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Is This Pre-64 Model 70 Original or Altered?

Fairlane66Fairlane66 Member Posts: 336 ✭✭
edited February 2014 in Ask the Experts
I'm a student and fan of Winchester's Pre-64 Model 70, and try to research interesting examples that crop up on line. Here's one that just sold on the auction side: http://www.GunBroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=395954989
The winning bidder paid a pretty price and the rifle looks pristine. The fact that it comes with the box and all the paperwork is a real plus. However, one aspect of this rifle jumped out at me as odd. This rifle, according to the serial number a 1955 example, appears to have a hard rubber butt plate. According to Roger Rule's book, The Rifleman's Rifle, Winchester 70s switched from the steel to the hard rubber butt plate sometime in 1959, about 4 years after this 243 was assembled. Now, I know Winchester often dipped into different parts bins as they transitioned from one style part to the next, and guns made in the transition period could have one part or the other. However, I don't think there was a 4-year transition period for the butt plates. So, what's your guess? Was this rifle's stock replaced with one wearing a later style hard rubber butt plate or is it possible the stock, made in 1955, is original to the gun? I'm not trying to accuse the seller of impropriety, especially since many folks aren't aware of the Pre-64 Model 70's nuances. However, if it has the rubber butt, the buyer probably paid more for this rifle than it's worth. Personally, I think this rifle had its stock replaced at some point and it should have a steel butt plate to be 100% correct. What do you Model 70 experts think?

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    swearengineswearengine Member Posts: 1,329 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I looked at the pictures and it is a steel butt plate.

    Picture #23 shows the knurled, steel, butt plate.
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    Fairlane66Fairlane66 Member Posts: 336 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    The fourth picture provides the best detail. Steel butt plates were much slimmer; rubber much fatter. The one on this rifle is chunky and, for that reason, looks like rubber to me. Maybe it's my eyes. Any other thoughts?
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    Fairlane66Fairlane66 Member Posts: 336 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Swearengine, I have to resectfully disagree. I blew up Pics 53, 55, and 56, and there's no indication of a Widow's Peak which is indicative of a steel butt plate. To me, it still looks like a rubber plate. I suspect we could go back and forth all day...but my eyes have failed me before. I hope others will chime in with their opinions.
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    the yooperthe yooper Member Posts: 275 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I noticed this auction several days ago but didn't do any "in depth" checking. Pic 53, when blown up, is pretty definitely NOT a widow's peak metal buttplate. However, with the accessories supplied with the gun, I'd be of the opinion that it was a minor change done by Winchester and came that way from the factory. I didn't get out my Rule book (no pun intended) to check dates of butt-plate changes, as those are also somewhat flexible. I also had anticipated that it would go for a higher price than it did. I'm sure the caliber accounted for that. A nice set and, if it was in my collecting interest, I'd be proud to have it.
    yooper
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    Fairlane66Fairlane66 Member Posts: 336 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yooper, thanks for the input. Personally, I think too many people give Winchester credit for modifying what was essentially a mass produced rifle, especially in the mid late 50s. Unless someone has documentation a Model 70 came from the custom shop or was sent back for repairs, I tend to believe changes were done by a gunsmith or in someone's home shop. For the money, I just find it hard to believe the rifle in question is all original with a rubber butt plate. That doesn't mean it's not a real honey, especially with all the goodies, but I would find it hard to claim it's what the collector car guys call an original "survivor." I have a 243 Standard Grade rifle in similiar condition that cost me $1700. A box is supposed to add about $500. The rest of the paperwork can be assembled from various sources for not too much bling. Again, this is all just my opinion, but I'm surprised this particular rifle commanded the price it did.
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    Mod1892Mod1892 Member Posts: 120 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    My biggest concern with this seller is that he ALWAYS has rifles in high condition and with the "original box". Nobody just happens to deal with that many boxed rifles. I think he is making the boxes and probably doctoring the guns.

    Michael

    Model 1892 / 61 Collector, Research, Valuation
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    wolfpackwolfpack Member Posts: 1,175 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Fairlane, I have to agree with you, I do not think this is a metal buttplate. As you stated no widow's peak and it does look thicker and more like the rubber buttplate. I have also not pulled out my Rule's book, but if this is a 1955 rifle and they started the rubberplates in 1959, then that does raise a few questions. Maybe Bert will have an answer for this, he is the Winchester expert here.
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    101AIRBORNE101AIRBORNE Member Posts: 1,252 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    This seller use to go by the name of: isa baley of Sonora, Ca.
    He has been challenged in the past by Bert on several items.
    By the way Michael-welcome.
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    CapnMidnightCapnMidnight Member Posts: 8,520
    edited November -1
    I have to say that is a plastic butt plate, and thus the wrong one for that vintage model 70.
    I too have watched this guys auctions, he has had several that I didn't think passed the smell test.
    W.D.
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    rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,650 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    This guy changing his name to "Selling Dad's Old Guns". After it got called out by a couple of pros, when he was using his old handle. Would give me great pause, in dealing with him.
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    MG1890MG1890 Member Posts: 4,649
    edited November -1
    Just pulled out my Rule book. This is a 1955 rifle. Rule says that 1959 was the 1st year for this style buttplate.

    Also, that sling is worn on the edges.

    Another "put together" boxed outfit by this seller. Close, but no cigar. Some of his boxed outfits have been downright laughable.
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    cussedemguncussedemgun Member Posts: 985 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The rear of the stock appears too square to be originally for a but plate. My guess is it was cut for a recoil pad, then restored with the replacement plastic plate.

    Unless the new owner chimes in, we may never know.
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    Bert H.Bert H. Member Posts: 11,279 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It is positively a "doctored" rifle, and the box and paperwork are all reproductions. This guy has sold at least 3-4 dozen boxed Winchesters just in the past few years. He is not to be trusted[V]
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    25-0625-06 Member Posts: 466 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you know he is selling bogus items and screwing people why have you not removed him from the site?
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    Bert H.Bert H. Member Posts: 11,279 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by 25-06
    If you know he is selling bogus items and screwing people why have you not removed him from the site?


    I am not the person who gets to make that decision. The forums are a completely separate entity from the auction side of GunBroker.
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