M70 Pre 64 question



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  • M70 Pre 64 question

    I have a M70 pre 64 in 30 Govt 03. I did some research on it and found that it was the before they developed the 30-06 in 1906 by reducing the case length by .10 if I remember correctly. Anyway It has a 5 digit serial number and I wanted to see what it was worth. Anyone no of a web site or how I can get a value for the rifle? I did some looking but have come up short. All I have been able to come up with so far is that it made in 1937 based on the serial numbers.
    Any help would be great



  • #2
    Haven't heard of an M70 chambered to .30-03

    Are you absolutely certain that the barrel is marked for the cartridge you describe? The last rifle I'd heard of chambered to the .30-03 cartridge was the Winchester 95, and they did a short run of them in 1908. By the time the model 70 was introduced in 1935, it'd been 30 years since the Gov't dropped the 1903 model .30 caliber cartridge.
    I have heard of some Model 54's chambered to .30-30, perhaps some Model 70's, but unless it was a special order, I've never heard of, nor can I find any information on the M70 chambered to the round you're claiming.
    The .30-03 cartridge (Cartridge, US, .30 caliber, model of 1903) came about shortly after the Spanish-American war, to replace the .30 Army (.30-40 Krag), but the ballistics were nearly identical. Both used a 220 gr. cupro-nickel fmj at around 21-2200 fps. The 30-03 round boosted the velocity a bit over the Krag, just enough to really cause some ferocious throat erosion with the powders available, and just enough to cause the jacket material to strip off in the bore and foul it beyond accurate use REAL quick.
    Army Ordnance started R&D on a replacement round shortly after introduction of the original round, the result was the .30-06, that used a 150 gr. bullet at 27-2800 fps, better barrel steel, better jacket material and different powders to lessen the effects of throat erosion and get much improved downrange performance at extended ranges. The US Model 1903 rifles that had been chambered to the original round were called back in starting in 1905 to be fitted with improved sights, and to replace the rod bayonets with the more familiar knife style bayonet, then were called back in again starting in 1906 to have the barrels set back and rechambered to the 1906 version of the .30 caliber cartridge. (Original rod bayonet 1903's in original chambering have 24" barrels, all 1903 rifles after 1906 have a 23 3/4" barrel) The .30-03 cartridge can only be chambered in the .30-03 chamber, but the 1906 cartridge will fit either.
    If I remember correctly, Winchester continued to load .30-03 ammunition for awhile, but not for very long. GI ammunition brings 7-10 dollars a round on the collector circuits, commercial a bit more.


    • #3
      30 Govt 03

      Yes, The barrell is stamped with 30 Govt 03. The serial number on the action is 90532. I also read allot of the same information you posted.
      I don't know what to think??


      • #4

        I mean,,, oh gee it's probably not worth anything.... so how about I meet you behind the dumpster at work and I buy it from you,,,,, so it does not become an eye-sore around your house....

        Float-CFI, Photo Guide, Fishing Guide, Remote Kayaking
        Guest Cabin, Flight Reviews, Aerial Tours


        • #5
          03 on Model 70?

          Seems extremely unlikely. Since the action serial number you gave indicates a Winchester manufacture in 1948 with the 03 cartridge (military) being long gone at that time. Could it be an old '03 barrel fitted, at some date post 1948, to the 70 Action? Anything else stamped on the barrel? Could the barrel stamp really be 30 Govt 06 but smeared or marred enough to look like ...03?


          • #6
            My uncle passed away a little over a year ago and he had a huge collection of Pre 64 M70's. I believe there is at least one in every caliber ever made. He was a huge Winchester fan and was very proud of his collection. My Dad now has them and he called me and ased if I would track down some info on this one particular M70. I asked him several times and he says that it says 30 Govt 03. I'm at a loss. No one is interested in parting with any of them, they will all stay in the family as we all are huge m70 fans and shooters. Would just like to find some info one this particular m70.

            Thanks for the comments and the help.


            • #7
              I don't know beans about it but you might try this:

              The Winchester Collector Official Web SiteInformation, articles, products and services, news, shows and events from the Winchester Arms Collectors Association - over 4000 members worldwide.

              http://www.winchestercollector.org/ They have some sort of a forum


              • #8
                model 70 mystery

                md, It can be frustrating finding such answers for sure! The Win collectors organization would be one possibility as GP brought up. Another long shot would be the Cody Firearms Museum (they have the Winchester production archives). Since it is an early post war gun, other possibilities, as unlikely as they are, come to mind. One is where an old 30-03 barrel stamp was mistakenly used instead of the 30-06 stamp. Another is that it is a factory gun where some old 30-03 production barrels were "discovered".... after sitting around for thirty years or more.... and then used up. The possible source would be model 1895 barrels never used during the production of the 95. As unlikely as this is, I learned long ago nothing is absolute! If the barrel on the model 70 your talking about does not have a "dog knot" riser for the rear sight dovetail- the barrel could be from a model 1895, either done at the factory or later by a gunsmith where a barrel was pulled off a 95 and put on the 70. Likewise, the 95 barrel contour is nearly straight from breech to muzzle on most models- not so with most 70 sporter barrels. Most model 70 regular rifles of that era have the dog knot while most if not all of the 1895s do not have the dog knot. Additionally, to re-contour and re-fit an old original military 30-03 barrel to fit a model 70 would seem like a lot of work and should be obvious- maybe less obvious if the barrel was from an 1895? Other clues about 1895 barrels is that their original muzzle faces are flat and don't have the normal concave crown that the 70 would have. Also, the barrel markings on the underside (hidden under the forearm) of the 1895s would likely have various proof marks and another caliber marking in addition to the one visible on the upper part. In any case this one is a mystery- so hope you have luck in finding the real story.


                • #9
                  and please post back if you find out the story. Im very interested in hearing about it.


                  • #10
                    Thanks guys, I sure will



                    • #11
                      Mod 70

                      I just got a mod 70 pre 64 . 30 Gov't 03 . and I know of one more . Mine was built in 1948 and the other I know of was built in 1949 . Mine seems to have custem shop markings on undre side of Brl. It could be a short run of theas guns was maid in 48-49 . The asking price on the gun built in 49 is 1990.00 and I will buy at that price I think they are worth in the 3 to 5K range based on the brice of outher rare cals.

                      Have you found out more about your gun ?


                      • #12

                        Thanks for info. When my dad returns from a hunting trip I will have him remove it from the stock and see if there is any markings on the underside. When I looked at the rifle awhile back it looked original and true.

                        Good info Wetwo, It would be interesting to see if Winchester did make only a very few of these.



                        • #13
                          Mod 70 mystery

                          Very interesting new info! More than one 30-03 in a Model 70! I'm sure many Winchester fans/collectors are interested in the knowledge that maybe Winchester did produce at least a small number of 30-03s post war in the 70. If you have the time and inclination, a call to the Cody Museum may be worthwhile and would be a way to confirm the factory status of the gun(s). I think for $50-55 ? you can get at least a serial number search of the gun if not a "factory letter". Just don't know if they have the production records of that year/model Winchester. The future value of the gun, far exceeding the $50-55 cost of the inquiry to Cody, could be realized with a factory letter or confirmation of it's provenance. As far as why Winchester would produce either a special order or small special run of 30-03s in the 70 some thirty years after the cartridge being dropped as obsolete is any body's guess. Yet another possibility came to mind... Maybe a person or group or organization had a bunch of left over 30-03 ammo and Winchester obliged in making a few 30-03 Model 70s?? If interested, just google Cody Firearms Museum and you should be able to find several links. Good luck


                          • #14

                            I went to Cody Firearms site and poked around. I did find out that the rifle was actually made in 1948.
                            I sent a request for information for the rifle to oldguns.net. It will be a few days, I hope to have some info back to clear this up.

                            Thanks for the help.



                            • #15

                              Gents hopefully this thread isn't too dead, I just found this thread on Google as this is fueling my confusing as well.
                              I bought a 1948 Model 70 in 30-03 over in Valdez about 2 years ago, don't even remember the name of the store. However it's been modified with a Griffin & Howe side mount and a Lyman Alaskan scope, Lyman peep sight and a Griffin & Howe leather cheekpiece. Everything else is still kosher. Bought it for $750, as the gentleman behind the counter called it "That there mighty fine deer rifle!"
                              So...the mystery continues. I've been checking high and low and so far, no such luck on the mystery of the 30-03. So far I've been offered the range of $1000 from a overly enthusiastic young dude, to $4500 from a older gentleman who was almost crapping his pants over the barrel stamping. I've shown it off to almost everyone around this sunny side of Camp Pendleton / San Diego area, and most end up scratching their heads and are enthusiastic about offering money on the spot.
                              Anyone else have luck?


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