SOLD FOR: $1425
Make: Winchester’s Custom Shop
Model: 70 International Army Match
Serial Number: G816644
Year of Manufacture: The receiver’s serial number indicates that it was made in 1966. The “G” prefix was added in or after 1968. This configuration was not cataloged by Winchester until 1970.
Caliber: .30-06 Springfield
Action Type: Bolt Action Rifle with Internal Blind Magazine
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “-WINCHESTER MODEL 70 – 30-06 SPRG. -/ MADE IN NEW HAVEN. CONN. U.S.A. WINCHESTER PROOF STEEL”. The top-rear of the barrel is marked with an ovalled “WP” proof. The left side of the receiver is marked “WINCHESTER / -TRADE MARK-”. The right side of the receiver’s chamber ring is marked “G816644”, the bolt is hand-scribed “G816644” on the bottom. The “G” prefix on the receiver is hand-stamped (see Our Assessment).
Barrel Length: 24″, Heavy Profile with Counter-Bored Muzzle. Approximately 1.14″ at the front edge of the receiver tapering to 0.83″ at the muzzle.
Sights / Optics: There are no sights installed or included. There is a pair of drilled and tapped holes at the muzzle-end for mounting a front sight. There are pairs of drilled, tapped and filled holes in the rear of the barrel, the chamber ring and the bridge for sight/optic mounts. There is a pair of drilled, tapped and filled holes at the left-rear of the receiver for a receiver sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is a distinctive International Army Match style. The stock is one-piece smooth walnut with a deep, but fairly narrow forend, contoured pistol grip, monte-carlo comb with cheekpiece, serrated black rubber Winchester buttpad, a sling swivel on the butt and a 10″ accessory rail inlet to the bottom of the forend. The receiver and chamber section of the barrel are glass-bedded with the barrel free-floating forward of the chamber. The right side of the grip and the left side of the stock (on the forearm and below the receiver) show scrapes which have damaged or removed small portions of the finish. The wood shows other scattered scrapes, scuffs & handling marks. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttpad. The pad shows minor wear. Overall, the stock is in Very Good Plus to Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Matte Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore. Our gauge shows an ME of about 0.9.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 98% of its metal finish. The metal shows scuffs and a few light scrapes. The most prominent marks are on the front of the barrel and on the left rear of the receiver. The action shows minor operational wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in Very Good Plus to Fine condition. The rifle would rate in Fine Plus condition if it were not for the marks on the stock.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
There are two holes in the top-rear of the receiver for the externally adjustable trigger. There is a safety mounted on the rear of the bolt. Pushed to the front, the safety is OFF. Rotated back all the way, it locks both the bolt and the trigger. If pulled back half-way, it blocks only the trigger.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This rifle comes with a printout of the The Winchester Collector article “Winchester’s Model 70 Post-1963 Target and Varmint Rifles” by Bill Grant.
Our Assessment: The International Army Match is the rarest of the post-1963 Winchester Model 70 cataloged configurations. Available only on special order basis and constructed by Winchester’s Custom Shop, there were only 179 of these rifles made in the 10 years they were offered (1970-1979). Designed specifically to conform to the International Shooting Union’s Big Bore Standard Rifle specifications, the International Army Match has a couple of rare features found only on a few other Model 70 configurations and a very unique stock.
Like the Palma Trophy Match and the Ultra Match rifles, the action and the rear of the barrel were bedded with the remainder of the barrel floated and the International Army Match had an externally adjustable trigger. Its 24″ heavy barrel has a deep counter-bore to protect the crown. Given its blind magazine, somewhat necessary due to the depth of the forend, it is nice that the receiver has a clip-guide allowing feeding via stripper clips. .308 Winchester was the only chambering offered in the Winchester catalog for the decade this model was produced, though there have been at least four examples known to be chambered for .30-06, each built on a pre-68 receiver with the “G” prefix added when the rifles were assembled. This is one of those four rare rifles.
An article in The Winchester Collector by Bill Grant, “Winchester’s Model 70 International Army Match and Ultra Match Rifles”, lists this as one of four observed .30-06 International Army Match rifles by serial number. This model wasn’t introduced to Winchester’s catalog until 1970, but the four rifles have serial numbers which would place their years of manufacture in 1965, 1966 and 1967. This not only pre-dates the model’s introduction, it predates the “G” prefix found on each of the four rifles which was added to the Model 70 serial numbers to comply with the Gun Control Act of 1968, indicating that the receivers had been made and serial-marked, but were assembled into International Army match rifles years later.
This exceedingly rare .30-06 International Army Match is in Very Good Plus to Fine condition. There are only a few light marks on metal and it retains a great bore and strong mechanics. The wood has some cosmetic issues. The rifle would rate in Fine Plus condition if it were not for the marks on the stock.
The rifle has all of the correct features and markings of the International Army Match rifles and will make an addition to a Winchester collection or a collection of long range competition rifles that will enhance even the most advanced of such collections. With as few as four of these rifles made, an opportunity such as this doesn’t come by every day. Please see our photos and good luck!