April 21, 2011
Rifle Review: Winchester Model 70 Safari Express (Part II)
By David E. Petzal
Of course, the final measure of a rifle is how well it shoots. The very first group I fired with this .375, just to get it on paper, was with Hornady 300-grain DGX ammo. The three shots went into .373. This put me into full adrenalin bloat. Luckily, things stabilized a bit, and the DGXs averaged 1.015.
Here’s how my other groups printed:
- Handload, 300-gr. Hornady Interbonds .842
- Federal factory, 300-grain Nosler Partition 1.964
- Federal factory, 300-gr. Trophy Bonded 1.232
- Federal factory, 300-gr. Fusion* 1.119
This is about as good as I’ve seen from a .375 H&H.
A couple of notes. The spacing for scope-base screws at the rear of the Safari Express receiver is much closer than for a standard Model 70. (I brought the rifle along when I bought mounts for it just to make sure they fit.) Also, the magazine box fits very, very tightly in the receiver, and when I took the rifle apart to look at the bedding, I couldn’t get the damn thing back in. I called John Blauvelt, who advised me to persuade the magazine box with a rubber mallet, which I did, smartly, and it popped right into place.
The MSRP for this rifle is just under $1,400, and I can’t see how you could get a better working rifle even if you spent a lot more money. You could purchase nicer hardware, and fancier wood, and a dropped magazine, but none of that would help you shoot large, often homicidal, animals. Here is, very likely, the best $1,400 you’ll ever spend on a big-game rifle.
*This is brand-new, and very promising, ammo. More on it later.