Winchester Model 70?

Discussion in 'Modern Firearms' started by ptbrauch, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. ptbrauch

    ptbrauch 12 pointer

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    Is this an issue, or just how it's designed? I got a new one this year, first time owning one, and notice the safety is very stiff when trying to move it from fire to the middle position. It takes way more effort to move it into "safe" than I ever would've thought would be designed into a gun.

    But it's very easy going from the middle position back to "full safe" where the bolt is locked--like I expect it would be. It's got a noticeable lock in that position, but the switch will lock back a hair further, though it will move out of that far back position with the slightest touch. And when it's in that far back position, I can see some sort of pin expose itself that looks like it's part of the bolt lock. But when it moves forward that partial position, the pin retracts to where I can't see it. It's as if the safety has 3.1 positions instead of just 3.

    The other issue I've encountered with it is that the safety won't move to the fire position if the bolt handle is not all the way down. If it's upturned more than about 25%, the safety won't budge. I found this out the hard way as I couldn't figure out why the safety was stuck as I watched through the scope at the deer walking away. It wasn't until they were gone and I started looking at what happened that discovered that was the cause. You can't see the bolt position when the gun is shouldered. None of my other guns do this. Both my Savages and Rugers will let me take off the safety with the bolt all the way up.

    So are these issues with this gun that should be checked out, or is this how Winchester designed them?
     
  2. riverboss

    riverboss 12 pointer

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    Only owned one model 70 I didn't care for the safety and it didn't shoot very good so I got rid of it.
    Lots of new guns are going that route I just like a single push on and off.
     
  3. ptbrauch

    ptbrauch 12 pointer

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    That's the one good thing about it--it will shoot! But I definitely don't care for the safety.
     
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  4. woodsman92

    woodsman92 8 pointer

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    I have a model 70 I bought new about 15 years ago. The safety works the way you described. From intermediate to fire is easy but coming back from fire to safe is hard. And the bolt has to be all the way down for safety to function
     
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  5. RLWEBB

    RLWEBB 12 pointer

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    Let’s see what @JDMiller has to say. He’s a Model 70 guy and has had some great success with his.
     
  6. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

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    PT... in my opinion from what you described it’s working as the 3 position safety is supposed to. I’ll also add the safety on mine was really stiff from 2nd position safety to fire position for a while but after 9 years of shooting & hunting... its smoothed out a bunch. You still feel a little resistance but nowhere near the force when it was new.

    Which I was accustomed to a Remington 700 safety after hunting nearly 30 years with one, so the 3 position took me awhile to get use to it. Now It’s pretty much 2nd nature and I honestly like it.

    As 1st position (full safe) locks the bolt so if the bolt handle hangs on you clothes or brush while slung over your shoulder, the bolt won’t Accidentally fall open and eject a shell. As I’ve had that happen before with the 700. The 2nd position is still safe.. firing pin blocked but you can manipulate the bolt without going to fire position. This position allows you to load a round or unload a chambered round with the safety engaged.. again I like that. The fire position is the longest throw of the safety lever in itself... but understandably your moving the portion that unblocks the firing pin & trigger.

    The 3 position safety is one of the features the pre-64’s were known for that made them the “riflemans rifle”. I’ll also add all the machine work involved was costly and ultimately their demise 1964. Which the new model 70’s made after 2006 are built to the pre-64 specs. Which you throw in modern machining, MOA triggers, better technology on barrels ... the newer guns are even better & more accurate than the Pre-64’s.

    Some people like them... some don’t... but I fall in the camp that does. My model 70 is my favorite .... and I own a bunch of rifles. I think if you can get use to the mechanics of yours.. you will like it more with each season. They just take a little time to get broke in and smooth out.

    1st position -Full Safe - Bolt handle can’t be moved.
    BB04B8AF-944E-49FD-A2BA-3A6E2AADF421.jpeg

    2nd position- Safe- but you can manipulate the bolt handle, load & unload chamber.
    41FD863F-28D4-4E53-B2FC-0ACDEB8B9241.jpeg

    3rd position -Fire- bolt handle must be in full down to go to this position
    7A6254DF-FF50-44E5-9619-FAEEC96F2840.jpeg
     
  7. ptbrauch

    ptbrauch 12 pointer

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    Thank you for this. I have other brands with 3-position safeties, so I'm familiar with how they work. My concern was that it seemed really stiff for a safety device and that the bolt has to be completely in the down position to move the safety.

    I've got a Ruger where the safety works exactly in the same way--3-position and on the side, just like the Winchester. And while the length of travel to move the safety to each position is similar in both, it takes way less effort to move the Ruger safety. And on the Ruger, I can move the safety to the fire position regardless of the position of the bolt handle. But on the Winchester, it has to be completely down--the amount of bolt handle travel before the safety will not move is almost imperceptible, it's only about a quarter inch. It's my only rifle like that and first Winchester I've ever owned. I didn't know if that was how they normally operated or if that was a flaw in mine.

    Beyond that, I love the rifle. It looks great and shoots great. But that bolt handle position is something I'm going to have to remember to keep an eye on while using the gun.
     
  8. RLWEBB

    RLWEBB 12 pointer

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    Excellent post! Having never owned a rifle with a 3 position safety, you’ve taught me something. Thanks for that!
     
  9. jblack1

    jblack1 12 pointer

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    I've been packing my 7 MM Rem Mag Model 70 around for over 25 years.
     
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  10. HeadedWest

    HeadedWest 8 pointer

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    I bought a Ruger American this summer and noticed that the bolt would open while transporting on sling when the chamber was empty...load one in the chamber and it was tight.

    I like the rifle, but by day two of season I swore I’d get a 3-position safety for next year.
     
  11. FOWLER2671

    FOWLER2671 12 pointer

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    I have a USRAC Winchester in stainless which is an 03 or so vintage in 25WSSM. Great shooting gun. The safety was on the stiff side on it as well. Only issue is lack of ammo. But now I have all the dies etc along with bullets, primers and powder.
     
  12. Ataulbe1

    Ataulbe1 12 pointer

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    I have my grandpa's old 270 model 70, and had my 7mm wsm model 70 for close to 15 years. People seem to love it or hate it, but I like the safety on them. Like JD said, I had several different rifles before the boating accident and always preferred the 3 stage safety. They definitely get smoother with time.
     
  13. RLWEBB

    RLWEBB 12 pointer

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    It’s just a miracle that you survived. I hate it that you lost all those guns but you really didn’t need them anyway.
     
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  14. Ataulbe1

    Ataulbe1 12 pointer

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    A shame really....may have to start a go fund me account :(
     
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  15. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

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    Where do you get brass for that?
     

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