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I have a 1950's model 64 30-30 with a 24 inch barrel. Accuracy is poor, 4 inch groups at best at 50 yards with remington factory loads (170g), sometimes a flyer will go out of an 8 inch circle. I am going to start handloading for this gun to try to improve accuracy (I already handload for several other rifles). Does anyone have any experience with these rifles and making them shoot? What would be a good starting point? Any bullet preferences? I would like to use a 170g and will probably start with Speer.

This gun is in great shape, mirror bore, everythings tight. The barrel is pretty thin, making me believe that choosing the right powder could make make a difference.

My newer lever actions are all tack drivers, but this gun is somewhat of a dissapointment. Its a great looking and great handling gun and appears to be very well made compared to modern winchester 94s. I wish I could get it to the point where I felt comfortable using it for deer (2 inch 50 yard groups would do it for me).
Thanks for any help.
 

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Dean,
I'd slug the bore and get a good idea what the diameter is, that will also give you an indication if there are any tight spots.  If so you may consider hand lapping or firelapping.  There are numerous fine posts and articles on this site concerning both slugging and lapping procedures.  Review some of the articles on selecting the right diameter bullets for the bore size, also.

Factory ammo, while not the best of all possible worlds, is pretty good these days.  I would suspect that problems other than bad loads giving 8 minutes of angle.



<!--EDIT|alyeska338|April 06 2002,15:03-->
 

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Dean,
   Please forgive me if these are too obvious, but the things I would check for are:
- Is the barrel copper fouled? This seems to be a very common ailment on older guns. Use a good copper solvent like Barnes until you get no blue on the patches at all.
- Check forearm bedding. Can't remember if there's a barrel band on a 64, but if so, is it extremely tight?
- Check the crown. Even with a smooth bore some of the older lever actions are worn because of having to clean from the muzzle.
- Adjust your rests at the bench. Many guns with two piece stocks are picky about the location of the rest on the forend especially. My '94 likes the front rest all the way back at the receiver.
   
Again, sorry if you have already checked these but they are pretty common and more importantly are the easiest to fix!

   As far as good reloads go, I have had excellent accuracy from the Speer 170gr FP and the Hornady 170gr FP in several rifles using H4895 and IMR3031. I usually use the H4895 because it meters better. As long as you don't mind cleaning quite a bit I've also gotten superb accuracy from a compressed load of Pyrodex!          IDShooter
 

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As ID suggests the very first thing to do is give the bore a thorough and careful cleaning. Use a good copper solvent, start with a brass brush but finish with a nylon. That way the solvent doesn't react to the copper brush and give the impression the barrel is still fouled.  I think there is a very good chance this is a great deal of your problem.

Recutting the crown will help immensely if it is damaged to any degree at all. Next to a fouled barrel, a bum crown is the worst killer of accuracy of which I can think.

I would agree as well with Alyeska- it probably isn't the ammo. In fact I' almost 100% certain that isn't a component of your accuracy woes at all. While handloading the .30 WCF helps compared to factory, not that much.

Try these suggestions and let us know what happens. The Model 64 is actually known to be a better shooter than its Model 94 stablemate, thanks to the longer barrel (for iron sight use) and short magazine tube that limits disruption to the barrel harmonics.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. The barrel is as clean as it gets, i may have it recrowned for good luck. May also try hand lapping. As far as forearm bedding goes, is there any way to improve things? I dont often hear about people doing this with lever actions. It is not the barrel band type so this isnt the problem.
Thanks again
 

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It is doubtful that barrel "harmonics" would play such havoc on such a well-known and used rifle.

I would try all the benign tuning tricks before taking any tools to it.  64s are very desireable, if they are untouched.  Have you checked the sights for movement?

As others have said, of factory ammo 30-30 and especially Remington loads generally shoot almost as well as any load can, so you probably are having a "mechanical problem" if you're shooting 4"-8" at 50yards.
 

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Charlie,

Please reread my post, it appears you misunderstood what I said. My contention is that the shortened magazine of the 64 reduces the harmonics compared to the full-length tube most common to the typical 94. This is not my contention alone. Winchester marketed the Model 64 as such and at least one firearm luminary in the guise of Ken Waters has reinforced this point in print. It appears you thought I meant the reverse, that the 64 would be more suseptible to barrel/magazine tube vibration.
 

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Bill,

I don't disagree at all.

What I thought I said was that it is unlikely that the harmonics of a well-known and proven rifle could be so out of tune with what is probably one of the best (factory or otherwise) loads as to throw 4-8" groups at 50yds.  It's unlikely that load tuning would help that much.  It sounds like some other problem exists (sight, stock, lug, crown, etc).

Charlie
 

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Hi,
    Interestingly I just saw one of these at the gun shop today! I had never seen one except in pictures. Nice handling rifle but my, it does have a skinny little barrel! I noticed this one had a nice bore but showed some muzzle wear. It would likely have to have a little bit 'o barrel removed and be recrowned.
    Say, does your rifle have Winchester Model 94 on the tang? This one had Model 64, Caliber 30 W.C.F. on the barrel but said Model 94 on the top tang. Very curious.             IDShooter
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll give it some more range work with factory and handloads (as soon as I get the supplies). I'll report later when I get around to it. I'll hold off from getting it re-crowned for a while.

I cleaned the barrel with Sweet's 7.62 when I first got it, as far as I can tell its clean, nothing in there that I can see. Does anyone think the Barnes will do a better job? How about USP bore paste? I was thinking of trying this to get out anything that may be in the barrel that I cant see.

ID shooter, my rifle does not have anything on the tang, interesting that you saw one with model 94 on it. Was it one of the remakes from the early 70s? As you mentioned the barrel is thin, thats why I thought it may be load sensitive, but I could be completely wrong.
 

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Dean,
    I'm not a Winchester expert but the few clues I know to look for indicate this rifle is pre-USRAC. The wear on the metal and aging of the wood as well as the cresent steel buttplate lead me to believe it's an older one. I would guess 50's. It just seemed odd that the receiver and barrel had differing Model #'s.
      I don't have a lot of faith in the shop I saw this rifle in, I've heard the owner tell some pretty questionable tales and have seen him selling used stuff as new. I was almost wondering if this rifle was a cobbled-together affair. If so, it looks like it was done a long time ago. It looked like it has seen some weathering in it's present guise. I wouldn't want to bet on getting the forend cap screws out in the condition they were in! It's a shame because it's a beautiful little rifle.               IDShooter
 

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dean: Not just sure how you are holding the rifle at the bench, whether you are keeping your left hand out of the way or holding the forend. Try a group holding the forend in your left hand and resting the back of the hand/wrist on the sandbag. Try another group with the forend directly on the bag and your left arm curled back underneath. Compare for differences.A lot of them like to be held as do Sav. 99's. Assuming clean undamaged bore most accuracy problems can be traced to forend bedding and sensitivity to grip. You can increase or decrease forend pressure as exerted on the barrel tenon (which is what that nice little forend tip is screwed to) by either removing tight wood at the rear face where it butts against the receiver or increase it by shimming in the same area. Try the shims first unless you see distinct wear points on the rear face of the forend that appear unequal from side to side and top to bottom . However first of all check the screw that goes through the end cap on the magazine tube. Sometimes things get just enough out of line that the tip of that screw doesn't enter the small hole on the underside of the barrel meant to receive it. This can put a lot of unequal pressures on the barrels when the screw is tightened directly against the barrel . None of these rifles are real tack drivers but most will hold 2 inches or better at 100 yards if held and set up right. They are great hunting pieces. luck.
 

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IDShooter: Our local gun shop also had one that was built up from a model 94. One thing to look for to check for a built up one is the proof mark on the barrel. Factory jobs normally have the superimposed WP in a circle mark. Barrels that were sold to gunsmiths often have only a P in the circle. Winchester probably proofed the barrels on a slave action but marked them differently to indicate they weren't responsible for installation on an action after it left their hands.
The one in the local shop had only the P and the price it sold for reflected that. It also had a straight grip tang and stock. Whoever did it actually made a nice shooter and did good work on the new wood. I came close to buying it myself just to use. besto
 

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Good call bcstocker, made it out to the range this morning and tryed different holds (rem. 170g fact.). 2-2.5 inch 50 yard groups either by holding or lightly resting on the sand bags close to the receiver. Still not spectacular but with some playing around I think I'll be able to get under 2 inches. (the best I can do with irons is about an inch at 50 anyway). Start hand loading for this gun next week, I'll see if I can find a sweet spot.

Thanks
 

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dean: Been away for a while attending B.C. Wildlife Federation annual meeting, visiting family and friends. Glad to hear situation improved. Give us an update when you've worked with it a bit more.besto
 

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Winchester 64's are capable of very good accuracy.  My 64 will shoot 3 shot groups into less than one inch at 100 yards with both Federal 170 grain factory loads and handloads with 170 grain bullets (I know it is hard to believe, but it really is true&#33<!--emo&;)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo-->.  I have added a Lyman 66 receiver sight which helps.  The front bag of the rest should be either under the forward end of the receiver or very close to it, not out at the end of the forend.  Be very consistant with where the bags touch the rifle for each shot and that you don't cant the rifle.  After firing a 3 shot group, let the rifle cool until the barrel is cool to the touch.  When the barrel heats lever guns tend to string their groups vertically.  Try some Federal ammo; it has shown itself to be the most accurate 30-30 factory ammo that I have found.  Good luck!
 
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