08 August 2016

Equivalence Testing

Willard has a 1948 made Winchester Model 70.  He also has a ??? made Winchester Model 670A.

The 670 is the cheapened down version of the post-64 Model 70, which was itself so cheapened down that the whining has never stopped from bolt-gun aficionados for the past 52 years.

Both are in .30-06 and both wear a Bushnell Sportview 3-9x32 scopes.

The Winchester is on top... OK, the 70 is on top 670A on bottom.
 The big difference is the feed system, with the old gun having the Mauser style "controlled" feed and the new gun having a simple push feed.

70 on the left.
There's lots of small differences as well, but the feed is the one panties are most bunched over.

And we have to be honest with ourselves.  In 1962 Winchester faced real competition and lost market-share to Remington's Model 700.  They couldn't just keep on keeping on with the old gun and expect to stay in business.  Maybe if Remington hadn't already eaten them alive with the Model 12 supplanting 870, they might have weathered it.  But losing the market to Remington on two guns, too much.

Apparently the post-64 Mod 70 wasn't cheap enough for some buyers, thus we get the 670 shortly after.

Which brings us to today...

With a Model 670 or 670A running about $400, often including a decent scope and a pre-64 Model 70 running at least four times that, is the extra money really worth it?

So we went shooting today to find out.

No.  The extra money is not worth it.

These guns shot nearly identically.

That's the bottom line, they shoot the same.  The only reason to spend more is for things that aren't about accuracy and you'd have to make that call for yourself.


  1. One of the reasons I've heard for the post-64 Model 70 was not only the Remington 700 which came out in 1962 but also the Savage 110 which came out in 1958. While a lot of people like the positiveness of the Mauser style controlled feed action, there is no question that the push feed type action of the Savage and Remington works well enough that Winchester was more or less forced by simple economics to follow suit.

  2. One also has to remember that John Olin had finally retired as Chairman of Winchester's parent company Olin-Mathieson. Winchester had always been John's vanity project, and as his influence waned, the corporate bean counters could finally come out and play.

    I have seen claims that the post-1964 Model 70 actually sold better than the originals. The average Fudd buys on price point.

    Another interesting tidbit is that Winchester was one of the first US firearms manufacturers to produce cold hammer forged barrels. (Weatherby was one of the first to use them, but their barrel actions were produced outside the US.) In fact, the Model 70A was one of the first to use a CHF barrel in which the chamber and throat was formed during the CHF process. These CHF barrels even filtered down to classics like the Model 94.


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