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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the Woods Pa
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.