.243 Special Order "Gopher Special" Featherweight Rifle - 1962
This is a superb factory sightless Featherweight rifle chambered in .243 Winchester. The rifle was produced in 1962 and is in NRA excellent condition.
As the popularity of scopes grew through the 1950s, a small number of model 70s were special ordered with the sights eliminated. By the late 1950s, Gopher Shooter's Supply in Faribault, MN began offering these special order rifles in their catalog. This unique offering of custom ordered sightless rifles quickly became known as "Gopher Specials".
The rifle for sale here fits the correct time frame for when Gopher Specials were being sold and could well be one of the original "Model 70 Featherweight Special" rifles Gopher Shooter's Supply offered in their catalog. The only other known alternative is that this rifle was special ordered by an individual directly from Winchester. Without an original invoice, it is impossible to know the exact provenance of this rifle, but we know it is a stellar example of a factory original rifle in a configuration which never appeared in the Winchester catalog. We have included several images from the 1962 Gopher Shooter's Supply catalog.
The rifle is in NRA excellent condition. The bluing is factory original and grades at 99% with just the slightest edge wear from a minimal amount of handling and no noteworthy blemishes. The stock bears the original factory buttplate and finish and has no noteworthy blemishes or modifications. The checkering is crisp and original. We might have made a case for this rifle being unfired, but a borescope inspection shows some very slight fouling of the bore - evidence the rifle has been fired.
NOTE: This rifle must be shipped to an FFL or C&R holder who can complete the transfer. If needed, we are happy to assist you in locating an FFL holder near you who receive and transfer the rifle to you.