I'm no expert, but Winchester changed the design of their rifle in 64. This made a lot of folks unhappy, as the new design had some problems. Some say that the Winchester rifles have never recovered. My friend's father in law has a pre 64 Model 70 in 30-06. Saw him shoot a very nice group last year before deer hunting season. I'm sure that there are folks that know a LOT more about it than me, and a google search might turn up some better information.
In 1964, Winchester dropped the Model 12 shotgun and replaced it with the Model 1200, changed the design of the Model 70, changed the design of the Model 94, and implemented some "manufacturing efficiencies" on many of their other products.
This all came about due to a management change the year before.
Basically, they changed from a controlled round feed and claw extractor to a push feed "button" type extractor. In some ways they seemed to "copy" the Rem 700. Now they offer the orig. controlled feed claw extractor, controlled push feed, and a simple push feed.
They did quite a few other changes as well,like going to stamped parts instead of machined...using a lower grade wood and using pressed chekering instead of hand cut .Most of the actions were hand fitted with much higher expertise...hence tighter tolerances....since they were made on much older equipment...I was told they were phasing this style of production out do to the cost and time constaints on making the rifle...and also on their shotguns...seems like the bean counters were more interested in the bottom line then actully producing a great rifle. The pre-64's weren't the absolute best rifles...but were a great deal better than anything else on the market.
Pre 64 mod.70's were hand made rather than stamped out and mass produced. An easy way to differentiate between pre and post mod 70's is the bolt. The bolt was hand forged and was smooth. Post 64 mod.70's have stamped bolts.
i had always heard and if you go to the browning website, and dial the phone number listed, they say browning/winchester arms company or something like that, anyway, i had always heard that winchester was bought out by another company, i think they were bought by browning
You are wrong to say the new guns are stronger!The pre... guns were tight and fit /finish was a whole lot better. To sum it up the pre 64's were smooth as glass and at the time could out shoot anything in its class
Yes in 1964 they did drop the control fed action and the claw extractor. But they have these rifles with the crf and the claw extractor still today. As a matter of fact, i just picked up a Winchester Classic Stainless Model 70 in the classic 270 Winchester cartridge. By just cycling the action, you can feel how well built it is and how strong. No offense to Remington owners, but Winchester definitly wins on the action!
What I understand is that that when Browning acquired Winchester in 1992, they brought in alot of automated high-tech machining equipment that could hold the tolerances of the pre-64 models thus bringing back the quality required for the claw extraction, etc. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it was either 1992 or 1993 when the Super Grade became available which was basically a pre-64.
Well anyone who knows something about rifles can tell you that winchester has a much better action. And i can admit that the 700s have a better out of the box accuracy most of the time. I thought alot of southerners were wichester 70 guys?
Hey wwb,you seem like the guy that would know this,how hard is it or is it possible to fix a hair line crack in a pre-64 win?Some one I know has one in 264 win mag,and I could most likely get it reasonable,but I'm a little scared of the hair-line crack.Drop-shot