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Value of Pre-War Model 70 in 257 Roberts
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Great Basin
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October 29, 2020 - 2:00 pm
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I’m not real savvy on Model 70’s, but one was brought into my gunsmithing class by a young guy who was planning to use it to do a complete rebuild, reblue, restock and rebarrel, chambered with a wildcat cartridge.  Would someone with more expertise on Model 70’s please weigh in with the value and collectability of this rifle?  It’s a 1940-built (SN 29855) standard Model 70 in 257 Roberts.  It’s in nice shape except for some bluing loss at the back of the barrel (looks like it may have been spun in a tabletop barrel vise).  The bore is excellent.  The wood finish looks original to me, but is thinning.  

After talking to him about it, he’s have second thoughts.  Would help to have some advice from Model 70 collectors as to its collectability and value to share with him before he decides what to do with it.  Thanks in advance for any help.  Mark

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October 29, 2020 - 2:36 pm
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Hi Mark-

I’ve been enjoying your videos!!!  Laugh

I’d start by saying that an original 95%+ pre-war M70 in 257 ROBERTS is probably a $4500 gun.  You colleague’s rifle looks intact and (except for the non-factory D&T hole in the bridge) in well used original condition.  So it’ll never have “pride of place” in somebody’s M70 collection, but if it shoots well it has the makings of a fine vintage rifle to hunt with.  The chambering is very popular in the pre-64 M70.

If it were my gun and I wanted one to shoot, I’d consider a restoration but I’d be reluctant to rechamber it.  If done right (rust blued barrel, original looking wood finish), the restored gun would probably be worth maybe $2250.  As soon as it’s rechambered it’d be worth less.

Just my opinion, of course…

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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October 29, 2020 - 5:57 pm
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Since the barrel may have come off I would check the chamber.  If all is OK I’d put some oil on the stock and go shoot it.

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October 29, 2020 - 7:23 pm
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Louis Luttrell said
Hi Mark-

I’ve been enjoying your videos!!!  Laugh

I’d start by saying that an original 95%+ pre-war M70 in 257 ROBERTS is probably a $4500 gun.  You colleague’s rifle looks intact and (except for the non-factory D&T hole in the bridge) in well used original condition.  So it’ll never have “pride of place” in somebody’s M70 collection, but if it shoots well it has the makings of a fine vintage rifle to hunt with.  The chambering is very popular in the pre-64 M70.

If it were my gun and I wanted one to shoot, I’d consider a restoration but I’d be reluctant to rechamber it.  If done right (rust blued barrel, original looking wood finish), the restored gun would probably be worth maybe $2250.  As soon as it’s rechambered it’d be worth less.

Just my opinion, of course…

Lou  

Thanks for your input Lou.  I showed him your comment and he’s still planning to use it as a class project, but he’s going to try make it a faithful restoration as you suggested.  I’ll be trying to help him with the technical aspects.  If questions come up during the process, would you mind if I contact you for advise?

I’m relieved that he’s no longer planning to customize the rifle in class.  I really wasn’t looking forward to watching it. Now, I’m looking forward to helping him with his project.

Glad you’re enjoying the videos.  Mark

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October 29, 2020 - 7:28 pm
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Chuck said
Since the barrel may have come off I would check the chamber.  If all is OK I’d put some oil on the stock and go shoot it.  

Chuck, Great advice on checking the chamber!  May be a good opportunity for a lesson on casting a chamber.

We have to provide all our own guns to work on in class, so he still needs it for a class project.  At least he’s now planning on restoring as close as possible to original.  Mark 

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October 29, 2020 - 9:27 pm
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Hi Mark-

I agree with Chuck that if possible your colleague should shoot the weapon (after checking out the chamber/headspace) and see how it performs.  If it shoots well then it would make a heck of a nice classic hunting rifle with a little restorative TLC.  You know Winchester finishes as well as anybody so can help keep him off the polish wheel and away from overdoing the stock with buffed polyurethane.  If he keeps it a little true to its origins it’ll be a beauty!!!

One thing I’ll mention about the M70s in ROBERTS is that the action (magazine box, extractor and extractor collar/bolt stop extension) is designed to accommodate relatively short OAL cartridges.  If you want to shoot 117 grain bullets in one you end up needing to seat the bullet pretty deep into the case.  Over the years I’ve seen several 257 ROBERTS M70s that have had the magazine box (etc) swapped out for 30-06 length parts to accommodate longer bullets w/o compromising case capacity.  Those are all fungible parts and easy to go back and forth.

So there are a number of things your colleague could work on, like blueprinting the action, adjusting the internals to whatever bullet weight might be preferred, deciding whether the free bore needs to be different, etc. that would keep it a 257 ROBERTS and not affect the external appearance but would make the gun more functional than when it left the factory in 1940.

Of course, I’ll be happy to respond to any questions, but I think he’s “got this”!!! Laugh

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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October 30, 2020 - 2:26 am
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Thanks so much, Lou!

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November 29, 2021 - 6:12 am
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I have a Winchester Model 70, .257 Roberts Rifles which was made in 1951. It is in very good shape and has been in our family since new.  Am interested in selling. What would be best way to sell this gun. 

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March 1, 2022 - 7:52 pm
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Allen Taylor said
I have a Winchester Model 70, .257 Roberts Rifles which was made in 1951. It is in very good shape and has been in our family since new.  Am interested in selling. What would be best way to sell this gun.   

Still have this?

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Minn Ducker
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June 1, 2023 - 11:24 pm
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I am buying a Winchester Model 70 in 257 Roberts.  It was manufactured in 1954 according to the seller, s/n 299xxx. It appears unfired.  It is in original, un-messed with condition.  There are not even any handling marks or blemishes of any kind, on the gun.  It’s flawless. 

I’m buying it from the son of a my friend who died.  His son told me to pay him whatever I think is fair. 

What would be a fair price?  

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June 2, 2023 - 5:05 pm
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Hi Minn Ducker-

Have you tried looking for similar items in GunBroker concluded auctions to find actual “sold for” (not “asking”) prices?  GB tends to be on the high side, but there might be some perspective there on the current market… 

I personally have bought two very high condition (post-war) M70 257 Roberts standard rifles in the past few years and paid in the $2750-3250 range for them. Of course, I’m always the one who overpays… EmbarassedStill, I’ve seen them sell for over $4K at auction when a couple guys get after one another. Wink

Hope this helps…

Lou

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June 2, 2023 - 5:23 pm
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It’s amusing how older threads get revived – and I get most of the way through before realizing the original topic is from a good bit ago.

In reading through this thread, I’m wondering what direction was actually taken and how did it turn out?

I didn’t see this thread the first time around.  But if this rifle we’re mine, I’d keep it just the way it is and find another action for my project. 

I’ve seen a lot of M70’s that are very very far from new, and my comment has been, “at least it would make a good donor action.”  That’s not the comment I would make about this rifle.  As I said, I would have left it alone, but if he did anything, I hope he just kept it to upgrading the finish.  I would have a different opinion if the chamber was altered.  A lot of .257 Roberts were rechambered to .257 AI.  Which is a fine cartridge, I had one  Cool

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June 2, 2023 - 5:59 pm
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steve004 said
It’s amusing how older threads get revived – and I get most of the way through before realizing the original topic is from a good bit ago.

  

Ought to be an “expiration date” on responding to them; in other words, “locked” after a couple of yrs.  But still available for reading only.  Something you have to say about that subject, start a new discussion.

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Minn Ducker
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June 5, 2023 - 1:31 pm
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Thanks for the information L.L.  I know this is an old thread, it came up when I searched for the value of a Winchester 70 in 257 Roberts.  Glad you responded.  I plan to pay him $3,000 which is in the middle of the price range you indicated as a fair value.    

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