Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64

Posted by: Mills

Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/13/19 03:46 PM

I am getting into rifles a bit and keep seeing the Winchester pre 64 vs post 64. What is the basic difference? I assume it is like the Utica vs. Philly Foxes or pre 1913 LC Smiths vs post 13 Smiths? Assuming that is the case, how much did the quality drop? Thanks
Posted by: LRF

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/14/19 08:27 AM

Probably the biggest differences are in the head of the bolt construction and the method of extraction. On a pre-64 the extractor is like the Mausers which control the cartridge all the time from pushing the cartridge up out of the box magazine into the chamber and then pulling it out after firing during the extraction/ejection cycle. The post 64 just pushes the case and then as you close the bolt a small bolt face extractor snaps over the case rim. A much weaker system and cheaper to manufacture. This basic change goes further as the bolt manufacturing is easier also so follows cheaper. The post 64 work fine but not the higher quality of the pre-64's.
Hope that helps. Buy pre-64's IMO, Its all I own for bolt guns and I have a few ranging from 30-06 thru the mag cartridges to 375 H&H. One added comment, if you are going to hunt DG the post-64's or the Remington 700, which uses the same extraction as the post-64 are NOT your best choice.
Posted by: Jim Kobe

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/14/19 10:28 AM

Lynn, you fail to mention the "New CLassic M70 CRF". It ain't push feed
Posted by: Recoil Rob

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/14/19 10:38 AM

The "New Classic" will have been around for 28 years now, not so new anymore...
Posted by: Mills

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/14/19 04:10 PM

Thanks for the responses
Posted by: Run With The Fox

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/14/19 05:24 PM

Are you at all familiar with the Winchester hammerless pump shotguns? If so, compare the feel, fit and finish and handling qualities of a pre-WW2 Mdel 12 in any gauge you like, field gun, with that of the POS Model 1200 Winchester pumpguns-- Most of the better finished and handling Winchesters I own (and shoot) were made prior to 1941-- look at this, if you will-- pre-war better grade walnut, rust blueing, closer tolerances, wood stood "proud" of the steel-- same analysis in your pre-vs -post 1964 Model 70's, both std grade and Super Grade, and reg. wt. and the later introduced Featherweight series M70's--

The answer regarding a Mauser BA design )M54-M-70, 1903 Springfield, Browning-Sako FN series, and others, over the Weatherby and Remington BA rifles is "Dead sure reliability in function-every time. If you and experienced hunter using BA rifles, you are well advised to cycle EVERY round of ammo for your chosen Caliber BA hunting rifle through your weapon, factory and especially handloads.

About 8-10 years ago, F&S gun editor (and mainstay old curmudgeon at large) Dave Petzal did an article on the top 50 best weapons every produced in America-- Top Pick-- The pre-1964 Winchester Model 70- hands down. That tell you anything?? RWTF
Posted by: Mills

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/15/19 10:45 AM

Thanks. That is largely what I suspected. It is so sad that so many of the great American guns fell victim to cost cutting and cheap knockoffs
Posted by: LRF

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/15/19 10:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Jim Kobe
Lynn, you fail to mention the "New CLassic M70 CRF". It ain't push feed

I didn't fail anything, I was answering the question asked without any assumptions. He asked about pre and post. The "New CLassic M70 CRF" was the third variation.
Of course we could go further into details about the 3 design variations of the Pre64 but again that wasn't the question. And we could talk about the M54 which the M70 is really and improved version of. But now we are really far flung, something I was avoiding and why I only addressed the question asked, which is always a good policy. If the poster wants to learn more they can ask for more info if they desired.
Posted by: Mills

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/15/19 10:51 AM

I saw a video comparing a pre-64 Model 70 to a new Alaskan model which seemed to suggest the current Alaskan model was pretty close to the same quality of old. Is that true or just probably another commercial with fake info?
Posted by: LRF

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/15/19 10:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Run With The Fox
.... Dave Petzal did an article on the top 50 best weapons every produced in America-- Top Pick-- The pre-1964 Winchester Model 70- hands down. That tell you anything?? RWTF

Couldn't agree more
Posted by: Mills

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/15/19 11:00 AM

Yep. Pre-64 is where I am going
Posted by: LRF

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/15/19 01:06 PM

I claim not to be an expert in anyway however PM me if you wish as I always am open to discuss and if you don't have the Roger Rule book and have a question I would do what I can to assist. Good hunting for a rifle and follows, good hunting once acquired. smile
Posted by: Jim Kobe

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/16/19 10:29 AM

My bad?
Posted by: Researcher

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/16/19 05:43 PM

Pre-64 Model 70s have the mystique but they couldn't compete in the market place with the Remington Model 721/722/725 or 700 and the Savage 110. Just like the Model 12 was really dead the day the first Model 870 Wingmaster left Ilion.

Us nostalgia nuts are lucky the Olin brothers kept their hobby in New Haven going as long as they did.
Posted by: craigd

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/16/19 10:24 PM

I think, it's not quite fair to say that pre 64 Model 70s only attribute is mystique and nostalgia. Surely, it's possible for a rifle to have some attributes without factoring in how it competed in its original market or competes in its current market. While there are facsimilies available, there's a finite pool of originals if it has someone's interest.
Posted by: rocky mtn bill

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/17/19 08:30 AM

Another way to state Researcher's point might be to say that Winchester designed a better rifle than they could afford to build. The verdict is rendered by collectors. Who collects Remington 721s or Savage 110s? There is no competition when quality is the criterion. A piece of advice to the new M70 collector: The earlier the rifle, the better. As labor costs rose, quality dropped off. Pre-war and early post-war 70's are nicer than the late ones. Craig is right; it's not just nostalgia. They shoot really well.
Posted by: rtw

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/17/19 12:28 PM

I'm a bit confused, which is not an uncommon state for me.

I have owned 2 pre-64 M70's. I am now looking at the new M'70's and am finding very favorable reviews-even compared to the pre-64 versions. The new MOA trigger system is well thought of by most writers-at least among those I have read. Same controlled round feeding. broader selection of calibers, same 3-position safety, etc.

So, why is the pre-64 better? Are there some attributes I don't know about? better rifling? better twist rates? Better steels used? stronger extractors?
Posted by: rocky mtn bill

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/17/19 06:37 PM

The reviewers may lack of knowledge about the earlier rifles. Current models may be fine; they don't interest me. To my knowledge, the M70 triggers were first rate. Whether the new ones are better in some absolute sense is beside the point. The old ones appeal to collectors. The new ones are just hardware.
Posted by: Run With The Fox

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/17/19 06:50 PM

The first series M70's, up until the 1950's when they brought out the FW series- all had lathe cut rifling- and were lead lapped afterwards- took about 11 minutes to machine the rifling-- The FW M70's had the broached rifling, which took less than 1 minute, and those 22" barrels (.308-.243 cal initially)were, along with the aluminum trigger guard and floorplate, the first steps WRA took to reduce mfg. costs on the M70-- Pre-WW2 M70's had better wood grain, checkering, finish than the post WW2 M70's-- one reason- a ton of seasoned walnut went into War production by WRA- 1903's, M-1 Garand and BAR rifles- etc.

I have a 1956 era M70 FW in .308Win--It is a fine weapon, but just doesn't have that "something extra" my oldest M70 (mfg 1939 in 30-06) has- maybe like trying to compare the taste of a fine single malt to that of a blended Scotch-- and taste is, indeed, a subjective quality-- RWTF
Posted by: rtw

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/17/19 09:49 PM

Found this old post on another forum.

there are many differences in the production of the pre 64's. First was the prewars. These are considered by purists as the finest years. In a nut shell they generally had better wood than later years, had 20 point checkering, a bulbous pistol grip. Then came the transition models from 1946 to 1948, these I personally prefer. Their advantages were, they were drilled and tapped for scope mounts and a safety that would allow usage for scopes. This safety was called a "clamshell safety".These also were still the famous cloverleaf tang and bulbous pistol grip. Next came the 1948 to 1952 models. Their distinction was a change from the cloverleaf tang to the standard tang common to the remainder models including those produced today. Also after 1948 the saftey design is the saftey we still see today and is refered to as the "L" safety. The pistol grip after 1948 went from bulbous to flat for the remainder of production. The other change was the sear hole in the reciever went from a milled square to a faster to produce round hole. After 1952, Winchester was trying to compete with cheaper guns, so they started cutting costs, this is the reason I dont collect any post 1952 models. From 1952 to 1960 the front sight was no longer milled into the barrel but was instead was a soldered ramp plus some minor changes like the bolt knob being drilled. Lastly from 1960 to 1963 the metal buttplate was changed to plastic, the checkering panels were shrunk in size and the bolt shroud was changed from a milled flat surface, and left round to cut costs. Those are the BASICS, there are other smaller changes. I only have one featherweight and while light weight I had changed the aliminum floorplate and triggerguard to a steel model. I found I cant hold steady the featherweight rifle plus I dislike the soldered on front sight. The rear sight "bump" on a standard weight is called a "boss". When you study firearm design you can easily see why the pre-64 Winchester model 70's are justifably called " The Riflemans Rifle". I worked very hard in my carrer and purchased only the best firearms. After considerable study it was an easy decision to collect old Winchesters and Smith & Wesson revolvers.
Posted by: Run With The Fox

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/18/19 08:18 AM

Agree 100%-- sounds like Roger Rule's expert analysis- I have darn near memorized his "Bible" and well worth it- Thanks to Roger, and some "time in grade" studying Winchesters (only pre-1964) I have saved myself some dinero on gun show offerings of M70's-- The Carbine with the 20" barrel- many std. M70's had the 24" barrels cut to 20" and a new sight ramp soldered on- The Carbine was only offered from about 1939 through 1947- with the factor of WW2 military production affecting the production of sporting arms by WRA (M70's, M12's, M97's- etc.)and during that time frame, the front sight ramps were indeed, milled- NOT soldered (that came later, after the Carbine was deleted. I have seen a few "restocked" Std. grades passed off as being Super Grades- by changing the magazine floorplate-- Roger Rule ties the letter stamps to model years, cross referenced to serial numbers- easy to spot a "ringer" if you have his book at hand.

I thought, at times, about replacing the cheesy aluminum floorplate on my FW M70--just haven't done it yet-- I'd still take that post 1952 M70 over any: Weatherby, Remington, Savage BA-- the only Mauser styled rifles that compete with the FWM70, IMO, are: (1) Pre-Garcia FN Sako, and early FN Belgium Browning. Also, every M70 built from late 1936 through the 1964 (year of the Big FUBAR) by WRA--had the serial number electro-etched on the bolt- I turned down a nice 1949 era M70 in .300 H&H Mag because the bolt etched SN didn't match that found on the receiver- Caveat Emptor!!

RWTF
Posted by: eightbore

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/18/19 12:22 PM

rtw and Researcher seem to have no soul in their posts. If a Mossburg had a better trigger or feed mechanism than a Purdey, would the Mossburg tickle your thingy more than the Purdey? End of story. Mills, what, exactly, are you looking for in your early Model 70, caliber etc?
Posted by: rocky mtn bill

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/18/19 02:05 PM

I'd say the pre-64 M70 is the best American mass-production rifle we have. On an absolute scale, however, the Germans were ahead of us by about three decades. The Mauser ( Oberndorf) and JP Sauer rifles imported prior to WWI were the best thing going and are unmatched for quality today. We didn't begin to match their rifles until 1936.
Posted by: LRF

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/18/19 03:16 PM

Interesting 1936, year the M70 was introduced
Of course the M70 has one distinct improvement over the Mauser's and Springfield's and that is lock-time. Quicker by half.
Then there is the trigger but then my first comment is enough.

rtw, PM'd me yesterday and part of my response was this: "Buying model 70's you have to ask yourself. If I buy a new gun it will get used and depreciate in value. And is it as good as a pre-64 rifle? Or buy a pre-64 for which we know how good they are and after you use it, as long as you don't abuse it, will be worth as much as it was when you bought it." Easy decision for me
Posted by: craigd

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/18/19 03:34 PM

Cough, cough. I think I know what you're saying Bill, but maybe the category could be trimmed down to classic sporter styled production bolt actions. There's got to be a few lever action fans that have a thought or two on the quality of their favorite production rifles.

I may be recalling it wrong, but I think the old catalog prices of pre WW I German sporting bolt action rifles were well out of the price reach of someone looking for a mass produced rifle. I think, they were for a limited market, available in limited numbers to match. With influences from many parts of the world, I think American custom gunsmiths take the absolute scale edge for sporting bolt rifles, but that stretches much farther from mass production.

Is it design or execution, or some balance of both that's under consideration. The point being is that '98 Mausers are rather common, some current production arms are very well crafted, but what does it take to make them interesting.
Posted by: rocky mtn bill

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/18/19 05:45 PM

Craig, you're right that the imported Mausers were priced far beyond the American hunting rifles of the time. I think tariffs were part of that problem. It may be that our custom rifle tradition emerged from the cost of high quality factory rifles from Germany. Our early custom makers' products were better than factory stuff in their detail but not in their design.
Posted by: rtw

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/18/19 06:33 PM

I was simply trying to understand if there were specific features that made the Pre-64 M70 such a standout from the current CRF models. There are advantages in the newer models that haven't been mentioned--availability of newer cartridges (6.5 Creedmoor, for example), stainless steel actions, etc.

I have a .270 Winchester built on a G33/40 action. I think that one reason Mauser actions were such a favorite of custom gunsmiths was that they required more work-a lot more work. New bottom metal, new trigger, new safety, grinding and polishing, new barrel contouring and fitting, new bolt handle, custom stock, etc., etc.

You really didn't have to do much of anything with a pre-64 M70.

Posted by: LRF

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/18/19 07:01 PM

This is so so true...
"..... didn't have to do much of anything with a pre-64 M70."
smile
Posted by: rtw

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/18/19 07:38 PM

Here is a pair for sale.

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/844286252
Posted by: craigd

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/18/19 09:36 PM

I think every aspect of newer production M70s could be looked at as a technical improvement, except that they don't make 'em like they used to. I'm thinking that you may have an advantage in that you may not have to insist on collector level condition.
Posted by: rocky mtn bill

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/19/19 08:11 AM

Mausers take more work to make them presentable, but they also have design advantages. They come in different lengths, and they offer better safety in case of a case rupture. Model 70's can give a shooter a face full of hot gas when a case fails. Mauser magazines are also better though expensive, one-piece ones are available for M70s. The Dakota action keeps the best of M70 design and improves the gas-handling problem. To get back to the original topic, part of what makes Winchesters collectible is their wide variety of calibers and shooting applications.
Posted by: Mills

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/19/19 09:54 AM

Originally Posted By: eightbore
Mills, what, exactly, are you looking for in your early Model 70, caliber etc?



I would like to get a 375, once the gun coffers are recharged a bit.
Posted by: LRF

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/19/19 08:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Mills

I would like to get a 375, once the gun coffers are recharged a bit.

Auction find
Mills, I bought this one earlier this year and then re-worked it. I was lucky as I got this one for just $800
Posted by: Run With The Fox

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/20/19 08:43 AM

You bought a pre-64 M70 in .375H&H Mag for $800? Hope you picked up a few Lotto tickets on your way home--RWTF
Posted by: Mills

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/20/19 10:10 AM

Originally Posted By: LRF
Originally Posted By: Mills

I would like to get a 375, once the gun coffers are recharged a bit.

Auction find
Mills, I bought this one earlier this year and then re-worked it. I was lucky as I got this one for just $800




LRF. That is cool!
Posted by: LRF

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 11/20/19 10:27 AM

Thanks Mills
RWTF, I was happy and I thought I had said the cost in the post I shared. I guess I didn't. And when I saw what I had purchased I was very pleased. Every once in a while things go my or your way. Life is a surprise every morning!
Posted by: Chukarman

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 12/25/19 12:57 PM

A few of the new model CRF Model 70s were made in left handed versions. For me this is a big deal.
Posted by: Mills

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 01/28/20 02:31 PM

Well, thanks in great part to the help here, the pre 64 375 arrived late last week. Will get some better pics when I can.




Posted by: Mills

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 02/04/20 11:25 AM

More pics.




Posted by: BrentD

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 02/04/20 11:28 AM

The rifle is nice but the table is awesome!
Posted by: Mills

Re: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 vs. Post 64 - 02/04/20 12:26 PM

We have had that table for a while. Thanks