M70 Safari Express .375 - Load 3+1 or 3?

shuter

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Guys, I suppose my real question is whether it's prudent to chamber a round in the M70 CRF action without pushing it down into the magazine. In other words, is it okay to toss a round into a M70 CRF action and close the bolt on it, or will extractor damage likely result eventually?

As a follow up question, in order to have a chambered round and be ready to shoot, would you load 3 in the magazine, and then chamber one...leaving only two more behind it; or would you load 3, push them down under the nose of the bolt, and then load a 4th, closing the bolt on it and having the extractor engage it only after the bolt is closed fully. This would, of course, leave 3 rounds in waiting behind the chambered round.

Perhaps a "duh" question for most of you, but something I've always wondered the "proper" answer to.

Thanks!
 

sierraone

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Shuter, I would like a correct answer also. I have heard the answer go both ways.
 

CAustin

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Obviously you can do what you suggest but why? It would not be very safe to begin with to walk around with a round in the chamber and it being cocked. What do you plan on shooting that you need four rounds for?
 

ActionBob

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I would like the technically correct answer also! I really don't know but sure do not like forcing the extractor as you mention. When hunting in Africa I load 3 down and hold them down, closing the bolt on an empty chamber and having the 3 in the mag. A good PH will tell you when to chamber a round and be sure you have it on safe... My number one goal on any hunt is to not accidently shoot someone! So much prefer to carry an empty chamber until it is time to be ready. I may miss an opportunity on an animal that suddenly jumps out, but safety first! Again, in my opinion, the PH should be driving this and always double checking! Many days of hard running can cause some delirium and practices might slip. A client should never be put off by safety.

Having said that, on my 375 and 416 M70's, I can carefully pop open the bottom of the mag and get a forth shell in there while feeding the first one into the claw from the mag. Then closing the cover and having one chambered and 3 down.... But it is more screwing around than one might normally want to do and you have to be VERY careful to have the follower in there correctly so you don't have subsequent feeding issues.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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In newer M70's for certain you can load directly into the chamber and have the extractor break over the rim per the M70 owner's manual, page 15. For me, I prefer to push that 4th round down into the mag as much as I can and bring the bolt forward and allowing the round to pop up behind the extractor. It takes a little practice, but it can be done. While Winchester apparently feels this is not necessary, I'd just as as soon not work the extractor more than I need to.

In a PG situation, I don't likely see where you'd need to be in this situation. If 3 shots isn't getting it done, the animal has likely got out of view or is so incapacitated you have time to reload and put the animal down for good.

In a DG situation when moving in on a herd, well that could be different.

http://media.winchesterguns.com/pdf/om/model70_manual_om_s.pdf
 

ActionBob

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Thanks Phil;
I had read that when I got my first new model 70 but never felt good doing it. However if time permits, I will probably load 4 when closing in on my next DG animal.

As for PG, fully agree, 3 is enough and hopefully one does the job.
 

shuter

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Thanks very much, gents. Good info there. As you say, in certain "imminent" situations, you would/should have the chamber loaded/safety on. Those are the ones I'm referring to. And Phil, you caught me: I'm absolutely guilty of not having read my manual since I picked up the M70 last month. I will do so today, however. Didn't know that it was "acceptable" (per Winchester) to close the bolt on an un-captured round.

Thanks again.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Thanks very much, gents. Good info there. As you say, in certain "imminent" situations, you would/should have the chamber loaded/safety on. Those are the ones I'm referring to. And Phil, you caught me: I'm absolutely guilty of not having read my manual since I picked up the M70 last month. I will do so today, however. Didn't know that it was "acceptable" (per Winchester) to close the bolt on an un-captured round.

Thanks again.

Acceptable per Winchester, yes. But I'm with Bob, I don't like doing it. I do the little trick of using my left hand to hold a 4th round partially in the magazine. It's low enough that when you move the bolt forward with your right hand, you can let it pop up into the bolt face and behind the extractor. Necessary, perhaps not, but it prevents over working the extractor.

If I were in a pinch hunting situation where time was of the essence, only then would I close the bolt on an already chambered round.
 

ActionBob

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shuter on my M70 375, the claw extractor goes over the rim but not easily... and it Knicks up the cartridge case... that is why I kind of forgot about it and have never tried on my 416.

If/when you try it, please be careful and practice all good safety procedures. It actually works pretty good to load 4 (more like 3.5) down, holding the 4th down until the case lip slips into the claw. I will try that when going after lion and/or another buffalo, time permitting. Probably have 3 down and another handy in a pocket or on my belt.
 

Red Leg

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Most PH's will want you trailing them with an empty chamber until they get to trust you. I have been in several situations where working a bolt would have frightened off a game animal. No big deal on most common PG, but something to consider when approaching a real trophy. I would guess that I have had my rifle with a loaded chamber and on safe for 80% of the approaches I have made. And I will not approach DG with an "unloaded" rifle. One nice thing about Blasers and Krieghoffs - the chamber can be loaded and yet the weapon is uncocked and can't be fired until the safety/cocking lever is advanced.
 

ActionBob

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Oh I was always loaded when approaching and even stalking close, especially on buffalo. But not when climbing up the riverbank or climbing over an old cattle fence, etc. to get to the bush where the critters are.

On the elephant hunt where we would walk for miles and be switching the gun from one shoulder to the other, I left the chamber empty until told to put one in or until I knew we were close.
 

Kano

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If the locking lug cut in the right of the receiver ring has enough clearance, you can chamber a round in a CRF by loading the round in the chamber, then closing slowly the bolt while pressing the extractor blade against the bolt body. This opens up the extractor claw sufficiently to easily jump the cartridge rim.

Of course the extractor has to be good quality spring steel (which is unfortunately not always the case).
 

Ado

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That is one huge benefit of the CZ550 - the mag holds five...

Agree with the comments about safety first.

Ado
 

benchracer

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I consider the whole debate to be much ado about nothing, if you have a modern CRF rifle. The old military mausers had un-beveled extractors that made closing the bolt on a chambered round more difficult, and perhaps a dicey proposition. AFAIK, that is the genesis of the old saw about not closing a CRF bolt on a chambered round. I'm not sure of the exact time frame, but some time after WWII, it became standard practice to bevel the extractor on CRF actions, like sporting versions of the mauser and the Winchester Model 70, which makes closing the bolt on a chambered round a non-issue. Unless you have an older rifle, there is nothing to worry about.
 

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