Winchester Model 70 Magazine Follower Binding

popop118

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Hey guys,

I just received a new Safari Express in 375.

have not shot it yet, already experiencing an issue.

The follower is binding with the internal box magazine. It will not fully drop either empty or with cartridges. I’ve taken the action out and put it back together thinking it may not be assembled properly, no luck.

this may be a warranty job, but has anyone experienced this/ resolved this issue?

It also seems like the follower may not be seated correctly in the spring as it frequently comes apart.

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Follower comes off the spring? Hmm. I had this problem with new magnum follower I ordered for my 404 Jeffery build on Mauser 98. I was still using the old military follower spring. Magnum follower springs apparently are wider but also designed for deeper magazine than standard 98 bottom metal. I fixed it by gently squeezing the follower in a vice at the point where the spring clips into it. That snuggly locked the standard action spring into the magnum follower slot. I suspect someone at the factory may have inadvertently put a standard Model 70 follower spring into your magnum rifle? This might cause the follower to come off the spring, tip, and not stay parallel to the floor plate. Then the follower binds against the side of mag box. Is this what you're seeing when you push the follower down with your finger?
 
Ontario Hunter, I wondered the same if an incorrect part was installed.

Yes I pushed all the way down on the follower, the rear is wedged near the bottom and the front is pointed all the way up.

Hmm wonder if Winchester would send just the parts up to Canada.

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I purchased a used one in 416 Rem Mag, and there was no tension inside the magazine. The last cartridge would pop out of the magazine. I called Winchester, and ordered a new one, which I received today, so I do not know if this will fix it or not. We shall see.
 
I purchased a used one in 416 Rem Mag, and there was no tension inside the magazine. The last cartridge would pop out of the magazine. I called Winchester, and ordered a new one, which I received today, so I do not know if this will fix it or not. We shall see.
Interesting, yeah mine was a mess trying to cycle cartridges, as expected given the binding.

In addition, taking apart the rifle I noticed the rear action screw threads had galling, not cross threaded but weird for a new rifle.

May have gotten a lemon, might be sending it back home for good.
 
I purchased a used one in 416 Rem Mag, and there was no tension inside the magazine. The last cartridge would pop out of the magazine. I called Winchester, and ordered a new one, which I received today, so I do not know if this will fix it or not. We shall see.
I had a similar issue with my 375. On the advice of a member here I replaced the spring with a used M98 spring. Never had an issue since…
 
I had a similar issue with my 375. On the advice of a member here I replaced the spring with a used M98 spring. Never had an issue since…
Magnum spring or standard action 98 spring?
 
Ontario Hunter, I wondered the same if an incorrect part was installed.

Yes I pushed all the way down on the follower, the rear is wedged near the bottom and the front is pointed all the way up.

Hmm wonder if Winchester would send just the parts up to Canada.
Recent regs on US side make it very difficult to export gun parts. If you run into problems with Winchester, PM me. There is a workaround.

Should not be a problem finding a standard 98 Mauser follower spring in Canada, if you want to try it. I might be able to help with that too. My usual fee for assisting Africa Hunting forum members is $0.00/hr or an overnighter with Shaniah Twain, whichever is cheaper.
 
Recent regs on US side make it very difficult to export gun parts. If you run into problems with Winchester, PM me. There is a workaround.

Should not be a problem finding a standard 98 Mauser follower spring in Canada, if you want to try it. I might be able to help with that too. My usual fee for assisting Africa Hunting forum members is $0.00/hr or an overnighter with Shaniah Twain, whichever is cheaper.
Was looking into is there is a parts supplier on our side of the border.

Lol the latter would be the dream.
 
That spring looks OK and looks to be installed correctly. Before ordering parts it would be a good idea to try to trouble shoot and correct or at least identify the issue first. It could be the magazine box itself is buggered or not fitted correctly. The underside of the magazine/action port of the rifle should have a milled recess. The pinched-in sides of the magazine box should fit into that recess when re-assembling the rifle. To re-assemble, put the barreled action upside down in a gun cleaning vise or similar. Insert the magazine box, pinched-in end into that milled recess. There should still be some of the milled recess overlapping the pinched-in edge of the magazine box. The overlap edge is what should contact and stop the follower from continuing up into the bolt raceway port. Under spring tension the follower's upper edge should contact that overlap and be level to the action. If the pinched-in edge of the magazine box is buggered or not installed correctly it will prevent the follower from making that flush contact with the overlap cutout. Back to the re-assembly... With the barreled action upside down and the mag box clipped into the recess it should be bottomed out and flush. Disconnect the spring from the floor plate and insert the follower into the magazine box to see if it bottoms out flush with the milled, recess overlap the is holding the pinched in sides of the magazine box. If the box is not installed correctly or if the pinched-in sides are buggered it will repent the follower from bottoming out correctly. One of you photos hints at that. If it is the problem, using pliers you can carefully adjust the pinched-in sides to fit more correctly and allow the follower the required clearance to bottom out on the recess overlap on the underside of the magazine port... some call the feed rails. Also chances are the screws are not of equal length so make sure to put them back in their correct places. :) I will take some time to take one of my Win 70s apart and take some pics of proper magazine box and follower fit. Post the pics in a little while.
 
There are variations of M70 magazine boxes and how they fit into the receiver. If your magazine box does not have the pinched-in upper edge, then simply make sure the edge that fits into the milled recess in the underside of the receiver's magazine port is straight and bottoms out on the stops in the end of the receivers's port. Make sure to insert the correct end of the box into the receiver. With the box inserted and bottomed out in the receiver, make sure the follower has clearance on all sides of the box and also bottoms out in the recess in the magazine port. These magazine springs do not impart very much force on the follower at all. Changing to a stronger spring will not correct the problem if the problem is not enough clearance between the follower and sides of box and the folloer is not bottoming out in the receiver's magazine port recess. That fit should be fairly loose but not so much as to allow the follower to cant too much while in the box. The follower has parallel sides that should keep that alignment within acceptable limits. Also, if not timid you can increase the spread (potential force) of the spring by using two needle nose pliers to open the spring slightly at the switchback points.

Pics are of follower, spring and magazine box of my factory Win 70 416 Rem Mag. Note: this style box does not have the pinched-in sides

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There are variations of M70 magazine boxes and how they fit into the receiver. If your magazine box does not have the pinched-in upper edge, then simply make sure the edge that fits into the milled recess in the underside of the receiver's magazine port is straight and bottoms out on the stops in the end of the receivers's port. Make sure to insert the correct end of the box into the receiver. With the box inserted and bottomed out in the receiver, make sure the follower has clearance on all sides of the box and also bottoms out in the recess in the magazine port. These magazine springs do not impart very much force on the follower at all. Changing to a stronger spring will not correct the problem if the problem is not enough clearance between the follower and sides of box and the folloer is not bottoming out in the receiver's magazine port recess. That fit should be fairly loose but not so much as to allow the follower to cant too much while in the box. The follower has parallel sides that should keep that alignment within acceptable limits. Also, if not timid you can increase the spread (potential force) of the spring by using two needle nose pliers to open the spring slightly at the switchback points.

Pics are of follower, spring and magazine box of my factory Win 70 416 Rem Mag. Note: this style box does not have the pinched-in sides

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From looking at his photo it appears the mag box is mated properly to bottom of receiver. Anyway, mismatched magazine/receiver would not account for his follower spring falling out of its retaining slot.

We may be overthinking this. Take your spring out and stretch it apart to add more spring tension. It may very well be that this spring is too saggy. More I think about it, the more I'm convinced this is the issue. Got nothing to lose. No such thing as too much tension. Anyway, you can always bend the spring back the way it was.

Also, you may want to think about beveling the back end of the follower with a file. I had to do some trimming on sides of my follower from New England Custom Gun to stop it infrequently snagging inside the magazine. I used a Dremel tool with grinding wheel. The NECG follower is apparently a universal magnum design with two keeper extensions at both ends on one side of follower that I presume can be trimmed as needed depending on the thickness of cartridge/magazine being used.
 
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I am fairly confident the magazine box is correctly seated in its cut out/ mated with the action.

Question for you guys with your rifles. How snug is the connection between the magazine spring and the follower? Mine is very sloppy and easy to separate the two. I wonder if the extra play is causing my follower to not travel up and down in its intended slots.
 
Who knows. Something isn’t right. Those springs are attached to both follower and floor plate by friction and a small detention bump. They are intenially somewhat loose and once in the raceway slots are simply held captive by their orientation. Some new ones take a pretty good push to engage the passive detent to proper position.

The other possibility is that if the box is properly fit to the receiver then maybe the wrong follower is causing the problem. Who knows the real background of the rifle?? Any decent gunsmith could see what was wrong in a glance if in hand.
 
I am fairly confident the magazine box is correctly seated in its cut out/ mated with the action.

Question for you guys with your rifles. How snug is the connection between the magazine spring and the follower? Mine is very sloppy and easy to separate the two. I wonder if the extra play is causing my follower to not travel up and down in its intended slots.
Ah! This exactly the same problem I had when I fit the old standard Mauser spring onto the NECG magnum follower. The Mauser spring was too narrow and slipped sideways in the follower slot. And yes, it would even come out of the slot. To fix it I put the follower sideways in the jaws of vice at the point where the slot is and gently squeezed it till the follower slot was reshaped narrow enough to hold the spring firmly in place. Worked like a charm.

Reading another thread on here just now, it appears Winchester modifies the Model 70 magnum long action for shorter action calibers like 30-06. Seems likely someone at the factory dropped a standard action follower spring into a magnum rifle. Standard lenth/width caliber (e.g. 30-06 or 308) would necessarily have a narrower follower and narrower spring. This is exactly the issue I faced trying to make an 8mm follower spring work with a magnum follower. I suggest caliper the width of your follower spring and send it off to Winchester for their thoughts. I'll bet my crusty jockey shorts they send you the correct one. I am 100% convinced you have the wrong spring and that's your problem. In any event, it will be an easy fix even if you can't get another spring from them.

Attached is photo of my modified NECG follower. Note the squeezed together area. I also had to whittle away some of the follower keeper so the last 404 round in magazine would jump to the bolt face at proper timing during cycling. The squeezed together area is visible as a slight indentation on edge of follower just ahead of carved out section of keeper.
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Here's a better image of the crimped portion of the modified follower.
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And here's an image of the follower spring seated in the floorplate.
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Note how the spring fills the floorplate slot side to side. Look at the slop on both sides of your spring when seated in the floorplate. This allows the spring to walk sideways in the magazine box and slip out of retaining slot in either the follower or floorplate ... or both! That spring obviously does not belong in that gun.

Curiously, Mauser 98 follower springs are tapered slightly at the follower end but not at floorplate end.
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I reversed the spring so the wide end snapped into the new magnum follower, but then the tapered end walked out of its keepers in the floorplate. I opted for altering the follower since disfiguring the floorplate was not an option. The follower is now not so pretty but who cares? It's in the guts and usually covered with cartridges. Making the gun work was more important than minor asthetics.
 
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Ok thanks for sharing! I agree I think it’s an incorrect spring issue.

I’ve sent an email to the Canadian Warranty Service for Winchester, advising I have the wrong spring in my rifle. Now we wait..

Good thing moose hunting is over for this year and I don’t need the rifle up an running!
 
Ok thanks for sharing! I agree I think it’s an incorrect spring issue.

I’ve sent an email to the Canadian Warranty Service for Winchester, advising I have the wrong spring in my rifle. Now we wait..

Good thing moose hunting is over for this year and I don’t need the rifle up an running!
Glad to help. If Winchester doesn't pan out, Hoosier Gun Works in Indiana sells magnum Mauser springs that would probably work in Model 70. You could ask them to caliper the width and see how that compares to what you need in Model 70. I can help get one of those springs to you if needed.

Looking forward to a phone call from Ms Twain. :D
 

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