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#13334955 - 12/05/18 School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's  
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Catamountman Offline
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Knowledgeable Gentlemen!

I have been bitten by that damnable Model 71 bug. It all started with a Marlin 1895 and has lead to the harder (and more pricey) stuff. Please give me your hard won opinions on the Winchester versus the Japanese made Browning model 71. I'm looking for a field piece, not a collector. Any real difference in strength, accuracy and handling between the two? I have read opinions in both directions but would be curious to see what you all have to say on this matter.

Many thanks in advance!

Tom

300 BP

#13335223 - 12/05/18 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: Catamountman]  
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Milwroad Offline
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Buckyland


The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its
limits.- Albert Einstein
#13335789 - 12/05/18 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: Catamountman]  
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Peat_Bogg Offline
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I have owned examples of all three - original Winchester M71 Short Rifle, 1986 Browning Grade 1 carbine and recent Winchester (Miroku) Grade 1 rifle. Comb of the stock on the original short rifle bit me pretty good. 1986 Browning was pleasant to soot even with Elmer loads (250 Hawk bullets at 2300 FPS), current Winchester is pleasant to shoot. Browning and current gun outshoot the original by a noticeable margin. All are plenty accurate to the limits of my eyes and receiver sights (say 175 - 225 yards). And with the .348 loaded with 250 grain Barnes or Hawk bullets I fear no bear while hunting elk or moose. Buy any (my preference based on recoil and aesthetics is the 1986 Browning) and hunt happy.

#13336064 - 12/06/18 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: Catamountman]  
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yukon254 Offline
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Have never been lucky enough to own one but I know a hard core Winchester collector that has them all. Like Peat Bogg, he says the Brownings are the best shooters by a long ways.

#13336565 - 12/06/18 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: Catamountman]  
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Milwroad Offline
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Buckyland
I have only owned the original Winchester 71's. I have found that they have acceptable accuracy for deer. The 4 I have owned or shot are probably 2-3 MOA rifles. Not tack drivers by any means but certainly minute of deer at reasonable ranges.


The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its
limits.- Albert Einstein
Alpha

#13343570 - 12/08/18 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: Catamountman]  
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IMR4350 Offline
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The Japanese made Winchesters have the rebounding hammer and the tang safety. The Brownings don't. I prefer the Brownings because of this. The workmanship is just as good on both brands because they are made by the same company.

#13351626 - 12/11/18 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: Catamountman]  
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frank500 Offline
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My pick is an original Model 71. North 61 has a load with the 200 grain nerftip bullet that shoots extremely well. 200 grain flat nose Hornady and A Frame are inch and a half for three shots. Test your loads on cool temps otherwise accuracy suffers or let the barrel cool between shots. I did fire lap my barrel and accuracy improved by quite a bit. Work up loads and you will pleased.

#13358352 - 12/13/18 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: Catamountman]  
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450Fuller Offline
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I have owned and still own 7 original Winchester Model 71s, including wildcats on the original cartridge, and a couple of Brownings. Keep in mind the originals
hold or increase in value. There the value remains. The Browning M-71 is well made, and is an excellent choice for the original 348 WCF cartridge-or wildcats like the 348 Ackley.
Increase the quality of bullet purchased- based on game hunted: Hornadys, Hawk, Woodleigh, Swift or Alaska Bullet Works. The quality bullets are worth
the extra investment. Get used to carrying and shooting your rifle.
Also invest in a quality receiver peep sight like the Lyman 56 or 66. It will help on fast shots or shots on running game. Avoid lead bullets with gas checks. Extra safety lever action rifles
like the new Winchesters/Marlins -- are similar to a lawyer who wears a belt and suspenders.

#13359380 - 12/14/18 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: 450Fuller]  
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Catamountman Offline
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I'm curious why you should avoid gas checked cast bullets in 71's? I've never heard this particular issue before.

#13372265 - 12/18/18 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: Catamountman]  
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450Fuller Offline
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Model 71s are a valuable asset, as are your eyes.
Gas checked bullets are best left to straight walled cases -or long necked cartridges like
the 30-40 Krag.

If, by some " it would never happen chance"-the gas check falls from the base of the 348/33/308 lead bullet while seating... and lands on top of the powder charge...upon ignition
the powder charge is creating gas pressure behind 2 not 1 objects in the case . When the gas check reaches the neck, you are in trouble.
Some of the gas may be already propelling the bullet into the barrel..then it stops......meanwhile the case is building pressure behind the gas check.
It might get to the lodged bullet or it may be too much for the case. Boom. A lever action M-71 MAY handle the pressure, probably not....
it is NOT a 75000 PSI bolt action. So all of the gas pressure comes back through and around the hammer and action.....ruining the wood, action and....your whole week.

If you want to save some money......pick another way..buy cheaper jacketed bullets. I have seen it happen on a bolt actioned rifle... forget GCs in a lever action.

But go ahead if you wanna try it......like Vegas at the range.

Bravo

#13372777 - 12/18/18 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: 450Fuller]  
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desertoakie Offline
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Arizona
Originally Posted by 450Fuller
Model 71s are a valuable asset, as are your eyes.
Gas checked bullets are best left to straight walled cases -or long necked cartridges like
the 30-40 Krag.

If, by some " it would never happen chance"-the gas check falls from the base of the 348/33/308 lead bullet while seating... and lands on top of the powder charge...upon ignition
the powder charge is creating gas pressure behind 2 not 1 objects in the case . When the gas check reaches the neck, you are in trouble.
Some of the gas may be already propelling the bullet into the barrel..then it stops......meanwhile the case is building pressure behind the gas check.
It might get to the lodged bullet or it may be too much for the case. Boom. A lever action M-71 MAY handle the pressure, probably not....
it is NOT a 75000 PSI bolt action. So all of the gas pressure comes back through and around the hammer and action.....ruining the wood, action and....your whole week.

If you want to save some money......pick another way..buy cheaper jacketed bullets. I have seen it happen on a bolt actioned rifle... forget GCs in a lever action.

But go ahead if you wanna try it......like Vegas at the range.


OH CHIT!!! I was shooting 200 grain lead GC Western bullets this past weekend in my TD 1886 .33!!! Luckily I only bought 100 of them!


Ken
#13375476 - 12/19/18 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: Catamountman]  
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450Fuller Offline
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I sympathize, Ken. I have a takedown half-magazine 33 and a Deluxe 1886 in 33WCF. Still have a few boxes of Hornadys and others-for loading them.
use to use them in the 45-70, but switched to Oregon Trail lazer cast-and those 400 gr OT bullets don't need a GC at most med velocities. That also includes a
half magazine original 1910 45-70 smokeless 1886.
My first half magazine smokeless 33 1886 was bought at the Tucson Gun show in 1986.

I also shoot reduced velocity non-GC lead. It works and makes me breathe easier.
Marriott

#13503852 - 01/28/19 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: Catamountman]  
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JFE Offline
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Victoria, Australia
I have used cast in mine and have had good results, though some people report poor accuracy using cast in the 348.Throat fit is important with cast and I'd suggest using a Lee FCD to assist in fitting the bullet to the throat.

The 348 has a fairly long neck, which means with designs weighing less than about 240 gr or so you should be able to contain the lube grooves and the GC in the neck. Some people advise not to load cast pills where the rear of the bullet projects below the neck line. The reasoning is that the rear of the pills may be bumped up on ignition, then it's squeezed through the neck affecting accuracy. Before I read this I had already tried quite a few high speed loads using 270 gr cast GC in my Browning. These bullets do protrude into the powder space but accuracy was fine.

The prospect of a cast GC bullet losing its GC is a possibility, but it really depends on the calibre and type of GC. Some cast bullets have what I would consider to be undersized GC shanks. The 458 designs are one of the worst offenders. I've never had an issue with 348 cast pills using crimp on GC's made by Hornady. The other point worth making is that there are a few GC now made from aluminum and if not made to the correct dimensions, these may slip off easier than old school crimp on copper GC's.

#13556523 - 02/12/19 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: Catamountman]  
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patrout Offline
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I have a browning 348 carbine that shoots great with the Winchester 200 gr sivertip. No safety and more like the originals. Definatly a step above average finish to the metal/wood vs. the originals. I love my long tang original Winchester but this is the one I carry afield.

#13560192 - 02/13/19 Re: School Me on Winchester v. Browning model 71's [Re: Catamountman]  
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450Fuller Offline
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Reloading lead GC bullets is a personal decision. If you have a 30-40 Krag with an exceptionally long neck-works well. Also, a very long
leade or free bore really would help. For a Winchester or Browning Model 71-the bore and chamber should be left as issued.
These are not target rifles, and I recommend bullets by Hawk, Woodleigh, Alaska Bullet Works and Swift.

Being basically a hunting rifle, the M-71 is at its best when pushing along soft jacketed bullets at
recommended velocity per weight. The Hawk 200 gr Bullet at 2400-2500 FPS is very
hard to beat. Easy on bores and definitely effective on game. The 200 gr bullet by Hawk
will really be capable of taking anything in North America. The Lee factory Crimp Die is a good investment
for most lever calibers-and especially the348 WCF.

Last edited by 450Fuller; 02/13/19. Reason: spelling

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