*Model 70 -- The Bolt Action Rifle of the Century,
When contemplating the purchase of a new high power hunting rifle, you may think that they are all pretty much the same. After all, a bolt-action is a bolt-action, and a lever is a lever. Certainly, they couldn't have changed so much during the years — or could they? Take the Winchester Model 70. It's been around since 1937. You're familiar with its famous 3-position safety, its inherent out-of-the-box accuracy, and it's legend as the "Rifleman's Rifle." Perhaps your dad had one, or your buddy took that big buck with a Model 70 back in 1982. But what is it that makes today's Model 70 the rifle for today's rifleman?
Here's a complete update on the Model 70. We are not going to discuss any other brand, or compare it to any other Model. It stands on its own merits, and for a rifle to remain in the line for 75 years is an accomplishment on its own.
Today's Model 70 is truly the rifle America loves. Watch these two videos and you'll know exactly why the Model 70 is called "The Rifleman's Rifle."
Links to other Model 70 information and specifications:
Here are more details on the legendary Model 70 design.
The Model 70 still has the famous 3-position safety which is convenient to operate with the thumb of your firing hand, lifting the firing pin away from the sear. When the safety is in the intermediate or middle position, the action can still be operated, allowing unfired cartridges to be cycled with the safety on. It's smooth to engage and easily identifies the safety status of the rifle.
A blade-type ejector gives you full control when ejecting a fired case. If you pull the bolt back slowly, the empty case doesn't fly anywhere, so you can catch it in your hand and the case is not damaged as it hits the ground. If you pull the bolt back quickly, it ejects the cartridge with more force, throwing it well clear of the action.
The forged steel receiver starts as a forged from a solid block of steel. (What could be stronger?) This is expensive to do, but the regal Model 70 is worth it. Each finished forging is precisely machined, creating a strong, stiff and solid receiver that resists flexing and delivers uncanny accuracy. The bottom profile of this receiver is flat to offer greater surface area for bedding. It is bedded with a two-part epoxy in two places, at the front and rear to keep things from shifting around inside the stock during firing. Why all this trouble and time? So pinpoint accuracy is preserved.
If there were a single feature responsible for the Model 70 being known as the "Bolt-Action Rifle of the Century," it would be the classic Controlled Round Feed (CRF) bolt design. This is a massive claw extractor that smoothly slips onto and secures about one-quarter of the base of the cartridge. This exerts full control over the cartridge from the time it leaves the magazine, as it enters the chamber, gripping tightly until the cartridge is fully ejected. This design also allows an unfired cartridge to be extracted even if it is not yet fully chambered. It's another feature found on the Model 70.
Most rifles have a recoil lug that is installed between the barrel and the action, much like a washer on a bolt. It is a metal piece that extends below the receiver and fits into a matching recess in the stock. It helps spread out the hammering effects of recoil across a wider surface so the rifle won't be damaged. The recoil lug in the Model 70 is not added during assembly. It's forged and machined as part of the receiver. This allows the barrel to be trued in perfect alignment to the front ring of the receiver for greater accuracy. There is nothing to move or shift the barrel out of alignment, ever.
A rifle is not worth a grain of powder if its barrel is junk, either from inferior steel, poor workmanship or poor fit. If you know how serious a rifle barrel is to accuracy, do a little research on Cold Hammer-Forged, Free-Floating Barrels. Every Model 70 barrel is cold hammer-forged from a solid blank of high-grade steel, shaped by heavy, massive rotary hammers over a mandrel (a metal bar that serves as a core around which steel is forged and shaped). After this, each barrel is stressed-relieved to ensure accuracy stays straight, even during the heat of rapid firing. Free-floating a barrel in the stock means no part of the forearm area touches the barrel. The slightest pressure from the forearm as it cradles the barrel can adversely influence accuracy. Try pulling a dollar bill under your current rifle's barrel. Does it slip all the way to the receiver without hangup? If not, you're missing the accuracy of the Model 70's free-floating barrel, and probably missing your target, too!
You can expect 1 MOA accuracy for three-shot groups from a Model 70 using premium ammo and quality optics under suitable weather and range conditions.
Best of all, the Winchester Model 70 is built in the USA, just as it has been for more than 70 years!