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Refurbishing on old M70 #15030055 07/07/20
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GRF Offline OP
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This is also posted in the rifle forum. I decided to stick it up here as well since I post my thoughts here on the Hugh Williamson Precision barrel once I have enough rounds down range

First of all a quick thanks to Redneck, a few words of yours in a thread several months ago proved very helpful.

This rifle came into my hands as a .30-06, it was one of the various discount versions Winchester offered and has a 1969 serial number.

My mission was to get a rifle destined for the junk pile back into usable shape with minimal expense.

It had been neglected for years and then an attempt was made 2 or 3 years ago to refurbish it. The attempt included refinishing the stock with a stain so dark it was almost black, all metal was cleaned up and quite neatly spray painted flat black. An attempt was made to glass bed the rifle resulting in the action and stock being glued together. An attempt to remedy this destroyed the action screws and did some damage to the bottom metal.

Some months passed before I got my hands upon this diamond in the rough and rust had started to pop through the paint in a few places. The safety had also developed issues.

Jobs required were:
1 separate stock and barrelled action
2 get rid of paint and rust from the action (barrel did not matter as that was going down the road)
3 thin the stock down substantially and focus on a fit that I desired
4 fit recoil pad properly
5 finish stock
6 buy new barrel (not required but desired)
7 get it all back together including fixing the safety

Lots of fun was had.

In the end I ordered a Hugh Williamson Precision Barrel (local Calgary guy who is a high end benchrest shooter) in .270. Calibre was chosen mostly based upon the ice cream pails full of brass I got from a buddy years ago as well as having dies and lots of suitable powder on hand. I have owned a .270 years ago and really enjoyed the rifle and calibre.

I hit the stock hard with the rasp and knocked off a good deal of wood shaping it into something that fit me well. It was finished with 8 coats of Birchwood Casey true oil including under the recoil pad in all the inletted areas. I have refurbished checkering before but I have never done any from scratch. So I decided to use a spray on traction epoxy I used before on steps and ramps. It was appled on the pistol grip and on the forearm where checkering would usually occur, it turned out great in my opinion, ample traction without being ugly.

The bases were old weaver ones from my "tickle trunk", the rings were weaver bases on clearout pricing at the local Canadian Tire a while back.

The scope is a Bushnell 3500 Elite 3-9 with the weird 600 DOA reticle, they were never overly popular so once the model was discontinued I was able to pick up a couple on clearance for about $190 each all in (CDN$)

I hired a local smith to sort out the safety and stick the pieces together as well to arrange for the ceracoating.

With the exception of the new barrel its a discount Danny fix which I am very happy with.

To answer one of the first questions folks will ask; "Why put all the time and effort into "polishing a turd" when for less $ one could buy one of the modern accurate discount guns like the Ruger american? The mission was not to buy a new rifle but to pull one out of the scrap heap. The old M70s have a great and simple trigger, they have the awesome 3 position safety and this one needed to avoid the dump.

I hope y'all enjoy the story.

I look forward to the comments, questions and flames.


[Linked Image]

BP-B2

Re: Refurbishing on old M70 [Re: GRF] #15030088 07/07/20
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Nice!!


These premises insured by a Sheltie in Training ,--- and Cooey.
Re: Refurbishing on old M70 [Re: GRF] #15030476 07/07/20
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Well done. I would take an old model 70 over anything that is new. Hopefully you just added another 100 years to this rifle for your heirs. How does it shoot??????

Last edited by jmp300wsm; 07/07/20.

"If you find yourself in a hole, quit digging"
Re: Refurbishing on old M70 [Re: GRF] #15030510 07/07/20
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JMP: I have no idea, I’ll do some load testing this weekend and post some results.

Re: Refurbishing on old M70 [Re: GRF] #15030873 07/08/20
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elkmen1 Offline
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Very nice, it looks great. I have two of the same era that I hunt with now, a 300 WM and a 7 MM Mashburn, the WM is one of my best shooting rifles, and I have had it since 1970. For various reasons I recently ended up with two more. A Pre 64 and post 64 both in 06. I sold the Pre 64, and still have the like new, post 64. I had been kicking around a similar idea to yours, in a 7mm caliber of some sort. I will probably end up selling it however as I have more rifles that I could ever need, and my days in the field are not going to last forever. Enjoy your find, they are really a fine rifle.

IC-A

Re: Refurbishing on old M70 [Re: GRF] #15081080 07/25/20
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Finished with load testing, no photos as the photos are over the maximum size allowed. I'll see what I can do to reduce the size of the photographs.

All groups at 100 yards and I'm sure a person better skilled in benchrest shooting could have improved things a wee bit.

130 grain ballistic tip
H4831sc 59.0 g .95" 4 shots
H4831sc 60.0 g 1.575" 4 shot

H4350 53.5 g 1.6" 5 shot
H4350 54.5 g 1.1 5 shot nice round even group chosen load for 130 g in this rifle

IMR 4451 54.0 g .925"
IMR 4451 55.0 g 2.0"
IMR 4451 1.425" 5 shot

140 grain accubond - H4831sc and IMR4451 loads would prove adequate
H4831sc 57.0 g .85" 3 shot
H4831sc 58.0 g .825"3 shot

H4350 51.0 g 1.275" 5 shot
H4350 52.0 g 1.6" 5 shot
H4350 53.0 g 1.21" 5 shot

IMR4451 51.5 g .8" 5 shot
IMR4451 52.5 g .87" 5 shot
IMR4451 53.5 g .975" shot

Next step to chronograph top loads and settle on a 130 and 140 grain load. Very happy with the way the rifle has turned out.

Re: Refurbishing on old M70 [Re: GRF] #15081511 07/26/20
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AB2506 Offline
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GRF - nice project. Try 53gr of 4451? Maybe wait until chrony.

Re: Refurbishing on old M70 [Re: GRF] #15081539 07/26/20
Joined: Aug 2010
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bsa1917hunter Offline
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Not bad for a pushfeed..


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
P


BSA
Re: Refurbishing on old M70 [Re: GRF] #15081964 07/26/20
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AB: I’ll wait until I can chronograph before doing any tweaking.

Re: Refurbishing on old M70 [Re: GRF] #15084369 07/26/20
Joined: Jul 2007
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AB2506 Offline
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Get a Lee hand press.

To shorten the development, I'll load a series like you did. Although I don't always shoot for groups right away. I test for what the safe maximum is. I Use my Chrony at that point, it helps ID what the max is.

I have prepped and primed cases at the range. I whip out the scale and load at the level I found is most reasonable. The charge is inserted in the case and the bullet seated with the Lee hand press. This is when I bear down and shoot for groups.

Since I started doing this, I often will find a close to max load that will put 3 shots under an inch, (my best loads do around a half inch) in one trip to the range. I do a LOT of analysis before I load anything. I have my preferred bullet that will achieve what I want, the designated seating depth of that bullet (gauged to my rifle) and a efficient powder that allows the cartridge to do what the cartridge was designed to do. In the last 10 years, the various component shortages gave caused me to simplify to CCI primers. They seem to be available more often than other brands. I have good success with Reloder powders and Varget.

IC-B

Re: Refurbishing on old M70 [Re: GRF] #15084702 07/27/20
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AB; I have done something similar. I have a press and scare at the farm and when timing permits I show up with a bunch of sized brass.

My chronograph died a while back, new one was just ordered.

I have settled on Varget, H4350 and H4831sc as my primary powders. IMR4451 gave a go as my first foray into the new generation of powders.

Bullet wise I lean heavily toward Nolsers or Barnes


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