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Thread: Gun question for guides.

  1. #1
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    Default Gun question for guides.

    I know there is a seperate forum for guns but I wanted to ask guides
    this questions not just enthusiasts.

    Winchester pre 64 model 70, are they really that much better?
    I see alot of guides use them, but are they a better tool or is
    just because what they are. I understand the CRF issue, and
    I use a Ruger because of this. I hunt black bears on the east
    coast of the lower 48, I don't run into any Brown/Grizzly.

    I also noticed Phil Shoemaker uses a Mark X in 458 win.

    Is the pre 64 model that much better?

    thanks ahead of time.....

  2. #2
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i like the ruger action better than the pre 64, never had a smooth pre 64. i have a push feed now and its jammed on me several times where a CRF probably wouldn't have...next gun will be either a ruger action or pre 64 customed up.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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  3. #3

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    Have used both the ruger and the pre-64, the ruger in a .416 Rigby and the pre-64 in both a .300 H&H and .458. Liked both actions with the only real difference being in the safeties. Preferred the M-70 safety.
    Best action I've used on bears was the .500 H&H double, had both beat hands down.
    Smoothness was never a "problem with the pre-64s - but - thought that was why toothpaste was "invented"!
    Joe (Ak)

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    I never understood the obsession with pre 64 Winchesters actions.
    Perhaps in 1974 they were still tops.
    But not in 1984, or 1994, or 2004, or now.

    I really believe in the last 46 years our firearms manufacturers have come up with some new and reliable stuff.
    My guide gun, Big Ugle, is a Ruger. Which means nothing other than I bought a Ruger and everything I point it at falls over dead, so I have confidence in it and therefore I keep it.

    And that is the primary concern here...Confidence in your gun.
    So, Love The One Your With (Steven Stills 1972?)...if ya got the confidence.

    Last note on pre-64 Winchesters...in relation to the original question...
    In the guide camps I have worked out of, I may have met 25 or 30 different guides and observed the "guide gun" they were using. I honestly do not remember ever observing a pre-64 Winchester.

    Dennis

  5. #5

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    Not certain about the pre-64 M-70 "obsession" part - but - the pre 64 M-70 was in "place" when a number of changes were made in the basic design of bolt actions used by hunters. Recessed bolt faces; smaller extractors and ejectors located on the bolt face were some of the changes that reduced to reliability of some of the more popular bolt actions in the mid-sixties. Certain at that time most of the guides with whom I had contact indicated they had problems with the rifles clients were bringing.
    I doubt the pre-64s are any better than the Mauser 98s or some of the Rugers - certainly some of the innovations such as synthetic stocks and stainless steel barrel are probably pluses - however, I'm not aware of any design changes to the "modern" bolt action that have improved its reliability over those M-98s or pre64 M70s.
    I certainly never have had an "issue" with my ruger .416.
    Joe (Ak)

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    The best rifle I ever owned is a Ruger M77 in 7mm Rem. Mag. It's a tack-driver at longer yardages, but is too light for guiding, where bears come into the equation. I started guiding with an Interarms Whitworth Express rifle in .458 Win. Mag. but I didn't like the way the safety tang protruded out to the side. More than once it caught on the alders and went off safe. I switched over to a custom Winchester Model 70 in .375 H&H Mag. It's stainless, with a synthetic stock and iron sights with quick-detatch scope mounts. But if I had the big bucks Mr. Want has, I would sure take a look at that .500 double rifle. What a sweetheart of a rifle that is!

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  7. #7

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    That .500 was truly a "sweetheart" of a rifle for bears! Cheapest insurance policy one could hope to buy!
    "Big bucks??!! - those kinds of resources are reserved for those in the "publishing" (or website) businesses!
    Had a .458 Whitworth once - good rifle but hammered (me) a lot harder than my pre-64. Didn't like the safety either, but the action was reliable.
    Joe

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    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    I never understood the obsession with pre 64 Winchesters actions.
    Perhaps in 1974 they were still tops.
    But not in 1984, or 1994, or 2004, or now.

    I really believe in the last 46 years our firearms manufacturers have come up with some new and reliable stuff.
    My guide gun, Big Ugle, is a Ruger. Which means nothing other than I bought a Ruger and everything I point it at falls over dead, so I have confidence in it and therefore I keep it.

    And that is the primary concern here...Confidence in your gun.
    So, Love The One Your With (Steven Stills 1972?)...if ya got the confidence.

    Last note on pre-64 Winchesters...in relation to the original question...
    In the guide camps I have worked out of, I may have met 25 or 30 different guides and observed the "guide gun" they were using. I honestly do not remember ever observing a pre-64 Winchester.

    Dennis
    Come on dude, where is the love? Model 70's have knocked down a fair amount of game. Show some respect. All kidding aside, what guns, new guns that is, are better than the model 70? And how did you come to this decision? I'm not knocking Rugers, I have a few myself. Better? No, but not worse either. I agree with Joe, I've not seen a rifle that is "better" than the model 70 in general design. model 70's (the crf type), the 03 springfields, and the Ruger are all based off the same design. Pre 64's and especially the pre war 70's fetch high prices so I don't see them as much in the woods anymore but i've seen more model 70's in the hands of guides than any other rifle. 98 mausers, commercial mausers and sporterized 03 springfields and rem 700's are next (not in that order).

    I agree in the confidence part, a person with a few thousand rounds through a rifle they are comfortable with and like is more important than the caliber or make.

    New does not mean better. Just because some fancy rifle maker says his gun is awesome does not mean it is. Gunwriters get paid to write the article and sometimes get to keep the gun when they are done. Tikka this, Blazer that....crap. Sort of like the guys from SWAT that talk about stopping power and the best gun and they never fired a single round in anger... crap. One of my favorites, the M2 fifty cal was invented in 1918 and I've yet to find an HMG that is "better" than the M2.

    I digress, a lot. Pre 64's have some nostalgia to them as well. I got my first from my dad, who got it from his dad. The stock is nothing fancy, it still wears an old k4. There is no better rifle in the world. I have custom model 70's, dakotas, 98 mausers and they all take 2nd place to that pre 64 30-06.

    The only problem with the pre 64 model 70 is that is did not come in stainless. You are right on that part of the "new" thing. That ridiculously ridiculous Hogue stock on the ruger knocks it out of contention for any consideration in the new and better category. I took pleasure in throwing that thing in the dumpster after I replaced it. I do like the rifle itself though, it's heavy, ugly, accurate and STAINLESS. And it has a nice new trigger and proper stock. I may take it on my next hunt.....if I don't take the pre 64!

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    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    I'm not a guide, and no expert either, but I think the new Model 70 (the ones made in SC) more than holds its own against the pre-64. And give me either of those over a Ruger any day! Contrary to Mr. Strahan's experience, the WORST rifle I ever owned was a Ruger. Now if only they would bring back the Model 70 in stainless and .375 H&H...

  10. #10
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Sad rainey Sunday evening on the hunting forum when a spirited conversation ignites about rifles....

    I had a great time rafting and fishing this weekend, prior to the rain. Should have saw the swells, from the water level, on Skilack Lake! What did ya-all do?

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    ATA I cut lumber for a new trapline cabin

    Being a lefty I have carried an old marlin 45/70 for most of my guiding. I agree with most here I dont think the pre 64 was anything special. I think the mauser 98 is hard to beat. I guess Ruger has a lot going for it I will join the majority this season as I just recieved a ruger 77 that I had restocked and re barreled to 35 whelen. For the reliability and the price Rugers are hard to beat. No doubt a double would be nice!
    Mike i had a Ruger 77 (old tang saftey model) in 7 mag when I lived in BC, mine was a tack driver too.

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    Default All good... in its day

    I believe the pre-64 mod 70 was definatly the gun of its day. If jack O'Conner was still around he would still be telling great stories about it. My humble opinion is their are lots of better rifles on the market today. If you go buy a stainless, synthetic Weatherby in your choice of caliber you will never look back

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    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    I had a great time rafting and fishing this weekend, prior to the rain. Should have saw the swells, from the water level, on Skilack Lake! What did ya-all do?
    You had a better day than me. I cut devils club in the rain all day then scratched my head all night from the mosquito bites. Then I repeated the same thing today. The closest I got to fishing was checking out a new fly rod at Mtn. view sports. had a ton of ripe blueberries around for a snack while cutting so that was nice.

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    Member Paparock's Avatar
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    If you had a Winchester M70 Classic Stainless 375H+H what would you do to improve on the basic design?

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    Member ninefoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wantj43 View Post
    Have used both the ruger and the pre-64, the ruger in a .416 Rigby and the pre-64 in both a .300 H&H and .458. Liked both actions with the only real difference being in the safeties. Preferred the M-70 safety.
    Best action I've used on bears was the .500 H&H double, had both beat hands down.
    Smoothness was never a "problem with the pre-64s - but - thought that was why toothpaste was "invented"!
    Joe (Ak)
    wow, a double...thats awsome. is it a pretty one joe? boy i'm not sure i could bring myself to carry one in this state...seems like the weather sure would beat it up...no trouble with silt or sand or anything in the locks ever...i've ask quite a few people why you dont see doubles much within the guiding community is alaska...i always figured they'd be the best for close work, but have heard that one has to pay close attention to the locks...i assumed due to rust and debris...thats interesting you used one, i've yet to meet a guide that uses one in our state except for ralph miller (my ex boss) but he got his way after his active guiding days, though i remember a couple times he took it in to help asst. guides with wounded bears...seems like it'd be the absolute best for that aplication...what brought you to get a double if i might ask...

    oh yeah, back on track...

    i personally use three guns when guiding...i use a model 70 458 push feed (which i havent had a lot of problems with jamming as long as i stay away from barnes x bullets with it...something about the way they load with that particular gun) for bowhunters and bears up close...i just started using a 300 ultra mag for spring guiding and sheep and goat hunting, its an hs precision...also a push feed
    but my pet gun is absolutely my model 70 classic stainless in 375 h and h...and i wouldnt trade it for a hummer if you offered...it's saved my butt, never jammed...ever, and it kills everything it touches so far....i started guiding with it, and i'll probably guide with it till i stop. that being said, i definitely cant say a model 70 is any better than a ruger 77...though i like them much much better than remington, weatherby, savage and sako...i've had them all at some point, and theres things about them all i dont like.

    if i could only choose one, i'd pick up the "ugly stick" (my 375) and never look back... for advice though...get a winchester, or a ruger, i dont think you'll have any problems with either.

    by the way jake...i've never had any problems with my model 70's not being smooth...my big gun is smooth as butter, and my 375 is as well...but i have a tendency to mess with my guns alot, shooting, and dry firing, and working the actions a bunch, i also slam the bolt really hard when i shoot, so maybe i dont notice it...man i hope that gun of yours that jams a bunch aint that 416 you use...that aint cool

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    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paparock View Post
    If you had a Winchester M70 Classic Stainless 375H+H what would you do to improve on the basic design?
    Put a better stock on it first. Something with a little straighter comb like the Mcmillan Supergrade stock or a Rimrock, something like that. Put some one-piece bottom metal from Sunny-Hill or Blackburn on it and a jewell trigger in a properly bedded stock. Then I'd shoot the He*l out if it and get comfortable with the gun and develop some hand loads. I'm not sure how else to improve on that.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninefoot View Post
    wow, a double...thats awsome. is it a pretty one joe? boy i'm not sure i could bring myself to carry one in this state...seems like the weather sure would beat it up...no trouble with silt or sand or anything in the locks ever...i've ask quite a few people why you dont see doubles much within the guiding community is alaska...i always figured they'd be the best for close work, but have heard that one has to pay close attention to the locks...i assumed due to rust and debris...thats interesting you used one, i've yet to meet a guide that uses one in our state except for ralph miller (my ex boss) but he got his way after his active guiding days, though i remember a couple times he took it in to help asst. guides with wounded bears...seems like it'd be the absolute best for that aplication...what brought you to get a double if i might ask...
    The .500 probably wasn't "pretty". However, the workmanship was unbelievable. The bores were perfect with some pitting on the outside of the barrels. Weighted eleven pounds and was a dream to shoot, kicked less than the Whitworth .458 I had for a while.
    Never had any problems with the locks from sand, dirt or moisture.
    I would guess the main reasons they are not used is certainly in part because of the initial investment required; the potential cost of repair; and, the difficulty of getting ammunition.
    As to "why" I started using the .500. Though it is "popular", and certainly true that they will die with the "right shot placement" with most any rifle, it is not true that all the calibers enjoy equal effectiveness over a range of circumstances. The .500, in part, allowed us to harvest bears in circumstances that would have been more than irresponsible to attempt with a smaller back up rifle.
    Certainly from the position of providing backup, and I believe from the postion of the primary shooter, it is the potential circumstances of the second or third shot that should play a major role in determining the "best" caliber for a particular animal.
    Joe (Ak)

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    Member ninefoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wantj43 View Post
    The .500 probably wasn't "pretty". However, the workmanship was unbelievable. The bores were perfect with some pitting on the outside of the barrels. Weighted eleven pounds and was a dream to shoot, kicked less than the Whitworth .458 I had for a while.
    Never had any problems with the locks from sand, dirt or moisture.
    I would guess the main reasons they are not used is certainly in part because of the initial investment required; the potential cost of repair; and, the difficulty of getting ammunition.
    As to "why" I started using the .500. Though it is "popular", and certainly true that they will die with the "right shot placement" with most any rifle, it is not true that all the calibers enjoy equal effectiveness over a range of circumstances. The .500, in part, allowed us to harvest bears in circumstances that would have been more than irresponsible to attempt with a smaller back up rifle.
    Certainly from the position of providing backup, and I believe from the postion of the primary shooter, it is the potential circumstances of the second or third shot that should play a major role in determining the "best" caliber for a particular animal.
    Joe (Ak)
    well put on the part about suitable back up rifles for different circumstances...neat you used that double...how was penetration with the 500 comparable with the 458? i'm guessing fairly comparable? also wondering if you used your 300 handh at all for bear backup...i used my 300 (ultra) this spring for the first time...and while i didnt necessarily feel undergunned, i still had the thumper back at the tent...just in case. my reason for using it was mainly due to the fact that my 375's getting a makeover (lighter stock and a different peep) and my 458's not set up for the open country spring hunting we do out west...wondering your thoughts or performance of your 300 if you did use it at all...also wondering if it was the caliber or the quick follow up provided by the double that convinced you of its superiority........

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