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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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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They were actually really nice rifles for the money but I wouldn't pay anywhere near $450 for one.
 

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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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In 1993-1994,I was at Grice gun shop and they had a stainless synthetic lightweight demo on sale for $399.I still kick myself for not buying it as it was the only one I ever saw.I personally wouldn't pay more for a used blue/wood version that's most likely at least 10 years older.Worth and value are relative things.I'm sure to someone it would be worth it though.
 

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Yep, lightweight were not the best. They actually made Featherweight push feed in XTRs in 1972.

without a serial number and some description. tough to guess.

DCE. Yep back in the day (Grices old building) I saw a BRNo new in 375 H& H $299. While I was thinking it over, my brother asked if could borrow $200 to buy a Ferlach over and under 12 mag. Only after I gave him most of my wad, did I realize I didn't have enough $$$. No plastic then.

Regrets, we all have plenty.

If only I'd............
 

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moosehunter said:
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.
Your gonna buy a .270?
 

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I have a Lightweight in .22/250 with a 20-22 inch barrel in great shape. Serial number G1804XXX and am wondering its value
 

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Re: Model 70 "Lightweight"?

The Lightweights are just as good as the Featherweights. The majority have just as nice walnut stocks, just with a different configuration and no grip caps.

My uncle's Lightweight is just as accurate as my '81 Featherweight XTR.

I love model 70's a lot, especially the odd configurations such as the XTR line-up, the Lightweights, the Carbines, and the Win-Lites. I don't buy into the whole "controlled-round feed is so much better than the push-round feed" hype. If you really like the rifle and it fits you well, then $450 is a descent deal. Most of the ones I've seen in gun shops and gun shows are over that. Good luck to you either way!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
great white hunter said:
moosehunter said:
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.
Your gonna buy a .270?

I've seldom ever been without a .270. I just have some fun with the guys on here that think it's so much better than the .30-06. I think the two are pretty interchangeable.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Harrysigafoo said:
Yep, lightweight were not the best. They actually made Featherweight push feed in XTRs in 1972.

without a serial number and some description. tough to guess.

DCE. Yep back in the day (Grices old building) I saw a BRNo new in 375 H& H $299. While I was thinking it over, my brother asked if could borrow $200 to buy a Ferlach over and under 12 mag. Only after I gave him most of my wad, did I realize I didn't have enough $$$. No plastic then.

Regrets, we all have plenty.

If only I'd............

It's a push feed so I'm sure it was made in the late 80's.
 

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G1804XXX.
The G tells you it was made after 1968.

My sn records stop in 1984, but it looks like it was made in the 1990s.

Nothing wrong with push feed, I personally prefer that over the much touted CRF. When Winchester switched back to CRF to try and get market share, they kept push feed on their target, varmiint and tactical rifles because it is superior.
 

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Thanks for the info, it was my late wife's rifle and it will not be sold. I can't remember when I purchased it for her but she carried it a few years in deer season.
 

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I've never had any problem with push-feed, and never had a rifle fail to feed because of it...Claw extractors are physically unappealing anyway!...I suppose of I ever have to worry about a charging elephant I might think differently, but then maybe not!
 
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