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Pre64 Model 70 question
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October 14, 2022 - 6:02 am
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I’m new here, posting as a guest. I recently acquired a pre 64 Model 70 Featherweight 270 with a custom stock (maker unknown) and an engraved floorplate by George Sherwood (of Oregon). The serial dates to 1957 (4135**) and the barrel appears to be sightless with no rear or front sight…or so it appeared to me. I’ve had this rifle for over a month and today I discovered something. I was using the old penny trick to remove some light rust specks off the barrel and was using a strong light to help me see better & found that there is a dovetail filled in. I never knew it was there because under ordinary light, it’s almost impossible to see if you don’t know it’s there. It’s so well done that even the bluing looked okay in ordinary light. Being deaf since birth, I have a very good sense of touch and I feel no imperfections at all around the dovetail. Same with where the front sight would be. There is nothing there…no holes or removed surface. This whole time I’ve been thinking I had a rare animal…a special order barrel but unfortunately it looks like that’s not the case. 
Before you feel too sorry for me, I found this rifle in a pawn shop and the price I paid probably would be surprising or make you laugh. It is most likely lower than what you thought I might have paid. 

It’s a beautiful rifle with French Walnut wood and the small & faint rust specks do not detract of how the barrel looks…the bluing is beautiful. The engraving is gorgeous and it’s topped by a Zeiss scope (it came that way). 

I guess my question is that since the dovetail is so well done, is it possible it was done at the Winchester factory? 

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October 14, 2022 - 4:51 pm
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Welcome to the WACA forum.

It is Very unlikely that Winchester filled the dovetail slot. Winchester would have simply omitted milling the dovetail slot.

Bert

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October 14, 2022 - 5:24 pm
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Hi JOC-

Winchester did make a fair number of “sightless” Featherweight barrels, mostly between 1958 and 1962 (including at least two batches for Gopher Shooter’s Supply).  But as Bert said the sights/dovetail were simply omitted, not filled.

Chances are that the gun maker who did your custom stock also removed (nearly) all traces of the barrel sights.  All Featherweight front sight ramps were attached by silver brazing, so could be readily removed.  Sounds like whomever did the work on the rear sight dovetail was a real pro!!!

Enjoy what sounds like a neat M70!!!Laugh

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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October 15, 2022 - 2:34 am
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Thank you all for confirming what I was already thinking. Sure, I’m disappointed that it’s not what I thought/hoped it’d be but it’s still a heck of a rifle. Loves 130 grainers (3 within an inch of each other). Talked with pre64win on instagram and he’s been a great help the times I’ve asked questions. 
I sure wish I knew who made the stock or finished the rifle out. 

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October 15, 2022 - 10:49 pm
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JOCshooter said
Thank you all for confirming what I was already thinking. Sure, I’m disappointed that it’s not what I thought/hoped it’d be but it’s still a heck of a rifle. Loves 130 grainers (3 within an inch of each other). Talked with pre64win on instagram and he’s been a great help the times I’ve asked questions. 

I sure wish I knew who made the stock or finished the rifle out. 

  

Don’t be too disappointed- depending on what you paid, the model 70 action is used buy many expert gun builders to build better than factory rifles. 

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October 16, 2022 - 4:30 am
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foxfire said

JOCshooter said

Thank you all for confirming what I was already thinking. Sure, I’m disappointed that it’s not what I thought/hoped it’d be but it’s still a heck of a rifle. Loves 130 grainers (3 within an inch of each other). Talked with pre64win on instagram and he’s been a great help the times I’ve asked questions. 

I sure wish I knew who made the stock or finished the rifle out. 

  

Don’t be too disappointed- depending on what you paid, the model 70 action is used buy many expert gun builders to build better than factory rifles. 

  

You’d be surprised. I walked out with it $800 poorer. It’s got an original Featherweight barrel with a really well done dovetail on where the rear sight is. Looks like maybe someone was trying to make a poor man’s Jack O’Connor rifle. I’d say they succeeded very well. Still worth more than what I paid for it. By the way, the wife got me a signed O’Connor book “The Rifle Book” so it goes really well with this rifle. 
I have another 270…a 1987 Browning ABolt Medallion and the M70 I got makes the Browning look and feel like a Walmart rifle. 

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