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Pre '64 Winchester Model 70 Correct Sight
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October 17, 2023 - 4:11 pm
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I have an inherited Model 70 in 30-06 that I want to return to original condition as best as possible and take hunting with me this year. It’s been drilled and tapped for a scope mount, but I’d like to use it with iron sights while I still have my eyes. From my searches, I believe it was manufactured in 1948; I have a high 7x,xxx serial number. I have installed a rear sight that works, but I’m interested to know what I should have in there. I have yet to shoot it, so I don’t know how accurate it is, but the rifling and muzzle look fine to me. What kind of accuracy and range can I expect? I’m hoping for a <200yd open sight hunt. Sorry for no pictures; I’m still figuring out how to attach them.

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October 17, 2023 - 10:39 pm
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Your M70 Standard Rifle was issued with a Winchester 22G leaf spring sight and a No. 3-C elevator. These sights appear regularly on eBay although some sellers incorrectly identify other leaf spring sights as a 22G. Front sight is a Winchester 103C .310” h. 

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October 18, 2023 - 12:03 am
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I have original 22G sights and 3C elevators… prices based on condition.  You might also consider a Lyman 48 WJS receiver sight… your gun is already tapped and they give you a better option for windage & elevation adjustment.  They were also a factory option.  Cheers. Ben

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October 18, 2023 - 12:59 am
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Ben Tolson said You might also consider a Lyman 48 WJS receiver sight… your gun is already tapped and they give you a better option for windage & elevation adjustment.  They were also a factory option.  Cheers. Ben
  

FAR better option!

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October 18, 2023 - 2:35 pm
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Hi Alexander-

Just to follow-up on what Tedk, Ben and Clarence have said about correct factory sights.  I am assuming here that your 70,000 range (1948) Model 70 is a “transition” rifle, characterized by a cloverleaf tang, smooth (not roll marked) bridge with two factory D&T holes that permit scope mounting, and a low comb “NRA style” stock.

In 1948 there were two cataloged factory sight options for the M70 Standard rifle. G7004C had the Winchester 22G sporting rear sight on the barrel with 4-step 3C elevator.  G7014C had the Lyman 48WJS receiver sight installed in the factory D&T holes on the left rear of the receiver and a flat top Lyman 12S blank in the barrel dovetail.  Both were paired with a Win 103C silver bead “tinned” front sight, which was 0.310″ hight from bottom of dovetail to top if sight.

For identification purposes, the first photo shows correct sights for a 1948 G7004C.  The second photo is a side view of the 103C next to the very similar 103E that was 0.360″ tall and came into use about 1952 when the option of a Monte Carlo stock was introduced.

M70-Std-sights-1948-copy.jpgImage EnlargerWin-103C-heights-copy.jpgImage Enlarger

For hunting, the suggestion of a receiver sight is a good one.  On the pre-war M70s the stock had to be inlet for the base block of the Lyman 48WJS, but in 1947 Lyman changed the design such that the inside of the base block was coved to clear the stock (no inletting required).  If you want to be strictly correct, the 1947-1950 version of the Lyman 48WJS is the second from the right in this photo.  Note the external leaf return spring.

Lyman-48-series-for-M70-copy.jpgImage Enlarger

However the M70 Standard rifle with 48WJS in 30-06 and 270 WCF was cataloged through 1950, and in 1950 Lyman made two other small changes; the return spring was changed to an internal coil spring and the option of rounded “hunter style” adjustment knobs was added.  The receiver sight on the far right is the 1950+ version (with target knobs). Since Lyman made this version of the 48WJS until about 1975 it is much easier to find and usually a few dollars cheaper.  One of these, with either style knob, would not look out of place on a 1948 M70.  It would just be a couple years “off” from being strictly “factory correct”.

Good Luck!!!

Lou

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October 18, 2023 - 3:13 pm
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Lou,

You’re a wealth of knowledge, thank you for the history lesson and the pointers! I think I will go with the 48WJS. I found one for sale online and I’ll order it soon.

Clarence seems to say that less than 200 yards is even pushing the range for good shots. Do you have any insight on what a reasonable expeted range would be with this rifle and that sight? So far as I know, it’s like new; my grandfather only used it one or two seasons before moving on to his .270. I’d be surprised if it has more than 40 rounds through it.

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October 18, 2023 - 3:42 pm
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From a collector / value position, the Lyman 48 sights are marked with matching assembly numbers on the back of the elevation slide and inside the channel on the base.  If you’re paying top money for the sight, be sure those numbers match.  I also have both types of the 103 front sight too… Lyman 48’s as well if you haven’t found what you’re looking for…

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October 18, 2023 - 8:45 pm
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Ben makes a good point… Laugh

A nice Lyman 48WJS, especially in the condition it would take to match your Grandfather’s rifle, can easily set you back more than $200.  When these sights were made, the slide and base block were hand fitted to one another and the assembler would stamp the base and slide in the locations Ben stated.  Usually a letter and two numerals.  

As receiver sights fell out of favor and scopes became the norm, many folks removed the slide from their sight and tossed it into a drawer, while leaving the base on the rifle.  Net result being lots of loose slides and loose base blocks floating around that enterprising individuals will pair up and sell.  Non-matching parts usually (not always) do fit together well and function fine, but it’s best to have an intact sight given what you’ll probably have to pay for it.

As for effective range of a receiver sighted M70… I’m sure Clarence is a far better marksman that I ever was (even when my eyes were good)… So he has a point…Wink 

My thought has always been that (if deer are the target) the maximum range is that at which the marksman can keep all of their shots comfortably inside an 8 inch paper plate.  I would think that a decent marksman (not necessarily me) could keep their shots within 3 to 4 inches at 100 yards, which makes the 200 yard figure possible but probably at the outside limit for the average shooter.  A military-trained marksman achieving “expert” classification could do much better… 

If I were going to follow your route I’d just take the rifle to the range and see what my 100 yard groups look like from whatever shooting position I think I’m most likely to be using.  You might want to play with the diameter of the aperture to see what works best for you; smaller aperture is better for longer ranges while larger ones (or none at all) is best for very close range quick shots.  FWIW… IIRC the standard aperture provided with the Lyman 48WJS was 0.625″ outside diameter with a 0.046″ diameter aperture.  But they come in lots of sizes and aren’t too hard to find…

Lou

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October 18, 2023 - 8:58 pm
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Ben, Lou,

Intersting to know! I’m afraid I already pulled the trigger on a “Post-war with Hunter Turrets – Very Good” sight from pre64win.com, so I failed to inquire about numbers. Fingers crossed that it’s matching, but we’ll see. I’m sure it will work for my purposes either way.

I’ll have to get out to the range with this rifle; I shot expert every qualification I had in the navy, but that just means I can shoot a small target. To be determined if I can shoot a bolt gun at actual range. I really appreciate everyone’s contributions to my thread. I look forward to putting this together and taking a piece of my late grandfather out into the wild lands where he was most at home.

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October 18, 2023 - 9:33 pm
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Alexander-

If it’s not right, talk to Justin Hale (pre-64win.com).  I know he’ll make it right for you…  They understand assembly numbers…

Let us know how the rifle performs for you!!!  Games pics, especially!!!

Lou

P.S.  If you are willing, let me know the full S/N of your gun.  I’m the guy doing the WACA M70 “all rifle” survey (20,000 recorded so far) and every one helps!!! 

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October 18, 2023 - 11:21 pm
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Clarence seems to say that less than 200 yards is even pushing the range for good shots. Alexander Young said

  

With an OPEN sight, such as a 22G, under field conditions, which seldom include perfect light & target position.  Much more realistic with a rcvr sight. 

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October 26, 2023 - 4:09 pm
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clarence said

With an OPEN sight, such as a 22G, under field conditions, which seldom include perfect light & target position.  Much more realistic with a rcvr sight. 

  

Clarence, this makes sense, thanks for clarifying! Most of my shots at deer have been within 100yds, but I want to practice against my limits to find a comfortable and ethical range.

 

B/T

Update: I received the sight, took it in to my gunsmith for installation and he determined it came with bent screws. pre-64win.com has already sent replacement screws to correct the discrepancy. I didn’t see any serial numbers on the sight, though. I’ll have to give it a closer look when I take the new screws in. The paperwork I received with the sight states it’s a 1948 model which should be the same year as the rifle; I don’t know if it makes much difference, but it sure feels good to have those match! I’ll update with more when I have it. Thanks everyone!

 

P.S.

Lou,

I found your other post about the WACA Survey; I’ll give it a look!

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October 27, 2023 - 12:22 am
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To check the assembly numbers on the Lyman 48, loosen the knurled knob…then press it in.  the slide will lift right out.  The assembly numbers are on the back of the slide and inside the dovetail.  Cheers.

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October 27, 2023 - 3:42 pm
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Ben Tolson said
To check the assembly numbers on the Lyman 48, loosen the knurled knob…then press it in.  the slide will lift right out.  The assembly numbers are on the back of the slide and inside the dovetail.  Cheers.

  

Will do, thanks!

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