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Posted: 5/4/2002 10:23:11 AM EDT
Which is better and why?

(other than parts/accessories)
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 10:48:16 AM EDT

Which is better and why?

Coke? Pepsi? Elvis? The Beatles? Ford? Chevy? ArmaLite? Bushmaster? I don't know, but I will say the Winchester Model 70 is probably the most over-hyped gun of the last fifty years. The pre-64s ain't all what they're lamented to be; sloppy inletting, checkering overruns, grind marks, non-free floated barrel. The current guns don't impress me either. Stocks are currently outsourced to an Italian contractor who does a less-than-satisfactory job, barrels are made by someone else (Douglas?), the bottom metal is outsourced to Williams Firearms of Prineville, Oregon, and the receivers are forged in an FN foundry and finished out by Winchester/USRA in Connecticut where they are all assembled. Kind of like a car maker; they don't actually make much, but they assemble lots of things. I'm currently waiting on a refund check from Winchester/USRA to the tune of $655 that was mailed on Friday for a defective left-handed Model 70. I do like the trigger design. It's almost dummy proof.

Remington outsources lots of things, too, and there has been some bona fide documentation of some crappy things coming from Ilion recently. I really don't know one way or the other whether you're any better off with one of their products, but I have been extremely happy with my Model 700 VS in .308. The trigger is a little complicated for the uninitiated, but offers a finer degree of tuneability than most other factory setups. The "three rings of steel" offers a measure of safety not found in many other guns. Their customer support, at least for me, has been a lot better than USRA/Winchester's. Silhouette shooters have favored the Model 700 for a long time. I don't know, I guess go look at a few VERY carefully and go from there.

The Model 70 that I sent back is going to be replaced with a Sauer 202.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 11:06:54 AM EDT
I have heard alot recently that the pre-64 Winchesters are really no big deal. Like Jim_Dandy though, I have heard some bad things about Remington recently. I know I love my .243 VLS and it should be noted that many custom rifle makers (Jarrett for instance) prefer the 700 action or will use it exclusively. That speaks volumes to me personaly. I have a recipe that is dirt simple laying around here somewhere for adjusting Remington triggers that I can post if anyone is interested. Makes a sweeeeeeeeeeet trigger.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 3:32:02 PM EDT
Thanks for the feedback. If I were to run across a good deal on a used rifle, which would be the best to stip and use the action to build a 300 WSM precision hunting/tactical rifle?

Garheadjr, I would like to read your trigger recipe.

Thanks
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 4:29:15 PM EDT
I would guess any of the pre-bolt lock guns would be the most preferable action with the 700 ADL being the cheapest (they go for something like $350 brand new). Since I don't know your needs, I'm not exactly sure what else to tell you. If you're looking for something to use for say silhouettes, casual benchrest shooting, and occasional hunting, then you might just consider the basic Model 700 Varmint series (700 V, 700 VLS, 700 VS, 700 VS SF, etc.). They're all good basic tuneable rifles.

I'm not going to make a recommendation one way or another on a Winchester/USRA product.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 6:32:46 PM EDT
I would recommend you skip the ADL and get the BDL. Jim Dandy is correct about the price, but the ADL doesn't come with a floorplate. This is a pain to get (if sticking with factory) and makes the ADL and a floorplate more expensive (and a pain in the ass) than buying the BDL.
You could buy an aftermarket heavy duty floorplate/Trigger guard but this alone goes for a few hundred dollars.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 6:57:56 PM EDT
All the above being said now, I purrchased a Badger floorplate for my newest rifle.

So-if anyone has a line on a blue 700 ADL in a 308 based cartridge, pre politically correct bolt lock and non Walker safety system (the bolt opens with the safety on) please drop me a line. I would appreciate it!
Thanks again.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 8:41:10 PM EDT
bushgun, you ought to be pistol whipped for even bringing this up. The subject has been beat to death not only on every "gun" forum since the birth of the Internet, but also in every "gun" magazine that's been in existence since the late fifties.

Jim_Dandy made a lot of good points about the current lack of quality in the parts, wood, finish, barrels, and workmanship on the current offerings from both Winchester and Remington. These are all valid points and worth taking note of.

Your original question, however was "Pre '64 or Remington 700 action". There is a huge difference between the current Model 70 action, "Classic" or otherwise, and a true pre-64 Model 70, and noone here has even mentioned the primary design difference (controlled feed vs. push feed) between the Remington 700 and the pre-64 model 70.

The answer to your question really depends on what you expect out of the rifle.

If you want a super accurate paper puncher, then go with the 700. The 700 action is stiffer, is more easily trued and aligned, and is inherently more accurate than is the action of the pre-64 Model 70. The 700's only real faults are its push feed design (it won't work if you happen to be hanging upside-down in a tree), its wimpy spring steel extractor (try finding a replacement for it in Dimebox, Texas on a Sunday morning), and its overly complex multi-lever pressed steel trigger and safety mechanisms.

If, on the other hand, you want a rifle that you can depend on in almost any situation, then the pre-64 Model 70 (which is really nothing more than a modified '98 Mauser), with its controlled feed mechanism, Mauser-type claw extractor, and its simple trigger and safety design is simply more likely to work, everytime, under nearly any condition you might care to subject it to.

Next time you're at a gunshow, look for a 92-95% Pre-64 model 70 (yeah there's still a lot of 'em out there) and closely compare it to a brand new Model 70 Classic or to a new Remington 700. If you know what you're lookin' at, you'll quickly understand why that Pre-64 is twice the price of the current offerings. It aint just "collectors value" either.

If you're stuck on the Remington, and it really is a fine rifle, try looking for an old Model 721/722 (long action/short action). These are basically the identical action as the current Model 700 and can sometimes be picked up for a song. I bought a 722 in 257 Roberts for $150 a couple of months ago. As usual, the price was low because it had a broken extractor and it was basically a non-functional unit. You'll want to refit any Remington 700 with a Sako type extractor anyway.

Aim straight . . . Doug
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 8:46:16 PM EDT
I have examined quite a few pre-64s and agree that they are hit and miss. The newer ones are actually improved in a number of ways. I have a few recent production models, and they have all functioned perfectly and been extremely accurate. I especially like the wood stocks, even if they are made in Italy. I have read on the internet that Winchesters are junk, and I have also read they are marvels; my actual experience is much closer to the latter. Jim_Dandy hit it right on the head with the Ford v. Chevy analogy; you are about as likely to get unbiased opinions in a Winchester v. Remington debate.

Theoretically, the Winchester has greater reliability than the 700 due to the fixed ejector, extractor and coned breech. The trigger is really nice when adjusted and the action is relatively stiff.

Theoretically, the Remington should be more accurate with the shorter lock time, fully supported chamber, and the ease of bedding.

In the real world, neither a Winchester or a Remington will probably ever fail you, and their accuracy potential is almost exactly equal.
Link Posted: 5/5/2002 5:01:32 AM EDT

I especially like the wood stocks, even if they are made in Italy.

From what I gather, Winchester/USRA has only been doing this over the last year-and-a-half or so. It's not the grain of wood that's the focus of my complaint here, but the crappy inletting. The action was loose in the stock on my complaint rifle; i.e., the hardware and bottom metal were loose. When these were tightened up properly, the floorplate became bound and couldn't be opened or closed depending on your method of tightening of the screws. According to the bottom metal manufacturer, this has been Winchester/USRA's number one complaint with these rifles recently. In other words, I'm not the only one. FWIW, I bought the rifle based on all of the nice recently produced Model 70s that I've handled and shot lately. After five months of NOT shooting my gun and shipping it back and forth, I decided that it was all unacceptable to me and took a refund (left-handed guns are not numerous enough to just replace).


You'll want to refit any Remington 700 with a Sako type extractor anyway.

I don't think so. Adding a Sako extractor breaks the "three rings of steel." I was under the same impression when I bought my Model 700, but after talking with a retired jarhead armorer with whom I correspond, I decided against it. He seemed to think you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning than having the factory extractor fail. I've shot mine a LOT and haven't had any problems.
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