Winchester M70

Apr 28, 2012
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#51
Another interesting to start to look for in these pics Phil. The WRA target barrels had two different types of front sight blocks. These were for the regular type lyman/redfield peep sights that were used on the Marine model 70 target rifles in competition. It looks from the 1954 team records I have, they used only the regular peep sights on the 30:06 model 70's. They used the 12x Lyman Super Targetspot on the Magnum model 70's.

There are two different variations of these blocks. The barrels before 1955 had a dovetail and the front sight was drifted in from the side. After 1955 they had holes for screws to screw the block on.

In some pics you can see the front blocks for the front peep sight. In some pics you can see the screws in the block. Which means they are a 1955 WRA barrel or later. Or possibly Douglas barrels had screw holes as well? I have no clue if the douglas barrels were drilled or not.

My 1956 barrel on my Marine 70 has the two screw holes like the pics below.

But something else to go back through the Nam photos and look for traits for. I wish my old computer hadn't crashed. I had a whole bunch of case studies and pics that aren't published. But I lost it all. The one pic of the front sight blocks is from Roger Rules book on the Model 70.

This one looks like a dovetail front block.

photo83736.jpg

photo83737.jpg photo83738.jpg photo83739.jpg photo83741.jpg








 
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#53
lol, I wish I knew a lot on the Model 70. Like I said earlier, something about the model 70 story in the books isn't right. But I can't figure it out. We just need time to let more documents to be released to the Archives.

But one thing I have noticed about every take off Marine WRA barrel I have seen. All have appeared to been reblued. They don't have the WRA commercial blued finish you see on the regular target 70 barrels. And one easy way to tell, the WRA target barrels from the factory, the muzzle isn't finished. The muzzle was left in the white on the WRA factory target barrel.

But every Marine Model 70 barrel I have seen the muzzle is blued over. So it's been refinished. And this is why I think why. When you see the pics of the Marine model 70's in the 1950's pics, the barrels are always in the white. I think the Marines bought them without finish on them directly from WRA, and probably later on blued them at the RTE shop probably in the same way the polished bolts were blued on the NM 1903's for the 1903A1 Sniper.

But here is a 1950's pic, and all the barrels are in the white.

photo83768.jpg
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This is just my hunch, and makes the most sense to me. I can't prove it 100% yet, but it seems like a very likely scenario.
 

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#54
These are the screw holes for the front block on my Marine model 70 barrel. It is dated 1956. These holes were applied at the WRA factory on all WRA target barrels. I don't know if they are on douglas barrels or not, but I suspect the Marines drilled them if they werent. You can see these same screw holes in some pics from Vietnam.

photo83774.jpg

This is the .360 WRA front barrel block. One way to tell it's WRA other than the U shape for the sight groove. They have dimples in the side for thumbscrews like on the A5. I call these holes a WRA dimple. I'm not sure the technical name for them. But they are for the placement of the pointed thumb screw like on the WRA A5 scope mount so the scope can be tightened on the block. On the other side is the half circle that lyman and Unertl used to tighten to the scope block.












 

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#55
Here's a couple more neat pics. This one I think if I could ever find the original at the archives, I could probably read the serial number. When you blow it up, it looks like it has a dovetail front sight block. So a pre 1955 WRA barrel.

photo83777.jpg

This one you can't tell what the front sight block is, but it's just a dang neat pic.

photo83778.jpg
 

pmclaine

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#56
Great photos, not that Im a researcher but I am curious and my curiosity has not brought me to these before.

It seems that the most prevalent 70 barrel is the Winchester product. Douglas does make that profile in addition to the heavier straight taper.

There does not seem to be near as many photos of the Douglas rebarrels but the general consensus is they were out there.
 

sandwarrior

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Apr 21, 2007
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#57
cplnorton,

Thanks for the Pics! And, I've got to agree, something in the Win 70 story oesn't seem right. When it's poo-poo'ed and later a noted gun expert/collector writes a story about how much it DIDN'T matter, yet two of the top Marine snipers used it extensively. That don't jive....
 

pmclaine

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#58
It wasn't that it was poo pooed for its performance.

When a suitability study was done it was determined to be the most accurate rifle, off the shelf, and only used as the study "placebo", to compare against the built military produced choices. I figure that was embarrassing and might have caused some butt hurt. It never received any institutional love because it was a logistical problem. The USMC only had some few hundred of them and with Winchester busy making Garands, carbines, shotguns and myriad other things hunting rifles and spares were not a priority.

Though I wonder why we would trust the logistics logic of a service that dropped a belt fed fire suppression weapon to replace it with a mag fed one.

A Win M70 isn't much different than an 03. The Marines would have been smart to sporterize 03s and fit a match barrel and they would have had a rifle with M70 performance and spares out the ass. Im thinking the fully stocked thin barrel might work for service rifle not so much precision rifle.

I think Cpl Nortons questioning of the M70 concerns the historical record. What we think we know is some 300 rifles were bought 41-42 time period and those same rifles are what existed and created the lore of the M70. Yet history shows all sorts of configurations, orders to sell, individual purchases made, expected losses.....it just seems too broad a history for one origin. There is likely more to the story than "Yeah the Corps bought a few rifles"
 
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#59
Yeah something isn't right. I just don't know what it is.

I would post the documents but my computer crashed and I lost my watermark software. So I have to find a new software to water mark them. I won't post the documents anymore online without watermarks, after I had some jerk face guy who claims to be a expert steal my work and claim it as his over on another forum.

But if I get new water marking software I will post them.

- But around May 1942, the Marines orders 373 standard hunting rifle Model 70's.

- Nov 7th, 1944, the Commandant of the Marine Corps orders the Quartermaster to sell the 371 Model 70's in the post exchanges of the Marine Corps. (These are the rifles that the books say were later converted to team rifles) The order is approved and I have no mention it was cancelled.

- I have the total counts of all team rifles from 1954. In 1954 the Marines moved the RTE shop from Philly to Albany, and inventoried everything they had. They detail they have 10 NM Model 70's. 70 medium heavy barrel model 70's, and 12 .300 Magnum model 70's. That is all the Model 70's the Marine team had in 1954. And this inventory is detailed down to counting the number of rounds the Marines had on the team.


The NRA model 70's they technically didn't make till post WWII. That is if they are factory produced NM Model 70's. And I have Marine team documents from 1909 to 1940 that are about complete. I have them sporadic after 1940. The teams bought new rifles all the time, at least every couple years from 1909 to 1940. They constantly were buying stuff all the time.

It does make me question why the Marines wouldn't have been buying new model 70's. Especially around 1946 when the Marines started the teams back up after WWII. And technically the Model 70's that would have been sold in 1946 could have been in the 1942 serial ranges. As WRA suspended the production of model 70's during the war. Which this is a long story and you can really dig into this and find a lot of neat info. The serials we accept as Marine Corps serial ranges published in Chandlers book, actually the later ranges in his book, they were made post May 1942 when the Marines had already received their 373 model 70's.

So I don't know. Heck the Army acquired a lot of Model 70's too during the war. I have the docs. So it could even be the Marines acquired some of these Army Model 70's at some point too. It took a simple supply request and they showed up on their door.

And then you add in every famous name we know on the Model 70 program, I NEVER see their names mentioned in any docs I have on the Model 70 sniper program. So man I have no clue.

I think whatever the real history of the model 70 sniper is. I almost guarantee it's not what we think it is. None of the sniper platforms I have researched so far, the WRA A5, the 1903A1 Unertl, the M1C, the M1D, the M1952 Marine Sniper. Not one has been correct when you compare what the actual documents say to what our books and authors state.

It will be really interesting when the model 70 documents really hit the archives.

 

sandwarrior

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Apr 21, 2007
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#60
pmc,

The model 70 wasn't poo-poo'ed for it's performance. It did what any other combat rifle chambered in .30 cal U.S. did. I'm talking about Bruce Canfield's article in the American Rifleman downplaying it's role in it's entire military history.

https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2011/3/21/the-military-model-70/

A lot of the issue back then was a whole mindset against sniping vs. what we see today, a pro-sniping mindest. Model 70's were used for one purpose if they ever went to the field. And, yeah, a heavy barreled 1903 would have sufficed quite nicely with a decent optic on it. But, that mindset prevailed for a long time. Even Hathcock and crew were nicknamed "Murder Inc." And, not in a good way. Somehow, REMFS and civilians who want us to go to war, think that it should be done in a nice way.

it could very well be that before the war, when Winchester offered to build model 70 sniper rifles, that the big picture was needing them to build M1's instead. That maybe, just maybe, someone in our beloved guvt. had a clue that we were going to need a lot more than a small quantity of hand built rifles?
 

pmclaine

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#61
Snipers should be thought of in a strategic role when possible or at least as a small asset that works at a level of a unit of much larger size ie one man is equal to a company or perhaps even a regiment if used effectively.

At the lowest expectation, but an extremely important role, assign them to over watch and they are than life savers.

REMFS/the biased/the unwashed would call them Angels Inc.
 
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#62
When you read the WWII sniper training syllabus for the Marines in WWII. More time was spent on scouting and items related to scouting, than actual trigger time. When we think of snipers, we think of them in today's terms. Not what they were 50 or 70 years ago. Heck even a 100 years ago. It's really interesting to read the original docs because it's not what you think of a sniper today.

The Marines did have the heavy barrel M1903's. The barrels were made by Remington to a lesser degree and mostly made by WRA. The Marines called them free high pressure rifles, and usually nicknamed them "Free" rifles. They were prevalent in the 1000 yard any rifle, any sight matches.

They Marines used them till they bought their first WRA model 54 and those were only around for a short period of time before they bought their first Model 70's I think the orders were 1937 or 1938. Those orders were the .300 Win Mag and the .300 H&H if I remember right.
 
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#63
it could very well be that before the war, when Winchester offered to build model 70 sniper rifles, that the big picture was needing them to build M1's instead. That maybe, just maybe, someone in our beloved guvt. had a clue that we were going to need a lot more than a small quantity of hand built rifles?
I always sort of forget what has been published and what hasn't been. But the way it seems it went from the correspondence, the Marines first ordered 373 standard hunting rifles. Those were delivered around May 1942. After WRA sent a letter to the Marines showing every variation of Model 70 they had in stock and what they could ship right away. It was a little less than 2000 rifles total if I remember right. It's been awhile since I read this correspondence. But then The Marines had a lot of internal docs talking about this, and they said basically the Marine team M1903's they had were just as capable as the Model 70's. Also they already had the parts for repair and the Marines were already trained on the M1903 platform. They then made the comment that the team NM 1903's were already in their possession and it wouldn't be hard to mount an optic to them.

So you see them respond back to WRA that they decided to use the team M1903's they had in stock already.

So basically the way I read it, the Marines considered the M1903 just as accurate as the Model 70. They already had the spare parts. The Marines were already trained on them. And they already owned them and didn't have to buy new rifles. And Philly could mount the scopes at minimal cost.

 

pmclaine

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Nov 6, 2011
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#64
When you read the WWII sniper training syllabus for the Marines in WWII. More time was spent on scouting and items related to scouting, than actual trigger time. When we think of snipers, we think of them in today's terms. Not what they were 50 or 70 years ago. Heck even a 100 years ago. It's really interesting to read the original docs because it's not what you think of a sniper today.

The Marines did have the heavy barrel M1903's. The barrels were made by Remington to a lesser degree and mostly made by WRA. The Marines called them free high pressure rifles, and usually nicknamed them "Free" rifles. They were prevalent in the 1000 yard any rifle, any sight matches.

They Marines used them till they bought their first WRA model 54 and those were only around for a short period of time before they bought their first Model 70's I think the orders were 1937 or 1938. Those orders were the .300 Win Mag and the .300 H&H if I remember right.
When I think WWII Scout Snipers, I think 1st Lt William Deane Hawkins leading a Scout Sniper Platoon at Tarawa. Always wondered if the famous photos of USMC snipers at Tarawa with scoped 03s were from his unit.

It was a different role and sniping was probably not something the Scout Sniper platoons of WWII had the opportunity to engage in much or it was secondary/underutilized.

The role of Scout and Sniper seem to be opposite goals, at least that's my opinion based on a mindset of today. My, likely wrong, belief is that Scouts don't want to bring attention to themselves, killing is not their mission and sniping tends to put their mission success at risk. Granted the island hoping campaigns save for perhaps Guadalcanal, Bougainville, or Okinawa made even the Scout activities limited because you basically had two wildcats in a shoe box trying to kill each other - its was evident where the fight was.

Ideally they were kept at the HQ level to perform the "M" part in BAMCIS or used when it was necessary to perhaps throw some accurate fire into a pill box port while a demo team moved up. I see that as how a Battalion utilizes its STA platoon these days.

That's different from a Strategic or Force/SOC use of a sniper where you want to take action that will directly affect the strategic battle plan by removing a high value target/equipment, having a team to lock down a much larger unit and remove it from use by the enemy or a psychological use to demoralize the enemy.

Hows that for my Call of Duty military strategist opinion? Probably as full of shite as I can possibly be.

Back to sweet guns.....

I thought my stock a little dry so I got me some nice pure cold pressed linseed oil just to feed it a little bit.

I wont go to town on the finish as I want it to look like a mil spec rifle and besides the builder will likely remove most of the stock wood to fit the barrel and Im going to have to blend in old finish with bare wood at some point.

Anyway the linseed oil is coming out awesome. I usually use tung oil and have heard nightmare stories of linseed going sticky and not drying.

The stuff is working fantastic drying nicely and leaving a nice burnt red hue to the wood.

I likey.
 

sandwarrior

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Apr 21, 2007
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#65
I always sort of forget what has been published and what hasn't been. But the way it seems it went from the correspondence, the Marines first ordered 373 standard hunting rifles. Those were delivered around May 1942. After WRA sent a letter to the Marines showing every variation of Model 70 they had in stock and what they could ship right away. It was a little less than 2000 rifles total if I remember right. It's been awhile since I read this correspondence. But then The Marines had a lot of internal docs talking about this, and they said basically the Marine team M1903's they had were just as capable as the Model 70's. Also they already had the parts for repair and the Marines were already trained on the M1903 platform. They then made the comment that the team NM 1903's were already in their possession and it wouldn't be hard to mount an optic to them.

So you see them respond back to WRA that they decided to use the team M1903's they had in stock already.

So basically the way I read it, the Marines considered the M1903 just as accurate as the Model 70. They already had the spare parts. The Marines were already trained on them. And they already owned them and didn't have to buy new rifles. And Philly could mount the scopes at minimal cost.
cplnorton,

Your explanation makes a lot of sense. But, like you and I believe, something doesn't jive. Where then, were all the "Free, high pressure rifles" when it came time to do some sniping in WWII, Korea and Viet Nam? Something is not adding up.

To that point, I will acknwledge, that often the wrong person gets in the wrong position to help make decisions they are either not equipped to make or have their own agenda against certain programs.

I will agree, that a well put together 1903 can be every bit as accurate as a well put together M70. That is simply an understanding of the mechanics and having the precision equipment to make it happen.
 
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#66
cplnorton,

Where then, were all the "Free, high pressure rifles" when it came time to do some sniping in WWII, Korea and Viet Nam? Something is not adding up.
Van Orden and Lloyd did test one in their Sniper report for WWII. If you would be interested in reading that section of the Van Orden Sniper report, I could probably dig it out and post it. Actually I wish I had more time, I would scan the whole report and post it. Because the whole thing is sort of interesting. It's a couple hundred pages if I remember right. And Van Orden and Lloyd were the ones who ended up recommending the Model 70 with Unertl scope for the Marines. It was the headquarters of the Marine Corps who came back and said no, the M1903 was more than capable and accepted their recommendation for the 8X Unertl scope. But not the Model 70.

But what happened to the Free rifles is they were broken down for parts around 1935. See the "Free" rifles were basically like the International Match M1903 built by Springfield. Except the Marines themselves built them. They were used in the 1000 yard any rifle, any sight matches. Usually they were heavily modified and had either a A5 and around 1922 the Marines bought Fecker scopes for them. They used them from basically around post WWI, to around 1935 when the Marines bought their first Winchester Model 54's. I think it was 1935 when the Marines ordered all the Free rifles broken down for their individual parts and parts were put into storage at the Philly depot. I do know they didn't have that many of them, like I want to say 20 or 30 rifles total. I have counts somewhere but it wasn't a lot.

But it was mostly they didn't have many, they were only used on the teams for long range shooting, and they were broken down for parts before WWII. And they had been replaced for a very short period of time by the Model 54 WRA, and then that was replaced by the Model 70's around 1938. Which the fact that the Model 70 was the main 1000 yard match rifle by the time Van Orden and Lloyd did their report. That might have helped some in their decision as well. As the Model 70 they recommended was just the normal target model 70 of the time with the target stock.

If they probably had more of the M1903 heavy barrels they might have been used that variation instead of the NM's. Like the orders I have from WRA to buy the heavy barrels, and even Remington are always small orders. 5 barrels or 10 barrels. They just never had a lot of the rifles or barrels.

So it probably came down to the fact that the NM and special target Team 1903's were already in stock and they knew they could shoot, and so they ordered all the polished bolts to be blued and then all the rifles put into storage. Six months later in Dec 1942, they ordered the first Unertl snipers to be built on these team 03's.


Here is probably a free rifle. The Marine detail they were basically their version of the international Match M1903. They just built them in house over buying them from SA to save money.

This is Morris Fisher with what I think is a Free Rifle probably built by the Marines. And another pic I think of a Free rifle. Somewhere too I think I have a pic of several wearing the fecker scopes. But I'm not sure where that pic is.

P.S. on a side note, notice the rubber buttpad? lol I remember when I first started to collect this stuff 20 years ago I had a big name expert tell me the military never once used rubber buttpads on rifles, and especially not on snipers. After finding a lot of the sniper trials pictures, I can't tell you how many sniper rifle trials I have seen for both the Army and Marines that the rifles had rubber buttpads. Like a lot of them have them. All the way back to the 1920's. lol

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#68
Sandwarrior, I didn't dig very far but saw a couple mentions for you. You see them mentioned post WWI till about 1935.

I did see one order to break down some for parts, but I think I have an order somewhere from 1935 detailing to break them all down. Or at least I think I do. But I didn't dig for it. I just flipped through and saw these two really quick. But you see quite a few mentions of them. And the orders to REmington and WRA to buy the barrels. And some funny docs of the Marines getting an international match to "Try." But the MArines returned it back to SA saying they didn't want to buy any. After the Free rifles start to show up. I think the Mairnes borrowed it and copied the design and returned it. ;)





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#70
Please do post the M70 vs 1903 Free Rifle report when you get the chance sir.
Oh you don't have to call me sir. My name is Steve and I'm glad to help.

This is the Van Orden and Lloyd recommendation from their sniper trials. IT's actually long and detailed and what it does is test each rifle configuration individually and then makes recommendations at the end. I saw at the end a section that actually compares the Model 70 to the M1903 and I think you guys might find this really interesting.

Now note this Model 70 they are testing is a Target model Model 70. NOT the Sporter/Hunting model 70's that the Marines bought in 1942.

photo84036.jpg



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#72
Thank ya sir.
Could the 03 Free Rifles possibly have bben called that cause they were used in Olympic style 300m free rifle matches?
Could be possible. Generally it seems to be a an abbreviation for the barrel name. But where the actual barrels get their nickname could be from matches like those above.

See the barrels were called "Free High Pressure barrels." So sometimes they are called Free high pressure rifles in the Marine docs. But in many of the Marine docs, they nickname them "Free" for short.

I should note too, the Marines sent these "Free" rifles around to different units at various times as well. Like you see requests for one or two, and the Quartermaster would approve it and ship them.
 
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#73
I'm thankful that we have an awesome forum and group of guys here to be able to see this build materialize. Great information, I look forward to seeing this rifle get completed.
 
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#74
Yeah Ryan teased the crap out of me when he got them. I would kill for them. lol

It's interesting bc I have mentions of those matches in China where these were awarded. In fact one of the Gunners out there bought his actual NM competition rifle for his own personal use and I thought it might have been the name on the covers. But it ended up being a different name. But I have his bill of sale where he bought it with his rifles serial number, and I pray to God the rifle surfaces someday. lol

I was just hoping the names would match as then you would have know the serial of the rifle they originally were on.
 
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pmclaine

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Nov 6, 2011
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#75
Yeah Ryan teased the crap out of me when he got them. I would kill for them. lol

It's interesting bc I have mentions of those matches in China where these were awarded. In fact one of the Gunners out there bought his actual NM competition rifle for his own personal use. I have his bill of sale where he bought it with his rifles serial number, and I pray to God the rifle surfaces someday. lol
Kind of looks like the same bear sized guy. Your picture looks like it could have been taken in the Legation, Shanghai.
 

pmclaine

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Nov 6, 2011
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#76
I'm thankful that we have an awesome forum and group of guys here to be able to see this build materialize. Great information, I look forward to seeing this rifle get completed.
You should see how sweet my stock is looking.

Searching around for a specific style Unertl 1-1/4, that and blocks are the final pieces.

Probably go into build late January.

Sorry to make you wait.
 

pmclaine

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Nov 6, 2011
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#77
So last night I get a call from a woman, a message on the answering machine, and Mrs McLaine asks "Who is Marjorie Howard? She is trying to get a hold of you."

I don't have a clue.

So I call Marj and inquire.

She grills me about where I live and am I expecting any packages. She lives on same named street, hers being street mine being avenue.

...and Im thinking Kyle Taylor is too smart to fuck up sending my M40 sling swivels to the wrong address, my check hasn't cashed yet for my 4 screw low Redfield rings cant be those, and I don't want to say "just some gun parts" and scare my liberal town folk.

Anyway - Just left Marjie with Douglas barrel for M70 in hand
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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#79
So last night I get a call from a woman, a message on the answering machine, and Mrs McLaine asks "Who is Marjorie Howard? She is trying to get a hold of you."

I don't have a clue.

So I call Marj and inquire.

She grills me about where I live and am I expecting any packages. She lives on same named street, hers being street mine being avenue.

...and Im thinking Kyle Taylor is too smart to fuck up sending my M40 sling swivels to the wrong address, my check hasn't cashed yet for my 4 screw low Redfield rings cant be those, and I don't want to say "just some gun parts" and scare my liberal town folk.

Anyway - Just left Marjie with Douglas barrel for M70 in hand
Big sigh of relief!

Anyhow, the lower docs bring up a question; why are Van Orden and Loyd stating the M70 is more durable than the M1903? That's one of the big reasons the Marines stopped the M70 program (purchasing anyways).
 
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pmclaine

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#80
Glad she at least called...could’ve been a lot worse.
I'm impressed she went to the trouble most people won't these days or they will look at a mis delivered package as Gods will.

Of course this Seventy plus year old lady would have been perplexed on what to do with 6 pounds of tube with a hole in the middle.
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#81
Big sigh of relief!

Anyhow, the lower docs bring up a question; why are Van Orden and lod stating the M70 is more durable than the M1903? That's one of the big reasons the Marines stopped the M70 program (purchasing anyways).
it depends on which configuration they were comparing or their opinion is based on the fact the Model 70 is a simpler design 1903 (Mauser).

Put an 03 in a Sporter stock with equally profiled barrel and they are the same flat bottom receiver rifle.

The Winchester will have three securing action screws the 03 only two.

When in Sporter stock I assume you would be better free floating the 03 and not run the M2 front barrel band but Chandler recommends it. It's an extra part.

The Model 70 has a simplified bolt release while the 03 has the bolt release/magazine cutoff assembly.

The 03 ejector is a bit more simplified and works great.

The Win likely has faster lock time while the 03 runs s heavier gas deflecting cocking piece. Springfield had speed lock parts in inventory.

Maybe the fewer parts extra action security lead them to that conclusion?
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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#82
So yesterday, while everyone else wanted to play board (bored) games, I had had enough of not shooting and went to the range.

Of course, I had to shoot groups at 400 yds. with the Win 70:cool: IMG_20171224_152212095.jpg
The left is the Win 70, 2 groups and the right is my Sav. FCP in .223. Nice group with the .223 except for the stupid pull off and up to the right.

Here's one of the range:

And me out having (real) fun in the snow. IMG_20171224_151310148_HDR.jpg
 

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#83
I just wanted to say I've truly enjoyed reading all the information contained in this thread.

I'd love to own a pre-64 Model 70, and when I find the right rifle I'm sure I will. Keep up the good work gentlemen. Looking forward to seeing the completed project here.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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#84
If I'm bored today I will look and see if they say anything in the report why they think the model 70 is more durable.

But this showed up on Facebook last night. A brand new Model 70 pic that I wasn't aware of before.

photo84180.jpg


 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#85
That's an awesome picture.

Im guessing it's a Douglas barrel also with the heavier profile than the Winchester style ones.

Basing that on the lack of front sight block (not that that's certain) and with this and the 3rd Mar Div Lance Corporal it appears the barrel at the receiver ring is close in diameter. The Win barrels with the block show more of a step from receiver ring to barrel.

Thats my supposition anyway.
 
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pmclaine

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#86
Steve its too bad that picture doesnt have a wider field of view.

I see a second M70 peaking out at the bottom of the frame.

That sniper is dual wielding his rifles.

What a Boss.
 
Apr 28, 2012
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#87
Steve its too bad that picture doesnt have a wider field of view.

I see a second M70 peaking out at the bottom of the frame.

That sniper is dual wielding his rifles.

What a Boss.
Oh good catch, I didn't see that. And the pic looks cropped for sure. I wrote the guy who posted it and asked where he got this pic. This is a new one to me, and I have no clue where he got it. But it's about one of the best model 70 pics as most are black and white.

If I find out or find a better version I will post it.
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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#88
If I'm bored today I will look and see if they say anything in the report why they think the model 70 is more durable.

But this showed up on Facebook last night. A brand new Model 70 pic that I wasn't aware of before.

Certainly a lot more livable conditions than what I was in yesterday.;):rolleyes:...:cool:

I had to make a point about the safety(ies) on early vs. late and post -'63 rifles. I had an old one with the butterly safey in .257 Wby (I thought it was a Roberts is why I bought it) and it was backwards. It drove me nuts as I'm used working "rear-on and locked, center-on, forward-fire" Not having it that way made it a mental thing to have to figure it out each time I put it on safe. Not that it's right or wrong, just what I'm used to. I also grew up shooting a Rem 700 which is "rear safe, forward fire".

Added: Quite possible there is a second M70 shooter under that thatching.
 
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Apr 28, 2012
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#89
That's an awesome picture.

Im guessing it's a Douglas barrel also with the heavier profile than the Winchester style ones.

Basing that on the lack of front sight block (not that that's certain) and with this and the 3rd Mar Div Lance Corporal it appears the barrel at the receiver ring is close in diameter. The Win barrels with the block show more of a step from receiver ring to barrel.

Thats my supposition anyway.
It could be. It's so hard to tell. I tried to get my rifle to be about the same position, but I'm still a couple degrees off. But this was something quick I threw together. My barrel is a 56 dated WRA factory medium heavy weight. I would be very curious to see a Douglas barrel M70 in a duplicate position and see if you can tell for sure.


photo84195.jpg
 

Diablo

Road Warrior
Aug 29, 2009
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#91
You are correct, the rear tang on the earlier (pre- '48?) action was shaped differently (semi cloverleaf), and those actions were clip-slotted.

Sounds like you are on the way to a nice build.

Even after years of shooting the Rems and various customs (since about 1970), the old Win Model 70 still feels familiar (grew up with 'em).

I think you will enjoy it.

Incidentally, the stock finish looks original to me.
 
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pmclaine

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#92
Looking at the points the Marine has his scope mounted I wonder what the adjustments were.

I was thinking rear spot was 1/4 inch and front would be something else.
 

Diablo

Road Warrior
Aug 29, 2009
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#93
The height of bases listed by Unertl seems different from what I have seen for the M70s, the receiver block was the same for all (0.185"), but the Target barrel block 0.360", and the Bull Gun block 0.262". Am sure that Steve Earle will know what you need when you determine what barrel diameter/contour you are putting on it. Must admit it has been a lot of years since I've looked for the information.
 
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Apr 28, 2012
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#94
Looking at the points the Marine has his scope mounted I wonder what the adjustments were.

I was thinking rear spot was 1/4 inch and front would be something else.
I used to know the measurement on the 6'' position, but it eludes me now and I'm too lazy to go look it up. But it is recorded several times in the docs I have seen. A lot of you guys are shooters and I'm sure someone knows. If not I can always go back and look if someone doesn't know off the top of their head. But the Model 70 has the two position front block. The rear position towards the receiver is the 6'' on center position. The front of the block towards the muzzle is the 7.2'' on center. The 7.2'' on center was used on the 1903A1 Unertl and is usually the most common. It makes the click adjustments 1/4 inch at a 100 yards on the USMC Unertl.
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
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#95
cplnorton,

I forgot to address the question, but it seems as it's slowly being so, about the durability of the M70 vs. the '03. While I realize there are a few more parts to he '03 the two actions are basically the same, modifed Mausers. The carburization of the high nickel steel that Remington did on the late, or re-production of, the 1903A1 (added: and 1903A3) wasn't started until 1940. Until that time, the high nickel steel 1903 receivers were well known for galling with dirt in them.

As a separate note, I found this out researching the 1903's (of which I have one of the early Rem's. (3,030, XXX SN.) and why they came back into production right before WWII. So, for an evaluation board to state the 1903 was "more durable" than a hardened model 70 receiver, sounds to me like stuffed shirts talking and not really knowing.

I knew there was something sticking in my mind about the durability issue.
 
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Sep 16, 2009
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#96
Two piece firing pin on '03 was not as reliable or strong as the '70. Trigger was more time consuming to properly adjust. The '03 handled a burst case gas event better than the '70. Lock time much faster on the '70.
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#97
I understand the '03 two piece firing pin to be an attempt to avoid Mauser patent infringements. Got to love American ingenuity and coming up with things like two piece firing pins and bullet buttons to tread the line. Winchester enjoyed spoils of war. RTH you are all correct all the same.

Sand, "Quantity has a quality all its own.....". Every part of the 03 was disposable based on the amount of spares Uncle Sam had.
 
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D_TROS

Flag-Sword-Cross
Aug 19, 2010
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#98
Good stuff. Thanks for the contributions Steve.

Was there a serial number range for the 373 rifles ordered?


Interesting its a std sporter stock with the channel hogged out.


My contribution, but in the target stock. Thing kicks like a freakin mule. Worst recoiling rifle I own. No wonder they adopted Rubber pads.
I did an "Old School vs New School" pic. Over 50 years and the accuracy is darn near the same. Ha.


Will do a sporter one day, thanks for posting your progress Phil.


Regards,
DT
 

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pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 6, 2011
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#99
Dtros,

Beautiful....

Im seeing more Unertls that have the old style screw tops but raw aluminum finish. I wonder if that was a transition from the black mounts to the closed top raw aluminum style? Or they were contemporary with each other? The black are not USMC specific, I've seen them on commercial scopes.

Are those able to zero set by loosening the top screw or are there tiny screws on the drum to turn the drum to zero like the more common cap top style mounts?
 
Apr 28, 2012
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Good stuff. Thanks for the contributions Steve.

Was there a serial number range for the 373 rifles ordered?
No and I was hoping we would find a serial list in the archives. But so far one hasn't been found. See in WWII, with the huge influx of rifles coming into the Marines Corps, serials were not recorded in say a master list. They were only tracked at the very lowest levels, like individual units. So that stuff was never archived.

What would have came with them originally were called "Bills of Lading" from WRA. And those had the serials and which crates they were probably shipped in. But it seems all these were just thrown away and the Marines didn't keep master serial number records, at least during the war and after leading into Korea. They mostly just tracked quantity.

The books say serials 40,000 to basically 50,000. But see there are even issues with this number. The WRA records show that the upper range of that range from books didn't have the serial number applied to the receiver till after the May 1942 date the rifle had already shipped to the Marines.

Like for instance I know where a documented Marine Model 70 is. It has the sales papers from being sold at a cash sales in the early 70's. The serial on that rifle is technically later than what it could have shipped to the Marines in 1942. And this is going by the WRA strike date of the serial applied to that receiver.

Also you have to throw this in there as well. In 1944, the Commandant ordered the Quartermaster to sell 371 Model 70's. So the ones acquired in 1942 less two. Now this order is approved and I have no mention that it was cancelled so for all intensive purposes it should have been carried out. But you can't prove it happened or disprove.

The only thing else I can add, the ones in NAM photos are early rifles. Basically they pretty much suspended most model 70 production from 1942 to 1945 for the war, and some of those early model 70's could have been sold for a few years post war. But soon after the war end, WRA redesigned a good portion of the Model 70 features, like the stock, the safety on the bolt, and the rear of the receiver. Plus other mods. From what we can tell in the NAM photos they were early rifles. I think at one time I had figured that the early features you see in the Nam photos had to be serials less than like 60,000 or 70,000. Something like that. Because serials after WRA re-designed and didn't have those early features.

And the Army looks like they acquired a lot of model 70's during the war as well. And the Army was even trialing them as a sniper in WWII. I have the docs where they tested them. Heck the Army had a version of the 1903 Unertl sniper as well. No one even knows about them yet. They look a fuzz different than the USMC unertl. But still the Army had one. But the Army could have had Model 70's in storage and all it took was a simple line item request and they showed up on the Marine's doorstep. Weapons were flowing back and forth between the Army and the Marines all the time. The one thing I have learned by digging in the ARchives, is nothing was exclusive to one branch. You see the Mairnes rebuild 1903's and build snipers for the Navy. You see the Army refinish Marine 1903's. You see the Army rebuild the Marine 1918 BARS into the 1918A2. You see weapons shipped to the Marines from the Army and Navy and then recalled to which branch shipped them a year or two later. Nothing was ever static. If one branch had it, any other branch could acquire it from each other easily.

There is just so much we dont know. And I think the books have butchered a lot of our topics. I think if more of dig in the archives we are going to rewrite a lot.

But here the order to sell all the Marine model 70's acquired in 1942. The books say these were the rifles converted to snipers. But yet here is a order to sell them.





photo84546.jpg
 
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