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This will take you up to 1981. You can check your serial number against the list and it will give you a year of mfg.
Winchester Pre 64 Model 70 Information
Bolt action rifle, made in Short Rifle (Carbine), Standard, Featherweight, Magnum, Varmint, Super Grade or Match versions.
Introduced in 1935 but not sold until 1937 starting at S/N 1 & made to up 1963 at S/N 581,471 for the pre-64 versions.
Cataloged calibers were, 22 Hornet, 220 Swift, 243 Win., 250 Savage, 257 Roberts, 264 Win Mag. 270 Win., 7x57mm Mauser, 7.65 Argentine, 300 Savage, 308 Win., 30-06, 300 H&H magnum, 300 Win. Mag. 338 Win Mag. 35 Remington, 358 Win. 9x97 mm, 375 H&H magnum, 458 Win. magnum
These guns were made in carbine, (20"), featherweight, (22"), standard (24"), magnum & varmint (26") barrels. The carbine & standard barrels had a raised ring, (boss) at the rear sight dovetail so that the dovetail was above the normal slot cut in the barrel. The featherweight & varmint barrels did not have the rear sight boss. The breech end of the barrel copied the 1903 Springfield coned breech.
All guns other than the target versions used a barrel with an integral front ramp until 1955 when the ramps were silver soldered on. Sling swivels were the standard on-detachable bows for the standard grade. Buttplates were a forged checkered steel with a lip on top, until later when they were black plastic.
All the stocks were walnut & were hand checkered, except some match guns which were plain. The non magnum caliber magazines held 5 rounds. The steel hinged magazine cover was held in place at the rear by a plunger that was housed inside the front of the guard bow, (trigger guard). Triggers were simple, but adjustable.
There were 3 different types of safeties used on these guns. The original spatula thumb piece which blocked the line of sight for iron sights in the safe position & had to be moved to the left to fire. The transition & others thereafter will swing to the right or the muzzle to fire.
The pre-64 was only made in a "long" action, as when using shorter calibers, the magazine box had spacers added in either the rear or front, or both to allow feeding. A filler (spacer) block was added to the extractor ring that acted as a bolt stop & was made different lengths to accommodate each caliber other than the standard (30-06 & magnums). The ejector was made longer to compensate for shorter calibers.
The "Pre-War" (up to early 1942) version had a cloverleaf rear tang & was made from s/n 1 to about s/n 60,500
The bolt shrouds on the pre-war will be flat on top and the transition model will be round.
The bolt handle on the pre-war will have a 90 degree step at the base and the transition does not.
The pre-war will have clip slots at the front of the rear receiver bridge on all of the standard actions. The transition model has the clip slots on the target rifles in 30-06 only or by special order.
The rear bridge on the pre-war has no original holes in the recessed and matted wavy line area. It does have (2) peep sight holes on the LH side of the rear receiver. Scope mounts in that era used a rear base that was made to use these peep sight holes on the side.
The "Transition" was then made from 1945 until 1951 from approximately s/n 60,500 - 87,700 on the standard action and s/n 63,200 - 121,700 for the magnum action. The reason for this is that it appears there was 2 assembly lines. The carbines were discontinued about 1947.
The transition safety lever was changed to swing to the muzzle to fire. These 3 position safeties had an abbreviated lever that did not hang lower than the top of the sleeve. The transition version has two holes on the rear bridge with a space of .865 center to center, and no recessed wavy line area.
The "Later" pre-64 version went up into late 1963 & ended at s/n 581,471. It's safety had a extension protruding over the side of the sleeve & could have been called a full safety lever
There was supposed to be a gap in serial numbers between the ending of the "Pre 64" at s/n 581,471, and the new "Post 64" guns that started at s/n 700,000.
The Featherweight was introduced in 1952 & used a shorter barrel, 22", with no rear sight hump, & the guard bow (trigger guard) & magazine cover were made of black annodized aluminum. The buttplate was also aluminum. The stock had 2 holes drilled about 7" deep under the buttplate. All other metal parts interchanged with the standard gun.
The Super Grade:
The Super grade guns had a sling swivel similar to the now commonly known Quick Take-Down type only they were about ½" wide at the base. The bows were made of a crude casting. Very late SG guns & factory replacement parts, used a narrower base that is compatible with the common QD bases. The magazine cover has "SUPER GRADE" stamped in the outside of the cover. The front sight was a Redfield sourdough. Wood was a higher grade than was found on the standard grade guns. There was a grip cap on these versions.
The Westerner was available in either the 264 or 300 Win. Mag. with a 26" barrel.
The Alaskan could be had in either a 338 Win mag. or the 375 H&H mag. It came with a 25" barrel.
The Afican was available only in the 458 Win Mag with a 25" barrel.
Serial Numbers for date manufactured for pre-64 guns
Year S/N start S/N end Quantity
1936 1 2,238 2,238
1937 2,239 11,573 9,335
1938 11,574 17,844 6,271
1939 17,845 23,991 6,147
1940 23,992 31,675 7,684
1941 31,676 41,753 10,078
1942 41,754 49,206 7,453
1943 49,207 49,983 777
1944 49,984 49,997 14
1945 49,998 50,921 924
1946 50,922 58,382 7,461
1947 58,383 75,675 17,293
1948 75,676 101,680 26,005
1949 101,681 131,580 29,900
1950 131,581 173,150 41,570
1951 173,151 206,625 33,475
1952 206,626 238,820 32,195
1953 238,821 282,735 43,915
1954 282,736 323,530 40,795
1955 323,531 361,025 37,495
1956 361,026 393,595 32,570
1957 393,596 425,283 31,688
1958 425,284 440,792 15,509
1959 440,793 465,040 24,248
1960 465,041 504,257 39,217
1961 504,258 545,446 41,189
1962 545,447 565,592 20,146
1963 562,593 581,471 15,879
Winchester Post 64 Model 70 Information
POST 64 GUNS:
Gun production methods had changed to the point that Olin had to look at just how they made this model as compared to how Remington was making the model 700's. Winchester was making guns the "OLD WAY" using many machines & multiple operations to complete each part.
Remington on the other hand had gained much from WWII production insight by using stamped parts wherever possible & different design methods when they introduced their new model 721 & 722 right after the war.
Winchester on the other hand was kind of stuck with the established & well thought of model 70, which did not lend itself with modernization without suffering dramatic cosmetic changes. The upper level management at Olin must have thought that they could convince the buying public that the newer models were just as good.
Mechanically they were, but just try to convince the older generation that knew what they wanted, not what somebody thought they wanted. This time frame also saw one of our greatest inflationary periods ever. Increased shortages of good walnut for stocks & the rise in cost of steel & other alloy materials.
Raising demands for American skilled labor also was a contributing factor. Many extras that were offered before were dropped from the catalogs, probably because they had no one skilled enough to produce the extras.
One author stated that the existing tooling was wearing out. This may have been so to a point, but my thoughts are that the company needed to cut production costs to survive & the R & D crew was given a task. They did an admirable job while yet maintaining the somewhat resemblance of the predecessor.
Serial numbers were supposed to have started at 700,000 when the new model was introduced in1964. However a few have been noticed at numbers below that established guideline.
Many things changed on this model as compared to just the year before. The most obvious was the impressed checkering & stock finish. The old Mauser type extractor was eliminated & a new style smaller unit was moved into the RH bolt lug & it used a spring loaded plungered system. The ejector was a small spring loaded plunger incorporated into the bottom front of the bolt face. There was a striker cap on the rear of the bolt sleeve covering the rear of the firing pin, serving as a gas deflector.
The sights were made by Williams Gunsight Co. as their standard replacement sights for gunsmiths that screwed onto the barrel. The action was lengthened slightly to accommodate the longer cartridges.
The magazine boxes were stamped & utilized feed rails/lips instead of the receiver having to be machined for each cartridge.
The trigger guard (guard bow as the factory calls it) was made from an aluminum casting that was painted black. The floorplate was a steel casting that was copper plated & then black chromed.
The barrel used the same threads as before, but did not keep the coned breech. The trigger & sear were a casting. The bolt handle was cast & silver solder welded onto the rear of the bolt body. There was no anti bind lug on the middle left side of the bolt body.
After the 1968 Federal gun control law, (put thru congress after JF Kennedy was assassinated), all the Post 64 guns then carried a "G" s/n prefix at near 874,000. This was also the time the "Anti-Bind" bolt was initiated. This new bolt used a lip on the lower edge of the RH locking lug. The lip rode under a part of the receiver rail that help prevent bolt binding.
Over the years since 1964 this model has went thru many cosmetic changes. These ranged from cheaper guns with blind magazines & walnut stained birch stocks, to Mannlicher stocks, to hard finished walnut with machine cut checkering. The list goes on which included 11 different styles.
USRAC (United States Repeating Arms Corp.) was formed and continued manufacturing Winchester brand rifles and shotguns under license from Olin Corp. on 7-20-1981. This final year of Olin production saw a new "XTR Featherweight". But very few actually made it to the dealers shelves before USRAC took over.
The only way I have been able to discern the difference is that the thin red/brown rubber Pachmayr buttplate would have been the only difference displaying either the name "Winchester" or "USRAC".
USRAC, which licenses the Winchester name from Olin Corp., was acquired by the French government owned defense contractor giant GIAT Industries in late 1990.
Many changes were made to the model 70 under USRAC's leadership. They came up with a detachable magazine in about 1989, then changed the magazine again the next year when they reintroduced the claw type extractor similar to the pre-64 type. One problem was that they called it the "pre 64 type". Many not so knowledgeable customers thought it was indeed a pre 64, as they did not read the word TYPE when they needed spare parts. Parts are not interchangeable with the pre 64 guns.
USRA came out with short action guns to accommodate the shorter 223 or 243 length cartridges. They also came out with stainless steel versions.
In about 1992 the BOSS accurizeing system was introduced as an adjustable unit on the muzzle.
A new $15 million plant was opened in October 1994 in New Haven, Conn., the 225,000-square-foot plant house state-of-the-art equipment run by approximately 550 employees.
One bad situation encountered is that now if you need factory repair, ( bolt or barrel replacement), for a gun made before 1981, the USRA factory will send the gun back, saying no parts are available. Parts ARE the same as currently used & are available, BUT since Olin made the gun & not USRA, the lawyers for the factory have decided that since USRA did not make the gun that they will not repair it because of liability concerns.
The above discontinuance of repairs was not limited to the model 70, as it covers all the other models including the model 94.
Serial Numbers for date manufactured for post-64 guns
Year S/N start S/N end Quantity
1964 700,000 757,180 57,181
1965 757,181 818,500 61,320
1966 818,501 855,860 37,360
1967 855,861 873,694 17,834
1968 G873,695 G929,990 56,296
1969 G929,991 G965,200 35,210
1970 G965,201 G1,000,436 43,236
1971 G1,000,437 G1,041,884 33,448
1972 G1,041,885 G1,088,291 46,407
1973 G1,088,292 G1,130,146 41,855
1974 G1,130,147 G1,176,878 46,732
1975 G1,176,879 G1,235,041 58,163
1976 G1,235,042 G1,298,272 63,231
1977 G1,298,273 G1,380,667 82,395
1978 G1,380,668 G1,423,869 43,202
1979 G1,423,870 G1,450,135 26,266
1980 G1,450,135 G1,493,463 43,328
1981 G1,493,464 G1,525,323 31,860
Guns made after 1981 would have been made by USRA & not shown on this chart
Bob from Idaho