Gun Tests Magazine Gives an ‘A’ Grade to the Winchester Model 70.
In the consumer product-testing world, the opinions of magazines like Consumer Reports rightfully carry plenty of weight. These publications accept no advertising, buy their test samples right off the retail shelf just like you do, compare those products on head-to-head tests and pull no punches when it comes to praising or panning the products. This type of testing is about as objective as you can get. In the shooting world, Gun Tests Magazinefollows this proven formula.
Recently Gun Tests pitted three popular lightweight bolt-action rifles chambered in 308 Winchester. Along with the classic Winchester Model 70 Featherweight, the test guns were the Savage 11/111 Lightweight Hunter and the Mossberg 4X4. At the end of the extensive testing, the Winchester Model 70 walked away with an ‘A’ rating.
The Gun Tests editors were instantly attracted to the quality of Model 70’s handsome walnut stock, and its pleasing lines, Schnabel fore-end and the border treatment on the checkering, which they described as “…near perfection… .” Other adjectives the editors used in describing the Model 70 were”…superlative...” and “…flawless… .”
The testers also noted the Model 70’s Pre-’64 style controlled round feeding which totally controls the movement of the cartridge from the moment it clears the magazine feed lips until it’s ejected after firing. That’s why the Model 70 has been and remains the preferred bolt-action rifle of knowledgeable dangerous game hunters around the globe.
In the accuracy department, the Model 70 more than held its’ own. Excluding one lot of ammo the editors duly noted as being of dubious accuracy, the Model 70 put all its shots into tight groups averaging a bit over a minute of angle, with some groups well under the one MOA standard, and that with standard factory hunting grade ammo. That’s mighty fine performance for a thin-barreled sporter.
Serious riflemen often draw comparisons to Model 70s from earlier eras, and in this the Gun Tests editors found themselves in good company. “This is as close to the old classic pre-’64 Winchester Model 70 as we’ve seen, with three exceptions,” noted Gun Test. “One, the metal polish and finishing were the best we’ve ever seen on a Model 70 of any vintage. Two, the stock design, finish and checkering were far better than in the old days. And three, the barrel is free floated.” In summation, the editors stated that, “In fact, we could not fault this rifle. … If we didn’t already own all the 308s we need, we’d own this one… .”
As from the first one off the line, the Winchester Model 70 is The Rifleman’s Rifle.