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Thread: Winchester Model 70 Safari Express 375 H&H

  1. #1

    Default Winchester Model 70 Safari Express 375 H&H

    I'm seeking experienced observations/opinions/evaluations of the Winchester Model 70 Safari Express 375 H&H. It's CRF, 3-position safety, blued (specs below....)

    So, my question is if you have experience with this rifle or know about this particular model. Any issues that I should know about with the current versions? Almost placed the order today. I stopped so I could get your thoughts on it first. Oh, if I do get it I plan to send it off for a nitride finish so that ought to help protect against corrosion.

    Thanks!

    AJ

    http://www.winchesterguns.com/produc...01C&mid=535116
    Caliber / Gauge 375 H&H Mag.
    Item Number
    535116161
    UPC
    048702118159
    Action Type
    Magnum
    Magazine Capacity
    3
    Barrel Length
    24"
    Nominal Overall Length
    44 3/4"
    Nominal Length of Pull
    13 3/4"
    Nominal Drop at Comb
    1/2"
    Nominal Drop at Heel
    1/2"
    Nominal Weight
    9 lbs.
    Rate of Twist
    1 turn in 12"

  2. #2
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    I'm sure it's a fine rifle. I have a new Stealth 308 in my shop, I like it quite a bit.

    I'm curious were you intend to hunt with it. Alaska hunts are wet and even though you plan to get it coated it will rust in the bore and anywhere that's not protected. The wood stock will swell. If you pay for that rifle plus a weather resistant stock and have it coated it will raise the cost substantially and still rust in a wet Alaskan hunt.

    Consider a Stainless 375 Ruger in matte black or matte stainless finish, both are stainless with weather resistant stocks. The Ruger has a handy length and slightly better ballistics. The Ruger also has a CRF action, three position safety and good sights. You can find them around $800.00

    http://www.ruger.com/products/m77Haw...ets/17101.html

    My last two Alaskan hunts totaled 12 days and I had 10 days of rain.

    Personally I like the new Winchesters but I wouldn't take that nice rifle into a wet hunt. Did I mention Alaska fall hunts are wet.

  3. #3
    Member mekaniks's Avatar
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    The gun you are looking at is definatley a great rifle. BUT.... I agree with Marshall if you intend to hunt regularly in AK. In my opinion buy stainless and synthetic or you are just setting up to ruin a nice rifle, especially if you hunt around the saltwater.

  4. #4
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Marshall the Nitride process coats the interior of the bore as well as external surfaces so no worries there.

    OP the rifle you mention is a darn nice one and I wouldn't hesitate to hunt with it up here. Have the stock full length bedded, no need for free floating since it has a recoil lug soldered to the barrel halfway between the receiver and forend tip. A good bedding job will weatherproof the interior of the stock, next pull off the recoil pad and seal the endgrain reinstall the pad and your all set. I hunt in the rain just as much as the next guy up here and after the treatment I described I have no problems with my wood stocked rifles.

    Buy it my friend, you'll be glad you did.

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    If you buy it with the intent of being a hunting tool that may get some scars along the way which will be great reminders of the stories you can tell your grand kids, then buy it, hunt it, keep it clean and oiled and don't worry about a little surface rust (happens amazingly fast!) and some scratches in the wood.

    If you want a show piece to mount on your mantle when you get home from your hunt, find a stainless synthetic and then you'll forever complain that its not as pretty as a wood stock!

    Seriously though, great choice on a gun!

  6. #6

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    Everyone, thanks for the responses. The intended use is to go hunting with it. I don't neglect my firearms or allow my them to get smacked around but they need to be able to tolerate actual real-world use. Hunting conditions are dependent on the area the military has me stationed for my 2-year tours.

    Marshall, You mean it gets wet in AK? LOL, just kidding. You and I have talked about that stainless 375 Ruger; I'm convinced it's a great rifle. Having spoken to you on the phone I know your opinions are experience-based and well though out. Without sounding like I'm trying to suck up I want you to know that I learned from you and I really appreciated that call; you're a great resource. I thought about that Ruger for some time after the call but there's a part of me that wanted to get something different than a Ruger, try a brand I've never owned before. I wanted stainless steel so the Browning A-Bolt Stalker sounded good until I read multiple AOD reports of them freezing up in the cold wet environment. Other than it not working when you may need it, that Browning sounded ok...that was ruled out! Besides the Howa that you told me about, I haven't found another stainless steel rifle out there in the 375, either Ruger or the H&H. I'm sure they're out there, I just haven't found them with my searching. I started looking toward the blued rifles. The first bolt rifle I ever fired was in 1981 and it was a friend's Winchester Model 70 in 308. I was fascinated with that rifle so I looked to see if they made a 375...and they do. I then looked for rifle finishes that should protect help it from moisture. I called they guy who owns "LOSOK" and he explained that the Nitride finish is applied by submersing it in the chemical bath and the entire rifle's steel, bore and all, are coated. His guidance was that it would be very weather resistant -aka- I could hunt in cold wet conditions and have an expectation that the steel was protected. 7 days ago I sent him my AR-10 bolt carrier group and we'll see how that turns out (test case). I would still prefer a stainless rifle for the 375. Where I'll hunt is questionable...it's where ever the Army sends me on my 2-year tours and if / when I have the time to get out. I asked for AK. No promises but there is hope. If not there then I don't know. The job: with staffing the way it is and the pace of things I'd be lucky to get to hunt a total of 10 weekend days a year so the extended several day hunt is probably not going to happen until I retire and I'll probably live in the L48 then. The AK duration will be a max of 2 years.

    I appreciate the responses!

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    Mytime, if you are not set on the Winchester 70(which is a great rifle), have you considered the Remington XCR II? It does come in 375 and is stainless with a trinyte finish. No CRF though which is critical for some. Good luck.

    http://www.remington.com/products/fi...00-xcr-ii.aspx

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by markopolo50 View Post
    Mytime, if you are not set on the Winchester 70(which is a great rifle), have you considered the Remington XCR II? It does come in 375 and is stainless with a trinyte finish. No CRF though which is critical for some. Good luck.
    markopolo50, Yes, I've looked into it. The general consensus is that the XCR II works well and it's accurate by most reports on AOD. In fact, that's the first rifle I was considering when reading the AOD forums opened up a whole new world of information. The XCR II is a 7 5/8 lb rifle. Several AOD posts have stated that the stock is crappy and that the overall rifle is too light for the cartridge. Most folks that own one really like it. The M-70 is a 9 lb rifle. I like heavier rifles, if they don't get ridiculously heavy. I'm not dead set on the M-70 but, obviously, I'm interested in it. I'd bet the majority of my hunts will be from a tree stand or at the top of a hill with the wind at my face watching a trail - heavier is fine there. Thanks for the suggestion

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about a blued/wood rifle one bit. I happen to have several stainless and several blued guns. My wood stocked, blued 45-70 has been to Kodiak and Montegue and never had a single issue as long as I took care of it. My blued Remington 700 doesn't have much bluing left on it, but it's still my favorite rifle. Just keep the oil on it and she does fine.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    A key point to remember is the COLD wet weather in Alaksa. Rusting is a chemical process and follows the rule of thumb for chemcial processes - the rate of the reaction doubles for every 10 deg C increase in temperature. If you do the math you can see that rusting is a far lesser threat there than in wet HOT places. If you visit the gun shows here you find few old guns with rust damage while on places like the gulf coast (GOM) rust damage is much more common. Likewise for the military rifles you find from cental America compared to those from northern Europe. You can see the same thing on outboard motors - motors uesd in salt water here still look good while they would have corroded away in tropical climates.

    A blued gun with wood stock will be fine if you carefully waterproof all the exposed end grain like under the buttplate and inside the action. Coat the metal under the wood with a good grease or wax and wipe it down everyday with something like RIG and and you will be fine.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  11. #11

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    I would buy the same rifle in .416 Remington, and this is from a true lover of the .375 H&H.

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    We got one here I think, call me, cheap

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    We got one here I think, call me, cheap
    Would love to but I'm still in TN. I'll look you up if the Army sends me there like the said they were going to. Nothing is solid until you get official Army orders in hand and that may be April or May 2011. Thank you for the offer.

    AJ

  14. #14

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    I take it your talking about the "new" Mod. 70. For the most part any controlled round feed Mod. 70 made after 1964 whether it be wood stocked and blued or stainless and synthetic is pretty much the same gun. I gave my "Classic Stainless" .375 to my son-in-law cause he likes stainless rifles, Some day my grandsons can have my pre-64 Mod. 70 .375. Winchester has always put to heavy a barrel on there .375's. The Mod. 70 had a really great "hunting trigger", simple, reliable, adjustable and I consider it the best feature of those rifles. I heard the "new" Mod. 70's have a different trigger, darn bean counters. Many rifle manufacturers make rifles that shoot better then we do. I don't know any of them that make a better "hunting trigger" then Winchester did. If your buying a .375 you are thinking of tough animals that can hurt you. Look under the hood before you buy and remember "looks ain't every thing", reliability is. I would look for a used Mod. 70.

  15. #15

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    Yep, the new M-70.

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    The Win. model 70 didn't get to be where it is for no good reason. Winchester copied the good features out of the 03 Springfield and 98 Mauser and made a classic sporting rifle. The Remington 30 series was also excellent - esp. for large calibers - but they never caught on. Never understood why Remington didn't make the Mdl 30 in the .300 and .375 H&H but I guess they figured the market wasn't there.

    I'd pick up a used Mdl 70 classic in .375 or buy something like a .300 Win Mag and put a .375 barrel in it. One advantage of the new Mdl 70s is that they were made for the .375 H&H lenght cartridges where the pre-64s were made for the .30-06 length cartridge.


    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    I take it your talking about the "new" Mod. 70. For the most part any controlled round feed Mod. 70 made after 1964 whether it be wood stocked and blued or stainless and synthetic is pretty much the same gun. I gave my "Classic Stainless" .375 to my son-in-law cause he likes stainless rifles, Some day my grandsons can have my pre-64 Mod. 70 .375. Winchester has always put to heavy a barrel on there .375's. The Mod. 70 had a really great "hunting trigger", simple, reliable, adjustable and I consider it the best feature of those rifles. I heard the "new" Mod. 70's have a different trigger, darn bean counters. Many rifle manufacturers make rifles that shoot better then we do. I don't know any of them that make a better "hunting trigger" then Winchester did. If your buying a .375 you are thinking of tough animals that can hurt you. Look under the hood before you buy and remember "looks ain't every thing", reliability is. I would look for a used Mod. 70.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    What about a Kimber Talkeetna? I'm also for the Ruger Alaskan if you don't have a hang up about the Ruger cartridge.

    Brett

  18. #18

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    Brett,

    The Winchester is the first bolt rifle I ever fired. I can't believe it took this long before I thought about one. I know there are other good rifles out there but if I don't get a M-70 now in the 375, I'll end up coming up with a reason to get one later. As for a price comparison...The out-the-door price, including tax, for the Ruger Alaskan is $870, and the M-70 is $1275. The Kimber is a bit more than I want to pay since it'll bust $2K. TN State sales tax is right at 10%. I wanted to see if AOD members had either good or bad experiences with this rifle.

    AJ

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    AJ,

    When we communicated on the phone you were price shopping and expressed interest in the 375 Ruger cartridge at a reduced price. At that time I mentioned the Howa because it was a less expensive alternative to the stainless Ruger.

    The Winchester you asked about in this thread is a fine rifle. However, based on your own price quote of $1275 plus an additional $200-$300 for coating and an other $200 for bedding, if done by a smith. That puts the Model 70 up around $1750. That's twice the price of the Ruger. Don't forget you will still need to buy a base and rings for the Winchester or Howa, Ruger includes rings in their package.

    If you buy the Howa and the coating it will be the same price as the Ruger and have a lighter barrel and a push feed action. In my opinion the coated Howa would be less of a rifle than the Hawkeye.

    Good luck with your choice whatever it turns out to be. In the end it boils down to what you like and what makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

  20. #20
    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    I hear you, but stainless/synthetic is pretty hard to beat for North American hunting.

    Brett

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