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Winchester pre 64 model 70 in .243
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Jertex
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November 8, 2022 - 3:12 pm
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My name is Jerry, I live in the Fort Worth area, and don’t really consider myself a Winchester collector, but somehow I’ve managed to accumulate 7 Winchesters to date: 3 – 9422, 1 – 9422M XTR Classic, 2 – 94s: a late 50’s in 32 win special and a 1927 in 30 WCF, and my latest is a 1963 model 70 in .243. It’s this last rifle that I currently have questions about (some about the 1927 model 94 too, but that’s another story) as I just picked it up in a trade a couple of weeks ago. Just for context, I buy rifles to shoot, not just to look at, so keep that in mind if you have input on my questions.

1. Can someone tell me the version of the model 70 that I own: I understand that several different versions were produced in .243 starting in the mid-50s, but I don’t have a clue as how to tell which version I have.  (see pic below).

2. I mounted a Vortex Diamonback scope that I had laying around just to get it to the range to try it out. I wasn’t real happy with groupings, about 1.9″ at 100 yds, but they were passable for hunting purposes, just not what I had hoped. I was shooting factory Winchester 95gr Deer Season XP, which is all I could find in stock locally. I will eventually be loading for this cartridge, dies are on the way. My questions is: what can I do to improve accuracy that doesn’t detract from the value of the rifle? What about Timney triggers? Other trigger choices? Does it help to have the action bedded & free float barrel and what would this do to value?

1963 model 70 in 243Image Enlarger

I also added a pic of my 9422 variations just because I love rimfire lever guns. Two of them had extremely beat up stocks, so I found some OEM fancy stocks that I fit to the rifles (very easy job).

9422sImage Enlarger

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November 8, 2022 - 5:40 pm
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The best thing you can do for accuracy is watch videos on youtube posted by long range shooters.  You need to learn how to prep your brass correctly, find a stable powder node then find the best bullet seating depth.  I follow Erik Cortina because he is willing to teach everyone most of the secrets.  You have to remember though he does some things for PRS and other things for F Class.  Not all of what he does has to be done for hunters.  I guarantee that your groups will get better.

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November 8, 2022 - 5:43 pm
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Jertex said What about Timney triggers? Other trigger choices? Does it help to have the action bedded & free float barrel and what would this do to value? 

Not likely to help.  The factory trigger is one of the best, & more than good enough for big game hunting.  There is some adjustment to it, if you remove the stock, but I don’t know how to do it.  A tiny bit of red grease applied to the sear surfaces will reduce let-off, but isn’t likely to improve grouping from a bench.

Bedding might help, or it might not, but there’s no “undoing” it if it doesn’t.  You could try slipping a business card under the brl at the fore-end tip to see if the extra pressure helps or hurts.  I don’t think bedding would reduce value to any major extent on such a common caliber 70, but it will make it harder to re-sell if you ever choose to do so by arousing suspicion.  But if you’ve only tested it with that one brand of ammo, it’s too soon to conclude that your groups are the best it will do. 

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November 9, 2022 - 12:16 am
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The factory trigger on this one has got to be 6lbs, so I’ll definitely be looking for information on how to adjust it if indeed it is adjustable.

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November 9, 2022 - 12:44 am
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Jertex said
The factory trigger on this one has got to be 6lbs, so I’ll definitely be looking for information on how to adjust it if indeed it is adjustable.

  

I wouldn’t be satisfied with 6# either, but I still don’t think that’s what limiting accuracy, assuming good bench-rest technique; off-hand, a different story.  There are at least a couple of 70 experts on this forum who can tell you more, but I can’t.  Have you looked for a You-Tube video on the subject? 

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November 9, 2022 - 2:29 am
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May want to try some different ammo, if you can find some Hornady ammo it will make excellent brass for reloading once your dies and other components trickle in. Even the lowly RP green and yellow box ammo performs well in some rifles. I know factory ammo is expensive and hard to find these days but maybe you’ll get lucky.

 

Mike

 

ETA: Nice 9422’s! Just scored a nice pair a few months ago and they still make me smile.

 

MH

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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
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November 9, 2022 - 3:23 am
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TXGunNut said I know factory ammo is expensive and hard to find these days but maybe you’ll get lucky.
  

Unreal to have to say this about a cartridge as commonplace as .243.  What’s going on???  Yet the country can afford to blow 65 BILLION (and counting!) in Biden’s War Against Russian Hacking? 

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November 9, 2022 - 3:28 am
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clarence said

Jertex said

The factory trigger on this one has got to be 6lbs, so I’ll definitely be looking for information on how to adjust it if indeed it is adjustable.

  

I wouldn’t be satisfied with 6# either, but I still don’t think that’s what limiting accuracy, assuming good bench-rest technique; off-hand, a different story.  There are at least a couple of 70 experts on this forum who can tell you more, but I can’t.  Have you looked for a You-Tube video on the subject? 

  

I’m sure I could improve once I get used to that trigger, but I’m a bit of a trigger snob and don’t plan on living with it like it is now. As far as YouTube, there’s not much out there. One video by a guy that simply adjusted the spring tension, but I can do that without a YouTube video. I found some posts on other forums where OP’s were referred to specific gunsmiths in their area, but that didn’t do much good for me.

 

TXGunNut said
May want to try some different ammo, if you can find some Hornady ammo it will make excellent brass for reloading once your dies and other components trickle in. Even the lowly RP green and yellow box ammo performs well in some rifles. I know factory ammo is expensive and hard to find these days but maybe you’ll get lucky.

 

Mike

 

ETA: Nice 9422’s! Just scored a nice pair a few months ago and they still make me smile.

 

MH

  

Yep, I found one box of Barnes Vortx at Gritr sports but it’s $57 + tax, which is getting ridiculous. My dies came in today and I have some brass that’s supposed to be here tomorrow, so I can start loading this week.

 

Thanks, I love those 9422s, along with Marlin 39s, it’s an addiction of mine.

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November 9, 2022 - 4:57 pm
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Hi Jerry-

Your M70 is a standard rifle.  In the 243 WIN chambering, the standard rifle is considerably less common than the featherweight version, but not exactly rare either. For perspective, according to Roger Rule’s book there were 24,707 Featherweights, 6,812 Standard Rifles, 4,614 Varmint Rifles, 683 Target Rifles, 291 Super Grade Rifles, and 260 Super Grade Featherweights made in 243 WIN.

You can look up the year of (receiver) manufacture, based on polishing room records, under the “Resources” tab on this website.

The factory override trigger on the M70 has sufficient adjustment for weight of pull and over travel that it can usually be adjusted enough to get a satisfactory result.  Personally, I don’t mess with the sear engagement surfaces on M70 triggers (I’d leave that to an experienced gunsmith), but you can mess with the three hex nuts on the trigger adjustment screw that control weight and overtravel without messing anything up.  It’s probably not even going to be necessary to put a lighter spring in the trigger to get a lighter pull, just make sure it’s not all gunked up with congealed/hardened grease.

Good Luck!!! Laugh

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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November 9, 2022 - 5:32 pm
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November 23, 2022 - 2:11 pm
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Louis Luttrell said
Hi Jerry-

Your M70 is a standard rifle.  In the 243 WIN chambering, the standard rifle is considerably less common than the featherweight version, but not exactly rare either. For perspective, according to Roger Rule’s book there were 24,707 Featherweights, 6,812 Standard Rifles, 4,614 Varmint Rifles, 683 Target Rifles, 291 Super Grade Rifles, and 260 Super Grade Featherweights made in 243 WIN.

You can look up the year of (receiver) manufacture, based on polishing room records, under the “Resources” tab on this website.

The factory override trigger on the M70 has sufficient adjustment for weight of pull and over travel that it can usually be adjusted enough to get a satisfactory result.  Personally, I don’t mess with the sear engagement surfaces on M70 triggers (I’d leave that to an experienced gunsmith), but you can mess with the three hex nuts on the trigger adjustment screw that control weight and overtravel without messing anything up.  It’s probably not even going to be necessary to put a lighter spring in the trigger to get a lighter pull, just make sure it’s not all gunked up with congealed/hardened grease.

Good Luck!!! Laugh

Lou

  

Thanks, Lou, very helpful information. I’ll have some time after Thanksgiving to work with the trigger adjustments. I typically don’t touch sears other than careful polishing with a q-tip & metal polish (except for 1911’s because I have an Ed Brown sear jig & experience with that gun). This gun appears to have very little use & I wouldn’t be surprised to find some old grease creating problems with the trigger. I really appreciate the extra information about the model & numbers produced. The rifle appears to have been made in ‘63 based on the s/n. 

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November 23, 2022 - 9:55 pm
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Hi Jerry-

Good Luck!!!  Let us know how it works out… Laugh

FWIW… The three factory nuts on the trigger adjustment screw are 1/4″.  I use a pair of fixed 1/4″ crescent/box end wrenches (the Sears Craftsman variety) to get the screws loose/tight without damage.

BTW… I’m the WACA member doing a pre-64 M70 survey (over 18K recorded so far and counting…).  If you’d care to give me the full S/N (by post or PM) I can add your rifle to the survey.  My source document is anonymous when it comes to rifles belonging to individuals (as opposed to dealer/auction house listings) with the source recorded only as “WACA”.

Your gun looks to be in exceptional shape from its photo.  Very nice…  Just get the trigger kinks smoothed out and I think/hope you’ll be happy with it. Laugh

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Laugh

Lou

WACA 9519; Studying Pre-64 Model 70 Winchesters

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