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Winchester Pre-64 model 70 Featherweight question
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June 10, 2023 - 2:48 pm
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Greetings. For owners of pre-64 model 70’s back in the mid 50’s, what options were available for matching scopes and rings? Weaver seems like a good option, but not finding any period correct see through rings. I really like the flexibility of see through rings, but not sure if they were even an option back then. Also, are there alternatives to see through rings which would allow me to use a scope or the iron sights not block and only use the factory drilled holes on top of the receiver?

Thinking FW scope choices would be limited to those that were small, lightweight and offered some magnification, but were giant long tubes.

Any advice or information leading to understanding is greatly appreciated.

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June 10, 2023 - 5:47 pm
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Hi mfivefour-

I did a little “retro virtual shopping” in a couple 1950s Shooter’s Bible catalogs I’ve got.  Assuming that you want a top mounted scope that uses the existing D&T holes (no side mounts) and you really want to be period correct, your options appear limited.

Like you said, nobody was offering see-through mounts in the 1952, 1956 or 1959 Shooter’s Bible.  By 1956, however, you could get Weaver “Tip Off” mounts that let you swing the scope over to the side.  Curiously, the rifle they’re shown on in the catalog is a M70 FWT with a Marbles 69 folding rear sight… Laugh  A set of those paired with a Weaver Series 60 scope in 4X or 6X would be period AND give you a constantly centered reticle.

Weaver-Pivot-Mount-1956.pngImage Enlarger

By 1959, Leupold was offering their double lever “Detacho-Mounts” with a built-in peep sight in the rear base so you could remove the scope for iron sight use.  The Leupold Mountaineer 4X and 6X were available at the time.

Of course either of these options required you to decide beforehand if you were going to use iron sights, since the scope had to either be swung over or removed before the shot…

Best,

Lou

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June 10, 2023 - 11:35 pm
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Lou,

The FW was made very early in 1954. It has a LC stock and 22K rear sight. Using the top mounts would be ideal, but is sounds like for once, I should just leave it alone. Also not sure how tip off mounts work and wonder about their stability especially under recoil.

Glad I asked first. Thanks for the “virtual shopping trip” and money saving information.

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June 17, 2023 - 10:41 pm
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Back in the 1980’s-1990’s I worked a bit at a range and would help out upgrading scopes and mounts. We had so many problems with the aluminum see-through rings that we would almost never install them and we certainly sent quite a few to the trash bin. Maybe they were better back in the 50’s and they certainly sound like a good idea. After this experience my solution for a failed or suspect scope was and still is a backup rifle. Hunting time was precious then, moreso now. They also caused cheek weld issues for some.

 

Mike

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June 18, 2023 - 3:38 pm
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The seller is a friend and the rifle belonged to his grandfather. He hunted with it and eventually it passed down through the family and then me.

I know some about optics, mostly boxed Lyman long tubes which are too big for a FW. On the other hand…rings, mounts and the proper installation methods are new to me.

If a scope is mounted in see through rings, would I be able to quickly switch from using the scope to iron sights? It sounds like a dual setup will require movement to different cheek weld positions. Is that correct?

Any recommendations for learning about old scopes, mounts, rings and methodologies would be appreciated. Most of what I’ve found so far on the net is current info or isn’t comprehensive.

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June 18, 2023 - 8:26 pm
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Been hunting for 61 years, never had or regretted not having see through or ‘tip off’ rings on a rifle. Additionally, really don’t care for the look.

YMMV

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June 19, 2023 - 3:01 pm
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Hi mfivefour-

As far as reference books, you could consider getting a copy of Nick Strobel’s “Old Gunsights & Rifle Scopes” if you can find it at a decent price.  

This was originally published in two volumes; old gunsights being one and old scopes being the other.  It covers manufacturers of scopes and mounts up through 1980.  While it’s not 100% comprehensive or 100% accurate, it’s a pretty good way of figuring out what was made and when…

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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June 19, 2023 - 5:14 pm
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There is actually a 3rd version too.  Old Rifle Scopes.

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June 20, 2023 - 10:25 pm
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Received feedback similar to @Tedk’s from a family member yesterday: Good to know the options and time period, but never used or needed.

@Lou and @Chuck: Think I’ve seen that book before and it wasn’t in very good condition. Perfect for learning though. Thanks.

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June 21, 2023 - 12:52 pm
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Not really period correct, but to my eye a gloss Leupold M4 or M6 looks just about perfect on a M70.

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June 21, 2023 - 3:27 pm
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Redfield made a one piece base with a flip up peep on the rear, it was a “back up” in case your scope failed.  As far as period correct, they came out in the 1960’s… it was referred to as “stream-line” mount.  It will accept the earlier Redfield horizontal or vertical split rings, which are more squared at the corners… the “stream-lined” rings came about around 1960, their edges are more rounded…. Personally, I like the look of a 7/8″ tube of the Lyman Alaskan on pre-64 Model 70’s… and most any other rifle for that matter.  I might be able to help… Cool

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