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Winchester 71 #168992 06/09/03
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hntrlou Offline OP
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In 1969 I bought some property in Bradford Co.,PA. A neighbor had a Winchester 71 that was his grandaddy's rifle and had been handed down to him. For the last 25 years I have been trying to buy the gun.
On June 6th, the gentleman turned 86 and to my suprise during a birthday visit he told me he was ready to sell me the rifle.
According to the serial # and the Blue Book it was made in 1936. It is a deluxe rifle with a long tang and a peep sight mounted on the bolt. If I had to guess I would say the rifle is between 50 & 60 % condition, maybe better. The blueing is really good except for the lever which shows some wear.There is also some wear on the metal piece at the front of the forearm where a sling swivel would be attached. The checkering and the finish are in suprisingly good condition for a rifle that was made 67 years ago. I received a full box of Winchester Super Speed cartridges. Unfortunately the box is deteriorated. It describes the cartridges as "Staynless","Non-Mercuric". There is a handwritten number on the box, 4.60, which I assume is the price. There were 2 extra shells so I set out a gallon paint can at 25 yards to see if it would shoot. The shells chambered from the magazine tube and ejected without any problems. More importantly, it was fun to shoot. The round nose shells put 2 neat holes in the center of the can but the damage to the ground beyond the can was impressive. The gun had not been cleaned for a while but after a good cleaning the barrel looks to be in good shape. Now that I have described the gun and it's history I have a few questions.
I am told that Browning is making a reproduction of the 71. If that is the case who is making the .348 ammo ? The gun appears to be in sound condition but considering the age is it safe to shoot the factory ammunition that is being sold today ? I currently own rifles from .338 RUM down to .22-250 and reload for all of them. I thought that I would buy a few boxes of loaded ammo to get the feel of the rifle and also to get the brass. I saw that Midland has loaded ammo for about $45. a box. I didn't see brass for sale.I would appreciate any comments or advice anyone wants to offer. Thanks, Lou

300 BP

Re: Winchester 71 #168993 06/09/03
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mr308win Offline
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I beleve the Browning were made around 1985, I'll let you know when mine gets here.Tho only factory round is Winchester, with 200 grain silvertip. These are around $32 in midway's catalog. I called them on Saturday and ordered .348 dies, and 2 boxes of Barnes bullets. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

Re: Winchester 71 #168994 06/10/03
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Redcoat Offline
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Dear Hntrlou,

Congratulations on your purchase of a Winchester Model 71! The wonderful 71 is a modernization and upgrade of the classic Winchester Model 1886. In the mid-1930's, the final 1886's tended to be the "Extra-Light" models in .33 Winchester with shotgun butt and 22" or 24" barrels. The 71 added coil springs, better stocking, Proof Steel, and various minor, but helpful mechanical improvements. The .348 Winchester cartridge was a development by Winchester ballistic engineers of the "large case, small bore" concept of the great German ballistician, Gerlich. Except for experimental models in .45-70 and .33 Winchester, all 71's were originally .348's. The .348 case, based on the old .50-110 case, has been wildcatted many times, perhaps most notably to the well-regarded .450 Alaskan.

The first 71's were produced late in 1935, and the .348 cartridge and Model 71 combo was introduced in early 1936. So, you have essentially a "first year of production" rifle. I have a Winchester 71 made in 1940. It has the 98-A bolt peep also, but has the shorter tang. Any Winchester 71's (made from 1935 to 1957/8), in good mechanical condition, may be safely used with today's Winchester Silvertip 200-grain factory ammunition. That ammunition is well-made, and the present Silvertip used in its manufacture has a better ballistic co-efficient (BC) than did the first round-nose bullets or the early Silvertips. Winchester aand Western, as well as Remington, at various times made commercial loads in 150-grain, 200-grain, and 250-grain. There are no 150-grain loads at present from comercial sources. Winchester has the 200-grain loads as described. Buffalo Bore in Carmen, Idaho makes an excellent 250-grain factory load @2250 fps (33,000 CUP), which I have used in my 1940 vintage 71 with no problems.

My son has a Browning Model 71. (They were produced in 1987; there were 13,000 of them to add to the c. 47,000 Winchesters). The Brownings were very well made by Miroku in Japan, and they are fine rifles. My Winchester 71 is a 24" rifle; my son's Browning is a 20" "carbine" (really, a short rifle). The Model 71 has a tremendous history and mystique. It was very popular in Alaska, BC, Alberta, and the Pacific Northwest. There are many excellent articles on the 71 in "Rifle" and "Handloader" magazines, as well as a specially good one in the 1991 "Gun Digest."

Handloading extends options considerably. Hawk makes excellent bullets in .348". I recommend their 180-grainer as a devastating deer bullet. The 200-grain factory load from Winchester is excellent for deer and black bear and will certainly do for elk and moose as well, though you might prefer the 250-grainers for heavy game and the big, dangerous bears. Hornady makes a good 200-grain bullet, and Barnes makes both Originals and X-Bullets in .348". The Buffalo Bore factory load has the excellent Alaska Bullet Works Kodiak Bonderd Core bullet. Cases are available from Midway, Graf, Cheaper Than Dirt, and others.

Recoil for the 200-grain factory load is c.23-24 foot pounds. The 250-grain loads dish out punishment on both ends. The 71 is a very ergonomic rifle, however, and helps control "felt" recoil. The effectiveness of the .348 on game is also such that the recoil involved proves a very reasonable price to pay. Factory loads in our rifles produce very close to factory advertised ballistics; 2" groups at 100 yards are possible if we do our part at the holding end.

The .348 is not simply a short-range, "brush gun" cartridge. The 200-grain factory load has nearly the same trajectory as the 180-grain .300 Savage factory load. Somewhat surprisingly, the present .348 Silvertip factory load does a little better (in both energy & trajectory) than the present .358 Winchester Silvertip factory load. The limitation on the .348's use at ranges over 200 yards comes from iron sights. Your bolt peep is a good one, however, and, depending on how you see them and with practice, you can extend your range a bit. In the old days, side-mounted scopes were put on and used with hard cheeking of the stock. I personally like iron sights, and I would not drill a 1936-vintage Model 71.

Good luck with your 71, a true "big game" rifle, handy, well-made, and useful for any North American big game! Your friend's grandfather made a very wise choice in 1936, and I hope you will enjoy being the next user in a great tradition.

Best wishes!

Redcoat

Re: Winchester 71 #168995 06/10/03
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stocker Offline
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Redcoat: Nice summation of the rifle and cartridge. It's a useful combination and I wish Winchester had done more development with other calibers based on the case. The wildcatters did of course, but there are hardly enough rifles out there to satisfy the demand and people are getting reluctant to modify the originals. Perhaps the rifle would have lasted longer (on the market) if they had made it in 375 or 40 calibers.

Cast bullets are very useful in this rifle for practice and hunting and the slightly reduced loads used will extend case life considerably.

My first Model 71 was a mint deluxe grade with bolt sight, serial #224. That was very early production. Unfortunately we parted company long ago when cash was short. I hope to buy it back one day from the collector who purchased it from me. He hasn't shot it since he got it in 1972. I consider that a colossal waste of good equipment.

Enjoy the rifle.

Re: Winchester 71 #168996 06/10/03
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hntrlou Offline OP
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mr308 win,Redcoat :
Thanks for the replies. Your posts were detailed and very informative. I just got the new super sized edition of the Midway catalog. Tomorrow morning I will be ordering dies and components. Redcoat , I agree with your opinion on the iron sights and like to use a peep at reasonable ranges. My 58 year old eyes however are not what they used to be so the "reasonable" range is getting shorter. I had to look in my older loading manuals to get any load data. It's a good thing I never throw anything away. Thanks again for the info. Lou

Alpha

Re: Winchester 71 #168997 06/10/03
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mr308win Offline
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when I called midway on saturday, they only had 6 boxes of bullets left. The others are due in to them in JULY.

Re: Winchester 71 #168998 06/12/03
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bcboy Offline
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wholesalesports.com They seem to have an ample supply of 200gr. for the 348. Good luck with your 348.....I love mine and it is a 1939 24" deluxe model.

Stocker! Cast bullets?? Wouyld love to but where do you get the mold.

bc


" open sights - open minds"
Re: Winchester 71 #168999 06/17/03
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Adobe_Walls Offline
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Sounds like it took you 25 years to join a cult. Those of us that shoot and appreciate .348 are a bunch of odd ducks for sure. You have a very nice rifle, and once you "blood" it on game you will be permanently hooked on the rifle and cartridge as well. About all you need in order to make fine deer and black bear ammo is Hornady 200 grain bullets and some Winchester 760 powder. New brass is periodically available from several mail order suppliers and of course the new $1.50 a shot ammo is available as well. The .348 has very .30/06 manners, meaning that it pushes bullets of the same weight to virtually the same speeds. Trajectory isn't as good, but it's still a 200 yard cartridge if you and your rifle are indeed a 200 yard team. It'll no doubt be of extreme interest to all that see it if you take it to deer camp this fall.AW

Re: Winchester 71 #169000 06/17/03
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bcboy: I just sent a post on this but it hasn't shown up in the forum. Lost in cyber space maybe?

Any how the gist of it was that molds are available form Mountain Molds (specify a .341-.342 bore ride nose) and RCBS will make them on direct request even though they no longer catalogue them. You can order direct from RCBS by e-mail.

Mountain molds can also supply a sizer die and top punch for either RCBS or Lyman sizers.

A fellow named Tom Ballard somewhere in Montana also makes molds for 348.

Send me a PM with your mail address and I'll send you a small quantity of sized, lubed and hardened bullets to try out. I'm leaving on a road trip soon to Fort St. John so it may take a while before you receive them. They will come if you supply the name and address.

Be sure to remove all traces of copper fouling from your bore before you shoot them or accuracy will suffer. Accuracy will be equal to jacketed most likely although velocity should be about 300-400fps less to get the best out of them.

Re: Winchester 71 #169001 06/17/03
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Redcoat Offline
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Dear Stocker & BC Boy,

In addition to the .348 Winchester moulds & cast bullets that Stocker has mentioned, you might want to explore the Buffalo Arms website, which is www.buffaloarms.com or 'phone them. They are near Sandpoint, Idaho, not too far from southern BC locations. My dealings with that firm have been quite positive.

They have a .350" Dia. 250 grain 1-Cav. RNFP GC Rapine mould @ $79.95 and a 235 grain Rapine at the same price. They also carry (or advertise, anyway) a .348-200 FN GC Bullet Mould .349" 200 grain RCBS @ $91.00.

Similarly, they may have available some .348" diameter cast bullets - 185 grain FN GC Hard Cast. Their usual formula is 20-1 alloy SPG lube, but you will need to check on what it is for the .348 Winchester.

Good shooting to you!

Redcoat

Bravo

Re: Winchester 71 #169002 06/17/03
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bcboy Offline
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Thanks redcoat... you Stocker and A Walls sure make this old cal. pretty friendly. Still wonder why mule has not pitched in?

PS. Stocker sent you an e-mail bcboy


" open sights - open minds"
Re: Winchester 71 #169003 06/21/03
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Salish Offline
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I have nothing pertinent to add to this discussion, except that I just got back from a local shop that has a beautiful Model 71. This rifle is probably 98% as far as condition is concerned, and the serial number of 44768 puts it in 1955, as far as my records would indicate. They want $1900.00 for it. Way too rich for my blood. I'm not very familiar with Model 71's but I have always been enamoured with them in print and on paper. I have to say it mounted very well and felt nice. The receiver appears to be almost an exact match to my 86', although from reading below I see there were some improvements made on the 86'. Sure is a sweet rifle!
Cliff
Seattle

Re: Winchester 71 #169004 06/23/03
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bcboy Offline
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Salish... I get down to Seattle once or twice a year. Where is this gunshop., I like to see othe 71's and compare it to mine. $1900... must be sweet. On gunsamerica.com seen them go much higher.

bc


" open sights - open minds"
Re: Winchester 71 #169005 06/23/03
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Salish Offline
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Quote

Salish... I get down to Seattle once or twice a year. Where is this gunshop., I like to see othe 71's and compare it to mine. $1900... must be sweet. On gunsamerica.com seen them go much higher.

bc


BC - I left this message erlier but it didn't take, I hope it doesn't end up as a duplicate. The name of this particular shop is DJ's Sport & Loan, in Bothell. (425) 486-1919. It's a pawn shop/gun shop, but don't let that scare you. They've got a great collection of used guns and lot's of knowledgable collectors, shooters, and hunters go there. Since you're coming from Vancouver, you probably owe it to yourself to stop in at Kesselrings Gunshop, near Sedro Wooley. They have a huge collection of new & used shotguns and rifles, and I've seen Model 71's in there before. I don't their number handy, but they have a website complete with map and directions. Just run a search on Kesselrings gun shop. If there are any other Seattle-area things I can help you with, just let me know.
Cliff
Seattle

Re: Winchester 71 #169006 06/24/03
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bcboy Offline
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thanks...cedro is one of my destinatons as well as Seattle.


Regards : bcboy


" open sights - open minds"
Re: Winchester 71 #169007 08/04/03
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Howdy all-

Refreshing this post as I just came across it while doing a search of the archives. Thought I'd chime in (albiet a bit late) regarding CB moulds, and load data.

In addition to the sources listed by previous post-ers, NEI has a couple of mould designs for this caliber. I have their #106 (.348-225-GC, RNFP) and they also have their #107 (.349-240-GC, FP), and #108 (.348-250-GC, RN) . The mould I have casts very nice bullets though I have not played with it much. Reason: I received a surprise B-day gift from my Dad at around the same time. I had been putting a few thoughts to paper about a design I had in mind for a hunting bullet. During a visit down here to CO, he got a copy of this, added a couple of mods from his own CB experience and then had Tom Ballard of MT - cut a double cavity mould for me. What an awsome Dad!

The bullet works like a champ - a 235gr. bore rider, 70% Meplat, GC design that drops at .351" in WW metal. Sized to .350 in the .348 bore - it shoots as well (or better) than I can hold. Needless to say - I spend much more time playing with this bullet than any other. The bullet was designed so it did not exted below the bottom of the case neck at the one end, and was made to meet max C.O.L. (2.80") at the other. The bullet feeds without a hitch in original Winchester M-71's however i encountered a problem in getting the loaded round past the loading gate im my Browning M-71 initially. The big meplat at Max C.O.L. was having a hard time turning the corner into the mag tube. Turns out that the loading gate spring was a bit stiff - lightening it a bit (still stiff but not so much as to score up the bullet metal now, in additioin to smothing the feed ramp (?) that guides the cartridge from the loading gate into the mag tube, took care of the problem. This is something to be aware of for those with the Browning 71 if you choose to have a mould made.

For anyone having difficulty locating load data - I've collected an extensive amount of "published" data from various loading manuals as well as articles from "Handloader" and other sources. All this info has been entered into a comprehensive Excel spreadsheet and covers every load I've come across for Jacketed & Cast bullets down to the 150 gr. bullets (no longer available) and on up to the 250Gr. offerings. The nice part of using a spreadsheet like this is you can also enter your own loads (including space for chrono data) and list ithem along with the other info if you like. If any one's is interested - let me know your e-mail address & I'll shoot a copy off to you.

Best regards-

Sky C.
Longmont, CO

Re: Winchester 71 #169008 08/04/03
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vigillinus Offline
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If we are chiming in a bit late I will do so also, over the decades have owned three or four 71s, the last a short tang prewar deluxe with bolt peep and factory recoil pad. I am seduced by the slick actions, buy a rifle, get some ammo, take it out and shoot it and am reminded why I sold the last one - they kick. Even with a pad. And then I sell off the newest. Doubt if I will go through this process again but if I find a Griffin & Howe stocked 71 I might succumb, passed one up about ten years ago.

Re: Winchester 71 #169009 09/03/03
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OldCoach Offline
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I've only been visiting this site a few days. Got onto it mostly for the Savage Collectors' forum, since I recently stumbled across a very fine M1988, manufactured 1909.

However I have owned a M71 since about the time the Browning 71's came out. Went to the big gun show in Indy looking for a Browning, and, lo and behold, found the Winchester in almost cherry condition. Serial number says it was manufactured in 1949. 400 rounds came with the gun, mostly 200 grain, but some 185 grain. (This gun led me to reloading for the first time!}

I'm kind of a lever gun freak. Had a Sako Finnwolf w/ very fine Leupold scope...the scope that had that purple cast to it?? Like a fool, decided one day I needed a new computer and sold the Sako to pay for it. I was too young to know better!! (67 now.)

Anyway, great to find you other 71 folks. Is there a M71 forum anywhere?

OldCoach

Re: Winchester 71 [Re: hntrlou] #13948488 07/04/19
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Dinny Offline
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Tag for later reading. My .348 Win is a single shot.

Thanks, Dinny


PMs get the quickest reply. I don't get notices to posts in my threads.

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