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#466062 - 10/25/07 07:55 AM Re: Sounds Like the Model 70 is back [Re: Hillbilly Hunter]
TiminTN
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If he were alive today, he`d be shooting a Alaskan Ti in 270 WSM.
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#466145 - 10/25/07 08:36 AM Re: Sounds Like the Model 70 is back [Re: Model70Man]
megalomaniac
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 Originally Posted By: Model70Man
Brownells has everything you will ever need if you need Model 70 parts. I've never had to replace anything for my Model 70's.


I'm not saying parts are not available or the model 70 will break more often. Its a great gun, just not known as the platform to customize on. I can find lightly used Mcmillan stocks, triggers, scope bases, etc, etc much easier for the rem 700 platform, and can therefore get them at much better prices. Brownell's has everything, but you can only afford one thing out of the catalog because they're so darn expensive!

Heck, I'd buy one of the new Winchesters if they were in the $500-$600 range just to have one. At the price they're asking, you're almost better off to go with a FN in the McMillan A3 stock for the same money.

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#466147 - 10/25/07 08:37 AM Re: Sounds Like the Model 70 is back [Re: TiminTN]
megalomaniac
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 Originally Posted By: TiminTN
If he were alive today, he`d be shooting a Alaskan Ti in 270 WSM.


If he were smart enough to step up to the WSM platform and the ti action, he would have also figured out the superiority of the 7mm bullet over the 270 \:\)

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#466194 - 10/25/07 09:06 AM Re: Sounds Like the Model 70 is back [Re: megalomaniac]
TiminTN
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You are preaching to the choir. Most all my good stuff is 7mm.

He already knew that, but the Ti isn`t available in a 7mm WSM.

Old guys like lighter recoil too.

I stand by my post.
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#466219 - 10/25/07 09:19 AM Re: Sounds Like the Model 70 is back [Re: Tikkabuck]
Locksley
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Registered: 10/23/01
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 Originally Posted By: Tikkabuck
All I can say is Yippe. A new lease on life for an American company. I like my Model 70's ,no it's not a Tikka but it is a goodun.


Re: (breamfisher) 8:05 PM 10/23/2007


Quote, originally posted by breamfisher »
I hate to be picky, but...
I don't believe Browning has "produced" any firearms. It's my understanding that they contract other makers (FN, the Portuguese, or Japanese) to produce weapons made under their name and patents.


"Browning" is just a collection of intellectual properties (the trademark and copyrights on some J.M. Browning designs which haven't expired yet), and has been for a long time. That I.P. is owned by Herstal, a Belgian company that also owns Fabrique National (FN), and USRA (US Repeating Arms) which has a long term license (from Olin which owns it) to use the Winchester trademark. However you are correct in that Herstal has contracted out a lot of Browning branded manufacture to other companies including some in Japan and elsewhere.

http://outdoorsbest.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=673041&postid=8240866

The Model 70 Is Back!


Edited by Locksley (10/25/07 09:32 AM)
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#466292 - 10/25/07 10:12 AM Re: Sounds Like the Model 70 is back [Re: Locksley]
Locksley
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Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 19733
Loc: Antioch TN

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The Column, No. 15:

More About the Demise of Winchester in New Haven

By Richard Wozniak



It's easy to blame the events that culminated in the recent closing of Winchester's Connecticut plant and the demise of the Model 70 and Model 94 rifles on Herstal, the Belgian interests that own both USRAC and Browning. The feeling is that they don't understand the legacy of Winchester, but in fact I think that is incorrect. Herstal seem to have a deep appreciation for Winchester and John Browning. Their corporate web site has a lot of information on J.M. Browning and, after all, they run the company that bears his name.

The downfall of the Winchester rifle has a lot more to do with greedy unions than greedy management. Olin Corp., the longtime owner of Winchester, was forced to sell the Connecticut factory after a long and crippling strike. (Circa 1980, I believe.) Notice that there is no end in site for Winchester ammunition, of which Olin Corp. kept control. Olin knows how to run a profitable business, and they were the first of several owners to decide that they could not do it with the highly unionized and politicized New Haven, Connecticut factory.

To end the strike Olin sold the factory to, essentially, a consortium of managers and workers incorporated under the name "United States Repeating Arms Company" (USRAC). Olin licensed to USRAC the rights to manufacture the Model 70 and Model 94, and to use the Winchester name and logo. Unfortunately, this group was not able to run the factory efficiently either, and so USRAC passed through a few owners culminating with Herstal a few years ago.

Herstal did invest in the Winchester brand. One need only look at a 2005 Winchester Firearms catalog to see the many interesting models. There are controlled round feed, push feed, and controlled push feed Model 70's. They were among the first to offer walnut stocks and stainless steel barreled actions. They quickly got involved in Cowboy Action Shooting and have offered lots of Model 94 variants to that game's aficionados.

However, Herstal's license to use the Winchester name expires in 2007. Perhaps Olin would have renewed their right to use the Winchester name, perhaps not. We don't know. At some point I think that the Herstal management decided they needed to move their marketing muscle to brands they owned outright, such as Browning and FN.

The spotty build quality of the firearms shipped from the Winchester New Haven factory must be blamed primarily on the workforce. These were highly paid and skilled workers. Herstal seems to produce very high quality guns in their other factories, such as the Citori shotgun, BLR rifle, and Buckmark and High Power pistols. The Winchester Model 1885 single shot rifles (made in Japan) are very nice guns, and clearly superior in workmanship to the average product shipped from the "real" Winchester plant in New Haven, Connecticut U.S.A. This cannot have pleased the Herstal upper management.

Perhaps one of the most important reasons behind the closure of the New Haven factory was that steely-eyed managers saw they were paying more and getting less. They didn't get as good a product from their highest cost factory as they did from their other factories in Utah, Japan and Europe.

What I've heard (from a local gun store employee who supposedly talked to someone representing Herstal) is that after some "time out" period Herstal will again manufacture the Models 70, 94 and 1300. What they probably won't do is release them under the Winchester name. So is a "Winchester Model 70" offered as a "Browning Model 07" worth reintroducing?

That (or something like it) is the business decision Herstal is probably looking at. My guess is the 94 eventually returns, the shotgun does not, and the Model 70 is questionable. (I think that the Model 70 is probably going to stay discontinued, allowing Herstal to concentrate on promoting the Browning A-Bolt rifle. -Ed.)

One thing the brass at Herstal knew for sure is that they wanted to get out of the New Haven plant. Looking at its history, it has been an anchor around the neck of everyone that has owned it since the end of World War II.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/column15_more_winchester.htm

Donald Harris grew up dreaming of a job at the Winchester rifle factory (now called U.S. Repeating Arms, or USRAC), which he could see from his window out of the old Elm Haven high rises. Harris (pictured) joined about 100 others at a rally of workers, union leaders, elected officials, and supporters to say: Don’t take my dream away.
http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2006/03/winchester.html

I’m not surprised at the way they acted,��? said Craig Gauthier (pictured), the chair of the Winchester Citizens Ad Hoc Committee and a leader since January of the fight to keep the Winchester factory open. He said that by 4 o'clock Wednesday, he'd already gotten upset calls from workers insulted to have been given the early send-off. “I said they were playing a shell game all along, and they played a shell game at the end. Still, people are pretty upset about the way they did it.��?
http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2006/03/okay_youre_out.php


Author: Joelle Fishman
People's Weekly World Newspaper, 03/31/05 17:32


NEW HAVEN, Conn. — When community leaders and elected officials showed up March 17 for a press conference at the Winchester plant’s Division Street entrance here, the company refused to open the gates so that workers could join in.

Angry and determined to hear what the community leaders had to say, the workers, who make the Winchester rifle at the U.S. Repeating Arms Company, left from another exit and came around the block to participate.

That sight sent a powerful message to company executives locked in negotiations with IAM Victory Lodge 609. Within hours, wage cuts, concessions in job security language and the threat to move 40 jobs out of state were off the table.

For months the company had been demanding major concessions, with the unspoken threat of the plant closing. In response, the Citizens Ad Hoc Committee, a group of retirees and residents that had mobilized solidarity over the years, reorganized for this fight.

A 17-week strike in 1979 and subsequent labor and community organizing had resulted in the city requiring the company to maintain 450 jobs in exchange for $21 million in state and local tax abatements. Five years ago, when the number of jobs had eroded, the Ad Hoc Committee mobilized with others and won an amended agreement prohibiting any further removal of production equipment, and a tax schedule pro-rated to the number of jobs.

The St. Patrick’s Day plant gate rally was an “11th hour” action, sponsored jointly with Grow Jobs CT, a coalition initiated by Machinists union District 26.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Connecticut’s two senators sent staffers to join members of the Board of Aldermen, the Alliance of Retired Americans, New Haven People’s Center and union leaders. Speakers demanded a decent contract offer and job security for this economic anchor in the largely African American Newhallville neighborhood.

At the union meeting three days later, members voted 85 to 52 to accept a contract with a one-year wage freeze, small raises in the other two years, and retention of language prohibiting the removal of jobs.

“The contract may not have been what everyone wanted it to be,” said Ad Hoc Committee head Craig Gouthier, who worked at the plant for 24 years and served as union president, “but given the circumstances, it is a tribute to the membership that they were able to get a contract without striking.”

Referring to the production that has been moved to nonunion areas, Gouthier said, “As long as the plant doors are open, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to call for all parts to be brought back so the complete gun can be made here in New Haven. We feel with the strength of the community, legislators and union this can be accomplished.”

joelle.fishman @ pobox.com


http://www.pww.org/article/articleview/6722/1/261

Appreciation
Out With A Bang
The Loss of the Classic Winchester Is Loaded With Symbolism

By Stephen Hunter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 20, 2006; Page C01

A famous ad that most boy baby boomers will recall from Boys' Life, the old scouting magazine of the '50s, showed a happy lad, carrot-topped and freckly like any number of Peck's Bad Boys, his teeth haphazardly arrayed within his wide, gleeful mouth under eyes wide as pie platters as he exclaimed on Christmas morn, "Gee, Dad . . . A Winchester!"

All gone, all gone, all gone. The gun as family totem, the implied trust between generations, the implicit idea that marksmanship followed by hunting were a way of life to be pursued through the decades, the sense of tradition, respect, self-discipline and bright confidence that Winchester and the American kinship group would march forward to a happy tomorrow -- gone if not with the wind, then with the tide of inner-city and nutcase killings that have led America's once-proud and heavily bourgeois gun culture into the wilderness of marginalization.



Light, quick, strong and decidedly American, the rifle was James Stewart's co-star in "Winchester '73." (AP)




And now Winchester is gone too, or at least the most interesting parts of it. The traditional company whose symbol was a fringed rider flying across the plains on a pinto, gripping his trusty Model '73, is finally biting the dust. The entity -- now technically U.S. Repeating Arms, which produces the rifles and shotguns as a licensee of the Olin Corp., which still owns Winchester ammunition -- announced Monday it was closing the plant in New Haven where the rifles and shotguns have been fabricated for a century and a half. Some Winchesters will continue to be built overseas, but three guns -- the classic lever-action rifle of western fame, the bolt-action hunting rifle (called the Model 70) and the Model 1300 pump-action shotgun -- will no longer be manufactured.

That lever-gun -- the quintessential cowboy rifle, the mechanism that "won the West" and maybe helped lose it, too (ask the 7th Cavalry boys who fell to a few dozen Native Americans carrying precursors of the classic Winchester at the Battle of the Little Bighorn) -- is the primary victim of the closing.

In an era of widespread industrial retrenchment, it didn't even make much big national news. And why should it have? Economically, U.S. Repeating Arms is a small company of only some 200 employees. Who really cares? Most people will be indifferent, some glad, and only a few, like me, will mourn.

The Winchester lever-guns mean something to a variety of American imaginations. They have been manufactured in one form or another since 1849. The most abundant variant, the Model 94, has been built more than 6 million times since 1895 with only minor changes. Those 111 years span an era of extraordinary technological development. It's doubtful any other complex machine has a longer record of manufacture. Think about it: Today, in the age of the iPod and robots wandering Mars, essentially the same rattly contraption that felled troopers at the Little Bighorn is still found brand-new and brightly packaged on the shelves of most Western, Southern and Midwestern hardware stores.

If you take one down and examine it -- kids, don't do this at home, unless Dad has cleared the rifle first and made sure no moldy .30-30s from last year's hunt remain in the chamber -- you note certain things instantaneously.

How light it is, how quick to the shoulder, how pointable! It begs to come to the eye. It swiftly finds what's called the natural point of aim, the perfect equipoise between its own grace and its shooter's talent. There, it wants to be fired. It's knobless and trim yet hardly streamlined. It hails proudly from the pre-streamlined world. No ergonomic study went into its design, only the sound trial and error of Yankee genius that finally found the ideal form.

It's weirdly squarish, yet like other classic guns, it boasts an orchestration of lines of unusual harmony, which somehow seem to soothe the eye. The Colt Peacemaker revolver, the Tommy gun and the Luger have the same effect; all are instantly known and knowable. They have a design charisma that transcends their actual usage in the real world.

The funniest thing about the Winchester lever-action rifle is how American it looks. Its directness speaks to the honest greed of westward expansion, its reliability to the honest hunger of its manufacturers for the big houses it bought them, its toughness to the honest brutality by which it was employed in various arroyos and dry gulches. It lacks subterfuge, subtlety, pretension, airs. It's like the cowboy himself, elegant in its total lack of self-awareness. It's beyond irony or stylization. It's cool because it doesn't care what you or anybody thinks.

Now open it; shove the lever -- that oblong loop affixed to the trigger guard -- forward. Feel it slide-clack through a four-inch range of motion and watch the drama as the gun undergoes changes: the breech, which contains the firing pin, glides backward, ratcheting the hammer back. At that moment you can tilt it a little and peer into the opened slot in the roof of the receiver.

You see before you the gun's most private parts: the chamber, the slightly bulged space in the barrel where the cartridge is encapsulated when it fires; the follower, a little spring-powered tray that lifts a cartridge (which has just been popped aboard by the pressure of the magazine tube spring) up to the chamber; the breechface with its tiny hole out of which will pop, whack-a-mole style, the firing pin when the trigger is pulled and the hammer falls.

Out With A Bang
You see: trays, pins, holes, steel walls. You see a miracle of timing by which all these elements have been choreographed to mesh in a brilliantly syncopated sequence. But you're also looking back into the 19th century and to what it was that made this country great. For what you're seeing is a solution -- elegant as any poem, efficient as any mousetrap, smooth as any crooner -- to a set of problems that might be enumerated as follows: How do you package chemical energy of roughly 3,000 foot-pounds safely in metal that is at the same time light enough to be carried, strong enough to be operated and simple enough to be manufactured?

Then you realize you're in the cockpit of what was then the hottest, most brutally competitive arena of that portion of the Industrial Revolution -- its Silicon Valley, if you will. New Haven is where all the young Bill Gateses -- their names were Winchester, Colt, Henry, Smith, Wesson, Marlin and a few others -- went to make their fortunes as their nation grew, sometimes violently, westward.



Light, quick, strong and decidedly American, the rifle was James Stewart's co-star in "Winchester '73." (AP)





The key gizmo behind the lever-action Winchester's genius, present from the first prototype in 1849 to the last one that will come off the New Haven line in a few weeks, is a little thing called a toggle-link, which is why the guns produce such a volume of clacking and sliding and clinking when they are worked. With this doohickey, the manual downward and forward rotation of a lever opened the breech, allowed an empty case to eject as it slammed against a prong and a fresh cartridge to come out of a tubular magazine and rest on that tray just below the action even as the rearward thrust of the breech cocked the hammer. Then the lever was rotated upward and backward, the tray was lifted, the breech came forward and moved the fresh cartridge into the chamber. That was it: two cranks of the lever, one forward a few inches, one backward the same few inches, and you didn't even have to take the gun off your shoulder. You were ready to shoot again. "It is placed beyond all competition by the rapidity of its execution. Thirty shots can be fired in less than one minute," wrote Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly in 1858.

The mechanism went through many iterations -- among the inventors and investors were men named Hunt, Jennings, Arrowsmith, Palmer and Henry. It was sometimes called the Hunt Volitional Repeater, the Smith & Wesson rifle (before Messrs. Smith and Wesson took their investment money into the handgun market exclusively), the Volcanic Navy Pistol and finally the Henry -- before it found a home under the sponsorship of capitalist, shirtmaker and business genius Oliver Winchester, who took over the company in the late 1850s and renamed it after himself in 1866. (For more on all this, see "Winchester: The Gun That Won the West" by Harold F. Williamson and "Winchester: An American Legend" by R.L. Wilson.)

Winchester produced lever-gun models of 1866, 1873 (this was the famous "Gun That Won the West"), 1886, 1892, 1894 and 1895, each an improvement upon what had come before. Probably the most radical upgrade occurred in '86, when the genius gun designer John M. Browning brought his brilliance to Winchester and found a way to strengthen the action so that it could fire high-power rifle cartridges, which made it far more useful as a hunting arm (it had fired only pistol cartridges before). When smokeless powder increased the efficiency of the cartridge in the 1890s, the 1894 Model was ideally suited to take advantage of the breakthrough, and the Model 94 in .30-30 became the preeminent deer hunting rifle of the early 20th century.

"The Winchester is by all odds the best weapon I ever had and I now use it almost exclusively," wrote Montana rancher Theodore Roosevelt in 1885. "The Winchester is the best gun for any game to be found in the United States, for it is as deadly, accurate and handy as any, stands very rough usage, and is unapproachable for the rapidity of its fire and the facility with which it is loaded."

If the gun was a star almost from the beginning, it had a unique ability to make stars as well. I can think of a batch of men who were helped enormously by their association with Winchester. One was a fellow named Henry McCarty, or possibly William H. Bonney. Whatever he was named, he became known as Billy the Kid and the only extant picture of him shows him clutching a Model 73 almost half his size, while his other hand dangles close by, thumb cocked, fingers tensed, over his Colt Peacemaker, whose grip tilts provocatively out of the holster. Dressed for bear or Garrett's posse, the Kid looks tough, dangerous, fast and cool. Did the rifle make the Kid a star or did the Kid make the rifle a star? Who knows? He looks to me like he knows he's already a star, that hat atilt on his head, his face calm. Whether he killed 21 as legend says or only four as many historians believe, he's a deadly little tyke and his killer's intensity works a weird alchemy with the big rifle he clearly loves and trusts and has and will use again.

Then there's a taller, grave guy, better-looking, less lethal, just as entwined with the Winchester. His was a short-barreled carbine Model 92 and someone had battered the loop of the lever until it looked swollen and distended. This allowed the fellow to gracefully swing-cock it under his long arms. It was a cool move, so cool that when Pappy Ford filmed him doing it in 1939 in Monument Valley, near the Utah-Arizona border, he made John Wayne a star. Wayne used that rifle or one just like it (there seem to have been four altogether) over the years in a variety of movies, like "Hondo" and even as late as 1959's "Rio Bravo." Wayne, something of a gun expert himself, knew that a handgun's only purpose was to fight your way to the rifle you were going to win your fight with. He used the Winchester a lot.

A few years later, a cowboy from Pennsylvania helped rekindle a stumbling career by picking up a Winchester. His name was Jimmy Stewart, and the movie was called no less than "Winchester '73," in the year 1950.

Another tall fellow with another set of long arms and another Model 92 had worked the first base position for the Chicago Cubs in the '50s, to no particular distinction. He ambled westward, and in 1962 Chuck Connors became "The Rifleman" and had a few years of TV stardom plus an immortality in the baby boomer imagination.

Then a surly ex-Marine picked up a '92 that had been radically shortened at both barrel and stock so it could be carried like a handgun, and glared his way to stardom on "Wanted: Dead or Alive." His name was Steve McQueen.

The Winchester lever-action rifle was very good to these gentlemen, to thousands and thousands of ranchers, actors and hunters, more than a few lawmen, even a newer generation of Cowboy Action Shooters who used it as their enabler for a fantasy vacation in the Old West. But now it's going away for good. The tough old capitalists who invented it wouldn't shed a tear for it: If you can't sell it, dump it, was their motto. Actors, farmers, hunters and lawmen have all found better guns, and so have Cowboy Fantasy shooters.

But here's a vaya con Di os for the old smokepole. May it go to a Long Branch in the sky where the whiskey's always flowing, the gals are purty and the clock always reads High Noon.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/19/AR2006011903278.html


Edited by Locksley (10/25/07 10:39 AM)
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#466455 - 10/25/07 12:29 PM Re: Sounds Like the Model 70 is back [Re: Model70Man]
CPerkins
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Registered: 09/07/05
Posts: 744
Loc: Collierville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: Model70Man
Brownells has everything you will ever need if you need Model 70 parts. I've never had to replace anything for my Model 70's.

I don't think he was talking about "replacement" parts. I alway thought that "aftermarket" were the parts that you could by to customize and improve on your existing rifle. Look at Midways selection of aftermarket parts. Remingtons have a definite edge. Sure you could have someone custom machine the parts for a Mod. 70. Sure don't want to know the cost though.
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#466632 - 10/25/07 02:26 PM Re: Sounds Like the Model 70 is back [Re: CPerkins]
Locksley
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Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 19733
Loc: Antioch TN

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The model 70 Winchester rifle is a copy of the 03 Springfield military bolt action rifle use so many years by our military. It is a trully forged rifle action like the 1898 Mauser instead of a machined from bar stock gun.
The Remington 721 and model 700 are designed to be cheap to manufacter so it can sell cheaper than the Mauser or Winchester model 70. The traditional minded guys will always prefer the forged action over the Remington machined from bar stock gun. Jack O Connor and Teddy Rosevelt and others were fond of the 1903 Springfield and the Winchester also when it came out in 1936 as it was a strong and accurate rifle design. There are custom makers of Winchester model 70 actions so no matter what the powers that be do there will always be a model 70 Winchester around.
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#466734 - 10/25/07 03:25 PM Re: Sounds Like the Model 70 is back [Re: Sako]
Model70Man
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Registered: 09/30/05
Posts: 6784
Loc: Knoxville, TN

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Here is a pic of the Stainless Composite rifle. Man I can't wait to get one in Left Hand 270 Win. Awesome looking rifle!!!

Win. Model 70 Stainless Fluted
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Winchester Model 70 Stainless Left Hand .270 Win.
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#467002 - 10/25/07 05:43 PM Re: Sounds Like the Model 70 is back [Re: Model70Man]
Locksley
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Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 19733
Loc: Antioch TN

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Awesome looking Stainless rifle. The traditional minded guys will always prefer the forged action over the Remington machined from bar stock gun. The traditional minded guys like wooden stocks though and the better the grain in the stock the better we like it. The plastic stock has its place though but I would have me a wooden stock that I could use on that rifle for some of the hunting .
Here are two nice ones http://www.dakotaarms.com/currentinventory/dakota_arms_lefty_inventory.php

Locksley
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To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;"The greatest pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much, and power over nothing" - Herodotus

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