A very naive question about Winchester Model 70 Safari Express .375 H&H

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Jeff Schaeffer, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. Jeff Schaeffer

    Jeff Schaeffer AH Senior Member

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    I may have a chance to purchase one at a very nice price, pending inspection and verifying that it is the rifle that I believe it is (modern, assembled in SC). So here is the question: Are there forum members who own them, have you hunted Africa with them, and do they work well in the environments in which you have hunted? I ask this because this forum is a great place to see high-end rifles, custom builds, but there is, shall we say, less emphasis on tales that involve production guns. My life is at a point where I could pick up this serviceable gun and go hunt, or a high end gun and then not hunt because I would be flat broke. And truth is that I could not even afford the high end gun, come to think of it.

    I would not mind hearing success stories, or information about glitches like "that model is picky about what bullets it likes", "make sure you take a big bottle of oil and a full cleaning kit because it hates dust and grit", or "mine was so prone to jamming that I sold it and got a CZ." My guess is that it performs as well as the person shooting it, but would love to have some verification. I am simply not that familiar with this model.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
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  2. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Fanatic

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    Buy it, shoot it, hunt with it.
    You will not be disappointed.
     

  3. Adrian

    Adrian AH Fanatic

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    Get your rifle, go hunting.
     
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  4. bilmcc

    bilmcc AH Enthusiast

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    I had a choice to borrow a Win model 70 or a CZ when my rifle lagged behind in Zambia. Nothing against CZs, but they fit me like a 2x4. So I took the Model 70, checked out the sighting and was very happy to go into the field with it. Made me wish I had waited to get one of those instead of the rifle I have (which caught up with me and did its duty with a nice bull). Go for it.
     
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  5. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    I took my M70 in 375 H&H on my last safari. It is a 100% factory gun. No work has ever been done on it.

    The gun worked flawlessly. I took several animals and had no problems.

    The only maintenance I did on the 9 day hunt was to occasionally wipe it down with an old oily rag the PH kept in the truck, and at night I’d clean the optic with some zeiss wipes I brought along...

    A M70 in 375 will serve you extremely well... nothing fancier is needed or is going to be any more reliable... it will just be fancier...

    Nothing wrong with fancy btw... I lust after all the beautiful Brit, German, etc built guns too... and am dying for a decent double... but.. none of that is in any way required for a successful hunt...
     

  6. CLICKBANGBANG

    CLICKBANGBANG AH Veteran

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    My Winchester Safari Express in .375 H&H is a humble rifle. But make no mistake, I’m very proud of it.
     
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  7. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I think if you read more on this forum you will find just about everybody sing praise to the M70. Beautiful rifles are a privilege that comes with time and money, a functional rifle is a necessity that comes with common sense. All rifle manufacturers have a bad apple make it through once in a while. I would say the M70 is one that you hear the least amount of issues with in production guns. Buy it, shoot it a lot and take it to Africa. It ain’t a fashion contest over there. All that PH cares about is that you can shoot.
    Cheers,
    Cody
     

  8. Rob404

    Rob404 AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I like mine but so far it doesn't quite have the accuracy at 200 m I'm looking for, fit an function are excellent I just need to find it's sweet spot
     

  9. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I've taken more big game with my M70 Express in 375 H&H than any others. And if you include the 416 Rem Mag big sister, that stretches from duiker to elephant.

    Only thing I do is turn out the screw on the trigger to lighten the pull weight to a out 3 pounds, mount a good scope and shoot it as much as you can.

    Mine like a variety of factory ammo but loves 300 grain Federal Premium Trophy Bonded Bear Claws.
     

  10. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    BTW, took both but carried the 416 for 12 days in Zimbabwe in November. Tough conditions, roasted in 100 plus heat and froze on driving rain. All I did was wipe some of the rain, sand and grime off. Guns kept functioning just fine. Although the Finnish is pretty cheap on those models and had some surface rust. Took them apart when I got home and cleaned out leaves and sand and wiped down good with rust remover.
     
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  11. MBaugh

    MBaugh AH Member

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    Mine has been on 2 of my plains game safaris. Never a doubt about the decision to take on a hunt. Buy and practice and you will never regret your purchase. Great cartridge in a great rifle.
     
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  12. Hmaxwell

    Hmaxwell AH Senior Member

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    My favorite gun and one of the best shooting I own.
     

  13. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    the Winchester M70 Safari is the finest budget DG rifle on the market.

    -matt
     

  14. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    Buy it. I shot mine extensively in stock configuration until finances allowed me to customize it. I sometimes regret removing all the battle scars from my time living and hunting in Alaska. You can’t buy a better rifle for the price.
     
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  15. swantrip

    swantrip AH Member

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    I have the exact rifle you are talking about. Only hunted in Australia and I have absolutely no regrets, it is my favorite rifle. I would consider bedding the rifle. Off the bench I shoot through the same hole at 50m. (Handloads). Don't give it another thought, grab it.
     
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  16. Jeff Schaeffer

    Jeff Schaeffer AH Senior Member

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    Guys, thank you so much. Another guy snapped it up while I was on the road negotiating a trade for a 7x57. But, I will be ready for the next one. The truth is that it was a good deal, but I really need the same gun in .416. I am sure that the same comments apply.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
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  17. MBaugh

    MBaugh AH Member

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    I hope you find the M70 in 416. I love mine, taken Impala to Cape Buffalo with it. You'll love it! It's a toss up between the 375 H&H and 416 which is my favorite. Good luck.
     
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  18. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    the best possible caliber for the Win M70 Safari is the 416. Winchester uses the same barrel for the 375, 416, and 458 which means the gun is muzzle heavy with a 375 and just too dang light in the 458 but perfect as a 416.

    my Win M70 in 416 RM has competed with and beaten custom bolt guns costing 10-20 times more in large bore competitions. my recommended load for everything except hippo, elephant, and rhino is a 300gr Barnes TSX over 81.5gr of H4895.

    -matt
     

  19. Certus

    Certus AH Senior Member

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    I want a .458 win mag, and if I get one, for me, it has to be a Winchester model 70. I like the cartridge and maker names to match :)

    As for affording either an expensive rifle OR going on a hunt.. well, would you rather an object or memories? :)
     
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  20. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    Certus,

    Good for you. Nice reliable gun and a bullet to match.

    The best thing about the 70 is that it doesn't break. A friend uses his dead father's pre 64 that looks like it has ridden around in the back of a pickup that was half loaded with gravel for years and it still works.

    Buy one today, run a patch through the barrel and shoot it today and it will function flawlessly just like it will 20 years from now.

    And the beauty of it is that you don't have to take a brand new reasonably priced shooting iron and send it out to a gunsmith so he will work on it to make it function properly.
     
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