Pre-'64 Winchester

DeanMk

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Can someone please explain this to me.
I remember the term related to Model 70 bolt action rifles, denoting when they changed from an action based on a '98 Mauser, to one of Winchester's own design.
...However, these days...
It seems every rifle Winchester made at the time is separated into a "Pre-'64" catagory and a "non Pre-'64" catagory.
Has this become a marketing term, taken over by the collector market so they can gouge the pricing on Winchester rifles?
It seems there's a lot of confusion concerning this.
It shouldn't bother me......but it does. :s0118:
 
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User 1234

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Even for 94’s the 1964 visit from The Bobs resulted in lower quality. Milled parts replaced with stamped parts, walnut stocks replaced with God-knows-what-wood, steel parts replaced with aluminum, etc. If you look at a 1963 Winchester 94 next to a 1965 94 side by side the differences are obvious.
 
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DeanMk

DeanMk

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Yes I have and no they're not.
Aside from when they were made, it's the same gun.

...but more to my point, Why has this term been bastardized to encompass ALL Winchester rifles in production at that time?

Is it just confusion amongst younger shooters who weren't around when the term had a more specific meaning, or is it something else? o_O
 

EHJ

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Controlled round feed to push round feed for one.
And a general cheapening of hardware and processes.

This is good...
 
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DeanMk

DeanMk

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...I'm not saying there's no such thing as a Pre-'64 Model 70, OF COURSE THERE IS...THAT'S MY POINT.

Why has the term "Pre-'64" extended PAST The Model 70?
When i was a kid, it was very clear that's what the term alluded to.
These days, it seems to allude to ALL Winchesters......WHY?!
 

EHJ

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...I'm not saying there's no such thing as a Pre-'64 Model 70, OF COURSE THERE IS...THAT'S MY POINT.

Why has the term "Pre-'64" extended PAST The Model 70?
When i was a kid, it was very clear that's what the term alluded to.
These days, it seems to allude to ALL Winchesters......WHY?!
Pretty sure that's the time period they started cheapening out on their entire line up...? Maybe?
 
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DeanMk

DeanMk

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Changed my original post to make my point more clear.

EHJ,
How did they "cheapen" the entire line-up...or were you only posting a supposition?
 

EHJ

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Changed my original post to make my point more clear.

EHJ,
How did they "cheapen" the entire line-up...or were you only posting a supposition?
For one thing I noticed they stopped bragging about their stock wood in marketing materials post '64.
Cast and stamped parts replacing machine forgings...
Their entire "business philosophy" seemed to have changed to compete with Remington and centered on market competitiveness not strict quality alone.
 
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For one thing I noticed they stopped bragging about their stock wood in marketing materials post '64.
Cast and stamped parts replacing machine forgings...
Their entire "business philosophy" seemed to have changed to compete with Remington and centered on market competitiveness not strict quality alone.

After the 64 changes they found they went too far and made things somewhat better.
Roll pins changed back to solid pins and other little tweaks.




Still.
I prefer Pre ''64'' guns.
 
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DeanMk

DeanMk

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For one thing I noticed they stopped bragging about their stock wood in marketing materials post '64.
Cast and stamped parts replacing machine forgings...
Their entire "business philosophy" seemed to have changed to compete with Remington and centered on market competitiveness not strict quality alone.
Thank you for explaining that.

Dean
 

Spitpatch

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Some of the above is right. Some of the above is guesswork. Some of the above is misinformed or a mistaken use of absolutes.

The sweeping change that Winchester embarked upon in 1964 was a decision of survival. No longer could they compete against guns specifically designed for manufacturing economy and simplicity by adhering to designs that required large amounts of tooling changes in process and hand labor toward fitting and finishing.

The change was indeed "sweeping", encompassing not only the Model 70, but the Model 94, Model 88, and new models were introduced as well to take the place of the Model 12 shotgun, a line of "modernized" .22's (Models 150, 250, etc.).

For Winchester, this was a GOOD thing. They survived. Even prospered before the howls of foul faded from the air. For the consumer still WILLING to pay extra for hand-machined guns with hand-cut checkering, high polish blue and familiarity with the older designs, this was a BAD thing.

But they were in the severe minority. Far more numerous (just as today) were the "Joe Six Packs" of the gun-buying world who just wanted a nice looking new gun that shot well. For Joe, this was a GOOD thing. The guns looked good enough for his less-discerning eye and they indeed shot well.

To those who knew, held, owned and operated a pre-64 Model 70 or 94 or 88, the new guns were shiny rattletraps carrying poor smashed-in excuses for checkering, "Pot Metal" and "Plastic" parts (aluminum was not to be trusted against steel, and polymers--unlike today--were considered blashphemy on a firearm). As to the abandonment of controlled-feed in favor of push feed on the 70, those that "knew" considered it unreliable for the deer woods and downright dangerous for the Cape Buffalo woods.

Some of the above was right. Some of the above was guesswork. Some of the above was misinformed or a mistaken use of absolutes.

One of the new design features of the Model 70 was a truly free-floated barrel. TRULY free-floated to the extent that one might paddle a canoe in the canals on each side of the barrel down the length of the forearm. Gone was the buttress mid-barrel with its screw that mated it at that point to the wood stock. Also, the later guns were "glass bedded" around the recoil lug (or at least a fair excuse for it: a blob of hot-melt resin was dumped in the recess).

The result was that the new 70 in many cases (some say in nearly ALL cases) outshot the old 70. This was not so evident to those who went to the local hardware store once a year and bought the cheapest box of ammo on the shelf to get through this deer season (and probably next). It was quite evident to those who were beginning to embark on handloading and critically evaluating their guns on paper.

As to controlled feed, yes, it was a statement that still lives in some circles that anyone in Africa that goes after the big stuff is "rolling the dice" should he choose a push-feed gun to do the work. It is also a statement that still lives in some circles that anyone choosing ANY bolt action gun over a double gun is at the same crap table.

Against such "truths" of the time, Winchester sent an accomplished White Hunter to Africa with their guns. "Our Man In Africa" read the magazine ads. Amazingly he did not die as an instant (or probable) result of carrying a new Model 70. But big mean stuff did.

Since that time, bolt guns (controlled OR push feed) have earned their chops on the Dark Continent, to the extent that controlled feed may now be more of a purist's status symbol (much as a double gun) than any life insurance policy. Many of the best and current Bwanas (and PH's) see no fault in a push-feed gun in tight and dicey places.

Some do not know that in 1972, Winchester sought to "remedy" some complaints about quality in their guns. "1972:Winchester the Way You Want It!" was the slogan. The '94 got a re-work that tightened up its action A LOT. Finishes were improved. Machine cut checkering made its debut. The 9422 (arguably the nicest looking lever.22 ever made) pushed the 150 and 250's of "space age design" to the wings of the stage.

And later (in the early 90's), a controlled-feed Model 70 was re-born. (Made possible by computer aided machining).
 
Some of the above is right. Some of the above is guesswork. Some of the above is misinformed or a mistaken use of absolutes.

The sweeping change that Winchester embarked upon in 1964 was a decision of survival. No longer could they compete against guns specifically designed for manufacturing economy and simplicity by adhering to designs that required large amounts of tooling changes in process and hand labor toward fitting and finishing.

The change was indeed "sweeping", encompassing not only the Model 70, but the Model 94, Model 88, and new models were introduced as well to take the place of the Model 12 shotgun, a line of "modernized" .22's (Models 150, 250, etc.).

For Winchester, this was a GOOD thing. They survived. Even prospered before the howls of foul faded from the air. For the consumer still WILLING to pay extra for hand-machined guns with hand-cut checkering, high polish blue and familiarity with the older designs, this was a BAD thing.

But they were in the severe minority. Far more numerous (just as today) were the "Joe Six Packs" of the gun-buying world who just wanted a nice looking new gun that shot well. For Joe, this was a GOOD thing. The guns looked good enough for his less-discerning eye and they indeed shot well.

To those who knew, held, owned and operated a pre-64 Model 70 or 94 or 88, the new guns were shiny rattletraps carrying poor smashed-in excuses for checkering, "Pot Metal" and "Plastic" parts (aluminum was not to be trusted against steel, and polymers--unlike today--were considered blashphemy on a firearm). As to the abandonment of controlled-feed in favor of push feed on the 70, those that "knew" considered it unreliable for the deer woods and downright dangerous for the Cape Buffalo woods.

Some of the above was right. Some of the above was guesswork. Some of the above was misinformed or a mistaken use of absolutes.

One of the new design features of the Model 70 was a truly free-floated barrel. TRULY free-floated to the extent that one might paddle a canoe in the canals on each side of the barrel down the length of the forearm. Gone was the buttress mid-barrel with its screw that mated it at that point to the wood stock. Also, the later guns were "glass bedded" around the recoil lug (or at least a fair excuse for it: a blob of hot-melt resin was dumped in the recess).

The result was that the new 70 in many cases (some say in nearly ALL cases) outshot the old 70. This was not so evident to those who went to the local hardware store once a year and bought the cheapest box of ammo on the shelf to get through this deer season (and probably next). It was quite evident to those who were beginning to embark on handloading and critically evaluating their guns on paper.

As to controlled feed, yes, it was a statement that still lives in some circles that anyone in Africa that goes after the big stuff is "rolling the dice" should he choose a push-feed gun to do the work. It is also a statement that still lives in some circles that anyone choosing ANY bolt action gun over a double gun is at the same crap table.

Against such "truths" of the time, Winchester sent an accomplished White Hunter to Africa with their guns. "Our Man In Africa" read the magazine ads. Amazingly he did not die as an instant (or probable) result of carrying a new Model 70. But big mean stuff did.

Since that time, bolt guns (controlled OR push feed) have earned their chops on the Dark Continent, to the extent that controlled feed may now be more of a purist's status symbol (much as a double gun) than any life insurance policy. Many of the best and current Bwanas (and PH's) see no fault in a push-feed gun in tight and dicey places.

Some do not know that in 1972, Winchester sought to "remedy" some complaints about quality in their guns. "1972:Winchester the Way You Want It!" was the slogan. The '94 got a re-work that tightened up its action A LOT. Finishes were improved. Machine cut checkering made its debut. The 9422 (arguably the nicest looking lever.22 ever made) pushed the 150 and 250's of "space age design" to the wings of the stage.

And later (in the early 90's), a controlled-feed Model 70 was re-born. (Made possible by computer aided machining).
Pretty much this. The push-feed M70s, especially those of the late 80s were good. Something to think about is how the M700 came out in the early 60s and was nothing but a machined tube with a washer as a recoil lug. Using a plunger ejector and small spring steel extractor, it was much easier to manufacture. With the highly marketed 7mm Rem Mag (basically a 7mm version of the 264 Win Mag), the rifle sold. Its all marketing. The 7mm was flat like a 270 and hard hitting like a 30-06! What is funny to me is the 264 Win Mag was marketed as a flat shooting deer and antelope rifle that would also do well with varmints. They even crammed it into the 22 inch barreled Featherweight and neutered it into a real loud 270. People noticed.

Fast forward to now and the same 6.5 bullet in a much smaller case is marketed as a do-all cartridge meant for long range accuracy. People are eating it up. Its all marketing.
 
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DeanMk

DeanMk

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Some of the above is right. Some of the above is guesswork. Some of the above is misinformed or a mistaken use of absolutes.

The sweeping change that Winchester embarked upon in 1964 was a decision of survival. No longer could they compete against guns specifically designed for manufacturing economy and simplicity by adhering to designs that required large amounts of tooling changes in process and hand labor toward fitting and finishing.

The change was indeed "sweeping", encompassing not only the Model 70, but the Model 94, Model 88, and new models were introduced as well to take the place of the Model 12 shotgun, a line of "modernized" .22's (Models 150, 250, etc.).

For Winchester, this was a GOOD thing. They survived. Even prospered before the howls of foul faded from the air. For the consumer still WILLING to pay extra for hand-machined guns with hand-cut checkering, high polish blue and familiarity with the older designs, this was a BAD thing.

But they were in the severe minority. Far more numerous (just as today) were the "Joe Six Packs" of the gun-buying world who just wanted a nice looking new gun that shot well. For Joe, this was a GOOD thing. The guns looked good enough for his less-discerning eye and they indeed shot well.

To those who knew, held, owned and operated a pre-64 Model 70 or 94 or 88, the new guns were shiny rattletraps carrying poor smashed-in excuses for checkering, "Pot Metal" and "Plastic" parts (aluminum was not to be trusted against steel, and polymers--unlike today--were considered blashphemy on a firearm). As to the abandonment of controlled-feed in favor of push feed on the 70, those that "knew" considered it unreliable for the deer woods and downright dangerous for the Cape Buffalo woods.

Some of the above was right. Some of the above was guesswork. Some of the above was misinformed or a mistaken use of absolutes.

One of the new design features of the Model 70 was a truly free-floated barrel. TRULY free-floated to the extent that one might paddle a canoe in the canals on each side of the barrel down the length of the forearm. Gone was the buttress mid-barrel with its screw that mated it at that point to the wood stock. Also, the later guns were "glass bedded" around the recoil lug (or at least a fair excuse for it: a blob of hot-melt resin was dumped in the recess).

The result was that the new 70 in many cases (some say in nearly ALL cases) outshot the old 70. This was not so evident to those who went to the local hardware store once a year and bought the cheapest box of ammo on the shelf to get through this deer season (and probably next). It was quite evident to those who were beginning to embark on handloading and critically evaluating their guns on paper.

As to controlled feed, yes, it was a statement that still lives in some circles that anyone in Africa that goes after the big stuff is "rolling the dice" should he choose a push-feed gun to do the work. It is also a statement that still lives in some circles that anyone choosing ANY bolt action gun over a double gun is at the same crap table.

Against such "truths" of the time, Winchester sent an accomplished White Hunter to Africa with their guns. "Our Man In Africa" read the magazine ads. Amazingly he did not die as an instant (or probable) result of carrying a new Model 70. But big mean stuff did.

Since that time, bolt guns (controlled OR push feed) have earned their chops on the Dark Continent, to the extent that controlled feed may now be more of a purist's status symbol (much as a double gun) than any life insurance policy. Many of the best and current Bwanas (and PH's) see no fault in a push-feed gun in tight and dicey places.

Some do not know that in 1972, Winchester sought to "remedy" some complaints about quality in their guns. "1972:Winchester the Way You Want It!" was the slogan. The '94 got a re-work that tightened up its action A LOT. Finishes were improved. Machine cut checkering made its debut. The 9422 (arguably the nicest looking lever.22 ever made) pushed the 150 and 250's of "space age design" to the wings of the stage.

And later (in the early 90's), a controlled-feed Model 70 was re-born. (Made possible by computer aided machining).
Ok, now THAT answers my question!
THANK YOU, Spitpatch! :s0155:
I appreciate such a well versed and thoughtful answer.
You've definitely risen to "A scholar and a gentleman" status on this day, sir. :s0152:

Dean
 
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+1. Thanks Spitpatch.

Question - where does the "pre 64 claw type extractor" fit into the story? I've heard the phrase, but don't know the real differences. Also, IIRC, you could buy a Model 70 during the 90s that featured the older type of extractor?

@No_Regerts, I don't dispute your marketing contention, in fact I agree with it, but I submit that 6mm and 6.5 gained traction also because they permit tiny groups at 1000 yards with nominal recoil. You don't get much energy on arrival, but you do get flat trajectory, good BC, and potentially tiny groups.
 

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