2003 Winchester Model 70 Classic - CRF vs pre-64 CRF?

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by flat8, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. flat8

    flat8 AH Enthusiast

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    My understanding is that today, all the Model 70's are "Pre-64" style CRF, but what about the Model 70 Classics built after 1992, specifically in the early 2000's? Winchester did 3 Model 70 actions in those years - the PF, CRPF and and CRF - but how functionally different was that post-92 CRF versus the pre-64?

    From Chuck Hawks:

    "In 1992 Winchester again revised the Model 70 action, this time restoring the full length extractor, receiver mounted ejector, coned breech, and controlled round feed (CRF) while retaining the other good features of the push feed Model 70 action. The new, revised action became the heart of the Classic models, available in many variations, which now constitute the bulk of the Model 70 line. There are super-short, short and standard length Model 70 Classic actions. . . . The Model 70 Classic action is perhaps the finest Mauser pattern, two front locking lug, bolt action ever mass produced for a hunting rifle. It offers just about everything the aficionado of such actions could want, including strength, accuracy, and exceptional feed reliability. It is the odds-on choice among bolt actions for ultra-critical hunting applications such as rifles for hunting dangerous game."

    My question is what thoughts does this forum have on the last of the New Haven Classic Model 70's? How does that action and overall quality compare to what is being manufactured in Portugal today? Just curious.
     

  2. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I own both post 64 push feeds and the new M 70 from FN/Portugal. My M 70 FN .264 Win Mag I bought in 2013 had to have a hundred or so rounds through it to smooth out the action and magazine feed. Winchester made many different classic action models during their last years in CT. I don't own any but would have no reservations in buying one. All of my Winchesters are more accurate than I am....and probably more reliable also. I took my 1992 Safari Express push feed .375 H&H to South Africa last July. In my opinion they do not fail!

    By the way, you have more than a few members in the Phoenix area!
     
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  3. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I've had two of late 90's M70 Classics. Both were accurate and reliable. I do have a broken extractor that needs repair on the 7mm that on a slow pull will not throw the brass out. But no complaints overall with that rifle.

    The current FN made M70's I'd say from my experience and reading of many others are as good as they've ever been if not better. But a fine pre-64 is just that. My understanding is not all were as well made and so there are lemons from time to time. If you decide on one, I'd want to handle it and shoot it to ensure it's quality.
     

  4. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    There is no functional difference between a pre-64 CRF and a post-64 CRF. The CRPF was not a bad idea but being neither fish nor fowl found little market demand in a market that was already not overly fond of the push feed M 70. I've owned all of the above including the CRF M70 as marketed by the Win of South Carolina. I assume the Portugal marked M 70s would be nearly identical to the South Carolina rifles.

    I still own a push feed I bought new in 1970, a few pre-64s, a "Classic" CRF from about 1998 and a late-New Haven M 70 CRF from 2005. The post-New Haven (S Carolina) Model 70s seem OK and the one I had was OK but the new box style trigger is yet to be fully assessed by the market over the long run. I can find no fault with the old style M 70 trigger and it has proven itself in the market as one of the best if not the best, tough duty, hunting rifle triggers every designed. If I were to choose the one type/style of M 70 as my favorite, of all the various iterations I've had, it would be the 2005 late-New Haven CRF.
     
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  5. flat8

    flat8 AH Enthusiast

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    @PHOENIX PHIL - I've got one in .300 WSM. It shoulders well, shoots straight and the action is very smooth. I've been culling the gun safe a bit to make a few purchases and had considered selling it - but I feel I have a good example and have decided to keep it. I didn't really know the difference between the post-1992 CRF and pre-64 CRF, so was curious about that. From what I gather, post 92 there were some positive safety changes - gas block mounted to the extractor collar and the bolt is drilled in two places to divert gas into the magazine. I understand the "new" Portuguese CRF Model 70's also have an improved trigger. Looks like I have something in between!

    @sierraone - I'm seeing that! AZ is a great place.
     

  6. flat8

    flat8 AH Enthusiast

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    Great info - thank you.
     

  7. 5shot

    5shot AH Senior Member

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    The "Classic" has a black extractor, which had issues with breakage, as noted above. The current CRF rifles all have a Williams extractor, which is silver in color. I believe the breakage issues are now a thing of the past. Changing a broken CRF extractor takes about 30 seconds. The CRPF was developed for the WSM and WSSM to because they had problems feeding in a CRF due to the fat body of the cartridge. I have a short and a long action SC Post 64, and I have had no problems. The MOA trigger is quite nice, but I did have an issue with it being rendered useless when a cartridge full of ball powder was dumped into the action (the bullet was stuck in the barrel). It was an easy fix though.
     

  8. lockingblock

    lockingblock AH Senior Member

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    I have 4 of the New Haven guns from about 2005 time frame. All in all, not bad...but not great on the finish side. My two featherweights were very nice. My two stainless/synthetics were rough around the edges. I also have a stainless 375 that had some feeding issues. Win allegedly fixed it with a new follower...but I haven't shot it since I got it back about 20 years ago...and man, it feels strange to say that out loud. I got my 375 while living in a dorm room at Mississippi State... Wow.

    All in all, I would say the SC guns I saw a couple of years back at the NRA convention were nicer than the New Haven guns.
     

  9. 5shot

    5shot AH Senior Member

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    That's one that is on my wish list.
     

  10. lockingblock

    lockingblock AH Senior Member

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    Honestly...while I have a bit of nostalgia for the New Haven guns, the SC guns really do seem better finished. I have a 7 mm rem mag that almost looks like there are tiny bubbles in the surface of the bolt body...like a bad casting. I don’t think they were cast but still...
     

  11. 5shot

    5shot AH Senior Member

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    I will probably end up with an SC gun. I definitely don't want a Portugal gun, but that is just out of principle.
     

  12. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    Here's my late (2005) New Haven M70. I really can't find a flaw in its finish compared to other factory guns. By far the smoothest cycling of all the various 70s I've owned. All these various 70s we are talking about are NOT custom, hand finished guns- they are factory guns. The only thing I did to this one is pillar bed it to ensure strength and consistent POI for most all hunting conditions.

    Win 70 416 R.jpg
     
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  13. flat8

    flat8 AH Enthusiast

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    What is that chambered for?
     

  14. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    416 Rem M.
    Here's some M70 examples: 1998 Classic SS (custom 338-06 on HS Precision stock), pre-64 Featherweight 308, Late New Haven (2005) 416 R.

    Win 70s.jpg
     
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  15. 5shot

    5shot AH Senior Member

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    Is there a reason for mounting the scope 90 Degrees to the left?
     

  16. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    There’s a very good reason- clears the loading port. Helps prevent cases from hitting turret when ejected and opens up the port for less fumbling for fast reloading of magazine.
     
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  17. 5shot

    5shot AH Senior Member

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    Makes sense...thank you.
     

  18. Rick Cox

    Rick Cox SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Getting old is better than the alternative...
     
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  19. leslie hetrick

    leslie hetrick AH Enthusiast

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    I have two left hand classic model 70,s that I hunt with and have had no problems with them at all. I bought this SC model 70 SS feather weight, walnut stocked in .270 several years ago and have not fired it yet. but it is a fine rifle and I look forward to hunting with it.

    DSCN9990 (2).JPG DSCN0001 (2).JPG DSCN9995 (2).JPG DSCN9996 (2).JPG DSCN9997 (2).JPG DSCN0002 (2).JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2018
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