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The Evolution of the Winchester Model 70

Better with age? Considering Winchester's Model 70 evolution, and why today's rifles may be the best yet.

The Evolution of the Winchester Model 70

(Mark Fingar photo)

Winchester’s Model 70 bolt-­action rifle is an icon of American sporting arms, even after 85 years of production. The design continues to garner the trust and respect of several generations, both hunters and shooters. Although introduced in 1936, its story really begins at the end of World War I. Before then, bolt-­action rifles saw limited sporting use throughout the United States. We were still a nation of lever-­action shooters, but World War I became the war of standard-­issue bolt-­actions. American servicemen fielded the M1917 and M1903 Springfield in large numbers, while German soldiers fought with the Mauser Model 98. When those servicemen returned home...

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