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

uujm

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
 

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I have owned a variety of M70's; Portueguese, FN, and New Haven.

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

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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.
 

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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

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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

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Actually any rifle made after 1959 or so.
 

sestoppelman

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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

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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. :)
 
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Muskox

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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

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I had a push feed 375 that was a great rifle, I often forget about it.
 

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