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Which Holland & Holland caluber in a pre 64 model 70?
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June 2, 2019 - 3:53 am
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This is a long term project as my gun money is currently tied up, but the hunt is a lot of the fun.

I currently have a 1951 220 swift and a 1947 .257 Bob.  The bob is in good shape and has a Griffin & Howe removeable scope base with a vintage Hensoldt scope.

The 220 swift is getting restored/repaired as we speak.

 

I have long wanted to add one of the H&H cartridges to my safe but I have no experience with either. 

 

I am a history nut and love all the history with the 375 in africa, but I also do like what I have read about the 300.

 

Any advice?

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June 2, 2019 - 6:28 am
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Hi King-

Just speaking personally, but the M70 variation below is one of my all-time favorites:

MCM67-H-F2-L.jpgImage Enlarger

This is the second variation pre-war 375 (H&H) MAGNUM with a 24″ medium heavy contour barrel (same barrel contour as the contemporary target rifles).  They just seem to point and swing beautifully (better than the later 25″ C-1 contour barrels guns) and from what I’ve been told this was a favorite amongst Alaska bear guides.  Recoil is very mild for a heavy caliber gun…

These aren’t easy to find, but if you handle one you won’t want anything else IMHO… Laugh

Best of luck,

Lou

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June 2, 2019 - 2:38 pm
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I love my 375 H&H!  When I left friends shoot it, they are surprised that it has less “kick” than my ’06

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June 2, 2019 - 11:31 pm
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 In 1993 I bought a 1953 model 70 in 300HH for $800 and been using it as my deer rifle ever since. It was original then and hasn’t changed a bit. I’ve shot a wall full of nice bucks with it in Wisconsin, Michigan’s U P, and Wyoming. I have my own load behind a Nosler 150gr bullet at 3150fps, if the animal is under 300 yards, elevation is not required. It’s a standard with the 26 inch barrel and steel butt plate, it might be heavy but it’s accurate and dependable regaurdless of the weather. I’m 69 years old and will not be the last person to hunt with it. If you want one that’s versatile, 300HH is it. T/R

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June 3, 2019 - 12:48 am
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Well as I am finding a 300 is a fraction of the price of a 375.

 

Still looking as again no money to move on it right now, but am I missing something on this gun Steve Barnett has listed?

 

He usually is in the upper stratosphere of prices, but this gun is significantly cheaper than most other 375s I have seen listed?

 

https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/rifles/winchester-rifles-model-70-pre-64/winchester-model-70-pre-64-375-h-h.cfm?gun_id=101197100

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June 3, 2019 - 2:32 am
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Hi King-

On first glance I do not see any issues with the Barnett gun, beyond that fact that it’s beat up.  His price is probably only a few hundred on the “too rich” side given the gun’s lack of collector value (these aren’t exactly “rare”)…  I will not comment on Mr. Barnett’s typical pricey “rarities”…

You can probably find a better type III C-1 barrel .375 H&H MAGNUM for $2500-2750 if you look around (especially if you can buy direct from the owner rather than through a middle man/dealer).  A type III .300 H&H MAGNUM would be cheaper, but in collectable condition still expect the cost to be North of $2K.  In the latter case, be aware that the .300 H&H MAGNUMs were NEVER factory equipped with recoil pads.  If you’re looking at a .300 H&H with a pad then knock 50% off the price b/c it’s not a collector gun anymore, even if it is still a great gun for the field, as TR attests. Smile

Best,

Lou

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June 3, 2019 - 9:01 pm
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Here is an interesting one.  375 supergrade, but I am leary of it it for the price.

I know it has the muzzle break which isn’t quite ideal nor is the peep sight.

 

However, what really bothers me about it is that I don’t think that is a 1947 finish? It looks more like a modern refinish?

 

Also, it looks like there is a weird bump on the trigger guard?

 

Like I said the looking and hunting is the fun part lol.76323.jpgImage Enlarger

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June 3, 2019 - 10:38 pm
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Hi King-

I looked at the G&H used guns for sale listing of this rifle.  Where did it say 1947 manufacture?  I missed that…  Anyway, from a collector’s standpoint, even the “collectable shooter” standpoint, that rifle is probably not worth the $3850 asking price.

Muzzle brake, side mounted scope, bolt/extractor jeweling, bolt knob checkering, and bottom metal are not factory. The bottom metal with button release on the inside of the one-piece floor plate/trigger guard is a replacement.  Some/all of the work may have been G&H (???), but it’s not Winchester factory.  You’re right that the stock finish does not look right, although it’s hard to tell from the poor photos provided, and the fit of the recoil pad looks wrong, as though it’s replaced.  Not much left that’s original…

The one interesting thing about that gun is that I don’t see evidence of plugged D&T holes in the top of the C-1 contour barrel that would have secured a dovetailed base holding a Lyman 6W two folding leaf sight.  That MIGHT mean that the rifle originally left the factory with a receiver sight (but not the Lyman 48WJS with StaySet knobs that’s on it now).  Look at the attached (not very good auction house) photo:

SN77043-1.jpegImage Enlarger

This gun formerly belonged to a WACA member and I bought it at auction a few years ago.  It is a 1947 .375 MAGNUM standard grade rifle (correctly lacks holes D&T in the top of the bridge).  I’m showing it b/c it is factory equipped with a Lyman 48WJS and the barrel top is NOT D&T for the barrel mounted rear sight.  This was NOT special order.  I think that for as long as the Lyman 48WJS option was cataloged (last year 1949) that factory tried (hit-or-miss) to use undrilled C-1 barrels on guns supplied with receiver sights.

The transition .375 MAGNUM you ought to look for is one like this (bottom rifle in my poor quality photo below):

Super-Grades-2.jpgImage Enlarger

This one is a late (S/N 123892) transition (type II-2) .375 MAGNUM Super Grade.  Cloverleaf tang, late safety, smooth undrilled bridge.  Not a knockout, but decent collectable condition.  Sale price on this one (retail) was $5995, so they aren’t cheap.  But they are out there!!!  Mine is not for sale, of course.  Just shown for illustration…

Best,

Lou

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June 3, 2019 - 10:48 pm
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Thanks. I had noticed all that but the jeweled bolt.

 

Its a 1947 because I called them up and asked for the serial number.

 

Again I am just lokking around but its always good to get your instincts confirmed. 

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June 3, 2019 - 11:06 pm
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King, A Winchester is only original once, model 70’s have been customized, upgraded, rebarreled, and restocked because of their popularity. The rarity and value is in the original ones, take your time and buy original, you will not regret it. T/R

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June 5, 2019 - 6:30 pm
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what is the story on .375 cracking stocks?  I have seen it referenced in a few threads on here. I have experience with dealing with parker shotgun stocks that have cracked, typically from people using heavier loads then they should with 100+ year old stocks.

 

Is the 375 in pre 64s prone to cracking or is it more of an abuse factor?

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June 5, 2019 - 7:34 pm
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KingCobb said
what is the story on .375 cracking stocks?  I have seen it referenced in a few threads on here. I have experience with dealing with parker shotgun stocks that have cracked, typically from people using heavier loads then they should with 100+ year old stocks.

 

Is the 375 in pre 64s prone to cracking or is it more of an abuse factor?  

 

Recoil.

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June 6, 2019 - 1:58 pm
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Sorry I guess my question was more along the lines of is there something that you should do to prevent cracking in a pre 64 or is it more of a it will either crack or it won’t kind of thing?

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June 7, 2019 - 12:04 am
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Hi King-

Winchester made the pre-64 M70 in 375 H&H MAGNUM continuously from 1936 through 1963 and never felt the need to reinforce the stock.  Unlike the 458 WIN MAGNUM African that got first one, then two, cross bolts added in response to reports of stocks cracking.  So I’m guessing that the factory never felt there was a much of a problem with the 375 H&H chambering in that regard.  In my limited experience shooting an original 375 H&H MAGNUM M70, the felt recoil with 300 grain factory loads was pretty mild compared to one of the short magnums.

That said, we are talking about 60-80 year old pieces of unreinforced walnut here…  I, for one, am not inclined to put hundreds of rounds through any of my “collectable condition” pre-64 M70s chambered in anything bigger than 30-06.  If I wanted one to hunt with I’ll either get a lesser condition gun and pillar bed the action and recoil lug (for both strength and accuracy) or pick up a spare/refinished stock and bed that one for use at the range and in the field.  

When shooting a high condition original at least make sure the action screws are appropriately tightened.  Sometimes us “collectors” leave the screws just barely snug so the gun is easier to take apart, but shooting it with the action loose in the stock is not a good idea. Smile

Best,

Lou

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June 7, 2019 - 5:15 pm
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Hello King- 

Just a thought on which caliber, 300 or 375 H&H.  Old school writers like Elmer Kieth and Jack O’Conner always touted the 300 Magnum for it’s velocity and reach in the 1930’s and 40’s.  Then Roy Weatherby brought out his magnums and it seams like the bigger and more power became the norm.  The 300 H&H is a nice cartridge.  It’s about 10% more powerful than a 30-06.  It can also be loaded in a variety of 30 caliber bullet weights for many opportunities.  It really is an ideal North American cartridge and extends the range of 30-06’s and 308’s.  I wish I would have purchased a 300 H&H over a 300 WM.  I tried to find an elk load for 2 pre-64 300 Win Mags.  Neither rifle shoots 180 grains or larger bullet very well.  Now the 300 WM’s do shoot 150 grains around 3200 fps very well.  I should have found a 300 H&H preferably a transition style rifle and stayed away form the 1963 300 WM.

In terms of stock cracks I have a comment and a question for Lou.  I am concerned about stock cracking when shooting magnum load with 60 year old seasoned wood.  Of course I stay off the maximum loads, except in some hunting situations.  I was lucky enough to draw an elk license this year and plan on using my pre-64 M70 .338 WM with a 250 grain bullet.  I want to shoot around 2,600 fps.  I have gradually increased loads to 2588 fps so far and it still shoots .75 MOA and no cracks.  The next test should put me over 2,600 fps but a grain under maximum load.  My rifle was in fantastic condition when I bought it years ago but once disassembled I found some nicely installed glass bedding behind the recoil lug (thus a beauty of a hunting rifle).  I shot 500+ hot rounds of 185 grain bullets thru it for a 2016 hunt without a crack.  The wear I have put on the rifles action tells me it was not shot much before I owed it (serial number is wearing off the bolt that once looked new).  So Lou, correct me if I wrong, most cracks appear behind the action in the wrist area of the stock.  Do you believe repeated recoil puts wear on the recoil lug and over time transfer recoil to the rear of the action and action bolt increasing the chances of a crack?  Will the glass bedding at the recoil lug prevent the wear over time?  Or is this way over thought and it just a factor of bullet weight, powder and the wood grain alignment in the stock?  Or like KingCobb’s question, “it will either crack or it won’t kind of thing?”

 
 

Fielding

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June 13, 2019 - 7:33 pm
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Hi Fielding-

I’ve been traveling and out of touch for about the past week…

I try not to pretend to be a gunsmith, but your analysis seems reasonable to me.  The most common places for M70 stocks to crack are in the wood between the recoil lug and the front of the magazine well, the little bit of wood behind the magazine well and in front of the trigger inletting, and at the top of the wrist.  The first and last spots absorb most of the recoil, the second spot really doesn’t matter much.

So FWIW I think a little glass bedding of the recoil lug would go a long way toward keeping recoil energy off the rear action screw and protecting that part of the stock.

Good luck with the elk hunt!!! Smile

Best,

Lou

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