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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a 1953 model 70 featherweight 308. When breaking it down to clean Ii noted the front action screw was only finger tight. When I assembled it and torqued the front action screw to 30# it "froze" the bold. So I torqued it to 20# and still the bold was frozen. What I found is when fully torqued the bolt sticks into the action by several threads and locks the rifle bolt tight. If I place the bolt finger tight all is good. Could the wood have shrunk enough over the years to make the bolt too long. Is it a big deal not to have the front action screw tightened to spec. I do not want to have it back out and fall out in the field. Should I "grind" a thread or so off so it can be torqued down to spec?

Next issue. There is some minor rust around the sights. Try to remove the rust or just keep it oiled? If it needs to be removed, what is the best way?

Thanks
Kurt
 

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you didn't or the previous owned get the back front screws mixed up

cutting off two threads isn't a big deal....loos can crack the stock...or mess groups up bad!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ironically with iron sights from prone at 50 yards I put 4 of 5 shots in a 1.5 inch circle. One shot was 2 inches low. I don't think the screws were mixed up. I know I did not mix them up. I layed them out in order. If I remember correctly the front action screw is a lot shorter than the other two (way more than a thread or two). What would be the best way to remove a few threads? Place a nut on the bolt the use a grinder??
 

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well it depends on your skills level and tools...
i wouldn't use grinding changes temper...
a nut turned just below exposed area you wish to cut off.....
a new hack saw blade...
vice....
cut it streight...
file smooth.....
oil... then turn off nut slowly it re cuts the last part of starting thread....
 

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The front screw should be tight, it pulls the action down so the recoil lug mates properly with its corresponding recess in the stock. A good coarse file will also shorten up the bolt pretty quickly. On a model 70, front and rear screws should very well tightened with the middle screw just snug, not as tight as the other two. To remove the rust get some fine bronze wool(better than steel wool, won't remove blue), oil it and rub the rust off, then wipe it down with an oily rag. If there are any bigger chunks of rust you can soak them in oil and push them off with a penny. Any copper tint left on the blueing from the bronze wool or the penny can be cleaned off in a second with a little Hoppes No.9. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all
Hard to find a 1/4 32 nut to "recut" the threads after filing down. May just have to file and hope it threads OK. If not have to buy a new bolt. A set of bolts runs 12 bucks plus shipping. Would have to special order a nut with that fine of thread so it is a wash on cost.
 

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The stock could be compressed from years of sitting over tightened. You may need to shorten that screw up a small amount.

I use the method mike webb mentioned for removing rust, but I've always used a nickel instead of a penny.
 

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This is a common thing found in both Win and Rem actions. Could be that someone switched the screws or maybe lost one and replaced it with the wrong one.

First, make sure you have the small screw in front and the long one in rear.

1. Go to you friendly gunsmith and ask him to trade. A good gunsmith usually has a drawer full of screws.

2. Grind it off to fit. Keep a bowl of water nearby to quench the screw when it gets too hot to handle. I don't think the heat will hurt anything. It's a screw! Tighten it without the bolt in place and look inside the action with a flashlight. You can see exactly when you've shortened it enough.

JMHO

Ray
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looking at the bolt more closely the threaded end has a dome shape. Looking into the action I can barely make out the first thread so maybe I will get luck and be able to just remove the "dome" and not hit the threads :)
 

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Thinking Outside The Box...

Sometimes thinking outside the box requires thinking inside the stock. The pre 64 Winchesters normally involved barrel tension rather than a free floating barrel configuration. About the era of the women's movement proclaiming freedom from the bra, there was the popular trend to free captive barrels. I suggest that you might wish to inspect for evidence of this activity. (Referring of course to the latter condition, not the former analogy.) Quite possibly a prior owner may have tried to free float the barrel by removing wood from the barrel channel and thus precipitated the condition that you note. The good news in any case is that unless there are obvious barrel to wood fitting gaps, even if such occurred, there is likely no harm other than the inconvenience of managing the small fix. In any event, yYou should be prepared for possible slight changes in zero with any change of barrel to stock contact. All simply part of the panorama of vintage guns.
Enjoy that nice gun!
My take.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK - I put the front action screw in a padded vice. Gently filed and checked fit then filed and checked fit, etc. Finally, before I even hit the first thread I was able to torque the screw to 30# and no binding with the bolt. :)

Iskra - I am in favor of freedom from the bra in the young and fit :laugh:
I thought I was in favor of the free floating barrel. My new classic M70 has a factory free floated barrel. This gun does not. I can even see dark areas in the stock from barrel contact. It shoots better than I can. At least at 50 yards with iron sights from prone the groups are tighter than my eyesight should allow. So I guess there is no reason to free float the barrel? I had considered doing it since I "though" free floating barrels were better!
 

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If it shoots well as-is and holds zero, leave it alone.
 

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Winter5470, it was not my intent to suggest in any manner that you should act to free float the barrel of your rifle. Indeed as Clyde aptly notes, if it isn't broken, don't fix it. From your comments you are fortunate on all counts including problem rectification by the simple and essentially 'non-invasive' remedy you performed.
Congratulations!
My take
 

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I thought I was in favor of the free floating barrel. My new classic M70 has a factory free floated barrel. This gun does not. I can even see dark areas in the stock from barrel contact. It shoots better than I can. At least at 50 yards with iron sights from prone the groups are tighter than my eyesight should allow. So I guess there is no reason to free float the barrel? I had considered doing it since I "though" free floating barrels were better!
I wouldn't mess with that rifle since it has collectible status, but as far as folks saying "if it shoots good, don't mess with it" that's not always the best answer. Over long time use a wooden stock with pressure on the barrel is more prone to moving point of impact as the barrel swells from heat or even just as the wood moves with age or the seasons. If the action is properly bedded, I'll take a free floated barrel every time.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I purchased it as a shooter. I was told the LOP was 13.75 but when I actually measured it I came up with 13.0 with the after market pad. So its collector value has already been lessened as the stock has been shortened.

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?290105-Cleaning-up-a-pre-64-model-70

I know I will get flamed for it but my plan is to add a middle screw and ching sling. Going hog hunting tomorrow. :)
 

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I wouldn't mess with that rifle since it has collectible status, but as far as folks saying "if it shoots good, don't mess with it" that's not always the best answer. Over long time use a wooden stock with pressure on the barrel is more prone to moving point of impact as the barrel swells from heat or even just as the wood moves with age or the seasons. If the action is properly bedded, I'll take a free floated barrel every time.
That is correct. Not ALWAYS the BEST answer. BUT in the fifty years or so I've been fiddlin' with guns, my observations have suggested that a gun that is shooting well is USUALLY best left alone. if it quits doing that, time to diagnose and treat the problem. I have seen a fair number of decent shooters turned into real touchy ones that seldom shot well through attempts to improve adequate shooting to best the gun can do.
 

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Opinions and information

First the observation that this thread is taking on a life of its own and in that, I am again one of the 'usual suspects'.
Yet perhaps still time for several pithy comments.
First what is marginally/non collectible today, may gain status in the future. Yet against such theory is that as these weapons and their appreciators age, so the aura fades in our brave new techno-world. Absent some sub-model rarity factor, the predominant value to such a 'less than original' Pre 64 Model 70 today is that they still compete well in the field of modern centerfire bolt rifles; this especially in respect of quality. In this, the subject rifle retains principal inherent value. Thus I tend to cut an investor/shooter middle ground. Promote that which reasonably increases practical utilization while minimizing that which unnecessarily further impinges upon originality. Winter5470 and Clyde are the utilitarians (if it works, it's good) here and I agree with that essential position. Last, I also note that we are here speaking about a Model 70 Featherweight rifle. A notable fact. Throughout production from 1936 through 1963, the standard Model 70 rifle incorporated a foreend screw which essentially shackled the barrel to the stock at the barrel sight boss location. The Featherweight omitted this feature and to that extent, was both of more contemporary in design and also offered the opportunity for a inherently 'freer' barrel to stock relationship; this at least in potential and likely to some extent in execution.
Likely this my curtain call take.
 

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harmonic vibrations that have been common with a guns over all history are really its essance...matched with over all ware.......
if its shooting excellent leave it....
when you take a gun apart make a template of the position of screw slots and return them as close to same place as possible....hoping to keep all contacts, pressure points near the same.....

most just crank them down tight.....not realizing they have changed impact, pressure points, and harmonic vibrations....maybe even binding, warping the receiver in the stock.....till pressure is let off.

free floating....changes these vibrations...not necessarily increasing accuracy.....its not a fix all solution.
glassing a barrel channel....the same....not a fix all.
bedding the action seem to always improve stability ....if done correctly.....but if action levels are not keep true binds in action, barrel can make a gun shoot much worse.....see this.

each gun has its own personality / relationships metal to stock and accuracy to relationships with harmonics established per the guns shooting history....

brings me to the deconstructions of finding out what went wrong? or why shooting tighter groups may be in finding out just a few things or variables causing problems......
from bolt handle touching the wood throwing shots to the left on one gun....
spots in barrel channel lifting or pushing barrel in directions when heated or during recoil not letting it settle to one spot....
to compressed woods spring the action....changing pressures of the barrel up or down....
or things like mag touching wood acting as a recoil lug its self...
or cracks in the thin web in front of trigger expanding on recoil...all these things and many others, bruised crowns, jacket fouling, loose screws, to tight screws
...warping moister laden woods
if everything is cleaned....barrel...ware isn't the culprit......still not shooting good you have to SEE the problem not guess one fix does not fit all guns problems!

leaving a gun org....first concern....making changes a judgment call....but most under the wood fixes to preserve structures...and increase accuracy....are the owners decision....the next buyer may disapprove, give less money in trade or sale.....but if it cuts one hole groups...
he will brag like no tomorrow to others....... but maybe not you!
 
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