What is My Winchester 70 Worth?

Historical Context

Quite possibly the most popular hunting rifle ever made, the Winchester Model 70 has seen extensive use in both hunting roles as well as military and law enforcement use. In addition to its well known use as a hunting rifle, the Model 70 was also used by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Marine Corps sniper Carlos Hathcock famously used a Model 70 chambered in .30-06 during his exploits in Vietnam in which he eliminated a NVA sniper by shooting him in the eye through the scope mounted to a Mosin-Nagant. The reliability of the rifle also led to its use by the militaries of other nations as well. The legendary status of the Model 70 for hunters and collectors will ensure its value as part of a firearms collection.

Determining Value

During the production cycle of the Model 70, Winchester produced many different variants in a multitude of calibers. Different calibers can add value to a firearm. Generally speaking, larger calibers such as .416 Rigby or .458 Winchester Magnum will net a greater value than standard calibers such as .223 Remington or .308 Winchester. Different variants and grades can also add value to a Model 70. For example, a super grade or a featherweight variant will net much more than a standard model. The age of a Model 70 will also affect the value. A pre-64 rifle has the reputation amongst collectors for being a better quality rifle and consequently are of higher value on the used market. These pre-64s can be distinguished from newer examples as they have serial numbers below 700,000.

A major factor in determining value for any firearm comes from the condition of the gun. If it is in mint condition with little finish wear from handling, the gun can retain a good portion of its retail value. If more usage is apparent and the gun has scuffs, dents or scratches on the slide or polymer lower, the value will lower with each imperfection. Same goes with the metal parts, the more scratches and faded bluing finish that becomes present on the gun from handling and usage can greatly diminish its value. The takeaway is that as the condition of the firearm worsens, the less it will be worth when re-sold.

Another factor that contributes to a re-sale value is the firearm’s originality. Please note that as a collectors piece, the value of Winchester Model 70s are greater if they retain the original finish. Another nuance is whether all the parts of the firearm have the same serial numbers.

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