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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found my M70 donor rifle at the local shop in town... couldn’t believe it, it’s not serial number correct but it is a 1959 30-06 in great condition. The good part is I won’t have to make permanent modifications to attain a decent clone. Just a new barrel and possible stock swap.

The Monte Carlo stock isn’t exactly correct but I’ll try finding a straight comb standard or target stock. Gotta wait for a deal. Probably going with the Douglas barrel.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mine is the Monte Carlo stock as well. I didn’t think the OE snipers had MC stocks... it would be nice if they did, that’s one less part to procure.

Russ

The one in the old picture has the MC style stock. Cant see what the one you bought has though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It’s the raised comb I’m really questioning. I know they used standard stocks, just not the high comb. I wouldn’t molest this stock, ill prolly have to pick up or trade for correct.


Well it depends on how correct you want it. The checkering isn't correct either. It can be sanded out but you will lose wood doing it, besides being a lot of work.
 

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I guess it depends on what stock you want to replicate. The ones above have both checkering and a raised comb. I honestly didn't notice the checkering, but the raised comb is there. The stocks mentioned in the "other" thread didn't have checkering and were straight comb IIRC. It becomes a matter of how accurate one wants to be, but first you have to settle on one style.
 

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Found my M70 donor rifle at the local shop in town... couldn’t believe it, it’s not serial number correct but it is a 1959 30-06 in great condition. The good part is I won’t have to make permanent modifications to attain a decent clone. Just a new barrel and possible stock swap.

The Monte Carlo stock isn’t exactly correct but I’ll try finding a straight comb standard or target stock. Gotta wait for a deal. Probably going with the Douglas barrel.

Russ
The rifle in Senich's book you posted pics of is a Van Orden M70. A few of them were shipped to the Corps (my friend actually has a documented USMC one), but that's not the sniper rifle you're trying to build. From your posts, it appears that you want to build a modified sporter or a marksman stock version. If you want a Van Orden, just wait until one comes up for sale, he ordered around 3,000 from Winchester and sold a lot to the military, so original ones do pop up from time to time.

Since I posted the marksman pics in your other thread, I'll post pics of my 2 original USMC sporter M70's from 1942 in this thread. These 2 rifles were from the original shipment of 373 (that might be the exact number, but not too sure, too much detailed info to remember, lol) M70 sporters that were sent to the Corps.

Some of these guns were left in sporter configuration, some were turned into sporter stocked snipers and others were turned into marksman stocked snipers. These sporters are literally the base for both USMC sniper variants. All they did was modify or swap the stock (depending on version) and change the barrel.

The donor rifle you purchased technically isn't correct for a build since the 1942 M70's had the cloverleaf/doll head/whatever it's called tang. However, there were later M70 purchases by the Corps and those might have the regular tang. All of my original rifles and stocks have the early cloverleaf tang, so I'd assume those were pretty prevalent or the norm. Your bolt and safety are also the later type, but those are minor details. I have absolutely no idea why you're being told to remove the checkering, this isn't an M40 stock. The original sporter stocks have checkering (pics below). If you need questions answered, just ask me, I have original items, knowledge and experience. Don't mess with your current stock, sell it as is and buy the correct variant for your build.

All that being said, swap your stock and barrel, simple build. Finding a sporter stock with a straight comb won't be too challenging, get one off of Ebay or from here:

https://pre64win.com/collections/stocks?page=1

Finding a marksman stock is going to be more challenging and more expensive. You're best bet is to contact the guy in the link above. Barrels are another story, I'll just wait until you start another thread GI2

More info on the USMC M70's is going to be released within the next few years, I'm not privy to say anything beyond what I've observed and what I have in my collection. Here's my 2 original USMC M70's, they're the only M70's I've ever seen that are serial number hits on the list in Chandler's book, Death From Afar volume 1. They both came from a Recon unit in Montana:



One of them has a bunch of brass pins pressed into the stock, my best guess is to prevent warping in a very humid environment, like the jungles of Vietnam. This pic shows those pins:

 

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The rifle in Senich's book you posted pics of is a Van Orden M70. A few of them were shipped to the Corps (my friend actually has a documented USMC one), but that's not the sniper rifle you're trying to build. From your posts, it appears that you want to build a modified sporter or a marksman stock version. If you want a Van Orden, just wait until one comes up for sale, he ordered around 3,000 from Winchester and sold a lot to the military, so original ones do pop up from time to time.

Since I posted the marksman pics in your other thread, I'll post pics of my 2 original USMC sporter M70's from 1942 in this thread. These 2 rifles were from the original shipment of 343 (that might be the exact number, but not too sure, too much detailed info to remember, lol) M70 sporters that were sent to the Corps.

Some of these guns were left in sporter configuration, some were turned into sporter stocked snipers and others were turned into marksman stocked snipers. These sporters are literally the base for both USMC sniper variants. All they did was modify or swap the stock (depending on version) and change the barrel.

The donor rifle you purchased technically isn't correct for a build since the 1942 M70's had the cloverleaf/doll head/whatever it's called tang. However, there were later M70 purchases by the Corps and those might have the regular tang. All of my original rifles and stocks have the early cloverleaf tang, so I'd assume those were pretty prevalent or the norm. I have no idea why you're being told to remove the checkering, this isn't an M40 stock. The original sporter stocks have checkering (pics below). Don't mess with your current stock, sell it as is and buy the correct variant for your build.

All that being said, swap your stock and barrel, simple build. Finding a sporter stock with a straight comb won't be too challenging, get one off of Ebay or from here:

https://pre64win.com/collections/stocks?page=1

Finding a marksman stock is going to be more challenging and more expensive. You're best bet is to contact the guy in the link above. Barrels are another story, I'll just wait until you start another thread GI2

More info on the USMC M70's is going to be released within the next few years, I'm not privy to say anything beyond what I've observed and what I have in my collection. Here's my 2 original USMC M70's, they're the only M70's I've ever seen that are serial number hits on the list in Chandler's book, Death From Afar volume 1. They both came from a Recon unit in Montana:



One of them has a bunch of brass pins pressed into the stock, my best guess is to prevent warping in a very humid environment, like the jungles of Vietnam. This pic shows those pins:

I did note a couple of things about checkering. That depending on which stock he wants to replicate, it may or may not have checkering. Secondly I also noted that I just flat didn't notice the stocks he showed above were actually checkered. He seemed more interested in the comb style. I didn't tell him to do anything, merely noted that it could be done depending on the look he was after. I know full well he isn't talking about the M40, thanks very much.
 

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I just found this week the counts of the M70's. The Marines owned a Substantial amount more than ever reported in any books. In fact it really shocked me how many they truly had. But the number shipped to Vietnam was also very small.

This is my opinion. But before you worry too much about being clone correct, I think a lot of what we think is correct, probably isn't totally correct. I would just wait and see what else comes out of the woodwork on these.

On a side note. A sporter style M70 in Nam used as a sniper. Just like Ryan's above.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Yes and just adding the heavy barrel... I seen this last time it was listed and he never got back to me on some details. He must have just re-listed it. I pulled the trigger on this other pre-64 before this item was re-listed. It’s a decent deal if you’re looking into one. I’m all in on mine unless I sell it. Thx for the post.

Russ

This might be what you are trying to replicate?


820660941

Gunbroker
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
usmc,
Thx again for the detailed post! Cards on the table, I bought Justin’s only post-war target stock... I went a little nuts and now not even sure I’ll install it. I am more keen on the sporter heavy barrels for some reason. I was completely unaware of the difference in pre-war and post-war pre-64s. Obviously an expensive mistake seeing as I also bought the target stock. With all 70s I’ve seen for sale, however, I got the rifle at a reasonable enough price.

Should I press with the build? Note, it will be a new McGowan or Douglas heavy barrel, probably installed by Justin’s team at pre-64win.com...

Thx again
Russ

The rifle in Senich's book you posters pics of is a Van Orden M70. A few of them were shipped to the Corps (my friend actually has a documented USMC one), but that's not the sniper rifle you're trying to build. From your posts, it appears that you want to build a modified sporter or a marksman stock version. If you want a Van Orden, just wait until one comes up for sale, he ordered around 3,000 from Winchester and sold a lot to the military, so original ones do pop up from time to time.

Since I posted the marksman pics in your other thread, I'll post pics of my 2 original USMC sporter M70's from 1942 in this thread. These 2 rifles were from the original shipment of 343 (that might be the exact number, but not too sure, too much detailed info to remember, lol) M70 sporters that were sent to the Corps.

Some of these guns were left in sporter configuration, some were turned into sporter stocked snipers and others were turned into marksman stocked snipers. These sporters are literally the base for both USMC sniper variants. All they did was modify or swap the stock (depending on version) and change the barrel.

The donor rifle you purchased technically isn't correct for a build since the 1942 M70's had the cloverleaf/doll head/whatever it's called tang. However, there were later M70 purchases by the Corps and those might have the regular tang. All of my original rifles and stocks have the early cloverleaf tang, so I'd assume those were pretty prevalent or the norm. Your bolt and safety are also the later type, but those are minor details. I have absolutely no idea why you're being told to remove the checkering, this isn't an M40 stock. The original sporter stocks have checkering (pics below). If you need questions answered, just ask me, I have original items, knowledge and experience. Don't mess with your current stock, sell it as is and buy the correct variant for your build.

All that being said, swap your stock and barrel, simple build. Finding a sporter stock with a straight comb won't be too challenging, get one off of Ebay or from here:

https://pre64win.com/collections/stocks?page=1

Finding a marksman stock is going to be more challenging and more expensive. You're best bet is to contact the guy in the link above. Barrels are another story, I'll just wait until you start another thread GI2

More info on the USMC M70's is going to be released within the next few years, I'm not privy to say anything beyond what I've observed and what I have in my collection. Here's my 2 original USMC M70's, they're the only M70's I've ever seen that are serial number hits on the list in Chandler's book, Death From Afar volume 1. They both came from a Recon unit in Montana:


One of them has a bunch of brass pins pressed into the stock, my best guess is to prevent warping in a very humid environment, like the jungles of Vietnam. This pic shows those pins:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thx BoltTrash. That almost looks like a heavy target stock with checkering. Do you think it is?

Russ

Here's an 'in-country' USMC M70 photo - it has checkering and probably a cotton web sling. If there's anything we've learned, it's that 2112's did whatever was necessary to keep unit sniper rifles 'in-service.' Have at it...
 

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1200 yards=.68 mile. I don't think it's possible to hit a man size target with open sights at nearly 3/4 mile. I'm sure he must have had a scope put on it. That Marine Lieutenant's white T-shirt would make a good target, however. Just my $.02.
 

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Thx BoltTrash. That almost looks like a heavy target stock with checkering. Do you think it is?

Russ
Sorry, 0331 is your guy for that question. The principal things, I think, to remember are:

a.) that the role of the sniper, sniper training, was essentially dropped out of the military's tactical curriculum after the Korean War and then 'revived,' from scratch, at the outset of the Viet Nam War.

b.) the WinM70 was NOT a 'Contract' rifle (the USMC M40 was the very first)

We know that the Corp's Marksmenship unit used M70's and had used the Unertl 8X since WWII. It's not a leap across the Grand Canyon to see why, when a distinct 'sniper rifle' and not just a issued weapon fitted with a telescopic sight was needed, that they selected the M70 & Unertl combination.

c.) The Corp's problem was then not the rifle, but the depth of their supply chain and Winchester provided, I assume, whatever they had on-hand at the time, to meet that/a given demand.

No Contract = No Specification (generally) and if 2112's needed to replace stocks, at any given time, Winchester which was producing mainly 'civilian' firearm models and a very few models for a rather narrow 'target/competitive shooting' market sent what they had available and what the factory was 'geared-up' to produce at the time when an order came in. They were under no contractual obligation to turn their manufacturing on it's head, nor were they restricted by any 'strict interpretation' of specifications to fill an order from the USMC. Parts, in rather broad interpretation would be 'expected' to be 'compatible.'

So, I think that there is no 'fixed' configuration, no strict set of specifications, generally speaking, provided however that it conforms to verifiable historical sources, e.g. stock comb styles. The rifle accepted by the Corps, from Winchester, in all probability did not necessarily remain in that same barrel/stock configuration, over the period of it's in-country service in RVN. We see different stocks, medium bull barrels with and without 'target sight blocks, etc.

Pick a photo of an original USMC M70, preferably from one in a 'RVN in-country' photo that appeals to you, select your parts carefully and build a clone rifle that you'll be happy with and your discretionary hobby funds permit.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thats a reasonable argument and one I can get on board with. I appreciate the insight on “non-contract”. I didn’t think of it that way. It allows me the flexibility to make my version vs the tough parts hunt like my M40 build. I do have thy target stock coming in the mail and I do plan on a heavy barrel, so that said, I should almost be done with parts hunting. Having the barrel fitted with an issue since it requires the extractor cut. Like usmc said, that’s probably another post completely. Thanks for the input BoltTrash!!

Sorry, 0331 is your guy for that question. The principal things, I think, to remember are:

a.) that the role of the sniper, sniper training, was essentially dropped out of the military's tactical curriculum after the Korean War and then 'revived,' from scratch, at the outset of the Viet Nam War.

b.) the WinM70 was NOT a 'Contract' rifle (the USMC M40 was the very first)

We know that the Corp's Marksmenship unit used M70's and had used the Unertl 8X since WWII. It's not a leap across the Grand Canyon to see why, when a distinct 'sniper rifle' and not just a issued weapon fitted with a telescopic sight was needed, that they selected the M70 & Unertl combination.

c.) The Corp's problem was then not the rifle, but the depth of their supply chain and Winchester provided, I assume, whatever they had on-hand at the time, to meet that/a given demand.

No Contract = No Specification (generally) and if 2112's needed to replace stocks, at any given time, Winchester which was producing mainly 'civilian' firearm models and a very few models for a rather narrow 'target/competitive shooting' market sent what they had available and what the factory was 'geared-up' to produce at the time when an order came in. They were under no contractual obligation to turn their manufacturing on it's head, nor were they restricted by any 'strict interpretation' of specifications to fill an order from the USMC. Parts, in rather broad interpretation would be 'expected' to be 'compatible.'

So, I think that there is no 'fixed' configuration, no strict set of specifications, generally speaking, provided however that it conforms to verifiable historical sources, e.g. stock comb styles. The rifle accepted by the Corps, from Winchester, in all probability did not necessarily remain in that same barrel/stock configuration, over the period of it's in-country service in RVN. We see different stocks, medium bull barrels with and without 'target sight blocks, etc.

Pick a photo of an original USMC M70, preferably from one in a 'RVN in-country' photo that appeals to you, select your parts carefully and build a clone rifle that you'll be happy with and your discretionary hobby funds permit.

Good luck!
 
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