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Old May 05, 2012, 01:36   #1
wthurman
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Interesting Rare Find- What Do You Think?

I bought this rifle a couple of days ago. It'll be a safe queen. Near mint condition pre-64 Winchester Model 70 in 300 H&H Magnum. Serial number shows the rifle to have been built in 1950. Having the box, hang tag, and owner's manual is a serious plus.















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Old May 05, 2012, 07:14   #2
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What a score!!!

I'm amazed that such a thing could still be found.
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Old May 05, 2012, 08:13   #3
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Beautiful rifle! And truly a rare find. Love the big bore caliber too.
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Old May 05, 2012, 10:19   #4
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That is quite a find!

Interesting cal. marking on the barrel as the .300 Win. Mag. hadn't come out yet.
Except for the caliber that rifle is the spitting image of my "Thurty-ought six", produced the same year. I have a real fondness for "pre-64" Winchesters, wish I had a couple dozen of them.

Too bad about your rifle being so pristine. I prefer them just slightly used, like fired once, so I don't feel guilty when I shoot them.

That's a rare rifle in any condition. Congrats and thanks for sharing.
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Old May 05, 2012, 11:48   #5
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That is quite a find!

Interesting cal. marking on the barrel as the .300 Win. Mag. hadn't come out yet.
Except for the caliber that rifle is the spitting image of my "Thurty-ought six", produced the same year. I have a real fondness for "pre-64" Winchesters, wish I had a couple dozen of them.

Too bad about your rifle being so pristine. I prefer them just slightly used, like fired once, so I don't feel guilty when I shoot them.

That's a rare rifle in any condition. Congrats and thanks for sharing.
Does yours have the 26" barrel? I understand that's not common though is standard on the magnums. As for the barrel markings, I agree with your thoughts. There was probably no need to mark it "H&H" as the .300 Winchester had yet to be and the Weatherby cartridge was, I believe, proprietary at that time and only available in Weatherby's rifles.

I'd like to buy one to shoot and in the .30-06 caliber- but this is not the one. This one sits, it'll get a bit of maintenance and care, but it won't be fired (unless I run one round through it just to make sure everything works). I'll sell it one of these days, but that day is 20 years away. This one is an investment and a respected piece of American shooting history.

I don't know that this rifle has ever been fired other than the factory proof firing. It's so clean it's obvious it's never been in the bush or hunted. I wish I knew more about its history.

Last edited by wthurman; May 05, 2012 at 12:02.
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Old May 05, 2012, 12:29   #6
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Jackpot!! Man that was a great score, beautiful rifle looks exactly like the Safari Grade Model 70 in 308 that I once owned some years ago. I bought it in 94 slightly used as the fellow had shot it once during the first fall season after his purchase years before.
It was also still in the box as well but by far not as nice as the one you scored. I think the 30-06 Safari Grade Mod 70 was a little rarer than the 308 and demanded a higher price or it could have been the other way around can't remember. Anyway I paid $300.00 his asking price for it and then sold it 2 years later for $900.00 at a gun show to a collector dealer.
Regrets, wish I had'nt sold that rifle. So are you gonna take it on a Tiger or Griz hunt or have'nt you decided at this point what your gonna use it on?

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Old May 05, 2012, 13:27   #7
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Jackpot!! Man that was a great score, beautiful rifle looks exactly like the Safari Grade Model 70 in 308 that I once owned some years ago. I bought it in 94 slightly used as the fellow had shot it once during the first fall season after his purchase years before.
It was also still in the box as well but by far not as nice as the one you scored. I think the 30-06 Safari Grade Mod 70 was a little rarer than the 308 and demanded a higher price or it could have been the other way around can't remember. Anyway I paid $300.00 his asking price for it and then sold it 2 years later for $900.00 at a gun show to a collector dealer.
Regrets, wish I had'nt sold that rifle. So are you gonna take it on a Tiger or Griz hunt or have'nt you decided at this point what your gonna use it on?

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007
This is a special rifle- more a part of history than a shooter. This piece is 62 years old; it will never see a day in the field and will probably never again be fired. Winchester's .308 was not introduced until 1952, two years after this particular rifle was built. If you bought your Model 70 slightly used in 1994, it is highly unlikely that the rifle was a pre-64 though it may have been. Any Winchester rifle with a serial number higher than 581471 is not a pre-64 rifle.

There was never a "Safari Grade" pre-64 made, to my knowledge. There was a "Super Grade" made which had a sling swivel similar to the now commonly known Quick Take-Down type only they were about ˝" wide at the base. The bows were made of a crude casting. Very late SG guns & factory replacement parts, used a narrower base that is compatible with the common QD bases. The magazine cover has "SUPER GRADE" stamped in the outside of the cover. The front sight was a Redfield sourdough. Wood was a higher grade than was found on the standard grade guns. There was a grip cap on these versions.

There was also an Alaskan Grade pre-64 which was available in both .338 Winchester Magnum and .375 H&H Magnum calibers. The African was only available in .458 Winchester Magnum.

The pre-64 Model 70 has an interesting and varied history and your rifle may well have been one.

Um, tigers are endangered. Don't even think about shooting one unless it's come down to you or the tiger. The .300 H&H Magnum is not enough gun for bear- for that, buy a .338 WM or .375 H&H. Hunt- and shoot- responsibly.
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Old May 05, 2012, 15:02   #8
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Almost 20 years ago I found a minty pre-64 Model 70 Westerner chambered for the .264 Magnum round. It had the 26 inch barrel and the receiver was drilled and tapped for scope mounts. The owner had received it as a X-mas gift and had only put 40 rounds through it. He never did get around to going out West to hunt antelope like he wanted to. So he offered the rifle complete with Redfield scope bases and rings fitted with an Unertl Vulture 6X telescopic sight to me. I was expecting it to cost around $1000 but it could be had for only $600. I bought the rifle and put it away in the safe. But it didn't stay there very long. I told a fellow shooter what I had and he just had to have it. So I sold it without ever firing it. If it had been anything but a .264 I might have kept it. Just too oddball a cartridge for my tastes.

And so it goes and so it did without a regret.


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Old May 05, 2012, 16:56   #9
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Originally Posted by wthurman View Post
This is a special rifle- more a part of history than a shooter. This piece is 62 years old; it will never see a day in the field and will probably never again be fired. Winchester's .308 was not introduced until 1952, two years after this particular rifle was built. If you bought your Model 70 slightly used in 1994, it is highly unlikely that the rifle was a pre-64 though it may have been. Any Winchester rifle with a serial number higher than 581471 is not a pre-64 rifle.

There was never a "Safari Grade" pre-64 made, to my knowledge. There was a "Super Grade" made which had a sling swivel similar to the now commonly known Quick Take-Down type only they were about ˝" wide at the base. The bows were made of a crude casting. Very late SG guns & factory replacement parts, used a narrower base that is compatible with the common QD bases. The magazine cover has "SUPER GRADE" stamped in the outside of the cover. The front sight was a Redfield sourdough. Wood was a higher grade than was found on the standard grade guns. There was a grip cap on these versions.

There was also an Alaskan Grade pre-64 which was available in both .338 Winchester Magnum and .375 H&H Magnum calibers. The African was only available in .458 Winchester Magnum.

The pre-64 Model 70 has an interesting and varied history and your rifle may well have been one.

Um, tigers are endangered. Don't even think about shooting one unless it's come down to you or the tiger. The .300 H&H Magnum is not enough gun for bear- for that, buy a .338 WM or .375 H&H. Hunt- and shoot- responsibly.
So many guns, so little time! Sir you are correct about the model. Had to reboot my not so sharp memory banks and look at some pics on the web to recall, however I digress I don't recall all the details. If my memory serves me correctly it was a Winchester Model 70, Pre-64, Featherweight in .308

The lightened version of the standard Model 70, with aluminum trigger guard and floor plate, walnut Monte Carlo stock, drilled and tapped for scope mount, and had the solid bolt handle made in 52 to early 53. At any rate it was a darn fine rifle and looked similar to yours.

As for the tiger & Griz hunting I was only kidding of course, and If I were to even consider Griz hunting it certainly wouldn't be with anything less than .338WM including a very experienced backup. I value my hide to much only to end up as bear scat!
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Old May 05, 2012, 16:59   #10
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Latest Blue Book price for 100% probably does not enter into it. I would not be surprised if something like that went 2X BB. Nice pick-up.

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Old May 05, 2012, 19:42   #11
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Does yours have the 26" barrel? I understand that's not common though is standard on the magnums.
Mine has the standard 24" barrel, same as all M70's then in calibers .22 Hornet, 250 Savage,.270 win, 30-06, 7MM (7X57 Mauser), .257 Roberts. The .375 H&H had a 25" barrel and the .220 Swift and .300 H&H had 26" barrels.

Your rifle was a "Standard Model" and priced at $109.50, unless it was ordered with a Lyman 48 WJS which increased the price to $123.25. The "Super Grade" sold for $162.50.

Weatherby was building gaudy-looking rifles on an assortment of actions including military and commercial 98 Mauser actions, also Win M 70.

I had the chance to buy a M 70 in .22 Hornet for $600 at one time. Unfortunate, but that was about $500 more than I had to my name at the time.
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Old May 06, 2012, 07:30   #12
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Beautiful rifle.

My first centerfire rifle was a Winchester M70 in .30-06, and I've always had a fondness for them. Someday, I shall own a pre-64!

I congratulate you on an awesome score!
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Old May 06, 2012, 17:29   #13
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That is quite a find!

Interesting cal. marking on the barrel as the .300 Win. Mag. hadn't come out yet.
Except for the caliber that rifle is the spitting image of my "Thurty-ought six", produced the same year. I have a real fondness for "pre-64" Winchesters, wish I had a couple dozen of them.

Too bad about your rifle being so pristine. I prefer them just slightly used, like fired once, so I don't feel guilty when I shoot them.

That's a rare rifle in any condition. Congrats and thanks for sharing.
No, He said its in 300 H&H Magnum totally different cartridge.
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Old May 06, 2012, 18:32   #14
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No, He said its in 300 H&H Magnum totally different cartridge.
You have misunderstood my meaning and I probably could have worded it better, but it made sense to me at the time.
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Old May 06, 2012, 18:36   #15
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You have misunderstood my meaning and I probably could have worded it better, but it made sense to me at the time.
... I got it... And given I am about as smart as a block of concrete I think that says something...
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Old May 07, 2012, 12:20   #16
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Congrats. That is as classy a plains game as you will ever find.
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Old May 07, 2012, 19:11   #17
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WOW!

That's a once in a lifetime find, well at least where we are in 2012!

Good job!
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Old May 10, 2012, 18:01   #18
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Absolutely beautiful rifle! Those pre-64's are like nothing else. A buddie's dad has one that he bought new back in the 50's in .257 Roberts. I've asked him a few times if he would ever part with it and he just smiles.

Mainer, I got your post too.
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