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pre war model 70 30-06 national match factory sights
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February 20, 2024 - 3:18 pm
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i am considering acquiring a pre war , 1941 , model 70 30-06 winchester however all the sights are gone the front, spring elevator and rear peep sight are gone also the two tapped holes midway on the barrel are empty, i would like to find what ever goes in these spots to bring it back to period correct if someone could provide me with the necessary sights and hardware it would be appreciated thanks in advance for your help dave

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February 20, 2024 - 3:50 pm
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Hi David-

Since many members may not know EXACTLY what would have originally appeared on a M70 National Match rifle made in 1941, I’ll provide a “shopping list”.  This would be for a complete period restoration of sights, assuming there’s nothing there but empty dovetails.  Unfortunately, I do not have any of these parts available:

FRONT SIGHT: Lyman AK cross dovetail block in ramp dovetail holding a Lyman 77R globe front sight.

SCOPE BLOCKS: Lyman type block 0.470″ tall (coved on top) installed in the two factory D&T holes on top of the barrel.  This block is taller than the 0.360″ high block used on the medium heavy target barrel.  Lyman type 0.185″ tall block installed in the two factory D&T holes on the front receiver ring.  Lyman 12S (flat top) 3/8″ dovetail filler in the superfluous dovetail on the barrel boss.

RECEIVER SIGHT: Lyman 48WH (not 48WJS) receiver sight.  Depending on whether your stock has a factory cut out for receiver sight base, the 48WH would need to have a “full block” base if the stock is cut or a “half block” base (inside of base coved for stock clearance) if it is not.  In either case, the period correct 48WH would have the external flat leaf return spring on the left side of the block not the later (post-1950) coil return spring.

While the photos I’m attaching are of a later (1955) National Match (S/N 333432), it shows roughly what the sight arrangement looked like.

333432-1copy.jpgImage Enlarger333432-4copy.jpgImage Enlarger

Good Luck!!!

Lou

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February 20, 2024 - 7:11 pm
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Good stuff Lou

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February 20, 2024 - 7:32 pm
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Ted-

Have you PRICED any of these parts lately?  I think you’d be lucky to find the early style (full block) Lyman 48WH receiver sight for less than $325-350. IF you can find one at all…

Even WORSE.  That tall (0.470″) National Match barrel scope block (the original Lyman type with “Winchester dimples” on the left side) appears to be made of unobtainium (very $$$ IF you can find one).  I believe it would be easier/cheaper to have one made than to buy one… Cry

So you might want to break out your dial calipers and start going through your junk boxes!!!  You might be sitting on a small fortune…LaughWinkLaugh

Lou

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February 21, 2024 - 2:51 am
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Is this the correct sight Louis referred to?  RDB

48-W-sight-001.JPGImage Enlarger48-W-sight-002.JPGImage Enlarger48-W-sight-003.JPGImage Enlarger

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February 21, 2024 - 2:55 am
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rogertherelic said
Is this the correct sight Louis referred to?  RDB

48-W-sight-001.JPGImage Enlarger48-W-sight-002.JPGImage Enlarger48-W-sight-003.JPGImage Enlarger

  

Roger,

I will quadruple the price tag you have on that sight… Wink

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February 21, 2024 - 2:56 am
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rogertherelic said
Is this the correct sight Louis referred to?  RDB

48-W-sight-001.JPGImage Enlarger48-W-sight-002.JPGImage Enlarger48-W-sight-003.JPGImage Enlarger

  

What’s the diff between “match & target grade” & any other 48?  Stayset knobs were usually recommended for hunting rifles.

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February 21, 2024 - 3:00 am
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Thanks Burt.  I haven’t decided if I want to sell yet, but I will take your offer into consideration..  Laugh   RDB

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February 21, 2024 - 3:02 am
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Guys-

I’m done in for tonite…  But I’ll take/post some snaps tomorrow…

The 48WH has the 0.100″ step-up in the cross bar that Roger’s sight appears to have.  But insofar as I know the 48WH was never made with “Stayset” knobs.  Which I think is Clarence’s point…  Even if the assembly numbers match I’d have concerns that the sight was put together from parts…

I need to show some pics that I still need to take…

Lou

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February 21, 2024 - 3:24 am
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Very interesting observation, regarding the “STAYSET KNOBS”.  I just went by what was printed on the box’s label.  I understand that the “STAYSET KNOBS” were introduced in 1947 and would not be correct on a prewar rifle.  RDB

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February 21, 2024 - 4:30 pm
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Hi Roger-

Just to clarify the matter of receiver sights on M70 Target rifles (National Match, Target Model, and Bull Gun), and what they look like…  I apologize for the cell phone snaps and that the sights I’m showing are on Target Models.  I hate to disappoint Clarence, but I do not have a complete set of these stashed away in drawers, nor do I have enough National Match rifles to use for illustration.  The receiver sights would be the same, however… 😀  Anyway, hopefully these are clear enough.  I’m also hoping Clarence will provide some input/corrections on the Application Codes… 😀

At the outset (1936-1937), the Target Models had medium heavy straight taper barrels WITH front sight ramps.  What Roger Rule called “1st variation” target rifles. Pictured is S/N 3789, a 1st variation Target Model in 30 GOV’T’06.  These used the same Lyman 48WJS receiver sight as the regular Standard and Super Grade sporting rifles, paired with a Lyman 17A globe sight installed directly in the ramp dovetail.  Note the flat cross bar (no step-up) and “full block” base that required the stock cut out.  An aside, but I think Lyman called this version (with the “thimble shaped” elevation knob and coarser pitch on the elevation screw) a 48WJ.  In M70 advertising Winchester only ever called them 48WJS… Help Clarence!!! Laugh  

3789-1.jpegImage Enlarger

If you’ve ever tried to look through the sights on a 1st variation target rifle, you know that these sights were almost impossible to use with the Marksman stock b/c the high comb makes it so you cannot position your face low enough to get a good sight picture.  So by 1938, Winchester/Lyman came up with the 48WH, which is like the 48WJS except for a 0.100″ step-up in the cross bar.  These were paired with a taller front sight installed either in a front ramp or secured via a Lyman AK cross dovetail block in the muzzle dovetail.  They came in both 150-point long slide and 75-point short slide versions.  First pic is the long slide version on S/N 14520, a (late) 1st variation target rifle in 257 ROBERTS.  The next pic is the short slide version on S/N 50628, a 2nd variation target rifle (muzzle dovetail – NO ramp) in 270 WCF.  As with the 48WJS above, I think (???) Lyman called the ones with the thimble shaped elevation knobs “48WHJ” and the later ones with the regular target knobs “48WH”, but Winchester called them all 48WH.

14520.jpegImage Enlarger50628.jpegImage Enlarger

The next evolution came in 1947, when Lyman changed shape of the base block so as not to require a stock cut out.  The next pic is one of these “half block” 48WH sights on a transition era second variation Target Model, S/N 87131 in 30 GOV’T’06.  Note the flat return spring is still on the left side of the block, but it has been shortened and the tension screw moved.  Otherwise these sights are the same as the full block 48WH.

87131.jpegImage Enlarger

The final evolution occurred in 1950 (I think).  On these, the external leaf spring was replaced by an internal coil spring.  They appear on M70 Target rifles between 1950 and 1955, after which all the Target rifles remaining in the catalog were sold “without sights” unless ordered with them.  The rifle pictured is a late 3rd variation 30-06 SPFLD Target Model, S/N 499381.  I don’t know if the sight on this one was factory installed or not, but it’s the correct type…  These are the easiest Lyman 48WH sights to find, as they were made the longest (1950-1975).

499381.jpegImage Enlarger

OK… I guess that’s more than anyone ever wants to know about receiver sights on pre-64 M70 Target rifles. Frown

Best,

Lou

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February 21, 2024 - 5:14 pm
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Lou, Thanks for the information and pictures for clarification.  Did you find any reference information regarding the “STAYSET KNOBS”?  I believe the sight I have is a correct variation produced post 1947.  RDB

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February 21, 2024 - 5:22 pm
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Hi Roger-

IIRC Lyman’s “Stayset” knobs came around in 1950.  Redfield’s “Hunter” knobs were introduced earlier and I think Lyman was playing catch-up.  I do not believe that Stayset were used on the Lyman 48WH, but they could be installed on one in lieu of the Target knobs. 

Clarence has a lot more of the Lyman catalogs than I do, so maybe he’ll help… 

Lou

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February 21, 2024 - 5:32 pm
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One more post… This in response to a PM from Dave (the OP) about block heights…  But as long as I’m taking pics I might as well put them here in case anyone else has an interest…  

The front sight, a Lyman 77R globe, was secured to the barrel using a Lyman AK code block, the overall height of which was about 0.280″.

Lyman-AK-block-with-77R-sight.jpegImage Enlarger

The scope blocks, which were installed in factory D&T holes on the barrel in front of the rear sight barrel boss and atop the receiver ring, were of the “Lyman type”, coved on top to facilitate using metallic sights with the blocks in place.  The barrel block was 0.470″ tall (overall height – not height above barrel).  The receiver block was 0.185″ tall.

Nat-Match-scope-blocks.jpegImage EnlargerNat-Match-barrel-block-height.jpegImage EnlargerReceiver-block-height.jpegImage Enlarger

That’s probably all the trivia I’m good for today… Laugh

Lou

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February 21, 2024 - 5:42 pm
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Lou, I found a reference to the “STAYSET” adjustment in “OLD GUNSIGHTS” by Nick Stroebel on page 37, 1998 edition.  RDB

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February 21, 2024 - 6:07 pm
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Hi Roger-

Yes… IMHO your sight is a relative oddity insofar as the 48WH goes…  The BOX clearly says both 48WH and STAYSET Knobs.  Stayset knobs were available on Lyman 48 sights beginning around 1950 and your sight has the 48WH step-up cross bar that distinguishes it from a 48WJS.  So the SIGHT itself matches the box label.  I’m sure that the assembly numbers match.  It’s the only 48WH with Stayset knobs I’ve seen thus far… Laugh  The 48WJS with Stayset knobs are dime-a-dozen on eBay…

I wonder who would want a 48WH with Stayset knobs?  The Lyman catalogs I have (which end around 1950) list the 48WH for M70 Target rifles and target shooters would likely have little/no use for Stayset knobs… Confused OTOH… I suppose that if you had a sporting rifle with a Monte Carlo stock, e.g. a 1952 or later M70 Standard rifle or Featherweight, and wanted to hunt with it using a receiver sight instead of a scope, a 48WH with Stayset knobs (paired with a taller front sight) might be just the ticket for overcoming the Monte Carlo comb… Laugh

Thanks,

Lou

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February 21, 2024 - 7:25 pm
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Thanks Lou.  That fits right in to my collecting niche of unusual or one of a kind items.  Like the aluminum Model 12 or aluminum Model 61 I have.  Laugh RDB

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February 21, 2024 - 7:46 pm
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Louis Luttrell said
Clarence has a lot more of the Lyman catalogs than I do, so maybe he’ll help… 

Nothing post-war, regrettably.

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February 22, 2024 - 2:48 pm
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rogertherelic said
Lou, Thanks for the information and pictures for clarification.  Did you find any reference information regarding the “STAYSET KNOBS”?  I believe the sight I have is a correct variation produced post 1947.  RDB

  

Here is a Lyman price sheet from July of 1952. It mentions that the Stay-Set knobs are available on any 48 sight. Also below is a #35 (1950) catalog page on the 48 sights stating the Stay-Set knobs are available on the 48 sights.

Steve

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February 22, 2024 - 4:25 pm
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Thanks Steve!!!

That’s cool!!! LaughIIRC my Lyman catalogs only cover the 1936-1949 period and do not mention Stayset knobs (as they had not yet been introduced).  

The M70 with factory Lyman 48 sight was last cataloged in 1951, and then only in 270 WIN and 30-06 SPRG.  The other calibers with Lyman 48 had been dropped after 1949.  It’s interesting, however, that the 1950 Winchester catalog depicts and describes the Lyman 48 sight as having “Stayset” knobs.  The “new thing” I guess… Laugh

These, of course, were the Lyman 48WJS not 48WH…  So Roger’s sight is something of an oddity!!!  

Winchester-1950-Catalog-copy.jpgImage Enlarger

Sorry for the cockeyed scan.  This scan was from CFM, not done by me!!!  Still legible, though… Wink

Lou

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