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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: gunner500] #16126554 05/29/21
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Windknot Offline
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Great thread and pics of what I consider the "Holy Grail of American Hunting Rifles"!
The 71 is a deluxe in any form!

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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: gunner500] #16126623 05/29/21
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Mossyoak1957 Offline
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I paid $3000 for my 1940 Deluxe this past winter at a gun show I messed around for a good 40 minutes looking at it trying to justify spending that kind of my till my wife said just buy it you've wanted one forever,that's all it took to write the check.





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71 grip cap.jpg (35.95 KB, 282 downloads)
model 71 5.jpg (26.1 KB, 471 downloads)
Last edited by Mossyoak1957; 05/30/21.
Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: Windknot] #16127328 05/29/21
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Originally Posted by Windknot
Great thread and pics of what I consider the "Holy Grail of American Hunting Rifles"!
The 71 is a deluxe in any form!

Ditto. About time I got up to speed on the fraternal twin brother of the Winchester Model 70.

The long-tang/short-comb began to peter out in 1940, as parts inventories got used up and depleted during WWII.
Apparently Winchester had decided to start making the short tang by late 1937, but still had some long-tang receivers left over.
From 1935 to late 1937, both the Deluxe and Standard Rifles were all long-tang/short-comb:

"This is from serial number 1 through serial numbers c. 12,500, with a very few long tangs appearing as late as serial numbers c.17,000."
(pre-1941 for the last of the long-tang, pre-1942 for the better QA, though all are of same metallurgy)

After WW-II the Deluxe and Standard were all short-tang/long-comb,
and might not have been as carefully fitted and finished, on average, as the earlier rifles,
according to the below excerpt from here:

https://www.leverguns.com/articles/model71_info.htm

Winchester wanted the stocking and the strength of the stocking - I emphasize the latter, the strength of the stocking - to be absolutely right. They wanted the Model 71 to be built like a battleship (this was also the period of the ultimate battleships), but not to handle like a battleship. The original, "long tang" Model 71 was their first "go" at this. They wanted dampened recoil, excellent balance, and absolutely NO stock cracking!

From the first manufacture in late 1935 through late (September) 1937, the Model 71 was the "long tang, short comb" model. This is from serial number 1 through serial numbers c. 12,500, with a very few long tangs appearing as late as serial numbers c.17,000. Why the spread on the end date? It is because, as always with Winchester, available parts were used up to fill new orders. There is no clear, absolute cut-off point. The upper tangs of these earlier guns are 3 7/8" in length. The later (post-September, 1937) Model 71's have the "short tang, long comb" configuration. The tang is 1" shorter.

Collectors love the original "long tang, short comb" variation for at least two reasons. (1) It is the "rare" variation, and rarity affects collecting value. It is also the "original" variation. (2) The checkering, finish quality, wood-to-steel fit, etc. are all superior on these early rifles, when compared with the postwar (1945-1957) Model 71's. BUT, the superior "build quality" (factor 2) is NOT because these early rifles are "long tang, short comb" configuration rifles. It is because they are PRE-WAR rifles. The drop-off in build quality (which is not tremendous; the 1945-1957 Model 71's are still excellent rifles) takes place when production is resumed after World War II. You can see the transition in the (relatively) few rifles finished during the war (doubtless from existing parts). I believe that the magical moment in time passed, when many of the Winchester production people either did not come back after 1945 or returned to a different business & production climate.

I hope you are being patient with me, as I am only now coming to why Winchester changed to the "short tang, long comb" configuration.

This is my own view, based on handling many different Model 71's. You will see much "received wisdom"/uncritical praise for the original "long tang, short comb" version. I believe that is due to the better finish & attention to detail. I very humbly & respectfully DEFY anyone to shoot a long string with the short comb (necessitated by the vaunted long tang!), in comparison with the longer, second style comb, and tell me that the first version handles better. It doesn't - the end.


For the Winchester people in 1937, the handling of the Model 71 was everything. Why would you buy a 71 over a 70? The levergun handled better (especially when compared to a scoped 70); that's why. Fantastic handling was the 71's raison d'etre. So, when reports from the field came back on the original version of the stocking, the Winchester folk needed to make a choice. Do we really need that long tang to reinforce the neck, as was done on quality Purdey or Holland & Holland dangerous game double rifles? Or will the 71 work with a more conventional tang, so that we can put on a longer comb? In the result, they went with the latter, and, I believe, rightly so. Also, the "short rifle" (mistakenly termed "carbine") 20" version appeared in 1937 (and lasted only until 1947). Consider the appearance of that "short rifle" with a long tang & short comb. Ooooh! Aesthetics is at least something, after all.

Therefore, I said, that "the pick of the litter" on the Model 71's are those rifles (and "short rifles") made from 1937 through 1941. This group has the rifles with both the superior stock design and the superior pre-war finishing of wood, metal, fit, etc. I regard those rifles as absolutely the apogee of Winchester's big game lever rifles.

There are two very good analyses of the Model 71 that I highly recommend to you. You can still order them, as back issues or photocopies, from Wolfe Publications. Perhaps you already have the first: Ken Waters, "Classic Rifles: Winchester Model 71," in "Rifle," September-October, 1976, pages 51-53. Ken Waters (the model of what a gun writer should be!) includes in that article a very thorough discussion of the mechanical changes that make the Model 71 superior to the Model 1886. (In answer to your other question, there were, to my knowledge, no mechanical changes that accompanied the change-over from the "long tang, short comb" to the "short tang, long comb" c. September, 1937 and thereafter.

The second article is Jim Scott, "Model 71: Golden Jubilee Winchester," in "Rifle" also, May-June, 1974, pages 16-19 & 52-53. This second article has many very helpful photos (by Les Gard), which show the differences between the "long Tang, short comb" and "short tang, long comb" versions. Please remember, though, that all pre-war 71's are not "long tangs."


Ron

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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: gunner500] #16127526 05/29/21
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Imagine finding one of these safe queens at the local emporium: The short-barreled Standard Rifle

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]




Ron

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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: gunner500] #16127618 05/29/21
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Winchester never catalogued a M71 Deluxe Rifle, it was catalogued as a M71 Special Rifle.


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson
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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: Riflecrank] #16128483 05/30/21
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Originally Posted by Riflecrank
Imagine finding one of these safe queens at the local emporium: The short-barreled Standard Rifle

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]




My "holy grail" right there!


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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: tmitch] #16130128 05/30/21
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Originally Posted by tmitch

My "holy grail" right there!

I found that by "googling."
Already sold, for how much I do not know.
Best condition of any rifle from 1936 that I have googled so far.
The short barrel is supposed to add 150% to the value, according to Blue Book.
So, a Standard Rifle worth $2250 loses 4" of barrel and becomes a $5625 Short Rifle,
unless Bubba is the guy who chopped the barrel.
Provenance by Bubba.
Reminds me of the microcephalic Kodiak boar about to partake of surf & turf,
carved on the buttstock of a 1940 Standard Rifle.

And coming up, I found the greatest "Special Rifle" aka Deluxe Rifle for the money on the internet,
only $4995, a long-tang made in 1936 also,
like the Short Rifle above, that someone might have paid more for.
This M71 SPECIAL RIFLE is claimed to be in 95% condition, and includes the fold-down sight in the barrel dovetail, bolt peep,
front sight hood, and supposedly original sling and swivels.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


Ron

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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: gunner500] #16130167 05/30/21
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[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Serial number 5581 at Schwandt Classic Arms, Schwandt, WI.
Good deal.
Others on the net are asking more for lesser rifles, epecially those with 4 inches less barrel.
Yesterday I did not know how to spell "expert," and now I are one, almost.
Blue Book says to "Add 30% to 40% for early variation long tang, depending on condition."
I gotta study up on that.
Blue Book I have says to "Add $250 for bolt peep sight."
Another book said to add 10% for the bolt peep sight.


Ron

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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: gunner500] #16130456 05/31/21
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I wonder why the fold-down rear sight... given the bolt peep is on it. Mine (1937) has a blank in that dovetail...

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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: Riflecrank] #16132004 05/31/21
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Originally Posted by Riflecrank
Imagine finding one of these safe queens at the local emporium: The short-barreled Standard Rifle

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]




I’m a fan of the 20” 71s!

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

IC-B

Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: gunner500] #16132020 05/31/21
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Actually I’m kind of a fan of the 24” length too!
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: gunner500] #16132832 05/31/21
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JSG
Factory matted barrel, that’s very special.


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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: gunner500] #16133029 05/31/21
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Special indeed ! More than just gilding the lilly like that fold-down buckhorn with bolt peep.

Tidbit from my googling:

[Linked Image]

And from the local emporium:

[Linked Image]

IIRC, my sole BACO/Miroku 20-incher has a rounded/radiused muzzle, the common sporter crown.
These M71 rifles are a nice craziness.


Ron

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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: gunner500] #16133326 06/01/21
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The transition from flat, uncrowned, in-the-white muzzles to the crowned and blued muzzle began in 1941 and continued through mid-year 1948.



"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: Poconojack] #16133591 06/01/21
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Originally Posted by Poconojack

JSG
Factory matted barrel, that’s very special.


Thanks Jack, it took me the better part of a decade to get it but it was worth the wait!

Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: gunner500] #16133701 06/01/21
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Beautiful rifles! It only took seconds of me handling an original long tang deluxe 71 about 10 years ago to fall in love with them. I’m about to get it’s cousin a Miroku 1886 extra light out of lay away. That 71 was so smooth, fit like a glove a swung like a light bird gun. Hope to one day pick one up to go with the 45/70 1886. John M Browning was one hell of a gun maker.

Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: Poconojack] #16134281 06/01/21
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Originally Posted by Poconojack
The transition from flat, uncrowned, in-the-white muzzles to the crowned and blued muzzle began in 1941 and continued through mid-year 1948.

What happened to the crowns after 1948 ?

Bubba must have had his 1940 model crowned as part of his post-1941 deluxification package,
along with the buttstock carving, checkering and swivel base additions.
Not surprising since Bubba's crown looks crudely done.
Well, at least the rifle appears to have come with the bolt peep,
but that alone does not add 1K to the price, not to mention the deductions for Bubba's deluxification attempts.
Minus another 1K.
I would, however, pay $899.99 for the bubbafied 1940 Standard rifle with bolt peep.
No more than that !



Ron

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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: Mossyoak1957] #16135663 06/02/21
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Damn nice rifles Mossyoak and jsgwoodsman, what a collection.

Riflecrank, keeping an ear to the ground for a clean fair priced '71.


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Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: gunner500] #16135934 06/02/21
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Gunner500:

Your rifle turned out beautifully!
I especially like the buttstock and touches of case color hardened finish.
I like seeing (although less and less often these days) older lever guns with the case color levers still vibrant.

Last edited by jsgwoodsman; 06/02/21.
Re: Old 1937 M-71 348 Winchester [Re: Mossyoak1957] #16136040 06/02/21
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I posted the incorrect date of mfg. of mine it was made in 1941

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