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Winchester Model 70 Carbine 22 Hi-Power
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May 13, 2023 - 5:42 pm
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Let me start by saying I’m far from an expert on anything especially if its not 1892 or 1894 I have a few pre-64 model 70s but I seen this listing on gunbroker and I wanted you guys to see this. I cannot find any other information about it in any of my books or the internet  maybe some of you can tell me.

Thank you.

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/985420683

12523

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May 14, 2023 - 4:06 pm
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Hi Kendall-

Within the past week this same seller has listed for sale on GI M70 Carbines in 22 Hi Power, 7.92 M/M, 7.65 M/M and 35 REM, all with astronomical price tags.  That alone makes me nervous…

Looking at the photos in the GB link you attached, the ramp, barrel markings and proofs look OK.  MUCH better than the average fake (if it’s a fake).  I do not have this S/N recorded in any of the surveys, so there’s no help there.  I once saw a pre-war M70 standard rifle in 22 H.P. that also looked correct, though I was skeptical of it too.  I have to wonder who would special order a M70 in 22 Hi Power, which was not a hugely popular chambering even in the Savage M99, when they could get a M70 in 22 HORNET (20″ or 24″) or 220 SWIFT (26″) “off the shelf”????

Personally, I avoid these “unbelievably rare” M70s.  There are too many of them floating around these days!!!

Lou

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May 14, 2023 - 4:17 pm
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Louis Luttrell said
Hi Kendall-

Within the past week this same seller has listed for sale on GI M70 Carbines in 22 Hi Power, 7.92 M/M, 7.65 M/M and 35 REM, all with astronomical price tags.  That alone makes me nervous…

Looking at the photos in the GB link you attached, the ramp, barrel markings and proofs look OK.  MUCH better than the average fake (if it’s a fake).  I do not have this S/N recorded in any of the surveys, so there’s no help there.  I once saw a pre-war M70 standard rifle in 22 H.P. that also looked correct, though I was skeptical of it too.  I have to wonder who would special order a M70 in 22 Hi Power, which was not a hugely popular chambering even in the Savage M99, when they could get a M70 in 22 HORNET (20″ or 24″) or 220 SWIFT (26″) “off the shelf”????

Personally, I avoid these “unbelievably rare” M70s.  There are too many of them floating around these days!!!

Lou

  

Lou – 

A you don’t have this rifle recorded in your surveys, my assumption about it is false.  I recall when an auction house sold around a dozen or more very odd chambering in both M70 and M54.  I seem to recall a .303 British, .30-40 Krag, .32-40, .38-55 and many others.  I’m pretty sure .22 HP was in the group.  I assumed this rifle was from that group.  But I can’t recall real clearly – it might be the .22 HP was in a M54.  Anyway, I thought this .22 HP was from that group and apparently it was not.  If I were forced to bet, it would be an easy decision for me to pronounce this one a fake.  In other words, I sure as heck would not bet on it being original!  

I agree that it doesn’t make sense for anyone to order a M70 in .22HP given the other chamberings you mention that were available.  However, people have a thirst for strange things.  And as far as making sense, it didn’t make much sense to chamber the M70 in .300 Savage – and I think Winchester ultimately came to see that it didn’t make much sense.  

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May 14, 2023 - 4:18 pm
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Louis Luttrell said
Hi Kendall-

Within the past week this same seller has listed for sale on GI M70 Carbines in 22 Hi Power, 7.92 M/M, 7.65 M/M and 35 REM, all with astronomical price tags.  That alone makes me nervous…

Looking at the photos in the GB link you attached, the ramp, barrel markings and proofs look OK.  MUCH better than the average fake (if it’s a fake).  I do not have this S/N recorded in any of the surveys, so there’s no help there.  I once saw a pre-war M70 standard rifle in 22 H.P. that also looked correct, though I was skeptical of it too.  I have to wonder who would special order a M70 in 22 Hi Power, which was not a hugely popular chambering even in the Savage M99, when they could get a M70 in 22 HORNET (20″ or 24″) or 220 SWIFT (26″) “off the shelf”????

Personally, I avoid these “unbelievably rare” M70s.  There are too many of them floating around these days!!!

Lou

  

Thank you Lou! I was very skeptical myself….I avoid these aswell….just wanted to bring it to the attention of the group to make sure.

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May 14, 2023 - 5:15 pm
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Hi Steve-

Some of the guns listed this week were in the last Morphy auction, but I don’t think this one was…  The only M70 I had recorded in 22 H.P. (before this week) was a Standard rifle that was in a private collection.

As for the “logic” of adding the 300 SAVAGE chambering, apparently they thought that it’s popularity in the M99 SAVAGE would translate into M70 sales.  There wasn’t a cartridge quite like it in the M70 line at the time; only 30 GOV’T’06 and 300 MAGNUM.  So apparently it made sense to some Winchester Execs.  From a 1942 WRACo. document:

Tiefenbrunn-1.pngImage Enlarger

BAD idea!!! Honestly, it made more sense to add the 35 REM than the 300 SAVAGE, since there really wasn’t a medium powered 35 caliber chambering (woods rifle) in the product line after the 9M/M Mauser chambering in the M54 was discontinued.  Another BAD idea as it turned out!!!

Lou

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May 14, 2023 - 5:15 pm
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I just looked at the G.I. listing on these.  How many, “Holy Grails” can there be?  

And where is the provenance?  No mention of where these rifles came from.

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May 14, 2023 - 6:46 pm
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Louis Luttrell said I have to wonder who would special order a M70 in 22 Hi Power, which was not a hugely popular chambering even in the Savage M99, when they could get a M70 in 22 HORNET (20″ or 24″) or 220 SWIFT (26″) “off the shelf”???? 

Well, those two aren’t directly comparable to the HP which was touted as a big-game, not a varmint, round; it’s velocity was supposed to result in instantaneous kills on deer-size game, or so Savage ad writers claimed, not without some support by famous hunters like R. C. Andrews & Allyn Tedmon.  Doesn’t make sense, however, to choose a carbine for any HV round.

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May 14, 2023 - 6:48 pm
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steve004 said No mention of where these rifles came from.
  

Divulge a trade secret? 

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May 14, 2023 - 8:50 pm
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clarence said

steve004 said No mention of where these rifles came from.

  

Divulge a trade secret? 

  

That would be a logical reason to not provide the information.

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May 15, 2023 - 1:41 am
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Ok- 

     Here is some facts about the rifles that are discussed here.  These rifles are from 2 collections and I have had all of them in my hands except for the 7.92 MM   .  I am by far no expert on these but I do have about 40 years in collecting M70’s.   They all look correct to me.  I couldn’t find things wrong with any of them and in fact I have purchased quite a few 70’s  and 54s from the one owner.  He is in his 70’s and a lot of these came from his fathers collection  so you can guess at how long they have been off the market as well as how he was able to collect them.  He recently had an auction that included  a .300 Savage Carbine and a .30US one  that brought 14K and 20K respectivly.  Hence the astonomical asking prices on GI.   I am in no way gauranteeing the correctness of these but the ones I have bought from him are 100% original.   Hope this clears up some of the confusion as to why so many have surfaced in a short period of time.   Both of these gentleman  are getting up in years  and letting things go-

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May 15, 2023 - 2:13 am
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He has them all listed on Gun Broker as well.

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May 15, 2023 - 2:17 am
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[email protected] said
 Both of these gentleman  are getting up in years  and letting things go.

Tell me about it.

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May 16, 2023 - 10:21 pm
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Hi ktkk17-

Thank you for the insights.  What has me perplexed is the profusion of quite reasonable looking M70s appearing in recent years in non-cataloged chamberings.  Like you, I’ve seen many examples first hand that look OK (as well as MANY others that don’t)…

I am looking at the information from two M70 surveys.  One is the record made by Bob Porter between about 1975 and 2010.  Mr. Porter was active in the M70 collecting/dealing community and regularly attended many of the larger shows back then, e.g. Great Western, Reno, Salt Lake, Phoenix, Tulsa, etc.  He happens to have recorded (on library cards) the serial number/style/chambering of just about every pre-64 M70 he encountered, either personally or through sales ads, private collections, or books.  11,340 rifles in all (Trust me, I know!!!)… Looking through his catalog, and excluding rifles he discounted as “fake” as well as known R&D prototypes like the Project Salvo guns, he recorded 44 M70s in uncataloged chamberings. They were:

219 Zipper (1)

25-35 WCF (1)

30 GOV’T’03 (1) FWIW… He double underlined the “03” part so he must have meant it…

30 WCF (7)

303 British (1)

35 Whelen (3)

405 WCF (2)

7.65 M/M (7)

7.92 M/M (3)

9 M/M (19)

Obviously, I was not there with Bob and cannot attest to the accuracy of his records.  But most of the uncataloged rifles he recorded were in calibers known to have been cataloged in the M54, i.e. 30 WCF, 7.65 M/M Argentine, and 9 M/M Mauser (33/44).

Which brings me to my own survey… While I have saved information from some auction catalogs going back to 2010, most of my information has been recorded since 2019, and mostly from on-line sales, auctions, and the contents of private collections contributed by WACA members (THANKS!!! Laugh).  In other words, if Porter’s records reflect the M70 market from about 1975-2010, my survey reflects the M70 market in recent years.  I’ve got about 8000 entries so far…  Since the purpose of my survey is to analyze production changes over time I have deliberately EXCLUDED rifles that are “obvious fakes” (believe me, there are a lot of BAD attempted forgeries out there), just like I exclude custom rifles that have non-factory barrels, i.e. unless there’s a reasonable chance that a given S/N receiver is still attached to the barrel with which it left the factory, it doesn’t help my survey.  Anyway, here’s what I’ve got in terms of realistic looking M70s in uncataloged chamberings:

218 Bee (7)

219 Zipper (8)

22 Savage Hi Power (3)

25 Remington (1)

25-20 WCF (5)

25-35 WCF (6)

276 Pedersen (2)

280 Ross (2)

284 WIN (3)

30 M1 Carbine (5)

30 Remington (1)

30 WCF (11)

30-40 Krag (5)

303 British (4)

32 Winchester Special (2)

32-20 WCF (4)

32-40 WCF (1)

348 WIN (4)

35 Whelen (7)

357 MAGNUM (1) Yes… The handgun cartridge…

38-55 WCF (5)

405 WCF (12)

6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser (1)

7.65 M/M (21)

7.92 M/M (13)

9 M/M (29)

If I added correctly (which is doubtful Wink) that’s 163 of about 8000 (2%!!!!) of M70s offered for sale in recent years that are in uncataloged chamberings, compared to 44 of 11340 (0.38%) in the earlier dataset…  Moreover, I’ve run across ALMOST every uncataloged chambering listed in either Roger Rule’s or Dean Whitaker’s book (they’re not identical) and then some…

So…  Why the difference???  As I said, the guns I’ve recorded are ones that look OK to me…  As you said, I cannot attest to the authenticity of any of these guns… One theory is that these “rare” guns are showing up now b/c older collectors are aging out of collecting and letting go of their prized possessions.  Another is that the internet is contributing to the increased “exposure” of these rare guns, such that Porter’s records are an underrepresentation of what was made and mine is an overrepresentation.  A third theory is that some of the folks who make “replica” M70s have gotten much better at their craft than they were 30 years ago…

I will not take a position on this…  I’m just stating some observations…  Opinions are welcome, but facts are better…  I’d love to have the records of some of the big M70 dealers back in the day to see if their numbers are closer to Porter’s or mine.  But I suspect that most dealers are not as OCD as Porter and I and only kept the records required by ATF (which are only required to be made available to ATF so inaccessible)…  As we know, there are NO factory records by S/N available from Winchester.  Fertile ground for creative artists????

Any help would be most welcome!!!

Lou

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May 16, 2023 - 10:29 pm
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Good Stuff Lou

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May 17, 2023 - 2:21 am
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Louis Luttrell said

30 GOV’T’03 (1) FWIW… He double underlined the “03” part so he must have meant it…

This I’ll NEVER believe!  Did he see that rifle himself?  Long discussion about this some time ago, & photos of alleged marking left no doubt it was a poorly struck .30-06.  As far as I’m concerned, those double lines suffice to throw the man’s credibility into question.

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May 17, 2023 - 2:39 am
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My theory about the difference in percentages of uncatalogued chamberings is that auction houses and internet sellers realize the unusual specimens bring more money and interest so they’ve learned to seek them out while passing up the more common specimens. The auction folks I talk with at collector shows are always interested in unusual items on my table while ignoring some very nice but apparently boring guns. And yes, there are many guns coming out of old collections. There’s a reason I call one of my favorite fishing holes “The Orphanage”. Unfortunately many seem to be going to the big auction houses these days.

 

 

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May 17, 2023 - 3:17 am
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Lou,

In regard to the 32-40 and 38-55 rifles you observed… were they marked “W.C.F.”, or did you simply add that moniker?  If they were marked “W.C.F.” they are without any doubt FAKES.  Because neither of those cartridges were of Winchester origin (both were created by Ballard), Winchester never used the “W.C.F.” designation for them.  Of further interest, both of those cartridges were dropped from production as of January 1938.  If the rifles you found were manufactured in 1938 (or later), I would be highly suspicious of them.

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May 17, 2023 - 3:24 am
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Hi Clarence-

Tulsa April 2008, apparently…  Here’s a scan of Bob’s card on S/N 90611:

Porter-SN-90611.JPGImage Enlarger

Obviously, I have not seen this gun and do not have an opinion (informed or otherwise) regarding it’s authenticity.  Porter often commented in his cards (that were never supposed to be anything other than his private notes) about guns he felt were fakes, and there are numerous examples where he recorded the same S/N more than once that had “morphed” into something else in the interim.   I (personally) have no doubt about his “credibility”… But we can all question his/our “ability” to recognize what’s before us…

I have no dog in this fight, and like you, have no way to know if Winchester ever did make a M70 specifically chambered for 30 GOV’T’03, or why they would have done so (if they did)…

Best,

Lou

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May 17, 2023 - 3:30 am
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Hi Bert-

You may be right!!!  I don’t know… The “WCF” thing was something I did this afternoon while counting them up. Embarassed

I’ll have to go back and see if I have caliber stamp photos on any of these guns.  Some were guns I saw “in-hand” and may not have taken/saved pics (just written notes)..

Best,

Lou

P.S.  I nonetheless share your general sense of skepticism…  

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May 17, 2023 - 11:36 am
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Louis Luttrell said
Hi ktkk17-

Thank you for the insights.  What has me perplexed is the profusion of quite reasonable looking M70s appearing in recent years in non-cataloged chamberings.  Like you, I’ve seen many examples first hand that look OK (as well as MANY others that don’t)…

I am looking at the information from two M70 surveys.  One is the record made by Bob Porter between about 1975 and 2010.  Mr. Porter was active in the M70 collecting/dealing community and regularly attended many of the larger shows back then, e.g. Great Western, Reno, Salt Lake, Phoenix, Tulsa, etc.  He happens to have recorded (on library cards) the serial number/style/chambering of just about every pre-64 M70 he encountered, either personally or through sales ads, private collections, or books.  11,340 rifles in all (Trust me, I know!!!)… Looking through his catalog, and excluding rifles he discounted as “fake” as well as known R&D prototypes like the Project Salvo guns, he recorded 44 M70s in uncataloged chamberings. They were:

219 Zipper (1)

25-35 WCF (1)

30 GOV’T’03 (1) FWIW… He double underlined the “03” part so he must have meant it…

30 WCF (7)

303 British (1)

35 Whelen (3)

405 WCF (2)

7.65 M/M (7)

7.92 M/M (3)

9 M/M (19)

Obviously, I was not there with Bob and cannot attest to the accuracy of his records.  But most of the uncataloged rifles he recorded were in calibers known to have been cataloged in the M54, i.e. 30 WCF, 7.65 M/M Argentine, and 9 M/M Mauser (33/44).

Which brings me to my own survey… While I have saved information from some auction catalogs going back to 2010, most of my information has been recorded since 2019, and mostly from on-line sales, auctions, and the contents of private collections contributed by WACA members (THANKS!!! Laugh).  In other words, if Porter’s records reflect the M70 market from about 1975-2010, my survey reflects the M70 market in recent years.  I’ve got about 8000 entries so far…  Since the purpose of my survey is to analyze production changes over time I have deliberately EXCLUDED rifles that are “obvious fakes” (believe me, there are a lot of BAD attempted forgeries out there), just like I exclude custom rifles that have non-factory barrels, i.e. unless there’s a reasonable chance that a given S/N receiver is still attached to the barrel with which it left the factory, it doesn’t help my survey.  Anyway, here’s what I’ve got in terms of realistic looking M70s in uncataloged chamberings:

218 Bee (7)

219 Zipper (8)

22 Savage Hi Power (3)

25 Remington (1)

25-20 WCF (5)

25-35 WCF (6)

276 Pedersen (2)

280 Ross (2)

284 WIN (3)

30 M1 Carbine (5)

30 Remington (1)

30 WCF (11)

30-40 Krag (5)

303 British (4)

32 Winchester Special (2)

32-20 WCF (4)

32-40 WCF (1)

348 WIN (4)

35 Whelen (7)

357 MAGNUM (1) Yes… The handgun cartridge…

38-55 WCF (5)

405 WCF (12)

6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser (1)

7.65 M/M (21)

7.92 M/M (13)

9 M/M (29)

If I added correctly (which is doubtful Wink) that’s 163 of about 8000 (2%!!!!) of M70s offered for sale in recent years that are in uncataloged chamberings, compared to 44 of 11340 (0.38%) in the earlier dataset…  Moreover, I’ve run across ALMOST every uncataloged chambering listed in either Roger Rule’s or Dean Whitaker’s book (they’re not identical) and then some…

So…  Why the difference???  As I said, the guns I’ve recorded are ones that look OK to me…  As you said, I cannot attest to the authenticity of any of these guns… One theory is that these “rare” guns are showing up now b/c older collectors are aging out of collecting and letting go of their prized possessions.  Another is that the internet is contributing to the increased “exposure” of these rare guns, such that Porter’s records are an underrepresentation of what was made and mine is an overrepresentation.  A third theory is that some of the folks who make “replica” M70s have gotten much better at their craft than they were 30 years ago…

I will not take a position on this…  I’m just stating some observations…  Opinions are welcome, but facts are better…  I’d love to have the records of some of the big M70 dealers back in the day to see if their numbers are closer to Porter’s or mine.  But I suspect that most dealers are not as OCD as Porter and I and only kept the records required by ATF (which are only required to be made available to ATF so inaccessible)…  As we know, there are NO factory records by S/N available from Winchester.  Fertile ground for creative artists????

Any help would be most welcome!!!

Lou

  

The question I have is WHY would Winchester create this vast number of chamberings for the production of one or few rifles in a specific chambering?  The cost of retooling for one or few examples would far outweigh any profit.

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