A New Beginning

The “new” Model 70 introduced in 1964 was a good rifle in many ways, accurate, very strong and better than the earlier model at handling escaping gas in the event of a case failure. It outsold the earlier model by a considerable margin and the reduced manufacturing costs meant Winchester actually made a bit of a profit. But to most shooters it was unattractive, especially when it had to compete with the memories of those pre-war classics.

We know now modern techniques such as CAD/CAM design and manufacture would give us better designed, better made rifles than ever. But in 1964 the future looked bleak. Not only collectors, but also hunters wanting a practical sporting rifle started snapping up every pre-’64 rifle available.