Current Production Winchester Mod 70 Safari Express

Idaho Joe

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I am thinking about a CRF .375 H&H and am looking at the Winchester Mod 70 Safari Express. Mainly because it is readily available in the US, priced decently and, well, the Winchester legacy.

Thoughts on the current production guns - function, fit/finish, durability, off the shelf accuracy, etc? Anything else I don't know to ask?

Thanks in advance!
Joe
 
I am thinking about a CRF .375 H&H and am looking at the Winchester Mod 70 Safari Express. Mainly because it is readily available in the US, priced decently and, well, the Winchester legacy.

Thoughts on the current production guns - function, fit/finish, durability, off the shelf accuracy, etc? Anything else I don't know to ask?

Thanks in advance!
Joe
I wish they still made them in LH!!!
 
Admittedly, I have only held a couple at a local gun store and haven't actually bought one; but the fit and finish seemed pretty good from what I could tell, not to mention one of them had some pretty nice figuring in the wood. I wouldn't put too much stock in the "Winchester legacy" (they are, after all, currently being manufactured by FN/Browning in Portugal); but the quality is definitely there, and is probably the best deal for the money on new safari rifles in 375 H&H. I've got a 2013 Featherweight rifle from the FN/BACO plant in South Carolina (before they moved to Portugal), and it is a very good rifle. Availability seems to ebb and flow; at the moment, they're kinda scarce in the north Texas market. It's definitely what I would buy if I insisted on a new rifle; but if you'll consider preowned, a nice CZ550 or Interarms Mark X (or its cousin, the Whitworth Express) can be had for a couple hundred less, and be every bit as good of a rifle.
 
I own one and used for deer season here just to help get comfortable with it. Love it. Buff and kudu early May, trust so much only taking one rifle. I have put it through numerous stress test and functioned as desired. Love it and was able to save enough to put a Swarovski Z6i 1.7 on top Talley QD rings etc. (thanks to mark with R&M firearms. Shameless plug, they sponsor here. Also got all my ammo there at big saving)
Great rifle, dollar for dollar the best thing going, get one and use savings for nice glass.
Mine is a FN Portugal
 
I like them. Solid build and operation usually. I have seen some butt ugly wooden stocks - maybe it was just the finish ? It was even worse than the gorilla snot that CZ use. But generally a good reliable rifle.
 
I like Winchester Model 70's be they Pre-64 or modern Model 70 Classic with controlled round feed (CRF). I also have at least one push feed M70.

I also have a couple of CZ 550 Safari Classic's. The CZ's are big rifles and have more magazine capacity than a factory M70 but have triggers and safeties that I think need upgrading.

For either M70 or 550 I recommend pillar bedding and floating the barrels ahead of the forward recoil lug.

Now here's a thread comparing the new Classic to the Pre-64 M70's:
https://www.africahunting.com/threads/1990s-winchester-70-better-infield-than-pre1964.77859/

My input is pasted below. Keep in mind that I want to be able to bet my life on my equipment. Probably overthinking most of this... :)

"The new Classic CRF Model 70 is a safer design than the Pre-64 with better overpressure gas venting. The parts are also cut with CNC machines to better match the specifications. That means no hand fitting is required. Trouble is there is no hand fitting on the new CRF M70's. There was plenty on the Pre-64 Model 70's. So much so that they function as intended as much as 87 years later.

Now the bad...
The magazine springs of the new Classic M70's can break. No problem, just replace that modern marvel with a surplus M98 Mauser spring.

Secondly, the extractors can break. Ask any gunsmith with 40 years experience how many Classic extractors they've replaced? Chances are a few. Then ask how many Pre-64 M70, M98, and P14/17 extractors they have replaced. Bet it is zero! The Classic extractors can however be upgraded to Pre-64 or even P14/17 and maybe a M98 extractor by a reasonably competent gunsmith.

I have both Pre-64 and new CRF Classic M70's. With a couple old, never do they break parts, and a few hours of carefully smoothing out the actions, the new Classics can function as good and be as reliable as a Pre-64."

The above stated, I have a friend with dozens of heads of African animals on his walls. All were shot with a bone stock M70 Classic in .375 H&H. He never needed anything more!
 
Mine from 2018 has been fantastic. Great hunting-type trigger and 100% reliable after almost 200 rounds through it hunting and range/training use. I ordered a McMillan stock for it just because.... I'd say it's one of my favorite rifles in the safe.
 
Has any one seen any new ones for sale lately
 
They seem to be very rare now. Such a contrast to 2018 when it seemed they were anxious to move them.
 
Buy and hunt with confidence. I see one or two on GunBroker now.
 
I bought a new Model 70 Alaskan in 375 last year.

Great rifle. Highly recommend.
 
I’m partial.
DCAE646A-AD90-4AC7-A492-45DB9CEB822C.jpeg
 
I have had a variety of Model 70's and prefer the new ones to the old ones. Get the controlled round feed for sure. Use good optics. Practice. Go kill stuff with big horns or teeth...
 
Love all 6 of mine. Can’t say a bad thing. A converted to 404, a 375, 300 HH pre 64, 7X57, Extreme Weather 270 WSM and 06. All control feed, various manufacturing places. No issues, all shoot well, and love to hunt.
 
I have a .308 featherweight and a .375 Safari Express that was made in New Haven in early 2000’s. My 375 shoots 1” MOA groups with both 300 gr TSX and 300 gr A Frames
Shedhorn Sports in Ennis MT has a used one on the shelf right now, can look it up on their website
 
I have 2 of the new ones. 270 Win in a featherweight and a Safari in 416 Rem. Both great shooters. There was an issue with some of the firing pin springs being too weak from the 300 Win up. I have replaced several for my customers including one of the forum members. Supply was slow but I am now stocked up.
 

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