Model 70 "Lightweight"? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Model 70 "Lightweight"?

What is the difference between the model 70 Winchester "Featherweight" and "Lightweight"? I found a Lightweight the other day in .270 and almost bought it but although I know what a Featherweight is I've never heard of a Lightweight before and am not sure if it's the same thing or not. If anybody knows when these were made I'd be interested in that too. I may still buy it but I'm trying to find out exactly what it is.
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 02:27 PM
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Re: Model 70 "Lightweight"?

The actions are exactly the same between the featherweight and the lightweight, but the stock configurations are different. The lightweight has the round forend tip, unlike the featherweight with the schnabel forend. My uncle has a Winchester 70 Lightweight in .270 and it is a great shooter. They were made in the late 80's, and I think even into the early 90's. They are somewhat rare. A friend of mine looked at a Lightweight in .280 a few weeks ago, but the price was just a little too high.

Very nice guns nonetheless. I would like to own one someday.

I forgot to mention that they also a Lightweight Carbine with a 20" barrel. I'm pretty sure that they are stamped Carbine though.
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 03:08 PM
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Re: Model 70 "Lightweight"?

Big differences and prices.

Unfortunate Winchester, before going out of business made a number of different rifles all using the trade "Model 70".

The best were always thought to be the early, forged, machines, high finished models usually referred to as "Pre-64".

In 1964 winchester needed make their rifles cheaper so over a period of 20 years man changes to reduce the costs of their rifles. Too many changes to discuss here; but think of post -64 as having lots of structural maechanical variations over the years.

The Standard pre-64 M 70 is easily distinguished on sight in that it has a bulge on the barrel with a rear sigt dovetailed into the ring. At that time they made (1952-1963 they made a lower weight model called the FEATHERWEIGHT. It did not have the barrel bulge/ring for the rear sight, and had 22 inch barrels; but the action was identical and it came in lighter cartridges and the heavier magnums.

After 1964 (actually after 1963 1/2) wincherter made lower weight rifles in the "reduced cost versions" that were called LIGHTWEIGHT. But then over the years as sales dropped, winchester went back to calling the lighter weight model 70 (post -64)a Featherweight in the "XTR"( about 1984) and their "Classic"(about 1992) models. these were generally "push-feed" designs.

To start to understand the various differences (and prices)for Winchester 70, you need to start with the serial number and determine the date of manufacture. If you post the serial numbers (with the last 3 digits having XXX) I can tell the date of manufacture from my record books. You can probably find this information on line. But when I started collecting, record books worked great.

As winchester died a slow anguishing death it made lots of different variation on its rifles trying to get commeorative etc. that makes it difficult to Identify just by the short name.

Hope this helps a little.
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 03:52 PM
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Re: Model 70 "Lightweight"?

My first gun purchase was a 70 lightweight in .223,I bought at Bob 'n Mickeys in Mercersburg.A buddy and I were just talking about that gun yesterday,and seeing how I was headed to the range anyhow,I took it along.She still carries the Tasco 3x9x32 Golden Antler that was on when I bought it.It's always shot so well,I never felt the need to upgrade the glass on it.Since I don't reload,it's always been Remington 55 gr. PSP,quite a few deer and count g-hogs never had a chance to argue.
A few pics from yesterday...certainly not in the class of some I see on here,but it works for me!!!


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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Model 70 "Lightweight"?

Thanks guys. Harry, I'm a half hour away from the gun shop that has the gun so I can't just get the serial number. I may go back tomorrow though and then I will if it's still there. Is $450 too much for this gun? It's cherry.
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 05:17 PM
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Re: Model 70 "Lightweight"?

I believe I handled a Winchester M70 Lightweight in
.250-3000 a few years ago, but I might be wrong.
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 05:20 PM
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Re: Model 70 "Lightweight"?

depends upon pre-post 1964. and the condition.

A lot of the later models had pressed checkering and thin/short barrels.

For a pre-64 it is a good price. but the used price on pre-64 hasn't been rising much since about 10 years ago when Winchester when back to CRF.

Depends upon what YOU personally want. $50 isn't going to break anyone, but IS it what you want, barrel length, action style, and wood?
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 05:27 PM
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Re: Model 70 "Lightweight"?

My buddy has a .270 lightweight with a 20 inch barrel.It's the most neglected rifle I've ever seen anyone carry.I'm sure it hasn't been cleaned or wiped down in over 20 years but it still shoots and functions great.I know a handful of people that have them and they all seem to like them.The one's I'm familiar with all had push feed actions.I remember when they were were sold and they were actually priced pretty cheap.If you look just forward of the chamber,the barrel will step down pretty sharply.
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 05:28 PM
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Re: Model 70 "Lightweight"?

They were actually really nice rifles for the money but I wouldn't pay anywhere near $450 for one.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 04-25-2011, 07:01 PM
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Re: Model 70 "Lightweight"?

The Lightweights were actually made after the XTRs, Harry. The XTR variation started in the late 1970's, I believe 1978 or 79. The Lightweights were not pre-64's. The Lightweights are indeed push-feed designs, as the controlled-feed came back out in the Classic in 1992. As I said before this rifle is most likely between the mid-1980's and early 1990's. If the rifle is indeed in cherry condition I would see no reason why it wouldn't be worth $450.
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