 

   Gave me a list of the usual suspects as far as looking for a bolt. And didn’t know the mechanical differences of the Kimber vs Model 70. He was in the sales side of things. Suggested I buy a complete rifle and use the parts. That defiantly would work. But seems way too easy.. lol Don’t cherish the idea of killing a rifle to make another one work. I think every rifle deserves to live. Except maybe rifles made by Kel-Tec. lol

 

  Carl

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December 31, 2023 - 12:48 am
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Carl,  

Well, [expletive deleted].  If only this problem had turned up a year ago, I could have photographed a Kimber of Oregon bolt beside a 1950 Model 70 bolt, at several angles, from which you probably could have reverse engineered the specs needed.  As the character Roseanne Rossanadana would have said, “Never mind…”

With all due respect to Dwight, he does have a LOT of Kimbers to sell…

So, it looks like Lou has got the best alternative.  

If you can find a copy of the DVD set of all the Gun Digests from 1944 until well into the 2000s, on Amazon, the one I bought was about twenty bucks, the bargain of the Century and it certainly cleared a lot shelf space for me.  What you would be looking for are some professional reviews.  Also, I’ve noticed that Shooting Times seems to have a whole library of older articles online. I don’t know if there’s an index but I’ve hit a number of them with Google.  What you are looking for is a professional, technical review in the date range of 1988-1990.  Skip the Websites featuring Dynamite Dave and his phony S.E.A.L. friends. Don’t trust them for the time of day…

There used to be a Kimber Collectors’ Association but they may have disappeared. Failing that, there might be more generalized collector groups that would include a section devoted to Kimber. If you haven’t turned up anything on the Web, perhaps these don’t exist. If I see anything I’ll let you know. 

Bill

- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; life member, NRA; member, TGCA; member, TSRA; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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December 31, 2023 - 1:08 pm
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Hey Carl, slip on over to the Rimfire Central forum. There is a Kimber sight and a couple of those fellows are pretty sharp on the Kimber .22’s and they may be into the centerfire rifles also. Doesn’t hurt to ask.     RRM

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