Select Page

If you’re a proud owner of a Winchester Model 70, you know it’s not just a rifle—it’s a piece of American history. But to keep it in prime condition, regular cleaning is essential. That’s where I come in. With years of experience in firearm maintenance, I’ll guide you through the process step-by-step.

In this article, we’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of cleaning a Winchester Model 70. We’ll cover everything from the tools you’ll need to the best techniques for ensuring your rifle stays in top shape. Whether you’re a seasoned gun enthusiast or a novice shooter, you’ll find this guide invaluable.

Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Creating a list of the necessary tools is an essential starting point. To clean a Winchester Model 70 thoroughly, you’ll need specific cleaning tools and materials. I’ve used these tools for years and they’ve proven to be effective for proper maintenance of this robust rifle. The list of important materials consists of:

  • Cleaning rod with a tip that matches the .30 caliber of the rifle
  • Bronze brush for cleaning debris from the rifling
  • Cleaning patches made from cloth or synthetic materials
  • Cleaning solvent that’s specifically designed for firearms
  • Lubricant to keep the rifle’s moving parts smooth
  • Cotton swabs for reaching into the tight spaces
  • Microfiber cloths for an overall cleaning and polishing

First and foremost is the cleaning rod. When purchasing a rod, it has to fit the .30 caliber bore size of the Winchester Model 70. Along with the rod, a good quality bronze brush is essential. It would help if you also had a plentiful supply of cleaning patches. These aid in applying the cleaning solvent and removing grime from the barrel.

Speaking of solvents, a high-quality cleaning solvent plays a critical role in removing the stubborn bits of debris from your gun. I’ve found that using a solvent designed specifically for firearms gives the best results.

Next is the lubricant, vital for the smooth operation of the gun’s moving parts. After the gun is cleaned, this lubricant needs to be applied to prevent corrosion and maintain smooth functioning.

Rounding out the necessary supplies are cotton swabs and microfiber cloths. Cotton swabs are useful to get into those hard-to-reach parts where debris might be hiding. Microfiber cloths, on the other hand, are handy for wiping down the rifle’s surface, helping ensure no water spots or finger smudges get left behind after you’ve finished cleaning.

Make sure you have all these materials at hand before starting the cleaning process. Having everything you need will not only streamline the process but will also ensure that you’re able to do a deep and thorough cleaning for long-lasting performance.

Field Strip Your Winchester Model 70

Field stripping a Winchester Model 70 is an essential part of the cleaning process. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds, especially once you have the right tools and materials at hand. It’s all about breaking down your rifle into manageable parts, rendering the overlooked areas more accessible for deep cleaning.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to field strip a Winchester Model 70:

  • First, ensure your firearm is unloaded. Safety is paramount when handling firearms. Always check, and then double check, ensuring there are no rounds in the chamber.
  • Remove the bolt. This step couldn’t be any easier. Simply pull the bolt back, press the release button on the left side of the receiver, and smoothly draw out the bolt.
  • Next, remove the follower and spring. Lightly press down on the follower and gently slide it towards the rear until it comes free, right along with the spring.

My advice – take a moment after each step. Note the general layout and relationship between the parts. This will help when it’s time to put everything back together.

The trigger assembly can also be removed for a more intensive cleaning. However, this is not typically needed for your regular maintenance. More so, it’s best not to go tampering with the trigger assembly as it can impact the rifle’s accuracy and it’s a more complex component to reassemble.

Remember, the goal here is to gain access to the parts of your firearm that can harvest dirt, residues, and the like. After all, even the smallest deposit can impact your weapon’s performance over time. So, take the time to go through each crevice and corner, making sure no spot is missed.

The next section will follow up on the cleaning process, detailing on the best approach towards cleaning each disassembled part of your Winchester Model 70.

Clean the Barrel

Armed with the right tools and the stripped-down rifle, let’s dive straight into cleaning the barrel of your Winchester Model 70.

Your first task? Snaking a bronze brush through the bore. Soak the bronze brush in a good amount of cleaning solvent. Once it’s been doused, it’s time to push it through the bore a few times. Now, be careful not to pull it back and forth. A continuous flow in one direction will ensure you’re efficiently getting rid of stubborn grit and residue.

Next, it’s time to employ cleaning patches. For this step, you’ll want to attach a slotted tip to your cleaning rod and thread a solvent-soaked cleaning patch onto it. Drive the patch through the barrel, just like you operated with the brush. You’ll be repeating this step a few times: each time discarding the old patch and threading on a new soaked one. This repetitive process may seem tedious, but it’s crucial to lift remaining residue from the barrel’s interior.

Once the patch comes out residue-free, it’s time to apply the lubricant. This is where we’re going to be using that cotton swab: to apply a light coat of lubricant to the inside of the barrel. Just like the cleaning, lubricating should be a one-way street, moving in the same direction as your previous actions. Thinly coat the interior, without overdoing it. A well-lubricated barrel promotes seamless firing while also protecting it from wear and corrosion.

Last but not least, let’s wipe down the exterior of the barrel. Use a microfiber cloth to gently rub down the barrel, applying a thin layer of lubricant as you go. This last step serves two purposes: it cleans the firearm’s exterior and provides an extra layer of protection against the elements.

Congratulations, your barrel is now squeaky clean! But we’re not done yet. In the next section, we’ll tackle how to clean the rifle’s bolt.

Cleaning the Action

After cleaning the barrel of our Winchester Model 70 rifle, the next crucial step is focusing on the action, specifically the bolt. The bolt, an integral part of the rifle’s operating system, dictates the overall performance of the gun. It can accumulate a lot of residue from the burnt gun powder, making it essential to clean this component regularly.

Before we begin, make sure you have these tools on hand:

  • Bolt cleaning brush
  • Gun solvent
  • Lubricant oil

Start by taking the bolt off the rifle, which we already did during the initial field-stripping process. Hold the bolt firmly and apply the gun solvent to soften any residue or grime. Scrub the bolt down with your bolt cleaning brush, ensuring that any intricate areas are also cleaned. Rinley it off and wipe it with a microfiber cloth.

The next step is lubrication, which is key to maintaining the bolt’s function over time. Apply an appropriate amount of lubricant oil to the bolt—too little and it may not stop the friction; too much, and it might attract more grime.

Don’t forget to give your bolt some attention and clean it thoroughly—it’s one of the best ways to ensure that your Winchester Model 70 rifle is always in top-notch condition. In our next section, we’ll move on to cleaning the trigger mechanism.

Lubricate the Moving Parts

When it comes to proper maintenance of your Winchester Model 70, one cannot overemphasize the significance of lubrication. You’ve successfully removed residue from the barrel and the bolt; it’s time to Lubricate the moving parts.

Start by acquiring a high-quality gun lube. I recommend picking a non-toxic, rust preventive lubricant designed specifically for firearms. This ensures that all the moving areas stay frictionless while preventing any potential rust or damage.

Place a few drops of the chosen lubricant on the key areas that suffer most from friction. Moving parts like the bolt, ejector, and firing pin need this lube the most. Remember: moderation is crucial. Over Lubricating can attract grime and debris, which may compromise your rifle’s function.

Let’s focus on the bolt parts. Generously lubricate the lugs and camming surface of the bolt and bolt handle. Pick up your bolt and apply the oil evenly, ensuring all parts are thoroughly coated.

Next, turn your attention to the trigger assembly. With a proper applicator, lube the sear, trigger pivot, bolt stop, and bolt release. A precise pinpoint lubricator works best for this task.

Once done, let the lubricant sit for a while. It allows the lube to penetrate the surfaces, ensuring smooth functioning over extended periods.

Clean and Lubricate the Stock

You’ve done an excellent job caring for the barrel, the bolt, and the moving parts of your Winchester Model 70. Now, we’ll shift focus towards a different but equally important part of the rifle: the stock. Without proper cleaning and care, the stock can take a beating from built-up grime, sweat, and the elements, all of which can affect the lifespan and appearance of your rifle!

Step 1 is to gather a few key tools. A clean microfiber cloth is perfect for wiping down the stock. You’ll also need a high-quality gun stock finish, such as linseed oil or a specialized gun stock sealing product.

Understanding Your Stock Type

Before you proceed with the cleaning, it’s critical to understand the type of stock on your Winchester Model 70. Stocks can either be synthetic or wooden. Each type requires a slightly different approach to cleaning and lubrication.

For synthetic stocks, it’s fairly straightforward. Wiping it down with a damp cloth to remove any visible grime and then drying it thoroughly is usually sufficient. As most synthetic stock materials are already moisture-resistant, they typically don’t require any additional lubrication or treatment.

On the other hand, wooden stocks require a bit more care to maintain. Start by wiping down the stock with a dry cloth to remove any dust or loose dirt. Never use water or liquid cleaners on a wooden stock as these can penetrate the grain and cause swelling, warping or cracking. A specialized gun stock cleaner is recommended here, which can help to remove any stubborn grime and accumulated gunpowder residue.

Applying the Finish

Wooden stocks also require a protective finish to shield against moisture and extend the life of the stock. Apply a small amount of your chosen stock finish onto a clean cloth and gently wipe it over the stock, making sure to get into all the crevices and corners. Allow it to absorb for a few minutes, then wipe off any excess with a cloth.

There you have it – the basic steps to clean and lubricate the stock of your Winchester Model 70 rifle. Up next, maintaining the scope, another significant component of your rifle. We’ll learn how to care for it in the following section, ensuring you have a well-maintained rifle that is much more effective in the field.

Reassemble your Winchester Model 70

Now that you’ve meticulously cleaned every part of your Winchester Model 70 rifle, it’s time to reassemble it.

Plant your feet firmly and secure your workspace. A stable foundation is half the battle won.

Start by inserting the bolt back into the receiver. You’ve already cleaned, lubed, and inspected this part, so just slide it straight back. Make sure it engages properly. If it feels off-kilter or won’t go all the way in, don’t force it. Take it out, inspect for any obstructions, and try again.

Reinstalling the barrel comes next. Position the barrel on the receiver, making sure it’s properly aligned. Take your time — rushing won’t do you any favors here.

Next is bringing in the trigger assembly. Refer back to any photos or notes you took during disassembly. This ensures the correct positioning and orientation of this vital component.

Further down the line is installing the magazine. Fit it into its slot and secure it with its relevant retaining screws. I suggest grabbing that flashlight I mentioned earlier. You’ll want to double-check to ensure it’s seated snugly.

Then, it’s just about sliding the stock back onto the frame. Again, don’t rush. It should slide on smoothly. If resistance is encountered, withdraw it, inspect, and attentively try again.

Those are the key steps to reassembling your Winchester Model 70. Don’t forget to tighten all screws and recheck every component’s fit. If something doesn’t feel right or you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to consult an expert. Arming yourself with knowledge and applying it systematically and patiently will keep your pride and joy in top-notch condition. Your Winchester Model 70 deserves the best care and attention to detail possible.

In the following section, we’ll shift our focus to maintaining the scope of your rifle. Restoring its clear vision will cap off the full servicing of your Winchester Model 70 to proudly reign as the crown jewel of your collection.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Your Rifle

When it comes to keeping your Winchester Model 70 in great shape, there’s more to the story than just the cleaning regime. The extra measures can go a long way in extending the life of your firearm. Let’s delve into some additional maintenance tips to keep your rifle functioning at its best.

Using High-Quality Ammo.

To prevent excessive fouling or jamming, I suggest using high-quality ammunition. Inferior ammo may leave behind excessive residue or may not function properly, causing wear and tear to your rifle. The saying goes “you get what you pay for”, and it’s no different with ammunition.

Routine Inspection

Frequent and routine inspections of your rifle can help in the early identification of possible issues. It’s important to keep an eye out for signs such as excessive recoil, frequent misfires, or abnormal wear in parts. If you notice any of these warning signals, I recommend taking your firearm to a professional for a thorough check-up.

Proper Storage

One cannot undervalue the importance of proper storage of your Winchester Model 70. It’s ideal to store the gun in a dry, cool, and safe place when not in use. Regular dehumidifying of the gun safe can also prevent rusting and corrosion. Also, I’d advise avoiding rapid temperature swings to prevent the material of the rifle from expanding or contracting significantly, which could negatively impact its performance.

Regular Practice

Lastly, like any piece of equipment, regular use can ensure the Winchester Model 70 continues to work efficiently. Regular practice not only makes you more familiar with the rifle but also helps keep the firing mechanisms in good shape.

These are the additional ways you can maintain your Winchester Model 70. In the next section, we’ll talk about maintaining the scope of the rifle. It’ll focus on cleaning, storing, and using the scope to ensure it remains as precise and unblemished as the day you bought it.


So there you have it! I’ve walked you through the essentials of how to clean your Winchester Model 70. Remember, consistent cleaning and maintenance are key to keeping your rifle in top-notch condition. From field stripping to cleaning the barrel, action, and stock, each step is crucial. Don’t forget to lubricate all moving parts and use high-quality products for the best results. Reassembling your rifle correctly is just as important, ensuring every component fits perfectly. And of course, regular inspections, using top-grade ammo, and proper storage all contribute to the longevity of your beloved Winchester Model 70. Next up, we’ll delve into maintaining the scope of your rifle. So, stay tuned and keep your rifle clean and ready for action!

How often should I clean my Winchester Model 70 rifle?

It is recommended to clean your Winchester Model 70 rifle after every shooting session to maintain its performance and prevent buildup of dirt, debris, and residue. Regular cleaning ensures the longevity of your firearm and helps prevent malfunctions.

What tools and materials do I need to clean my Winchester Model 70 rifle?

To clean your Winchester Model 70 rifle, you will need a cleaning rod, bronze brush, cleaning patches, gun solvent, lubricant oil, microfiber cloth, bolt cleaning brush, and a specialized gun stock cleaner for wooden stocks (if applicable).

How do I clean the barrel of my Winchester Model 70 rifle?

To clean the barrel of your Winchester Model 70 rifle, use a bronze brush and cleaning patches soaked in gun solvent. Run the brush through the barrel several times, followed by the cleaning patches until they emerge clean. Finish by applying lubricant to the barrel.

How do I clean the bolt of my Winchester Model 70 rifle?

To clean the bolt of your Winchester Model 70 rifle, use a bolt cleaning brush and gun solvent. Scrub the bolt thoroughly to remove dirt and residue. Then, apply a small amount of lubricant oil to ensure smooth operation.

How do I lubricate the moving parts of my Winchester Model 70 rifle?

To lubricate the moving parts of your Winchester Model 70 rifle, including the bolt, ejector, firing pin, and trigger assembly, use a high-quality gun lube. Apply the lube sparingly and ensure even distribution, avoiding excessive amounts that can attract grime and debris.

How do I clean and lubricate the stock of my Winchester Model 70 rifle?

For synthetic stocks, wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove dirt and grime. For wooden stocks, use a specialized gun stock cleaner and finish with a protective coat. Avoid excessive moisture that can damage wooden stocks.

How do I reassemble my Winchester Model 70 rifle after cleaning?

When reassembling your Winchester Model 70 rifle, insert the bolt, reinstall the barrel, install the trigger assembly, and slide the stock back onto the frame. Tighten all screws securely and double-check every component’s fit for proper assembly.

What additional tips can you provide for maintaining my Winchester Model 70 rifle?

To maintain your Winchester Model 70 rifle, use high-quality ammunition, conduct routine inspections to identify any issues, store the rifle properly in a secure location, and practice regularly to ensure familiarity and skill.