Is the Model 70 Safari Express a Magnum action?

hammz

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Just curious, are the actions on the Winchester Model 70 Safari Express rifles considered a magnum action, or is just their long action with some material removed to allow the bigger cartridges to seat in the magwell/brass to clear receiver?

For instance, I know Savages 338 Lapua rifles are just their long actions with different heat treatment, and some material removed to open up the ejection port and allow for the larger magazines.
 

sierraone

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The answer to your question is no. I don't have a comparison photo of a M98 magnum action, but I do of the M70 Safari Express to a Ruger RSM action. The M70 to the right, the RSM on the left. The RSM is a magnum length action, the M70 a long action. Those that may disagree please chime in.

RSM vs M 70 Action.jpg
 
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postoak

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The pre-64 Model 70 came with only one action length that was used for all calibers.
Since 1992, at least, there have been two, short and long.
 

John Tanuwidjaja

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Not a magnum action but my preferred length & size for the 375 H&H case and its derivatives! Trimmer and not as bulky nor heavy as the true Magnum actions which come into their own on only when using the 416 Rigby case and its various derivatives. Unless you want a 5 shot magazine capacity with your 375H&H like in a CZ.
 

One Day...

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Yes and no, it depends what you mean, but traditionally no :)

The concept of "magnum action" came into being with the Mauser "Commercial Magnum" action developed to house the .375 H&H and .416 Rigby cartridges created respectively in 1912 and 1911. This action was designed with a wider and longer magazine well. The magazine length was calculated to house the 3.75" .416 Rigby and was ~3.85". This obviously allowed it to accept the shorter 3.6" .375 H&H.

Since then, a "magnum length" action has traditionally been understood as an action sized for the .416 Rigby, which typically means a magazine well length of 3.84".

The factory Winchester 70 "H&H Magnum" action has a magazine well 3.64" long. It works with the H&H length and profile cartridges - therefore it is a "H&H magnum" action, but it is too short for the Rigby cartridges - therefore it is not a magnum action in the traditional sense of "Mauser Commercial Magnum." It works well for the .375 H&H slopping shoulder, barely but acceptably for the .416 Rem blown out shoulder, and is problematic with the .458 Lott straight case (which is why Winchester does not offer the .458 Lott as a factory chambering, despite the popularity of the Lott). It can be made to work well with the Lott but requires delicate re-profiling of the feed rails.

The feed ramp at the front of the Win 70 action can be machined away to lengthen the magazine well (just like the standard military K98 Mauser could be, resulting in the world famous .416 Rigby carried by Harry Selby), and the Winchester Custom shop did list for a while the .416 Rigby in their offering.

Visually, this is what the various Winchester 70 "long" actions look like viewed from the magazine well:

1603672832034.png

“Standard” a.k.a. “long” Win 70 action. Cartridge length up to 3.34”, narrow magazine box. Typical application: .30-06 family (.25/06, .270 Win, .280 Rem, .35 Whelen, etc.) and similar non-magnum cartridges.

1603672860267.png

“Short Magnum” Win 70 action. Cartridge length up to 3.34”, wide magazine box. Observe the thinner side walls. Typical application: Winchester’s circa 1950's original “short magnums” family (.264 Win, .300 Win, .338 Win, .458 Win, etc.) and similar belted cartridges (e.g. 7 mm Rem Mag).

1603672898569.png

"H&H Magnum" Win 70 action. Cartridge length up to 3.64”, wide magazine box. Observe the lengthened magazine well at front and rear. Typical application: H&H family (.300 H&H, .300 Wby, .375 H&H, 416 Rem, etc.).

1603672937189.png

Custom "Rigby length" Win 70 action machined from a H&H magnum action. Cartridge length up to 3.84”, wide magazine box. Observe the lengthened magazine well by machining away most of the feed ramp. Typical application: Rigby family (.416 Rigby, .450 Rigby, .338 Lapua, .378/.416/.460 Wby, etc.).

1603674118041.png
 
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sierraone

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I was able to find the length in inches of the Mauser 98 magnum, According to Hallowell and Co. in Montana it is 9.25 inches. I have not been able to find the lengths of the M70 long action or the Ruger RSM. I own both but do not know where to measure from..
 

sierraone

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Yes and no, it depends what you mean, but traditionally no :)

The concept of "magnum action" came into being with the Mauser "Commercial Magnum" action developed to house the .375 H&H and .416 Rigby cartridges created respectively in 1912 and 1911. This action was designed with a wider and longer magazine well. The magazine length was calculated to house the 3.75" .416 Rigby and was 3.84". This obviously allowed it to accept the shorter 3.6" .375 H&H.

Since then, a "magnum length" action has traditionally been understood as an action sized for the .416 Rigby, which typically means a magazine well length of 3.84".

The factory Winchester 70 "H&H Magnum" action has a magazine well 3.64" long. It works with the H&H length and profile cartridges - therefore it is a "H&H magnum" action, but it is too short for the Rigby cartridges - therefore it is not a magnum action in the traditional sense of "Mauser Commercial Magnum." It works well for the .375 H&H, barely but acceptably for the .416 Rem blown out shoulder, and is problematic with the .458 Lott straight case (which is why Winchester does not offer the .458 Lott as a factory chambering, despite the popularity of the Lott). It can be made to work well with the Lott but requires delicate re-profiling of the feed rails.

The feed ramp at the front of the Win 70 action can be machined away to lengthen the magazine well (just like the standard military K98 Mauser could be, resulting in the world famous .416 Rigby carried by Harry Selby), and the Winchester Custom shop did list for a while the .416 Rigby in their offering.

Visually, this is what the various Winchester 70 "long" actions look like viewed from the magazine well:

View attachment 373065
“Standard” a.k.a. “long” Win 70 action. Cartridge length up to 3.34”, narrow magazine box. Typical application: .30-06 family (.25/06, .270 Win, .280 Rem, .35 Whelen, etc.) and similar non-magnum cartridges.

View attachment 373066
“Short Magnum” Win 70 action. Cartridge length up to 3.34”, wide magazine box. Observe the thinner side walls. Typical application: Winchester’s circa 1950's original “short magnums” family (.264 Win, .300 Win, .338 Win, .458 Win, etc.) and similar belted cartridgeds (e.g. 7 mm Rem Mag).

View attachment 373067
"H&H Magnum" Win 70 action. Cartridge length up to 3.64”, wide magazine box. Observe the lengthened magazine well at front and rear. Typical application: H&H family (.300 H&H, .300 Wby, .375 H&H, 416 Rem, etc.)

View attachment 373068
Custom "Rigby length" magnum receiver, cartridge length up to 3.84”, wide magazine box. Observe the lengthened magazine well by machining away most of the feed ramp. Typical application: Rigby family (.416 Rigby, .45 Rigby, .416 Lapua, .378/.416/.406 Wby, etc.)
So, the length of an action is the length of the magazine well?
 

One Day...

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Essentially yes :)

Obviously the action itself is longer than the well, but the length of the action is irrelevant - within reason - to the length of the well (actions can have longer or shorter barrel rings, bolt shrouds, tangs, etc.), and the length (and width) of the well is what decides what cartridges can be housed in the action.

Note that the Win 70 "H&H Magnum" action has in fact the same length as the Win 70 "Standard" or "Short Magnum" actions. All are "long" actions and only the magazine well is longer on the "H&H Magnum" than on the "Standard" or "Short Magnum" actions.

Typically, "Mauser Commercial Magnum"-length, a.k.a. .416 Rigby-length actions, ARE longer than H&H-length actions so that they too can have a long progressive feed ramp, as opposed to a short abrupt feed ramp on machined away actions that typically result in more delicate feeding tune up.
 
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Gemsbok45

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I have shot a bunch of Buffalo and quite a few elephants with the Model 70 Safari Grade in 416 Rem Mag. You go bigger than that and your looking for a stopper! Just my two cents!
 

chashardy

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One Day's post above is very informative on the tech specs and I learned a lot from it. My own experience is owning Mod 70's in 30-06, 300 Winmag and 375 H&H (A M70 Safari grade) and I don't notice any significant difference in the sizing of the actions, length of bolt, etc.
I recently purchased a John Rigby 416 Rigby with the Mauser M98 action. The Rigby is certainly sized up for the bigger 416 cartridge and the bolt pull is noticeably longer than the M70 Safari grade 375 H&H. The Model 70 certainly has no issue feeding and extracting 375 H&H ammo as smoothly as you expect, and the Rigby has the same feel, just a longer pull.
 

John Tanuwidjaja

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Yes and no, it depends what you mean, but traditionally no :)

The concept of "magnum action" came into being with the Mauser "Commercial Magnum" action developed to house the .375 H&H and .416 Rigby cartridges created respectively in 1912 and 1911. This action was designed with a wider and longer magazine well. The magazine length was calculated to house the 3.75" .416 Rigby and was ~3.85". This obviously allowed it to accept the shorter 3.6" .375 H&H.

Since then, a "magnum length" action has traditionally been understood as an action sized for the .416 Rigby, which typically means a magazine well length of 3.84".

The factory Winchester 70 "H&H Magnum" action has a magazine well 3.64" long. It works with the H&H length and profile cartridges - therefore it is a "H&H magnum" action, but it is too short for the Rigby cartridges - therefore it is not a magnum action in the traditional sense of "Mauser Commercial Magnum." It works well for the .375 H&H slopping shoulder, barely but acceptably for the .416 Rem blown out shoulder, and is problematic with the .458 Lott straight case (which is why Winchester does not offer the .458 Lott as a factory chambering, despite the popularity of the Lott). It can be made to work well with the Lott but requires delicate re-profiling of the feed rails.

The feed ramp at the front of the Win 70 action can be machined away to lengthen the magazine well (just like the standard military K98 Mauser could be, resulting in the world famous .416 Rigby carried by Harry Selby), and the Winchester Custom shop did list for a while the .416 Rigby in their offering.

Visually, this is what the various Winchester 70 "long" actions look like viewed from the magazine well:

View attachment 373065
“Standard” a.k.a. “long” Win 70 action. Cartridge length up to 3.34”, narrow magazine box. Typical application: .30-06 family (.25/06, .270 Win, .280 Rem, .35 Whelen, etc.) and similar non-magnum cartridges.

View attachment 373066
“Short Magnum” Win 70 action. Cartridge length up to 3.34”, wide magazine box. Observe the thinner side walls. Typical application: Winchester’s circa 1950's original “short magnums” family (.264 Win, .300 Win, .338 Win, .458 Win, etc.) and similar belted cartridges (e.g. 7 mm Rem Mag).

View attachment 373067
"H&H Magnum" Win 70 action. Cartridge length up to 3.64”, wide magazine box. Observe the lengthened magazine well at front and rear. Typical application: H&H family (.300 H&H, .300 Wby, .375 H&H, 416 Rem, etc.).

View attachment 373068
Custom "Rigby length" Win 70 action machined from a H&H magnum action. Cartridge length up to 3.84”, wide magazine box. Observe the lengthened magazine well by machining away most of the feed ramp. Typical application: Rigby family (.416 Rigby, .450 Rigby, .338 Lapua, .378/.416/.460 Wby, etc.).

View attachment 373069
One Day thanks for that excellent information. I love my M70's and have several of them. Never knew they ever made one from the factory in a .416 Rigby. Going by the prices must have been a custom shop model.
 

ZG47

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The pre-64 Model 70 came with only one action length that was used for all calibers.
Since 1992, at least, there have been two, short and long.
Short action push-feed Model 70 came out in 1980. I cannot say when the short action Classics came out. Majority of Model 70 actions have a receiver diameter about half way between Mauser small- and large-ring actions. WSM, WSSM and FN branded receiver diameter is greater but
still a wee bit less than the Mauser large-ring receiver diameter.
 

sierraone

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One Day thanks for that excellent information. I love my M70's and have several of them. Never knew they ever made one from the factory in a .416 Rigby. Going by the prices must have been a custom shop model.
1603680814871.png

Here you go, made it in 2006. The last one I saw was selling for $6000.00
 

hammz

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Yes and no, it depends what you mean, but traditionally no :)

The concept of "magnum action" came into being with the Mauser "Commercial Magnum" action developed to house the .375 H&H and .416 Rigby cartridges created respectively in 1912 and 1911. This action was designed with a wider and longer magazine well. The magazine length was calculated to house the 3.75" .416 Rigby and was ~3.85". This obviously allowed it to accept the shorter 3.6" .375 H&H.

Since then, a "magnum length" action has traditionally been understood as an action sized for the .416 Rigby, which typically means a magazine well length of 3.84".

The factory Winchester 70 "H&H Magnum" action has a magazine well 3.64" long. It works with the H&H length and profile cartridges - therefore it is a "H&H magnum" action, but it is too short for the Rigby cartridges - therefore it is not a magnum action in the traditional sense of "Mauser Commercial Magnum." It works well for the .375 H&H slopping shoulder, barely but acceptably for the .416 Rem blown out shoulder, and is problematic with the .458 Lott straight case (which is why Winchester does not offer the .458 Lott as a factory chambering, despite the popularity of the Lott). It can be made to work well with the Lott but requires delicate re-profiling of the feed rails.

The feed ramp at the front of the Win 70 action can be machined away to lengthen the magazine well (just like the standard military K98 Mauser could be, resulting in the world famous .416 Rigby carried by Harry Selby), and the Winchester Custom shop did list for a while the .416 Rigby in their offering.

Visually, this is what the various Winchester 70 "long" actions look like viewed from the magazine well:

View attachment 373065
“Standard” a.k.a. “long” Win 70 action. Cartridge length up to 3.34”, narrow magazine box. Typical application: .30-06 family (.25/06, .270 Win, .280 Rem, .35 Whelen, etc.) and similar non-magnum cartridges.

View attachment 373066
“Short Magnum” Win 70 action. Cartridge length up to 3.34”, wide magazine box. Observe the thinner side walls. Typical application: Winchester’s circa 1950's original “short magnums” family (.264 Win, .300 Win, .338 Win, .458 Win, etc.) and similar belted cartridges (e.g. 7 mm Rem Mag).

View attachment 373067
"H&H Magnum" Win 70 action. Cartridge length up to 3.64”, wide magazine box. Observe the lengthened magazine well at front and rear. Typical application: H&H family (.300 H&H, .300 Wby, .375 H&H, 416 Rem, etc.).

View attachment 373068
Custom "Rigby length" Win 70 action machined from a H&H magnum action. Cartridge length up to 3.84”, wide magazine box. Observe the lengthened magazine well by machining away most of the feed ramp. Typical application: Rigby family (.416 Rigby, .450 Rigby, .338 Lapua, .378/.416/.460 Wby, etc.).

View attachment 373069

Thank you for that very detailed write-up! I also never realized the action size was more-so defined by the magwell size than the length of the receiver.
 

Professor Mawla

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Not in the same sense as a Pattern 14 Enfield action or a Granite Mountain Arms Magnum Mauser action . It cannot chamber a calibre as large as the .505 Gibbs . Nevertheless , it is a “ long action “ .
 

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