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Educate me on the M70

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  • Educate me on the M70

    So the M70 (Hathcock rifle) was the one that I wanted after reading Marine Sniper. I didn’t know it was a pre-64 or whatever, I just wanted a Winchester 70 in .30-06.

    I couldnt find one in 2006-2007 when I was active with am instructor. I ended up with a 700P in .308 that was a decent shooter.

    Anyway, I’m trying to understand the build on the M70. I thought it was a heavy barrel with a target stock. Then I see the old CMP auction which was a spotter stock and barrel. The. I thought the CMP rifle was one of the originals nalmorder for testing, so may not represent what they settled on.

    A lot of USMCSgt’s pics were Shanghai’ed by fotobucket so I have no reference there.

    Thanks for whatever help you can give! I e been keeping my eyes out as a lot of older rifles are coming on the market but I want to buy smart.

    Infound an age appropriate.220 swift in target stock with an original Unertl. Clip slotted. Bolt face is good to convert but I think the action is too short based on cartridge OAL comparisons. Over a grand too but if it was .30-06 I’d be telling you what I bought already!

  • #2
    I believe it was a Pre-64 Model 70 Target with the slightly lighter Sportsman's (?) stock. Not a full on heavy target stock, but not a sporter stock.


    • #3
      Well, I found someone who can te make the stocks but I need really good photos and/or dimensions. Anyone who has a correct stock, that can take sharp photos with a tape measure in them please let me know.

      Once it us done, they can make as many as we need.


      • #4
        IMO, anyone interested in making a "correct" USMC Vietnam era sniper rifle needs to find and read one book, The One-Shot War by Peter Senich.
        The history is all there including the various permutations.

        To understand the pre-64 receivers, see this link (you will learn that they are all the same overall length: standard/short mag/H&H mag)

        Not cheap, but just an fyi:

        Barrel should be either a 24" medium heavy original WRA, or a Douglas medium-heavy 24 (WRA profile) or 26" straight taper medium heavy barrel.

        The main choice to make is Sporter stock (w/ enlarge barrel channel) or heavier Marksman stock (hard to find...)
        Attached are the 2 primary variations.
        Last edited by Random Guy; 12-09-2017, 01:04 PM.


        • #5
          That hard to find marksman stock is what I was hoping to reproduce.

          But, if all pre-64’s are the same action, that pre-64 .220 swift I found (with target stock and Unertl target scope) would be a good candidate for a conversion to .30-06, no?

          when I checked the cartridge OAL for the swift compared to the ‘06 it is roughly 3/8” shorter. So I passed. Maybe I should go back and grab it?


          • #6
            Thought you might enjoy this video



            • pmclaine
              pmclaine commented
              Editing a comment
              That's the version, Sporter Stock, that most interests me.

          • #7
            If the price is right, perhaps you could esp if it has a Marksman stock with the original metal buttplate..

            You'll need to change the magazine and follower to the "standard" part, as seen here.


            The ejector too (will need to be standard/magnum), and remove the 220 Swift bolt collar part, etc.


            You can get the proper 30-06 barrel from Douglas for about $325 or so, if I recall correctly.

            Hope that helps...

            PS: In 2016 I took a 1955 or 56 Model 70 308W Featherweight (which I got for $795 out the door with a Bushnell Elite 3200 scope) and did the conversion to 30-06 with a Douglass barrel.
            I used a 10x Lyman Super TargetSpot, but this winter will mount my 10X Unertl on it now that I have black mounts for it. So, its doable.

            Attached Files
            Last edited by Random Guy; 12-09-2017, 01:11 PM.


            • #8
              I found this article,


              • #9
                Forgot to post this picture earlier. Here's the USMC M70 rifle on display in the NRA museum in Fairfax, VA. It has a "USMC Property" Lyman Super TargetSpot scope with the wooden storage/transport box that is also marked "USMC Property." (Not sure of power, but could potentially be 8x ,10x, or 12x).

                It's located in the section with the Vietnam era rifles. Serial number range is 49k, so this is a WWII-era serial Model 70 that fits into the known range. Stock is a heavy Marksman. Barrel appears to be a Douglas based on the large diamaeter and straight taper, but I can't see the other side to check for markings. Finish is blued on all parts. Looks like a nice vintage USMC match rifle from the 1950s/early 1960s. Just an fyi picture for anyone interested.


                • #10
                  Yes, yes as a matter of fact I am interested.

                  I was wondering what finish USMC used on these and if that has a Douglas than I shall plan along the lines of hot blue.

                  "...But they would never find anything to beat the old Springfield ...the long sleek streamline, very slim but with potent bulges, all in the just exactly right places to give it that pugnaciously forward-leaning, eager look that marked the Springfield. Beside it, the M1 looked like a fat old man puffing with a lack of training...the two most beautiful things made in America were the ax-handle and the clipper ship? ...they should have added one more thing: The Springfield '03 rifle..."