Although I almost never hunt with cartridge guns, I still enjoy shooting them at writers’ conferences and trade events. Two guns that recently struck me as being the “best of their class” were the Smith & Wesson .460 revolver and the South Carolina made Winchester Model 70.
The .460 has a lot of muzzle blasts and recoil. I shoot a few shots a year with it and its larger relative, the .500 S&W. This is quite enough for my old joints. Even for younger people shooting these big guns with full-powered loads should be done with moderation. I will never own one, but would readily take one on a hunt if invited. For my own use I would prefer these cartridges shot from a 14-inch barrel fitted to an Encore Thompson Center Arms single-shot pistol.
This new rendition of the pre-64 Model 70 Winchester is a light-weight version fitted with a floating barrel and nicely stocked in American walnut. It is a delight to carry, and in .270 Winchester, it is an excellent shooting gun. When the barrel was shot so much that it became too hot to touch, the gun lost its accuracy – as is typical of featherweight barrels.
For myself, I would prefer this gun with a heavier barrel. I will never own one, as I don’t hunt with cartridge guns anymore unless they are the only available option. (In some European countries hunting with muzzleloading guns, bows and crossbows is illegal.)
I think a lot of American shooters will be delighted with this revitalized version of the Model 70. Many never really appreciated the Model 70 until we very nearly lost it forever.
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