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Winchester 70 358
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March 15, 2022 - 4:01 pm
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This listing seems pretty dubious 

 

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/927135678

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March 15, 2022 - 10:49 pm
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Hi sb-

“Dubious” is a fair description…  

The S/N, 327394, is OK for genuine 358 FWT…  The caliber stamp, with the slightly smaller “5” in 358, is not an immediate turn-off (IMHO), as about half the 358 Feathers in my survey are marked like that.  On the other half the 3, 5, and 8 are better aligned and about the same size…  The issue(s) for me are the MC comb hand checkered stock with composition butt plate and the Lyman 16A barrel sight.  The 358 WIN chambering was only CATALOGUED with the NRA style low comb stock with aluminum butt plate and a tall WIN 22K sporting type barrel sight… 

It’s certainly POSSIBLE (???) that some 358 Feathers were made/ordered with MC stocks… FWIW… Justin and Andy Hale (pre64win.com) not too long ago took in on consignment a group of maybe three 358 Feathers that came from the same deer hunting family in the upper Midwest (who’d bought them new), of which at least one (I’m SENILE.. Gimme’ a break!!! Wink) had a MC stock.  There are even period family pics in deer camp with the guns including the MC stocked 358 Feather…  BUT… That was YEARS BEFORE composition butt plates…

My BEST GUESS (based on a quick perusal of the same bad pics you’re seeing) is that the subject rifle MIGHT (???) have once been an original 358 Feather, but that it now wears a 1960-ish replacement stock and Lyman 16A rear sight.  Since the metal looks pretty well used and the wood/sights are wrong, it’s a definite “no-go” at any price…  FWIW I wouldn’t give $5K for a documented “real” one…  

Just my take…  Laugh Let’s see if seewin will set me straight on the barrel marking issue (it’s always controversial)… 

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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March 16, 2022 - 1:55 am
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Lou, I agree 100% with your assessment of the rifle. I have heard of 358’s with high comb stocks, but never owned one myself. I consider these guilty until proven innocent. I do see quite a few low comb rifles with the incorrect sight but always attribute that to the fact, the original was most likely removed when a scope was mounted, and then whatever was handy replaced it at a later date. 

     I am glad to hear what you reported on the caliber stamping with the smaller “5”. Of all the 358’s I have encountered over the years at least 50% of them had the this anomaly with no signs of tampering. I have encountered a hand full that were obvious over-stamps but have seen way too high of a percentage with the small “5” to mark them off as fakes. When in doubt, I check for low spots in caliber stamping, scope the bore, do some measuring with gage pins, comparing closely with known good examples and factory bore specs. 

Steve

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March 16, 2022 - 5:15 am
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I am just excited that i looked at the pictures before i read Lou and Steves comments and came up the sameLaughLaugh

 I am learning guys!!

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March 16, 2022 - 10:59 pm
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Hi Steve-

Thanks for the comments!!!  IIRC, you once wrote here in response to a question I’d asked, that the roll marking dies used on M70 barrels were good for maybe 1000 applications before they got worn out/chipped up…  As you know, Winchester made about 2000 M70 358 FWT barrels.  So if the math is correct, they would have needed to use AT LEAST two dies even if all the barrels were done at the same time…

Here are a couple of pics (courtesy of Justin Hale) of the caliber stamps on two 358 Featherweights (that may both be legit):

335365-1.jpgImage Enlarger334850-1-2.jpgImage Enlarger

One one the 3, 5 and 8 are similar in height…  On the other, the 5 is smaller and has a little flaw on the top of the “–” in “5” that seems to recur on the guns so-marked…  I know it’s controversial and I have seen many pundits on other “sites” dismiss the misaligned stamp as evidence of forgery.  But the rebored/remarked guns I’ve seen don’t look like this (or like each other)… (FWIW… If these example photos don’t cut it I can dig up others…)

But the ones that vex me more than 358 Feathers are the 35 REM and 300 SAVAGE…  Similar number of barrels made (400-ish for 35 REM and 360-ish for 300 SAVAGE)…  What I’ve got in the survey (no guarantee these data are accurate), is that 35 REM barrels were made primarily in ’41 and ’47 (barrel dates).  At least two runs despite the small numbers…  OTOH… It is WIDELY asserted (based on Roger’s book, I think) that ALL 300 SAVAGE barrels were made in ’46. (To be fair, Roger said “most, if not all”, but you know how it goes.  I’m pretty sure all FAKE 300 SAVAGE barrels are dated ’46 if made by people with a copy of Rule)…  But I’ve seen a few (three) 300 SAVAGE barrels with a different font on the “3” that’s similar to what was used on the M88 in 358 WIN and that are dated ’48.  Possible???  Don’t know…  Sure violates the Dogma… Confused

Thanks,

Lou

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WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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