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Pre 64 Model 70 .264 fwt Accuracy
January 23, 2012
4:59 am
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December 19, 2011
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I’m looking for a little help & advice on the accuracy of the .264 Win Mag in featherweights. As a 3rd generation Model 70 collector, I’ve now had access or owned (and sold) approximately 8 featherweights in .264 Win Mag. Out of all those, I’ve only found 1 that shot well and to do that, I recently purchased Nosler custom ammo in 130 gr. Partitions, which shoot sub 1" groups at 100 yards, so I’m very pleased with that. About 20 years ago, I sent one rifle to LeFever arms following the advice of Winchester and have them look at it. That rifle shot 10" groups at 100 yards (honestly). They couldn’t improve it at all and said that barrel was .268 from the factory and they had seen numerous ones similar. The barrel wasn’t shot out, it had hardly been fired. Years ago, I even purchased an unfired barrel, still in the box and it also measured .267. So, in short, I’m wondering what other experiences people might’ve had with this caliber with the 22 inch barrel. I’ve had much better luck with the 26 inch barrels, which I know improve ballistics tremendously, but I really like the cartidge and since I want to hunt with the rifle, I’d much prefer the featherweight. Seems like a lot of experience on this sight, just trying to get a little insight.

Thanks,
Tom

December 3, 2012
9:37 am
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After 40+ years of fooling with Pre-64 M70s I’ve learned a few things about performance of these rifles. Your problems with 264 Fwts are not unusual. This style/caliber is the only one in my experience that pretty consistently performs poorly. At the end of production, I think many M70s left the factyory without being test fired, something that ALWAYS occurred previously. Prior to 1963 they were all test fired and if they did not perform they did not leave the factory. I have seen other 264 Fwts with oversize bores or loose spots near the muzzle that destroyed accuracy.

Sadly, the last 30,000-40,000 M70s made had quality control problems not seen in earlier years. Thery also had inferior quality wood, machine checkering, mis-aligned proof marks, aluminum floorplates/trigger guards on Standard rifles, etc. They are no where near the quality of the earlier rifles.

January 10, 2013
8:27 pm
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I appreciate the reply. I’ve got one now that shoots sub 1" groups using Nosler custom 130 gr Accubond bullets. While they aren’t cheap, they shoot great.

January 11, 2013
12:09 pm
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If the standard weight shoots accurately with all loads and has the same groove diameter as the featherweight, then I suspect that the problem may have to do with the harmonics of the featherweight barrel. The solution is to either change the harmonics, which you are not likely wont to do if it is a collectible piece, or change the load. It sounds like you have found a load the compensates for the barrel harmonics, if such is the problem. The harmonics may not be due to design, but to a slightly bent barrel. I had a slightly bent barrel and it gave awful groups at 100 yards. There was no load that compensated for the harmonics generated by the bullet accelerating down that curved bore. So it may be due to design or due to a bent barrel. Since you have tried more than one featherweight barrel, it might be a design flaw. Does the successful load closely duplicate the original Winchester factory load? I find that in general, my old Winchesters do best when shooting loads that are very close to the original Winchester loads.

January 22, 2013
9:38 pm
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I have been a 264 shooter for 40 years or more. I have 2 trueisms about the caliber, 1st, they don’t shoot unless they have a 26" barrel. 2nd, 140 gr bullets work the best for accuracy.
W.D.

January 23, 2013
8:43 am
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W.D.Truitt said
I have been a 264 shooter for 40 years or more. I have 2 trueisms about the caliber, 1st, they don’t shoot unless they have a 26" barrel. 2nd, 140 gr bullets work the best for accuracy.
W.D.

That suggests that the 264 has a vibration/harmonics problem and you have found the ‘sweet spot’.

January 23, 2013
11:29 am
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I have invested alot of time and money over the years trying to get 264s to shoot moa. I have a pre64 and a Model 70 Classic, both have 26" barrels and shoot very well. I had a pre 64 Featherweight and a Remington 700 with shorter barrels, neither one shot well. I have a friend that has a post 64 Westerner in 264. We have worked for years trying to get it to shoot moa and have never been able to get it done.
I beleave the 26" barrel issue, and the lack of good 6.5 bullets in the late 50s and 60s is the main reason the 264 never gained populariy among the masses like the 7mm Rem mag.
W.D.

January 27, 2013
7:51 am
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January 18, 2013
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If the barrel is .268", it would be possible try to bullets for the 6.5 Carcano which should be .268". Perhaps you will need a calibrating rod for the Carcano to be able to seat these bullets.

http://www.hornady.com/store/.268-6.5-Carcano/

Pete

January 29, 2013
8:40 pm
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The 264 Winchester is indeed .264", bullets desinged for the 6.5 Carcano will not withstand the velocity of 264 loads.
Quality 6.5 (264) bullets have been readiely avaiable for more than 20 years now. This was not the case in 1958 when it was introduced.
W.D.

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