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Thread: Winchester Model 71, .348 wcf in Alaska

  1. #1
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    Default Winchester Model 71, .348 wcf in Alaska

    Gentlemen,

    How much, if any, is the Winchester Model 71 in .348 wcf still used in Alaska? I have read that in its hay day it was used for everything. How about now? What factory loads, what bullet for handloads and what animals is it used on now?

    I have a 71 with 24" barrel and load the 250 grain Barnes original to approximately 2300 ft/sec with IMR-4350, winchester cases and winchester WLR primers. This load shoots 3 shot groups at 100 yards of 1.5" to 1.75". My rifle was made in 1947 and is in about 90% condition.

    Sincerely,
    Dave (Bubba) Thornblom

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by thornblom View Post
    Gentlemen,

    How much, if any, is the Winchester Model 71 in .348 wcf still used in Alaska? I have read that in its hay day it was used for everything. How about now? What factory loads, what bullet for handloads and what animals is it used on now?

    I have a 71 with 24" barrel and load the 250 grain Barnes original to approximately 2300 ft/sec with IMR-4350, winchester cases and winchester WLR primers. This load shoots 3 shot groups at 100 yards of 1.5" to 1.75". My rifle was made in 1947 and is in about 90% condition.

    Sincerely,
    Dave (Bubba) Thornblom
    I know one rancher on Kodiak that has used his continuously for over 40 years, and it's still his #1 today. Nothing but factory loads, and it's accounted for more game than he can count, including a few brown bears shot in defense. He's messed with other rifles on and off, but his 71 has never lost its place in his saddle scabbard.

  3. #3
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    Default 71

    very interesting gun, I have a good friend that collects winchesters and he has 2 71s I have almost got him convinced that i need one to pack guiding, both his are in good shape. Didnt the rancher on kodiak write a book about his ranching there? Seems I read about it somwhere.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon254 View Post
    very interesting gun, I have a good friend that collects winchesters and he has 2 71s I have almost got him convinced that i need one to pack guiding, both his are in good shape. Didnt the rancher on kodiak write a book about his ranching there? Seems I read about it somwhere.
    Not the same rancher, but the one you're referencing also favored the 71. I've forgotten his name, too. I was on hand when my friend had a world-class horse wreck. At full speed the horse flipped in a full summersault, parting the saddle sinch. Saddle cartwheeled one way, rancher the other way, and the 71 cartwheeled end over end way out into the scrub. We cobbled a new sinch, reunited all the flying pieces and went on our way, none the worse for wear. Back at the house we rammed close to 10 inches of dirt out of the rifle barrel.

    Not a speck of bluing left on that 71 after all these years, and the wood has been bare so long it's bleached a pale tan. Yet it still functions flawlessly. That says more about the 71 than its long score of game.

  5. #5
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    Default

    The model 71 was basically a beefed up model 86. Back when I was law dawging in South East Alaska I saw quite a few 71s being used by the older guys who took folks out guiding on various islands.

    I got mine around 1984 in a super sweet deal from an old guide who was one foot in the grave aand the other on a bannana peel. He wanted it to go to somebody who would love and care for it. So he sold the model 71 and 200 rounds of ammo to me for basically nothing just so his city boy son in law would not get it. A week later he gave me his Winchester 1890 pump in 22 special for the same reason.

    I hit a Kodiak deer with mine using old flat nose silver-tip factory loads. It sounded like a fat lady was slapped on the butt with a wet canoe paddle when that flat point bullet smacked that deer. He was dead in mid air and landed in a heap.

    I have also taken a couple moose with that rifle. For some reason I never see bears while carrying that particular rifle. They just seem to stay far away.

    Now the originals are worth so much that it seems a shame to let them get wet and all beat up.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    It sounded like a fat lady was slapped on the butt with a wet canoe paddle when that flat point bullet smacked that deer.
    ROTFLMAO!!

    Not even gonna ask why you know what fat lady butt and wet paddle sounds like, but what I want to know is how you are still alive after finding this out.
    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Not even gonna ask why you know what fat lady butt and wet paddle sounds like, but what I want to know is how you are still alive after finding this out
    My first branch was the old Navy with lots of over-seas time. You learn these things.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Default 71

    Brownbear someday would like to sit and swap stories with you, not many are aware of all the cattle history up there. There is an old timer in Northway that has one heck of a collection, some real old 71s and 86s.

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