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Old 10-05-2010, 09:29 AM
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Not sure about this AI

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fellas not certain about this chambering. I bought a pre-64 .300 HH AI with the 26" bbl....could not turn it down for 1100 bucks. It is in what appears to be in one of the finest conditions you have seen a used one in. I am in the process of getting it shipped to my FFL holder.

For many yrs. I mulled the "want" of a pre-64 HH rifle and now have one but.....doggone if it is an AI chambering. I have tried to compare what bit of info I have on the .300 HH and compared to the Weatherby round there is quite a difference from each. With it Ackleyized it now seems it could easily become in the range of the Weatherby "if" I extend the free-bore of its existing chambering if it does not already have it. Or, ream it out to the Weatherby but that takes it out literally of its original design as an HH design.

Essentially I have a mag action in the pre-64 that is not "original" so what do I do.....the only AI I have is in the .30-30 and I am okay with that as it hammers pretty good for the little 94. Can I live with the HH AI? What real world benefits can I expect? Case life is one but...realistically is the Weatherby a likely alternative?

I am considering in loading for it and the fella has the Redding custom dies for the 40 degree and about a 120 rounds of brass which I may get from him in another 2 wks. He has had it in his possession for the last yr and half and has shot just one round out of it.

Do I get rechambered into the Weath. or keep it? it is not as simple as I would have imagined as far as a question goes.

"But the truth is that all good modern rifles are effecient..... it is the man behind the gun that makes the difference." Teddy Roosevelt
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:12 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 702
If you can get the cases and dies, leave the rifle as is !!! Weatherby brass is kind of scarce and EXPENSIVE !!!! Don't create a problem where there isn't one. There's a certain satisfaction that comes with loading and using a custom wildcat, enjoy it for what it is and you'll appreciate it that much more !!!! HD1

Last edited by Huntdaddy1; 10-05-2010 at 10:13 AM. Reason: spacing
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:32 AM
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lots of exclamation marks...ha, apart from that I see your reasoning.
"But the truth is that all good modern rifles are effecient..... it is the man behind the gun that makes the difference." Teddy Roosevelt
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:32 AM
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Location: Tennessee
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The fact that the rifle had been opened up really did cut it's value, but a good thing for you, getting a very desireable collectible at less than 1/2 of the normal cost. I'd say that since the rifle was originally stamped .300 H&H that the higher performance version of that cartridge would likely remain at least somewhat collectible and maintain or grow in value, while a WBY mag version would most likely not, IMO. Enjoy that fine rifle!
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:55 AM
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Location: Mooresville, IN
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Console yourself with the fact that you can still fire factory H&H rounds in it and if you choose to reload, will get whatever nominal improvements are to be gained from its AI modification. In the end, it's still a mint pre-64 Model 70 for one heckuva deal. Not a lot to complain about.

I wouldn't even consider opening it up to 300WBY, since you'd pay a fair amount, gain little-to-nothing, and compromise future value even further.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:05 PM
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When I came across this rifle advertised and seen the pics it did not kick in until I realized that for the shape it is that I best get it.

As you mentioned the relative value was deppreciated greatly by the AI chambering but to my advantage in one sense. I get a charge out of the 26" bbl....should make a contender for a long ranger.

I concur about "enjoying that fine rifle"! Believed I was done buying rifles...just goes to show that it is tough to turn away or down a nice one that comes across your path.

your comment was welcomed..thanks
"But the truth is that all good modern rifles are effecient..... it is the man behind the gun that makes the difference." Teddy Roosevelt
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:08 PM
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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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If you can fire-form brass then I don't see the issue with making it a .300 WBY? Dies are available... in fact, I think I have a set gathering dust! Not even sure where I got them. Just shows they are around.....

Either way, you have a handloading proposition if for no other reason than economy. Enjoy your "new" rifle.

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Old 10-05-2010, 02:00 PM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Mesa, Arizona
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If the rifle originally came in .300 H&H, the action has NOT been opened up except at the factory. When Winchester decided to bring out this chambering in the M70 they merely used the standard 30-06 length action and milled the bridge and receiver ring large enough to accept the H&H. It is possible the feed rails had to be opened a bit to accept the less tapered case, but that is a minor alteration.

Man, if I had a pre-64 in .300 AI, it would stay exactly as is. Had one back in the early 60's in this .300 H&H and really loved it. Unfortunately it and I went for a swim in a very cold Canadian lake when the canoe overturned in choppy water. It probably still resides in the bottom muck.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:28 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
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Why on earth would you even consider a Weatherby chambering? All you gain is more muzzle blast and recoil with no real world benefit over an Ackley chambering. Not to mention ruining a good barrel by free boring. If the magazine is long enough (not likely) to allow seating the bullets out further,then lengthening the throat would give you more powder capacity. I did this with my 257 AI on a ruger 77 long action,seating the 120 gr bullets to the shoulder-neck tangent. Other than that-leave it alone.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:14 AM
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Location: Central WA St. near Yakima.
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Some years back, I had an otherwise smart guy I worked with insist on having me rebarrel and rechamber his pre-64 Winchester Westerner that was in pristine condition, but in that "horrible" .264 Win Mag. His buddies assured him this was about the worst round ever allowed to be created, and what he really needed was to have it redone in 300 Win Mag, or better yet, 300p Wby. In a "handy" 22 or 24" bbl no less!

I tried to talk to him! Really I did! His 6.5mm bbl was indeed shiny, unblemished, without any signs of throat erosion. As well, if handloaded, this round with the 26" bbl was good for at least 3350 - 34000 fps with a 140 gr bullet. But he'd have no part of it; him, with no experience, arguing with a riflesmith. Imagine, huh?

So in the end, I did what he wanted, and took his money, but he surely was the end loser, since his once pristine pre-'64 Winchester Mdl 70 rifle had lost most all of it's collector's value. (BTW, I still have his original barrel if anyone's interested!)

With my mature years and experience, I now fail to see the overall need to go from, say, a 300 H&H to a 300 Win Mag or some other expanded wildcat. In the end, the elk, moose, bear or tiger will NOT know the diff, but your shoulder and pocketbook certainly will.

These old rounds, especially loaded with modern powders, do quite all right, thank you very much. If you must have more performance, buy a new Ruger in 300 Win Mag, or worse, a new Rem 700 in 300 or in (double ouchy!) .338 Rem UltraMag. You notice a lot of those types of maximum chamberings in the "Good Used Guns" rack up in Mountain Sports in Anchorage. AK. People buy them and then they (brace yourself!) go out to the range and shoot them. And then they bring them back.

(Having said all this, I own an original, Sauer-built Wby Mk V in .340, left hand. It's gorgeous, and quite effective on most anything, but it really does hurt to shoot it. It also drops 3 rounds of Norma loaded .225 gr Spire Point into 3/4" @ 100 yards. Really! Scout's honor!)

And so we age and learn....

Last edited by TheDownRanger; 10-11-2010 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:03 PM
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okay fellas,,,,gotcha, read ya loud an clear.. my thoughts exactly! Oh I have owned some big guns and none really bothered me in regards to recoil,,,I am not shy in that respect. Where I come from they breed men tough, tough as they come so don't talk to me about recoil. Now, porting that is a different animal for me, takes the fun out of shooting..period! Whether I am taking an animal or load just hurts! Sold them ported guns long ago.

Decision was made, to keep this firearm in its chambering before some of the last few comments were posted. Have gathered close to 300 rounds of brass, now just waiting for the rifle to get to my FFL in town...should have it in my hands this weekend.

Bought a B&L Elite 4200 for 250 bucks....I will take notes on the scope if it is a good buy and a good scope. Heard they were, a change from Leupolds.

It has been fun fellas, sure appreciate all the input and ideas, really do.

in a short time I will post some results one way or the other of said rifle.

best regards,

I was once upon a time too, a scout and an explorer scout.....yep we age and we learn.
"But the truth is that all good modern rifles are effecient..... it is the man behind the gun that makes the difference." Teddy Roosevelt

Last edited by grizz106; 10-11-2010 at 02:09 PM.
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