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 epithet "The Rifleman's Rifle"[1]. The action has some design similarities to Mauser designs and it is a development of the earlier Winchester Model 54. The Model 70 was originally manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company between 1936 and 1980. From the early 1980s until 2006, Winchester rifles were manufactured by US Repeating Arms under an agreement with Olin Corporation, allowing USRA to use the Winchester name and logo. Model 70s were built in New Haven, Connecticut from 1936 to 2006, when production ceased. In the fall of 2007, announcements were made that Model 70 production would resume, and, as of 2008, new Winchester Model 70 rifles are now once more being made in Columbia, SC.

Military UseEdit

The United States Marin Corps issued a very small number of the pre-1964 Winchester Model 70 rifles during the Korean Conflict, for use as sniper weapons. During the early years of the Vietnam war, Model 70's were again the premier choice in Marine sniper rifles, until they were replaced by the Remington Model 700 series bolt-action rifles in the mid-1960s. The Remington Model 700 became the basis for the M40 series sniper rifle that is in current U.S. Marine Corps service today.One of the reasons the U.S. Marine Corps replaced their Winchester Model 70s was that the post-1964 variants of the Model 70 did not meet U.S. Marines' standards. Despite the introduction of the Remington Model 700 rifle, the pre '64 Winchester Model 70 was still used by the US Marine Corps' scout/sniper teams during the Vietnam War alongside the Remington Model 700 rifle. The original wood stocks were found to be warping in both rifles after a few years of service and both rifles were given fiberglass stocks to remedy the problem. Existing Model 70s still in service have had their stocks replaced with a McMillan fiberglass stock, such as that found on the Custom Extreme Weather variant.One of the best known U.S. Marine Corps snipers who used the Winchester Model 70 during the Vietnam War was Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock who used a Winchester Model 70 sniper rifle chambered in .30-06 Springfield