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Military History of the Winchester Model 70 
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Joined: 31 Mar 2009 11:37
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Post Military History of the Winchester Model 70
Interesting fact to learn that a small numbers of Model Winchester 70s were procured for sniping during WWII. By Vietnam the Winchester M70 military issued rifle, was accurized and fitted with a heavy barrel by military armorers. Some of these rifles sourced for the sniping program were mothballed National Match target rifles belonging to the NRA. It became one of the deciding factors that lead to the standardization and adoption of the Remington Model 700, after they won the military contract for what became the M40 rifle in 7.62mm.

History of the Winchester Model 70 ... 2523&cid=1

The Marine Corps firmly closed the door on the acquisition of any additional Model 70 rifles. A memo dated July 29, 1942, stated in part: “Subject: Rifles, Winchester, Model 70, .30 Government 06. The subject rifles are not considered suitable for general service use for the following reasons: (a) Not sufficiently sturdy;(b) Parts are not interchangeable with M1903 and M1 parts; (c) Replacement parts will be difficult to procure; (d) Not fitted with sling swivels. These rifles are not considered suitable for use as sniper rifles. The 1047 rifles, U.S., caliber .30, M1903, ‘Snipers Equipment’ on hand at this Depot … are believed to be superior to the subject rifle both in accuracy and durability … .” ... 3225&cid=1 ... 3227&cid=1 ... 3107&cid=1

Peter Senich gave additional details regarding the use of the Model 70 sniper rifle in Vietnam in his excellent book “The One-Round War.” “Glass-bedded and accurized by Marine Corps Rifle Team Equipment Armorers (RTE), the Model 70s fired .30-06 M72 match ammunition having a 173-grain, boat-tailed bullet. In some cases, Douglas barrels were fitted to the Winchester actions to attain optimum accuracy. A limited number of 3X to 9X variable power ‘Marine Scopes’ of Japanese manufacture saw early use, but target mount, 8 power Unertl telescopes, unchanged basically from those first adopted in 1941, were fitted to the Model 70s as were many of the original World War II Unertl contract scopes, which had survived official obsolescence and the post-Korean War surplus sell-off. …
Carlos Hathcock’s rifle barrel looked like it had been sandblasted. On the inspection sheet, you’d say, ‘Slight pits throughout.’ His rifle would hold about two minutes of angle. That’s 20 inches at 1,000 yards and that’s what he had to work with.

29 May 2012 13:16
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