Winchester M70 .375 H&H New Haven vs. South Carolina

uujm

Bronze supporter
New member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
3
Location
Texas Hill Country
I am trying to choose between two Safari Express rifles. I have owned my fair share of handguns and shotguns but this is my first hunting rifle. One was manufactured in South Carolina and the other was one of the last rifles made in Connecticut. Is there any big differences between the two quality wise? Does one have better accuracy over the other?
 

BnC 04

Gold supporter
AH elite
Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
1,343
Location
Tennessee
Media
64
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
3
Member of
DSC, RMEF, DU, NWTF, NRA
Hunted
Canada/Europe/Africa/14 US States
Both plants put out great rifles so can't say one will be better then the other in terms of accrucy or reliability. I have not had an issue out of my New Haven rifles and I own a few. That being said, there is always a chance of a lemon no matter what we are talking about.
Go through the common steps of inspection when looking over a used rifle and you will be do good with either/or.
 

fourfive8

AH elite
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
1,805
Reaction score
3,085
Media
234
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana
I've owned all varieties/ages. IMO, the late New Haven rifles were as good or better than any ever made. If the technicians building them on the old Winchester equipment were paying attention and keeping the machines on spec, they are as close to right on the money as any CNC made since then. Between the two you are looking at, all other things being equal such as condition and close on price, I'd pick the New Haven if for no other reason than the trigger.
 

uujm

Bronze supporter
New member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
3
Location
Texas Hill Country
Both plants put out great rifles so can't say one will be better then the other in terms of accrucy or reliability. I have not had an issue out of my New Haven rifles and I own a few. That being said, there is always a chance of a lemon no matter what we are talking about.
Go through the common steps of inspection when looking over a used rifle and you will be do good with either/or.
Thank you.
 

uujm

Bronze supporter
New member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
3
Location
Texas Hill Country
I've owned all varieties/ages. IMO, the late New Haven rifles were as good or better than any ever made. If the technicians building them on the old Winchester equipment were paying attention and keeping the machines on spec, they are as close to right on the money as any CNC made since then. Between the two you are looking at, all other things being equal such as condition and close on price, I'd pick the New Haven if for no other reason than the trigger.
Thanks. I am leaning towards the New Haven model.
 

Wyatt Smith

AH elite
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
1,615
Reaction score
2,470
Location
Pike county
Media
40
The firing pin springs are also different. I had to change one on my Portuguese M70 after about 300 rounds. I know they are different because I bought one for a New Haven rifle by accident.
I like the New Haven trigger better.
The bolt shroud threads are also different, the New Haven has large square threads, the FN rifles have fine tapered threads. Which is better? I do not know.
 

Muskox

Gold supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jun 1, 2013
Messages
252
Reaction score
309
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
Namibia, Australia, Spain, Germany, all over the United States
I have owned a variety of M70's; Portueguese, FN, and New Haven.

I like the FN models the best, even if Portuguese.
 

Muskox

Gold supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jun 1, 2013
Messages
252
Reaction score
309
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
Namibia, Australia, Spain, Germany, all over the United States
I would go so far as to add that unless you have a Pre-1959 or so M70 that a Pre-64 is less desirable than a new gun made by FN.

The worst quality of course are 1965 Post-64's, and the "classic" m70s made by New Haven.

I bought a super grade in 300 Win that was the ones that David Miller had redesigned the stock for them. It looked like it was inletted with a chainsaw by a drunken viking.
 

Muskox

Gold supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jun 1, 2013
Messages
252
Reaction score
309
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
Namibia, Australia, Spain, Germany, all over the United States
One final thought, the build quality of the FN may be hands down better, but the New Haven rifle will have a better trigger. As they mostly used the only Winchester m70 trigger from the Pre-64.
 

sestoppelman

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
7,682
Reaction score
7,708
Media
172
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
NRA, NA Hunt Club
Hunted
Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia (2), South Africa (2)
I would go so far as to add that unless you have a Pre-1959 or so M70 that a Pre-64 is less desirable than a new gun made by FN.

The worst quality of course are 1965 Post-64's, and the "classic" m70s made by New Haven.

I bought a super grade in 300 Win that was the ones that David Miller had redesigned the stock for them. It looked like it was inletted with a chainsaw by a drunken viking.
I know the early post 64's were not up to snuff, but what makes you single out the 1965 model in particular?
I have a 1971 std model in .308 that is just a phenomenal rifle. All the improvements had been pretty much made by then from the post 64 debacle.
 

Muskox

Gold supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jun 1, 2013
Messages
252
Reaction score
309
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
Namibia, Australia, Spain, Germany, all over the United States
Actually any rifle made after 1959 or so.
 

sestoppelman

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
7,682
Reaction score
7,708
Media
172
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
NRA, NA Hunt Club
Hunted
Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia (2), South Africa (2)
I cant agree with that, I have had several later m70's that are as well made as anything else. I would agree that the immediate post 64 rifles up until the improvements were made in 68-69 were not great. But the late 60's and 70's rifles were well made, accurate shooters. Any vintage can have lemons.
 

fourfive8

AH elite
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
1,805
Reaction score
3,085
Media
234
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana
I too have owned and shot many different pre- 64s, post- 64s PFs, post- 64 classic CRFs and even a post- New Haven (aka the FN). There was (is) nothing special about the FN. The one I owned even had a small but distinct double hitch that could be felt in the lug raceway during bolt throw. It was purchased new so it wasn't a lug setback from an over pressure event in its history. CNC or not, it was made that way. I don't really care if a bunch of individual operations are done CNC, it was not superior IMO to any previous M70 that I've had experience with. The MOA trigger, which came with the FN change, is simply some version of a "lawyer" trigger and in IMO inferior to the original M70 design. The barrel, bore and chamber on the FN were so-so. The rifle overall was no more accurate than any other Winchester M70. If anything it was I guess in the average somewhere. Not saying it was a lemon nor suffered inferior manufacture or assembly. It just wasn't better than any other M70 I've had experience with and the trigger was not better.

One improvement in the Winchester M70 took place IIRC in '68 with the introduction of the anti-bind "feature". That was done during the infamous early PF era so naturally it would have been ignored or over-looked by many. That change is rarely mentioned and is usually far overshadowed by the tantrums the purists obsess over about the PF-CRF change of '64. The anti bind design change was a great improvement to the action and one that even the M98 could benefit from. If you've ever had an M98 type bolt "bind" at the beginning of the forward thrust right at the point of maximum rear travel, you'll know what that is. Winchester corrected that bind potential in the M70 in 1968 with that simple design change.

Ironically, one of the the most accurate M70s I ever owned was a push feed made in 1972. That thing was used continuously under all manner of field conditions over many years and never burped, hiccuped, hesitated or failed to operate perfectly and shoot accurately. :)
 
Last edited:

Muskox

Gold supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jun 1, 2013
Messages
252
Reaction score
309
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
Namibia, Australia, Spain, Germany, all over the United States
Good to know, I think there are duds in every brand and model. A friend has a Portuguese FN that is a pile of junk.
 

Muskox

Gold supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jun 1, 2013
Messages
252
Reaction score
309
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
Namibia, Australia, Spain, Germany, all over the United States
I had a push feed 375 that was a great rifle, I often forget about it.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,609
Messages
718,529
Members
67,212
Latest member
SRVEffie77
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Cervus elaphus wrote on Bob Nelson 35Whelen's profile.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian
A couple pictures of the sable i chased for miles in Mozambique, Coutada 9!! We finally caught up to him and I had the trophy of a lifetime. Mokore Safaris, Doug Duckworth PH
sable Coutada 9.JPG
sable 2 - Coutada 9.JPG
Safari Dave wrote on egrmpty507's profile.
Did you purchase your hunt at a US SCI fundraiser?
uplander01 wrote on colorado's profile.
Heard you may have load data for the 500 Jeffery,.....any info would be appreciated. Was thinking 535gr, but already had a response that the 570gr would be a better way to go, not sure why.
Rickmt wrote on Leica Sport Optics's profile.
will Leica Amplus 6-2.5x15x50 fit on a pro success Blaser with low mount?
 
Top