A friend of mine approached me yesterday and asked if I would take a look at his fathers rifle. His dad died in 1988 and his mother gave him this rifle. My friend, (Mike) doesn't shoot but wanted the rifle cleaned up and checked for proper function. I was more than happy to accept the request.
Mike brought the rifle over, I took a quick look and new I was holding an old rifle. This rifle is at first glance a pre-64 model 70 chambered in 30-06. I told him he had a fine piece and I would start on it in a few days.
This morning after a closer look I noticed the "Gov" stamp on the barrel. I did a quick serial number (4298X) search and found that it was manufactured in 1942. The following information is cut from an article I found on the net.
The pre-'64 Model 70's were manufactured from 1936 through 1963 after which time significant changes in the design and manufacture of the rifles were made. Pre-'64 Model 70s bring a substantial price premium due to a public perception that they were better, as they had several desirable features (Mauser-type controlled round feed, cut checkering) that the post-'64 version did not. Pre-'64 Model 70 Winchester rifles can best be identified by serial number and the presence of a fore-end screw to secure the barrel to the stock. Model 70 rifles with serial numbers below 700,000 are the pre-'64 variety.
The United States Marine Corps purchased 373 Model 70 rifles in May, 1942. Although the Marine Corps officially used only the M1 Garand and the 1903 Springfield as sniper rifles during the Second World War, "many Winchester Model 70s showed up at training camps and in actual field use during the Pacific campaign." These rifles had 24-inch sporter barrels chambered for .30-06 Springfield. These rifles had serial numbers in the 41000 to 50000 range and were fitted with leaf sights and checkered stocks with steel butt plates, one-inch sling swivels, and leather slings. It has been reported that some of these rifles were equipped with 8X Unertl telescopic sights for limited unofficial use as sniper weapons on Guadalcanal and during the Korean War.
This rifle's serial number fits in the Marine issue range and has the steel but plate, fore end screw, swivels and 1" leather sling. There are dove tails for the leaf sights but the sights are missing. The scope base is a REDFIELD. The optics name is worn away. The power is fixed 2.5 with a fine reticle. The stock has wear but no cracks and there is some wear on the bluing near the crown.
Overall I think the rifle is in great shape for an issued firearm that has survived 70 years. Any ideas on a value for a piece like this?
I'm not an authority on Winchester or military weapons. I would like to work a deal on this rifle but I'm doubting he would sell it since it was his fathers.
1942 Model 70 2.jpg 1942 Model 70.jpg