The Model 70 was largely based on the Model 54, and is today still highly regarded by shooters and is often called "The Rifleman's Rifle".
In 1999 Shooting Times magazine named the Model 70 the "Bolt-action Rifle of the Century".
When coupled with the other cost-cutting changes and compared with the previously produced and very familiar Model 70, however, it was immediately declared to be lacking.
The new design of the rifle was swiftly and severely criticized by both gun writers and riflemen alike for its perceived lesser amount of control and feed issues, making the original action much more prized.
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Then I saw the pilot model of 'New Model 70.' At the first glimpse I like to fell into a swoon.
The action was simplified, the trigger guard and floor plate made of a flimsy looking one-piece stamping." Despite this initial reaction, O'Connor grudgingly went on to say, "Actually the post-1964 Model 70 is not a bad rifle in spite of the fact that rifle aficionados have never taken it to their bosoms the way they did its predecessor. The head of the bolt encloses the head of the case.
The original Model 70 quickly established an excellent reputation with American sportsmen.The Winchester Model 70 is a bolt-action sporting rifle.It has an iconic place in American sporting culture and has been held in high regard by shooters since it was introduced in 1936, earning the moniker "The Rifleman's Rifle".The main benefit of the blade type ejector is it is simpler and perhaps more reliable (being considered less susceptible to ingress of foreign matter) when compared to the later post-1964 plunger ejector in the bolt face controlled by a coil spring.Other significant features of this action include a three-position wing-type safety (retained throughout Model 70 production), a cone breeching-system that helps prevent bullet-nose damage while loading a cartridge from the magazine, machined steel trigger-guard and floor plate, one-piece bolt construction, and a trigger adjustable for pull weight and over-travel.