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The Winchester Model 70 Custom Sharpshooter II

Around 1994 Winchster released a custom Model 70 they called the custom sharpshooter. It came with a McMillian stock, a hand honed action and stainless steel barrel. It was such a hit that they nearly instantly sold out. Winchester was keen to fill demand but could not get the stocks in the amount needed. Thus the Custom Sharpshooter was born. There are two versions, the classic, which uses a pre 64 type controlled round feed and the one above using the push feed.


The stock used for the Sharpshooter II is the H-S Precision PST37 model. It has the aluminum bedding black, which obviated bedding compounds, but a user can still skim bed the action into the block which I did. The PST37 is 2.012 inches thick across the outer walls in the area where the action sits. The forend is 2.160 inches wide near the forward end , and at the rear, the butt pad is slightly pebbled black rubber .750 inch thick.

The original stock was black, but I replaced it with this one in a color I like better for a reason I can’t recall for the life of me.

The 308 winchester barrel is a 416R stainless steel barrel with a 1/12 twist that is 26 inches long. The bore is cut riffled with a rockwell hardness of 28-32. Winchester garaunteed the barrel to deliver .5 MOA with match ammo or match quality handloads .The diameter at the muzzle is .900 and nicely crowned. Just in front of the receiver ring the barrel measures 1.2 inches and is of course free floated. Hex head bolts fasten the action into the full length pillar plus accu-block with 65 inch pounds of torque for the front and rear screw. Important note. The middle screw on the Model 70 only secures the trigger guard and should never be tightened over finger tight.

This rifle is the first bolt action rifle that I set up to be a dedicated long range precision rifle.

With the intention of using the rifle for 800- 1,00 yards proper base and rings were needed. The base is the superb Badger ordnance long range base that has a slight cant to give extra elevation adjustment for optics. The rings are the Leupold MK 4 rings like used on the M24 sniper rifle. The optic is a Leupold 6x-18x target scope Vari-X II with target turrets.

You can see by the wear and tear on the stock and the dings and scratches that I have had this one a long time and it has been used a lot.

The trigger on a Model 70 is a simple rugged design that lets you adjust it very easily. The Shaprshooter comes with the standard Model 70 trigger. Newer made “model 70s” do not have this trigger system sad to say.

The gun is very accurate and a pleasure to shoot. I fired a quick 3 round group at 100 yards for this article while re zeroing the gun after putting the Leupold back on it from a gun I was using it on temporarily.

Hand loads for this gun is a load I have been using for a long time. Sierra 175 grain Matchkings, Federal gold medal brass, CCI BR small rifle primers and 44.5 grains of Varget. Warning, load is safe in my gun and I make no claims or promises about how safe it is in any other guns.

11 thoughts on “The Winchester Model 70 Custom Sharpshooter II”

  1. I had a “Heavy Varmit” push-feed years ago (2001ish) same basic setup. I did not have really good glass on it and I’m no sniper but I was able to stay under a minute out to 300 with Radway Green ball. Better shooting rifle than any stock 700 I’ve ever owned.

    Reply
  2. Winchester has brought out rifles like this on/off again since the late 60’s.

    Every time they do, they sell a truckload of them in a hurry.

    And then Winchester’s management “comes to their senses” and they discontinue said rifle, because “Why would we want to make a premium product for which we can charge a premium price, when our mission since 1964 is to deliver the cheapest crap we can at a price to compete with the masters of moronic gun designs, Remington?”

    Look around at the price for one of these, or any of Winchester’s other ‘target’ Model 70’s from the pre-64 era. Look at the money people are willing to pay for those $2500 easily, and in some rarer cases, over $6K for just the rifle, no optics.

    Now, if I were a Winchester executive, I’d look at that and I’d say “Find me a way to make a rifle that good or better (which is possible with modern barrels), with a synthetic stock, and we sell it for $3,000. What a deal!”

    But no. That’s not how gun industry execs think. No, they think “We have to keep the price under $1000, or Remington will bad-mouth us because our rifles ‘cost too much.’ “

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    • But think of all the competitive advantage that Winchester derives from… …contracting rifle manufacture out to Japanese companies that nobody has ever heard of.

      Reply
      • Winchester doesnt really exist anymore, and hasnt since 05 or 06. FN is now the over lord and they ust have the “model 70s” made from several different countries. its not the quality it was under USRAC

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          • Sadly, no. There is a company in Montana claiming to make Model 70 actions, but I’ve seen them a few years back and they were rougher than a cob.

            I keep threatening to tool up to make pre-war Model 70 actions, but my wife doesn’t want any part of the idea. I think if I made a high-quality M70 action, with Mauser style extractor, and an option for an aftermarket trigger, I could get $1500 as the base price for a complete action without bottom metal – because no one else is making a really good one for custom rifle building. There are lots of ‘smiths who would love to have a clean, ready-to-go M70 action on which to build custom rifles, but we don’t have a source for these.

          • Shame. Such a legendary action.

            That is a hard demand to figure out. Everyone always says that they would definitely buy one, until there is one.

          • I’m afraid not. The closest thing is the ones that were made in the US by FN USA they used in FN A3 sniper rifles FB sold to the FBI and LE etc
            https://fnamerica.com/products/discontinued-products/fn-spr-a3g/

            these are legit good guns and good actions. I have a lot of hands on experience with these models. but you have to buy the entire gun to get the action. I am not sure if they are still made in the USA or are the ones made in other countries since FN moved production of Model 70 winchester branded rifle over seas.

            Looking at the link I posted, I see nothing on the web page bragging about “Made in the USA” so I suspect they are not. If they still made them here you know damn well they would be signalling it

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