Filling Drilled Holes In a Pre-64 Win M70 Receiver

Fairlane66Fairlane66 Member Posts: 323 ✭✭
edited March 2016 in Ask the Experts
I have a 1952 Pre-64 Winchester Model 70 Super Grade chambered in 30-06 that's in very good condition, except for holes drilled in the left side of the receiver to accommodate a side-mount scope. OK, I know this rifle will never be a collector piece and the holes won't really hamper performance, but they drive me nuts and detract from the rifle's value. I've seen repaired rifles that were similarly drilled--not completely invisible, but not the eyesore they once were. So, I'd like your thoughts on repairing the holes drilled in this rifle's receiver. Possible? What's the process? Is there a coating that would better hide the repair, other than bluing? Generally, the filled/repaired holes I've seen appear lighter than the surrounding metal. And what would be the cost to repair? Finally, any recommended gunsmiths who do such work?

I'm probably going to sell the rifle, repaired or not--I just don't need another 30-06 shooter. Any idea how much the drilled holes detract from normal market value? A good friend suggested I'd make more money by parting out the rifle, but I just can't bring myself to break down an original Super Grade rifle, even if it's less than pristine. Hence, some of the rationale for repairing it before selling.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts and recommendations.


  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,456 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you intend to sell it anyway, I wouldn't even bother.

    To have the holes plugged, and ground/polished flush with the side of the receiver. Without screwing it up. Takes a knowledgeable gunsmith, with the right equipment.

    You just want to polish the cutoff screws so that they are flush with the receiver. Without having to refinish the whole receiver. This is likely to be expensive and has to be done by a craftsman who knows what he doing.

    Even after this is done, by a pro gunsmith who knows what he's doing. The screws will be visible. Not likely,to my way of thinking. You would be able to get this money back, when selling the rifle.

    EDIT #1,

    Side mounts haven't been made for years. Over and above, getting the correct one to match the tapped holes in the receiver.

    Might cost more, than having a pro plug the holes.

    If you have no intention in keeping the rifle. Don't see either plugging the holes, or buying a side mount, being viable.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You will $ ahead to sell it as is than to invest more money to attempt a fix that will not fix the issue.

    Making holes disappear is an art. Generally it involves selecting a steel that takes cold bluing to the color you are trying to match. Threads are cut oversize on the new material. The new "screw" is bottomed out on the threads on the outside of the hole. It is then cut off and peened into place. Trimmed, polished then blued. Done correctly only a hair line will show. Very time consuming.

    Find the side mount and correct screws. They will hide it best.

    Parting out might yield more money but I bet it takes way more time.
  • dfletcherdfletcher Member Posts: 8,077 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'd go with "find the side mount". Some of us like the heck out of the Jaeger and G & H set ups, to the point of preferring them over the conventional mounts. I've half a dozen rifles set up that way and wouldn't change them for anything. A Winchester 43 Deluxe in 218 Bee I got years back (already tapped) has a Jaeger side mount with an old Weaver 10X for longer shots & a separate mount for 1.5 to 4X. Novelty I guess.
  • CapnMidnightCapnMidnight Member Posts: 8,520
    edited November -1
    I'm with charliemeyer, sell it the way it is. Your going to have a hard time finding the proper scope mount. If, it where a desirable caliber, it might be worth working on. But, the 06 was by far the most common caliber, there where 208,218 built, there where 4,916 300 Win Mags built. Besides that, a knowledgeable collector will see the repair, so your collectors value is gone, repaired or not.
  • asphalt cowboyasphalt cowboy Member Posts: 8,560 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Put positive stop plug screws in and call it good.

    Will look far better than anything the Average smith could do.
  • Fairlane66Fairlane66 Member Posts: 323 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for all the inputs. Have to agree with the logic...sell as is.
  • Okie743Okie743 Member Posts: 1,975 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by asphalt cowboy
    Put positive stop plug screws in and call it good.

    Will look far better than anything the Average smith could do.

    I've used these and they are great. You can take a larger sharp drill bit in your fingers and lightly chamfer (recess) the hole and install the pos stop screws.
    I use the pos stop instead of plug screws because the top of the screw is not sharp like a plug screw when installed if chamfered.
    A gunsmith that does a lot of business will have them.
    Also our gunsmith will order stuff from Brownell's for us when he places his order and not charge any us any shipping.

    Takes lots of time and good work to completely hide screw holes that are not visible. A buyer is also looking closely for such when inspecting the gun. (when buying a used gun I look very closely for hairline cracks in the stock, look very closely at other stuff to see if I can spot where Bubba has been tinkering) If I see traces of plugged screw holes that are trying to hide the holes the gun is most likely rejected or price goes way down. If they are plug screws (not trying to hide something) I would not be as skeptical of the seller and gun.
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