There was a 2nd order of Model 70's in 1942 to the Marines

cplnorton

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Every book notates the 373 sent to the Marines on May 29th 1942. These rifles were ordered on 4/13/42 by WRA docs. The books all state these are the rifles that later became team rifles and then became snipers in Vietnam.

But several years back we found this document dated Nov 1944 directing them to sell 371 of the 373 rifles in post exchanges. So I have long doubted the 373 number and suspected a 2nd shipment never found.

IMG_3882.jpg

Looking at sniper pics from Vietnam most have features that identify them as WWII production or earlier. Model 70 production during WWII mostly went to the Government so it really made it seem likely they did come from that 373 order above. But the order to sell 371 didn't make sense.

Also finding the actual team counts of 1954 when everything was being transferred from the Closing Philly to their new home at Albany, the m70 numbers were quite low.

70 CAl 30 Medium Heavy weight barreled rifles
10 CAL 30 NRA lightweight barrel ( I assume NM Model 70's)
12 300 Magnum heavy barrels

I suspect the 300 Magnum were bought after WWII. I don't think you can take a 30 CAL model 70 and convert it to 300 Magnum.


Well this all above led me to believe there was another order of Model 70's purchased in WWII that no one had found. I have long suspected by seeing some WRA docs that there was a 2nd shipment of model 70's to the Marines in 1942. Most likely ordered sometime after July 20th 1942.

I finally found it this week. There were an additional 78 that were ordered in 1942. I cannot find the official date the Marines actually received them but I'm guessing it was mid to late 1942. There were a mix of rifles in this lot, carbine, target barrel, and super grades. I have the detailed counts of this 78 order as well as the 373 above, but for now I want to do more research on this before it goes public. I even suspect the 78 might have been going for a more official purpose like shooting teams or something of that nature, as these were not the standard model 70's that were ordered in first order. There wasn't anything special about the model 70's in the first order.

I mean if we do the math it's starting to make more sense now.

373 (1st order) + 78 (2nd order) = 451 total Model 70's in WWII

451- 371 (ordered to sell in 1944) = 80 Model 70's left that are 30CAl

There were 80 total team model 70's in 1954 in 30 CAl, the 70 Medium Heavy and the 10 in NRA light barrels.

The numbers now are starting to make more sense. The 371 that went to post exchanges could have sat there for a long time too, till sold. Or they could have been taken back at some point as well. But they would not show in inventory counts for the team in 1954

I'm going to start digging on this 2nd order and see what I can find. But it looks like the Marines received 451 Model 70's total in 1942, not the 373 that is listed in every book.

I suspect too now, it's much more likely the actual sniper rifles that were team rifles came from this 2nd shipment in 1942 of 78, than the 373 listed in every book. But that is a hunch and I cannot prove it in anyway. But it would seem to make much more sense that 2nd shipment could have became the team rifles.

I cannot stress to you guys enough that almost every one of these sniper platforms I research I find info in our books that has been recorded wrong. I really highly recommend to everyone to try to start to research stuff themselves more than just reading a book. There are tons of archive locations out there all across the country and God only knows what they will tell us. But I can guarantee one thing, our books are not 100% correct. They seem to have parts and pieces that are, but for sure not the whole story.
 
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sandwarrior

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A question on the .300 Magnums. The Army used .300 H&H around that time. Could it have been possible the Marines were doing it also for competition rifles?
 

cplnorton

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They state they put the lyman 12X SuperTargetspot on the 300 magnums and they were using them for the "sniper matches."

I'm suspecting this is the 1000 yard marches that were any sight, any rifle. Like the Wimbledon cup.

The 30CAl had scope blocks but they didn't have scopes for them. They had lyman 48WH receiver sights and 77AK front sights.
 
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