The Winchester Model 70 Classic

model-70

In 1992, U.S. Repeating Arms, the manufacturer of Winchester rifles and shotguns since 1981, set a plan in place for an entirely new production facility located near the original plant in New Haven, Connecticut. With the new facility, USRA replaced its old manufacturing equipment with modern machinery capable of producing with cost-efficiency the receivers and bolts for an improved version of the Pre-‘64 action.

Although available on a limited basis in 1992, the official return of the Pre-‘64 type action Model 70 was 1994. Dubbed the “Classic”, this action was a return to the things that made the Model 70 famous. Featuring a full-length claw extractor, receiver mounted ejector, coned breech and controlled round feeding (CRF), the Classic had the look, feel, and function of its revered forefather. It wasn’t an exact copy, however, and actually offered several improvements over the Pre-’64 action.

While it remains a measuring stick for all bolt-action rifles, the Pre-’64 Model 70 action wasn’t perfect.  Many expert rifleman agree one of the weak points of the original action was a lack of shooter protection against gas in the event of a ruptured case. The Classic action offers a significant improvement. Unlike the Pre-’64 action, the bolt body of the Classic Model 70 is drilled in two places to divert gases safely down into the magazine and has a gas block mounted to the extractor collar to prevent gas from entering the left lug raceway. This system is widely considered the best gas system of any Model 70, and offers the shooter unparalleled protection.

The Classic action also retained the anti-bind slot added to the right lug of all Model 70’s made after 1968. Obviously not found on the Pre-’64, this anti-bind slot assisted in reliable function and feeding and was considered an improvement over the original action. Combine this with the coned breech, massive claw extractor, and controlled round feeding, the Classic Model 70 action ensures smooth and reliable feeding a shooter can count on. As a testament to this, the Classic Model 70 was recently the only American made rifle to be recommended for the Zimbabwe Professional Hunter Proficiency Exam.

It is important to note here that during the infancy of the Winchester Short Magnums (WSM) and the Winchester Super Short Magnums (WSSM) there were some reported issues of feeding with these cartridges only. It’s my understanding that this issue was an easy fix for the factory or local gunsmith, and was remedied after the first production runs.

In addition to the above, another significant change was made with the new Classic. For the first time, a short-action CRF version designed for the .308 family of cartridges appeared. While the Pre-’64 Model 70 came in only one receiver length and used a bolt stop extension and magazine partition for smaller cartridges, the Classic offered a true short-action receiver reducing weight and length. Coupled with the Featherweight stock and 22″ barrel, these short-actions made a wonderful mountain rifle which proved easy to carry and handle.

The ultra-reliable trigger and often copied 3-position safety that helped make the Pre-’64 Model 70 famous remained on the Classic Model 70. Like most production rifles manufactured in today’s litigious society, the Classic was known for terribly heavy triggers out of the box. Fortunately, the simplicity of the Classic Model 70 trigger enabled owners to tweak and adjust their Model 70 to suit their needs.

During the 14 years of production, Winchester offered the Classic action in numerous variations ranging from the Safari Express to the stainless, synthetic-stocked Shadow Elite. Three versions, however, stood the test of time and deserve mention above the rest.

At the top of the Classic line was the Super Grade. Featuring a trim, sporter-style select walnut stock with black fore-end tip and cut checkering, the Super Grade was also fitted with an etched steel stock crossbolt and inletted swivel studs for a custom look. The Super Grade was available in a short or long action, and was fitted with a 24″ barrel except for magnum chamberings, which wore a 26″ barrel. Surprisingly, the Super Grade was priced within the reach of most riflemen. With an MSRP of $1036, the Super Grade could be found at most large retailers for prices in the $800 range depending on caliber.

For the traditionalist, Winchester offered the Sporter. Featuring a satin finished walnut stock with cut checkering and pistol grip, the Sporter had the classic lines that made the Model 70 famous. Like the Super Grade, the Sporter was offered in a short or long action and fitted with a 24″ or 26″ barrel depending on chambering. Finally, the Sporter was offered in right and left-hand versions.

At the heart of the Classic line was the Featherweight. Named “Bolt Action of the Century” by Shooting Times, the Featherweight is arguably one of the most attractive rifles ever manufactured. Featuring a light and trim satin finished walnut stock with a Schnable fore-end and cut checkering, the Featherweight was offered in either a short or long action. Until the introduction of the WSM calibers (which wore a 24″ barrel), all Featherweights were fitted with a heavily-tapered 22″ barrel. At the end of production, the Featherweight was also offered in a walnut-stocked stainless version.

In 2006, the Model 70 was set to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Unfortunately, the party never got started. On January 17th of 2006, USRA announced it would be closing the doors on the New Haven facility, ending production of the legendary Model 70 and Model 94 rifles (the Model 1300 shotgun was also discontinued).

After the announcement, many articles were written about the Model 70. Many gun writers, in retrospect, indicated they had seen the writing on the wall for the Model 70. In the later years of production, they had noticed a lack of fit and finish, accuracy issues, as well as other quality control problems. While I don’t doubt their experiences, I can only speak from my own.

I own five Classic Model 70’s; two are Sporters and three are Featherweights. All but one of these rifles was manufactured in the final years of New Haven production, with the lone exception being manufactured in the mid-1990s. Each of these rifles is wonderfully accurate with factory ammunition and has good fit and finish. The least accurate of the five is a Featherweight in .243 Winchester that averages 1.25″ 3-shot groups at 100 yards. The most accurate is a late-model Featherweight in .270 Winchester which consistently puts 3 shots into 0.5″ to 0.75″ groups with 150 grain Winchester Power Points and 130 grain Sierra Pro Hunter handloads. The other three rifles put three shots into 1″ groups all day long. Needless to say, I’m sold on the USRA Classic Model 70.

In October 2007, Fabrique Nationale of Belguim (FN), owner of Winchester Repeating Arms (WRA), announced that the Winchester Model 70 would be back. Using their U.S. military machine gun manufacturing facility in Columbia, South Carolina, FN began production on the new Model 70. While maintaining the Classic action, FN redesigned the trigger mechanism.   According to many reports, the new trigger mechanism is an improvement over the original design and is actually easier to adjust.  Since I haven’t adjusted one of these new triggers, I can’t comment on their ease of use.   

Initially offered in Super Grade, Featherweight Deluxe, and Sporter Deluxe models, the new Model 70 started arriving in stores in September of 2008 and carried a premium price tag. I’ve handled several and can say they are beautiful rifles, nearly indistinguishable from those made in New Haven.  According to Winchesters 2009 catalog, the Classic Model 70 will again be offered in non-deluxe Sporter and Featherweight versions, bringing the price down to what shooters were accustomed to prior to the announcement of the closure of the New Haven facility.

Regardless of where the Classic Model 70 is being manufactured, it’s sure to be a classic.

© Copyright 2009 by the Western Rifleman. All rights reserved.

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 10:30 pm  Comments (61)  
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  1. Seems as though there is an omission of the Winchester “Classic Super Express.” I’m looking at mine, numbered, G2218xxxC in 375H&H mag. It has “Classic Super Express” on the right side of the barrel, serial number on rt reciever below forward scope mount and “winchester Model 70 375 H&H MAG and on the next line, Made in New Haven,CT USA. The magazine floor plate reads SUPER EXPRESS.

    Do I need correction or is this a seperate type? I believe this was discontinued in 1998.

    Jerry Heegan

  2. You’re absolutely right, Jerry. The “Classic Super Express” would be considered one of the “Classic” post-1993 model 70’s. As far as I can tell, Winchester (USRA) actually introduced the “Super Express” in 1990 in .375 H&H Magnum and .458 Winchester Magnum. These rifles did not have the “Classic” action, and instead, were the push-feed design of all Models 70’s manufactured at that time. In 1994, when Winchester officially launched the return to the “post-’64 type” Classic, they started manufacturing the Super Express with the Classic action and it was renamed the “Classic Super Express.” In addition, Winchester began chambering this rifle for the .416 Remington Magnum in 1994.

    You are also correct that the last year of the Classic Super Express was 1998. In 1999, the Classic Super Express was replaced by the Classic Safari Express, which by all appearances was the same rifle with a different name. The Classic Safari Express was chambered for the same three calibers as the Classic Super Express – 375 H&H Magnum, .416 Remington Magnum, and .458 Winchester Magnum. One of the readers may be able to shed more light on the differences of the Classic Super Express and the Classic Safari Express other than the name, but unfortunately I cannot.

    While I failed to mention your particular variation (as well as many others), it’s important to note that any Winchester Model 70 with the “Classic” title will be equipped with a post-’64 type controlled round feed action. In my mind, your rifle would be desirable for several reasons. First, it was only manufactured with that labeling for 5 years (1994-1998). In addition, it was manufactured at a time in the history of the Classic where they were known for excellent fit and finish. I’d hang on to that one if I were you!

    I hope this answers your question – Thanks for reading, TWR

  3. Thank you for that prompt and informative reply. I think you are one of the few to get it right. I have 4 pre 64 70s and this is as nice a weapon as any. The Blue Book doesn’t have it right and several others seem to blur it in the mix. This was the last gasp for Winchester and the employee owned company was trying to do it right. They certainly produced a fine rifle in my Model 70.

    Again, many thanks and now that I know where you are, I shall tune in.

    Best,

    Jerry Heegan

  4. What is the purpose of the half safety on the safety catch? We have found that the under the belief of having pushed the safety forward to the offsafe position, that it is only the half way position and in this situation should one squeeze the trigger the rifle does not go off, but when you push the safety catch forward to the final position the rifle goes off without pulling the trigger. Has something gone wrong?

  5. Thanks for reading, Mark. In simple terms, the middle position of the Model 70 safety allows the bolt to be cycled while blocking the firing pin. This allows the user to unload the rifle with the safety on – this is different from the full safe position which blocks the firing pin and prevents the bolt from being opened. This full safe position is an advantage because when hunting in heavy brush, the bolt cannot accidentally be snagged and forced open. Two position safetys are only available in either a full safe (trigger and bolt blocked) or to that similar to the middle position of the Model 70 safety. Either one lacks the benefit of having the choice. Hope this helps – TWR

  6. Hello,
    I have recently purchased a Winchester Classic Super Express 375 H&H. Im very interested in the history of this rifle as it has never been fired and appears to be one of the custom built versions. My searches on this particular rifle reveal some anomalies and was hoping you may be able to assist.
    Details are as follow;
    Barrel code G63250
    Super Express engraved bottom mag hatch
    Barrel engraved “Classic Super Express”
    Pre 64 ejector
    Aduster Dietrich Apel express site
    Delux checkered walnut stock
    24″ barrel
    *Original owner is believed to requested customer build and is “uncataloged”

    Appreciate any assistance that you can offer.

    Regards Lyn

  7. Unfortunately, Lyn, I don’t think I can provide much for you. I can tell you that USRA only manufactured the “Classic Super Express” during the years of 1994-1998. In 1999, the “Classic Super Express” was dropped from the catalog for the “Classic Safari Express.” As far as I can tell, there isn’t any difference between the two rifles other than the name. It’s also unfortunate that USRA did not provide a serial number listing by year for these rifles – or at least I’ve never found one, and I’ve searched! Based on your description, your rifle appears to be a very typical example of the Classic Super Express line. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help – Thanks for reading, TWR.

  8. Thanks for the information, the previous owner (in the USA)said it had been custom made. Is this factual or was it just another one produced 94-98?
    Now for a curly one : Any idea of it’s value?
    Again, Thank You for the information, much appreciated,

    Regards Lyn.

  9. It’s very possible it was ordered through the custom shop, Lyn, but I really couldn’t be sure without seeing it. If you have the original box, it would more than likely say on the tag. As for the value – similar production grade Model 70 mint condition rifles are currently listed around $1500 – $1700 (American). I would guess a custom version would be worth more based on the level of refinement. I supposed the real key is that Winchester is no longer manufacturing a Model 70 “safari style” rifle and no one knows if they will again (UPDATE: As of January 2010, Winchester is again offering a Safari Model 70). Therefore the supply is limited and, as we say in the USA, it’s worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Hope that helps – TWR.

  10. My Grandfather recently passed and left his rifle to me. It’s a Winchester Model 70 300 H&H Magnum but also has the Weatherby 300 Magnum mark. Did Winchester and Weatherby ever do anything together? i appreciate any information you have thanks – Chris Jackson

  11. Thanks for reading, Chris. Based on your description, I’m making an educated guess that the rifle you own was originally chambered by Winchester for the .300 H&H cartridge. I’ve come to this conclusion because it has both markings and the chances of it being orginally chambered for .300 H&H far outweigh those of the .300 WBY MAG. I’m not sure I can answer your question of whether or not Winchester and Weatherby ever did anything jointly. I can say, that according to the Blue Book of Gun Values, the Classic Model 70 was chambered for .300 WBY MAG as a factory offering and was discontinued in 2000. It’s important to note, however, that rifle manufacturers commonly chamber their own rifles in competitors cartridges, so this isn’t indicative of any partnership. I hope this helps.. Thanks again for reading – TWR.

  12. DO YOU THINK A MODEL 70 FEATHERWEIGHT SERIAL #G207XXXX WOULD BE FROM 1992? TRYING TO GET AN IDEA OF ITS DATE. THANX, RIXROX

  13. SORRY, BUTCHERED MY OWN NAME ON LAST QUESTION, HERE IS ANOTHER FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, IN REGARDS TO A LATE MODEL NEW HAVEN MODEL 70 STAINLESS FEATHER, IF IT WAS A CUSTOM SHOP GUN IN ANY WAY WOULD IT BE STATED AS SUCH ON THE PACKAGING OR HAVE AN ENCLOSED LETTER?
    IE:HAS A REALLY NICE GRADE 3 STOCK, OR WAS THIS WHAT THEY CALLED THE DELUXE MODEL. THANX, RIMROX

  14. Thanks for reading, Rimrox. I’ll address both your questions in this response. As for the serial number, I really can’t give you a year. Unfortunately, USRA doesn’t provide a serial number listing by year. If it is not labeled on the barrel as a “Classic” Featherweight, I can tell you it was manufactured prior to 1994. As for the Stainless Featherweight, the box should have custom shop labeling if it was a custom shop gun. I have seen many Stainless Featherweights with excellent wood, and although I haven’t found anything specifically indicating that this model was supplied with a higher class of wood, it certainly seems possible this was the case. I’m sorry I can’t provide anything more specific. Maybe one of the readers could help shed some light. Thanks again and enjoy those Featherweights! – TWR

  15. I am thinking of buying a friend’s Winchester model 70 classic sporter 300 weatherby magnum that has the BOSS system. He said he purchased it in 1995. My question is: 1.Is this a factory produced rifle, or was it re-bored by a gunsmith? 2.If it is a factory produced rifle, why did Winchester discontinue making the model 70 in the 300 wby in 2000 as I learned by reading? Was there a problem with this round, or just lack of sales,etc.? I would like to make sure that I am not buying a rifle that is not “fit” for this high-power cartridge.

  16. Greetings,
    I left a comment a few months ago about my dad’s model 70 270 caliber, the situation was this, in 1973 we were hunting, I used it to fire at a deer, when engaging the bolt to extract and reload the bolt came all the way out and I was holding it in one hand and the rifle in the other, we did not use the rifle after that and it has not been used since, I would really like some input on this, we cannot see any kind of damage to it.

    Thanks
    Earl C

  17. Thanks for reading, Mike. You should be able to tell if this rifle was originally chambered in 300 WBY MAG by looking for that stamp on the side of the barrel in addition to the normal Winchester stamp and the name of the rifle (in this case “Classic Sporter”). There should be NO other markings indicating a different chambering. If it does, then the rifle has been rechambered. I can’t speak to why USRA discontinued the Model 70 in the 300 WBY MAG, but I can say with almost certainty that it would not be due to the rifle being “unfit” to handle that particular cartridge. It’s not at all uncommon for a manufacturer to chamber a model for a “special run” lasting for a couple years or less. Remington is a prime example of this, as they are currently offering a special run of the Model 700 in .257 WBY MAG. This seems to have been a common practice with Winchester and Remington concerning Weatherby catridges, probably due to limited demand (while excellent cartridges, they appeal to a niche of the population due to the limited availability and higher cost of Weatherby ammunition compared to other alternatives). Best of luck with that rifle – TWR.

  18. Thanks for reading, Earl. Based on your description, it appears to me that one of two things happened: (1) the bolt release button (the small blade-shaped button found directly opposite the safety on the rear of the action near the tang) was inadvertly pushed, allowing the bolt to come free, or (2) the bolt stop is broken and needs to be repaired. This is the most likely of the two issues and should be an easy fix for any gunsmith depending on the manufacture date of the rifle and if a replacement is required and available. I hope this helps – TWR.

  19. Thanks for the quick reply and the information regarding the winchester model 70 chambered in the .300 mby mag. with the BOSS. I recently discovered that this particular gun was manufactured only in 1996. Per your information, I checked out the stamping on the barrel and found that it reads: “Winchester Model 70 300 Weatherby Mag.” So, I believe this means that this gun is a genuine factory-produced rifle, and not a re-chambered Winchester, right? Thanks, Mike

  20. You’re welcome, Mike. Based on the barrel stamp, I’d say you can be almost 100% positive this rifle is the real deal. The only way it wouldn’t be is if the owner rebarreled the action with an original Winchester Model 70 300 Weatherby Mag barrel. I think the chances of that are pretty slim considering the barrel would be tough to come by. The only way to be 100% positive would be to match the original box (with serial number and description) to the rifle, and my guess is that’s not possible. My gut says that is an authentic Winchester Model 70 – and a rare one at that! Thanks for reading – TWR.

  21. Thanks for the information, TWR.
    The last question I have before making an offer on this rifle is this: can we obtain any further information on this rifle based on the serial number: G130***.(?) Thanks, Mike

  22. I don’t think we can, Mike. Unfortunately, USRA did not release any information that I’m aware of regarding serial numbers for the Classic Model 70 (and I’ve searched!). Based on what you’ve told me to this point, I think the rifle you’re looking at is the real deal. Good luck with that rifle, it sounds like a perfect elk gun. Let me know how it shoots! Thanks again for reading – TWR.

  23. I’ve got a Winchester mod70 Classic Featherweight 308win serial number G282650. When would this have been made?

  24. Unfortunately, USRA doesn’t provide a serial number listing by year so I’m not able to tell you when your rifle was manufactured. I can make an educated guess that it was manufactured in the late 1990’s, but that’s only a guess. I’m sorry I can’t be more help. Thanks for reading – TWR.

  25. I have a new 2009 model 70 featherweight 7mm08 and I have two questions.
    The barrel on my new 7mm08 seems to heat up even after just a couple rounds. Trying to zero was a all day affair. Have you heard anything on these barrels? I have an old 270 feather and it does not do that.
    The new 70 has a adjustable trigger. I was wondering how I might adjust it? I adjust my old 70 easy.

  26. I own a Model 70 30-06 New Haven Conn. U.S.A Winchester Proof Steel. Serial number G2069678. Wondering how much this fire arm is worth? And when would it have been made?

  27. Thanks for reading, George. Unfortunately, there is no listing of manufacturing dates for US Repeating Arms by serial number. As for its value, you can check gunbroker.com for values of Model 70’s in .30 ’06. Considering someone could buy a brand new Model 70 in .30 ’06 for $699, my guess is you’d be looking at somewhere under that. Then again, as the saying goes… it’s worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Best of luck – TWR

  28. Thanks for reading, Earl. Unfortunately, I can’t offer much on the new barrels as I haven’t fired a South Carolina made Model 70. Depending on what year you other featherweight was made, it’s possible it had a heavier barrel compared to your newer rifle. As for the new trigger, my understanding is it is a very simple adjustment – similar to the trigger found on a Kimber 84 or Kimber 22 – with only one screw found just above the trigger. Good luck – TWR.

  29. I have a Winchester 300 Win. Mag. Classic Sporter with a serial number G351XXX. Do you have a “general” idea of its approximate date of manufacture?
    Thank You
    Vince
    PS
    Great web. site!

  30. I have a great Winchester pre 64 mod. 70 220 swift. I would say it is in at least 90% condition. It has not been shot that often and I was wondering about its approximate value it has its original period Weaver 10K scope mounted with Weaver rings and bases.
    Besides an approximate value, I have heard stories that the barrel life of a 220 swift was rather short!?
    this barrel looks pretty good/clean with great lands and grooves. Would I be better of NOT using it?
    Thanks
    Vince

  31. Thanks for reading, Vince. Let’s start with your Classic Sporter in .300 Winchester Magnum. Based on the serial number, I would say it was manufactured in the late 1990’s. It’s really unfortunate there isn’t a serial number listing by year for USRA Model 70’s and we have to guess. I can tell you all of my Late model 70’s (purchased around the closing of the New Haven manufacturing facility in 2006) are in the G2000XXX range. Considering this, and the fact that the Classic line started in 1994, I think 1997-1999 is a good guess. As for your Pre-’64 220 Swift, I wish I had one! According to Roger Rule’s “The Rifleman’s Rifle” (which is the definitive source on the Pre-’64 Model 70), Winchester produced 19,934 Model 70’s chambered for the 220 Swift. While not the rarest of all, it’s certainly a rifle that many people would like to own – especially in that condition. In regards to barrel life, there is no question that the 220 Swift is a hot round. That doesn’t mean, however, you shouldn’t shoot your rifle. Most barrels will outlast the average shooter as long as some precautions are taken. First, it’s important to let the barrel completely cool between groups and, secondly, make sure the rifle is cleaned regularly after each session. Considering the stated condition of your rifle, I wouldn’t have any issues with shooting it as long as I didn’t plan on putting thousands of rounds down the tube! Enjoy those rifles – TWR.

  32. Great information. Just stumbled upon your website this evening and enjoyed reading the information.

    I have a Winchester Model 70 Classic Super Grade 30-06 with the Boss System on it. I have never completely warmed to the idea of having the boss on such a beautiful rifle. Recently I found a classic super grade barrel in .270 win. I am thinking of switching the 270 barrel. And picking up a non boss classic super grade in 06. In researching my decision I came across several posts that unfavorable to the 90’s era classic model 70s.

    Are they Classic 70’s really substandard to the ones made in South Carolina?

    Am I nuts for changing out the barrels?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  33. Thanks for reading, Kevin. First off, the 90’s era Classics are known for excellent fit and finish – It is the last years of the New Haven manufacturing (Around 2006) that generally receive the bad press. With that said, I have two of these late rifles and they are both my best shooting Model 70’s. Go figure. As for changing the barrels, my suggestion would be to trade the BOSS rifle for non-BOSS instead of spending the money to rebarrel the other. Hope that helps! TWR

  34. excellent site, keep up the good work.

  35. Hello,

    I just purchased, from a private individual, a Model 70. I can’t seem to locate ant info on this particular rifle. The serial number is: G2370021

    The sticker on the box says:
    7mm Rem Mag., 26″ Barrel

    I have no idea what variant of Model 70 this is. It has a black composite stock, enclosed magazine. I’m not even sure of how many rounds it takes or the proper ammo to buy!

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    John

  36. …..also – it was new in the box and I gave $380 for it. Did I get hurt??

    Thanks – John

  37. Thanks for reading, John. It sounds like you purchased a “Black Shadow” Model 70. This was a USRA made rifle with a push feed action (not the controlled round feed found on the “Classic” Model 70’s), and was considered the “economy” offering for the Model 70 line at the time (the last cataloged year was 2003). I’m not exactly sure what their current value is, but my guess is it is worth just about what you paid for it. The original MSRP on the Black Shadow was around $550, so they probably sold for around $400 when they were being offered.

    If it’s new in the original box, it should be chambered for the 7mm Remington Magnum cartridge since that’s what is listed. To be safe, however, you should look on the side of the barrel and it will have a stamp of the chambering. It should read: 7MM REM MAG. If it doesn’t, then you don’t have the original box, or the rifle has been rechambered, or possibly even rebarreled. That would be rare, so I’m guessing it will read 7MM REM MAG. If it doesn’t, I would take it to a reputable gunstore to have someone check it out since the box isn’t matching. If it is a 7mm Remington Magnum, the magazine capacity on this rifle is 3 cartridges.

    The 7mm Remington Magnum is one of the most popular cartridges in the United States so you shouldn’t have any issue finding ammunition for it. Any Wal-Mart should carry several different different brands of ammo. I would buy a couple offerings, go to the range, and see which one your rifle likes best – then stick with it! I hope this helps – TWR.

  38. TRW,

    Thanks for the prompt and informative reply. I did bringthe rifle to a

  39. TRW,

    Thanks for the prompt and informative reply!

    I did bringthe rifle to a reputable gun dealer and he concurs with you. He called it Walmart rifle – not that that’s a bad thing. I guess they saved some money not using a hardwood stock and perhaps the feed action issue you mentioned. Speaking of which – would you please explain the difference?

    He went on to say that it will shoot just as good as a non-economy model. “Shoot it like you stole it” were his exact words.

    Is there anything in particular I should be concerned about regarding it’s “economic status” (economy model)?

    I see that the 7mm magnum rounds are pretty expensive. I’m not a hunter but like to target shoot. Is there ant alternative round I could use that won’t foul the rifle? A “short”, non-magnum of some sort perhaps?

    The gun store owner sold me a box of PRVI PARTIZAN, after I told him I was just going to target shoot. They seem to be the cheapest around anywhere.

    Thanks again!

    John

  40. TRW:

    I just purchased a new Win Model 70 Super Grade in .270–very nice gun; beautiful wood. The inletted (flush) sling swivel base will not take a standard Uncle Mike’s sling swivel (or any other type I’ve tried) without tearing up the wood. Too tight a fit. Someone told me Winchester has (or used to have?) specially made sling swivels made for the inletted (flush, recessed) bases in the Super Grade. Is this so? I need some sort of sling swivels which fit so that I don’t have to modify the stock or gun. Any thoughts?

  41. John, there is no alternative round to shoot in your rifle. You should ONLY chamber and fire 7mm Remington Magnum rounds. As for the “economy” status, there shouldn’t be any concerns. Enjoy it! Thanks for reading, TWR.

  42. Thanks for reading, George. I have searched, but I cannot find any sling swivels that are manufactured specifically for the Super Grade. I wonder if the bases were fitted too tightly to the stock, as they should take any standard sling swivel. I’m sorry I can’t be more help – maybe one of the readers is able to shed more light on the situation… TWR

  43. I recently picked up a Winchester Mod 70 -300 win mag serial number G1062517. Do you know the approx date of manufacture and price
    Thanks
    Jeff
    PS Great web site

  44. Thanks for reading, Jeff. Unfortunately, USRA never released a record of serial numbers by year so I’m not able to give you a date. Thanks for reading – TWR.

  45. I have a 1994 mfg. CRF Mod. 70 Super Express in 416 RM, ser. G64XXX made in New Haven, CT. I believe it may be rare and valuable, as the barrel does NOT have the stamping Classic Super Express anywhere on it, just:

    – WINCHESTER Model 70 416 Rem. Mag. –
    —– MADE IN NEW HAVEN, CT USA —–

    The floorplate is stamped: SUPER EXPRESS, and the bolt is jeweled with a blued extractor.

    Have you heard of or seen this iteration, even in a different caliber? And what might be the value of such a rare and different rifle in excellent+ condition?

  46. Thanks for reading, J.W. While I haven’t seen this particular configuration, my guess is there are two possible scenarios. As you may know, 1994 was the introduction of the .416 Rem Mag in the Super Express, and it is quite possible that the original barrels were not stamped with “Classic Super Express”. If I had to bet, this would be my guess. Since you didn’t indicate if you were the original purchaser of this rifle, the only other scenario I can think of would be that the rifle was rebarreled with a Winchester factory barrel. I doubt this is the case, but it would make sense if the first scenario was wrong.

    As for the value, as the saying goes…”it’s worth what someone would pay you for it.” Since the CRF Model 70’s are being manufactured again, the rush has slowed down. With that said, I think that rifle will have considerable value moving forward, regardless of the barrel markings.

    Hope that helps – TWR.

  47. I’m considering purchasing a 375 H&H Super Express with serial no G63075. It does not have the clasic Winchester stock which has straight lines at the back. This one has a cheak piece and has a very definite drop just before the recoil pad. Can you please give me any information on this model eg period of manufacture, type of feed, why the stock is different and how much I should be willing to pay for it.
    Iv’e searched the web but can’t find info on this model. I can send a photo if you’re interested.

  48. Thanks for reading, Reg. Winchester started using a G in front of the serial number in 1968 starting with G873,695. There are some examples of numbers below this so it makes it difficult to date, although we know it’s after 1968. Please see the following link and the picture as I believe this may be an example of the rifle you are speaking of which is referred to as a “Post-64″ Model 70. — http://www.wisnersinc.com/additional_info/Winchesterpost_64_M70.htm — The early Post-’64 guns (up until the early 1970’s) are generally thought of as the least desirable of all Model 70’s. It’s tough to put a value on this rifle as I haven’t seen it, but if it is one of these early post-64 guns, I’d say around $400-$500. I hope that helps – TWR.

  49. Quick question, I’ve heard the 35AMN*** serial# are the ones produced/assemble in MA, the 35AMO*** serial# were manfactured in MA and assemble in SC and the 35AMP*** serial# are the first to be produced/assembled in SC, is this correct?? If so, I’ve been looking for a Super Grade in 35AMP*** serial# and have been unable to find one. Thanks

  50. Hello from Adelaide,South Australia.
    I am the proud owner of a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight Classic Stainless Synthetic in .270Win. that I purchased New in about 1996.
    Serial No. G165331.
    I’m just wondering how many of these Model 70’s were actually produced,as I have read that they were only made for a couple of years.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Thankyou.
    Sincerely,
    Wayne von Sanden.

  51. Thanks for reading, Kevin. Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to your question. I can tell you that anything produced in SC will have the Winchester Repeating Arms stamp (Morgan, UT). I hope that helps – TWR

  52. I was wondering if someone could help me find a magazine for my winchester model 70 243 sporter.Any lead would be appreciated ty Jim

  53. Hi,

    A very good site, much useful information, but never the less: I have a Winchester .458 Win Mag Super Express, serial number G19728XX. I have searched the web for the correct manufacturing year but hard to find. I think it is from 91 or 91. Made in New Haven, Conn is also stamped on the left side of the barrel.
    So what year? Thanks in advance!//Claes

  54. In reference to your post; I can tell you all of my Late model 70′s (purchased around the closing of the New Haven manufacturing facility in 2006) are in the G2000XXX range. …..I’m curious, as I have a Model 70 Classic Stainless, with a serial number of G3015840. Surely they didn’t produce over a million model 70’s before closing? Any insight you have would be appreciated
    Scott

  55. In an earlier post, you mentioned the following:
    ” I can tell you all of my Late model 70′s (purchased around the closing of the New Haven manufacturing facility in 2006) are in the G2000XXX range. ”
    I recently purchased a featherweight stainless in 270 (walnut stock, Schnabel fore-end), with a serial number of G3015840, made in New Haven, also close to the closing, but I’m confused regardging the jump in the serial number (a million, plus units?). Can you provide any insight? Thank you

  56. Good day, I am looking at a Model 70 Westerner, in 243. S/NG156******. This place the rifle in thr circa 1974 year of production. The rifle does not have a drop plate mag, rounds have to recycled, to clear the mag of live rounds. Hence the 1/2 saftey. What are your thoughts on the build quality, bullet preformance and a fair market price?
    Best regards,
    Ranger 39

  57. Thanks for reading, Wayne. My apologies for taking so long to get back to you. I have reasearched and I am unable to find how many of the stainless featherweights were produced in New Haven. At one time, Winchester kept very good records by serial number and model type. While I’m assuming they still do, unfortunately, that information is not available to outsiders. I can tell you that there were far more blued rifles manufactured and sold in the classic featherweight than in the stainless version. Sorry I couldn’t be more help – TWR.

  58. Thanks for reading, Jim. I would call Midway USA or visit them online at http://www.midwayusa.com. If they don’t hae it, I’m sure they can point you in the right direction. Good luck – TWR.

  59. Thanks for reading, Claes. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you the year based on serial number for later made rifles. I can tell you if it is a push-feed model it was maded prior to 1994. Hope that helps – TWR.

  60. Thanks for reading, Scott. The rifles I was referring to in that post were blued model 70’s. While I’m not positive, my best guess is that Winchester started the stainless models with a different set of serial numbers. This is something they did over the years when introducing new variations, and I’m 99.9% positive this is the case with the stainless versions. It would make sense for them to start in the 3000000 range since it was a long way off from the blued versions. I think it’s reasonable to guess that your rifle is possibly the 15,840th made in the stainless variation. Take this all with a grain of salt, because it is only my best guess based on my experiences with Winchester and their numbering system. Sorry I can’t provide more help – TWR.

  61. Thanks for reading, Ranger. I actually purchased a rifle very similar to the one you’re describing about 10 months ago. I have a .243 Westerner with a blind magazine and a 22″ barrel and it was also built in the mid to late 1970’s. I paid $380 dollars for mine (in Colorado) and that included an original vintage Weaver 2-7x that was on the rifle. It was in very good condition. I would say, depending on the condition of the rifle and your location (which appears to be Canada), fair market price would be in $350-$400 (US) range. As for build quality, Model 70’s built in that era are very well made and have a excellent reputation. In regards to bullet performance, the .243 winchester is an excellent round for deer, pronghorn, and varmints. It is a little on the light side for the larger deer, but certainly adequate if shot placement is good and proper bullets are used. I’d start with a few different brands in 100 gr. bullets and find something she likes. I hope that helps – TWR.


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