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Winchester Model 70 Super Grade .300 WSM Rifle: Review

The Winchester Model 70 Super Grade .300 WSM bolt-action rifle is ideal for hunting game up to and including brown bear—and looks good doing it. Here's a review.

Winchester Model 70 Super Grade .300 WSM Rifle: Review

(Michael Anschuetz photo)

The only Winchester Model 70 I currently own is a 1990s-vintage Featherweight in .270 Winchester, but I just may have to add the brand-new Super Grade version reviewed here to my battery. Dare I say it might even force my old .270 Model 70 into retirement because it is so good-looking. Chambered for the excellent .300 WSM cartridge, it’s just right for hunting game up to and including brown bear.

The Model 70 Super Grade comes with a polished blue, sporter-weight, 24-inch barrel and a Grade V/VI black walnut stock. As you can see from the photographs, the stock has beautiful wood grain, an ebony fore-end tip, a blued-steel pistol grip cap, a shadow-line cheekpiece, and a thick Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad. Cut checkering at the rate of 20 lines per inch is provided on the grip and the fore-end, and two inletted sling-swivel studs are located in the typical places. The drop at heel and the drop at comb are both 1/2 inch. The length of pull is 13.75 inches, which is just about perfect for me.

The free-floated barrel tapers to 0.59 inch at the muzzle, and the muzzle has a recessed crown. The rifle is 44.25 inches long and weighs 8.0 pounds unloaded and without a scope. The receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounts, and with the Leupold VX-5HD 3-15X 44mm scope I used and three rounds loaded in the magazine, the combo weighs 9.63 pounds on my digital scale.

Winchester Model 70 Super Grade .300 WSM Left and Right Side Views
The Winchester Model 70 Super Grade features a 24-inch barrel, a Grade V/VI black walnut stock, the classic three-wing safety, and Winchester’s M.O.A. trigger. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

This Model 70 uses a controlled-feed action, which means the bolt’s claw extractor grips the case head of a cartridge as it comes from the magazine and hangs onto it all the way into the chamber, while it is being fired, and as it is extracted from the chamber. Speaking of the bolt, the Super Grade’s bolt is nicely jeweled.

The safety is Winchester’s classic three-position type, and the trigger is the company’s M.O.A. unit. The trigger pull on my sample rifle averaged 4 pounds, 13.6 ounces over the course of five measurements with an RCBS trigger pull scale, and it was crisp and clean.

The hinged floorplate is steel and given a high-gloss finish. Magazine capacity for the .300 WSM-chambered gun is three rounds.

.300 WSM cartridge
Winchester’s Model 70 Super Grade is offered in 14 chamberings, including the excellent .300 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM). (Michael Anschuetz photo)

The .300 WSM cartridge is about 20 years old now, and it has earned a fine reputation for excellent on-game performance (with the right bullet) and accuracy. I agree with what Shooting Times writer Layne Simpson has written about it, and that is a good 180-grain hunting bullet at a muzzle velocity close to 3,000 fps is a great all-around hunting load for all big game up to and including brown bear. As you can see from the chart, the cartridge produces plenty of energy.

In my experience, Model 70 rifles produce very good accuracy, sometimes even stellar accuracy with one particular loading. I’m not talking about 1/2-MOA or less, but anything under 1 inch at 100 yards is stellar to me, given my mediocre shooting skills. (I’ve never claimed to have match-winning ability.)

The results of my shooting session are listed in the accompanying chart. Judge them for yourself.

Good looks, very good accuracy, and plenty of downrange power—what more could you ask for in a hunting rifle that you’ll want to pass down to your children some day? The Winchester Model 70 Super Grade has them, plus it is steeped in a rich history, going all the way back to 1936 when the model was first introduced. Like I said earlier, I’m seriously contemplating adding this one to my battery.

Model 70 Super Grade Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Winchester Repeating Arms,
  • Type: Bolt-action repeater
  • Caliber: .300 WSM
  • Magazine Capacity: 3 rounds
  • Barrel: 24 in.
  • Overall Length: 44.25 in.
  • Weight, Empty: 8.0 lbs.
  • Stock: Grade V/VI black walnut
  • Length of Pull: 13.75 in.
  • Finish: High-gloss metal, jeweled bolt, satin-finished stock
  • Sights: None
  • Trigger: 4.85-lb. pull (as tested)
  • Safety: Three-position
  • MSRP: $1,589.99
Winchester Model 70 Super Grade .300 WSM Accuracy and Velocity Chart

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