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gooose 07-06-2010 04:11 AM

Winchester 70 Project
Been some 30 years since I worked on a DIY custom rifle and the bug has resurfaced.:eek:

What I am working on is a pre 64 (1961 by the serial number) Winchester Mod 70 Featherweight in .243 Win. Been in the family going on 50 years.

Needs a new stock and I am talking to George at Royal Arms Gunstocks in Montana about making me a semi-inlet Mannlicher stock with a tapered beavertail forearm. Waiting to see what he comes up with and hoping to get AA to AAA Fancy English walnut but Claro will do. Checkered steel butt plate and grip cap for a more classic look.

Barrel has some fine rust pitting and I may have to use a stone or file to remove those. I'll see after I get all of the old bluing off and get to the stage of using 180 grit on it. Never did like the matte bluing on the receiver so that's all coming off. Once I get everything polished to 600 grit I plan to rust blue it using the Herters Belgian Blue.

The pre 64 came with aluminum alloy bottom metal that was anodized black. That was pretty much worn off and you could see nicks, scratches and tooling marks. That's all been polished out and I plan to Gun-Kote those parts in sem-satin black.

Bolt and follower I'll jewell and am considering nitre bluing the cocking piece, bolt release, safety and receiver bolts for a little extra appearance.

Finish up by lapping the bore and crown then it's time to work up some handloads for the old rifle.

After all of that I'll let the saving account rest a bit and then find someone to checker the stock. Hope to post pictures soon and I really wish I hadn't read about what an improvement rechambering to .243 Ackley Improved would be ballistically!:eek:

CA357 07-06-2010 04:40 AM

I wish you well. That sounds like a great project and heap of work.

gooose 07-06-2010 07:19 AM

Thank you. Looks like the Royal arms deal won't work.:( Sweet opportunity for a sporter stock in AA Fancy Maple at a killer price if anyone is interested;) but I'll stick with my plans for the Mannlicher stock. Time to talk to Richards Microfit.:)

jeepcreep927 07-06-2010 10:31 AM

Sounds like a nice project. I wouldn't dwell too much on the .243 vs. .243AI, the gain isn't that much. You would only pick up about 2 grains of case capacity (water) and a bit over 200 fps. I don't recall the exact numbers but I believe you'd only get about an 8% increase.

Tuner 07-08-2010 10:26 PM

Did you say a beavertail forearm on a mannlicher style stock? I think a "well designed" Mannlicher is one of the most graceful and attractive rifle designs. I can't imagine what one would look like with a beavertail foreend.

gooose 07-09-2010 08:10 AM

Beavertail design isn't happening. Just going to go with a Richards Microfit.

Growing up our neighborhood had an old German gunsmith whom had a Swede 6.5x55 stocked in what today would be exhibition grade fiddleback Maple Mannlicher with a beavertail forearm. 40 years and I still remember holding that rifle art. If you look online you can find examples of old custom full length stocks with similar designs. Ah well that one I will dwell on for a future project.:D

So it's going to be just a simple Mannlicher stock for this project although I have several issues to work out such as the muzzle diameter of the Win featherweight barrel being a skinny 0.56 inches. Most Mannlicher caps are for larger barrels. Looking at the NECG 0.575 cap. I also have to deal with the accuracy issues of that full length stock and that skinny barrel. Yes I can free float but is that really the proper choice in this case? I know some well known custom gun makers advocated full length glas bedding for Mannlichers. Plenty of time though to sort that one out. Tomorrow I'll order some Cerrakote from Brownells for the aluminum bottom metal. Lots of metal work to do while waiting for the stock.

quelebu 07-11-2010 01:16 PM


Originally Posted by gooose (Post 312406)
Lots of metal work to do while waiting for the stock.

Just as well, you may be waiting a LONG time for that Richards Microfit stock in my experience. Mine took 7 months despite the 10 weeks stated on the site and I think Mannlichers are supposed to take longer. Stock was OK though.

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