If you’ve found this review, then chances are you’re either looking for a Winchester Stealth Shadow Model 70, or a rifle chambered in 7mm Winchester Short Magnum. If either is the case, you are in the right place. This article is all about the Model 70. There’s also a fair bit of information on 7mm WSM here for you as well. This article features a full review of the Stealth Shadow.
For the purpose of this review, the Stealth Shadow we used was chambered in 7mm WSM. The rifle was also slightly modified to improve the performance. For the most part however, the rifle itself remained stock. Only a few bells and whistles were added to the rifle by the original owner. For an optic, we ran the rifle with a Weaver Grand Slam 3-10x.
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Why Get a Rifle in 7mm Winchester Short Magnum?
7mm Winchester Short Magnum, also known as 7mm WSM was released to the public in 2001. It was a culmination of work between the Browning Arms Company, and Winchester. It is similar to the 300 WSM round, where the case is necked down. The primary difference however, is the distance from the case head to the datum line on the shoulder. In the case of the 7mm WSM, that distance is slightly longer, which is designed to prevent you from accidentally chambering the round in a rifle it was not meant to be fired from.
There is a false notion floating around about this round however. It’s one of those myths you always hear at the gun-counter in your local sporting good stores. “Short case necks make the 7mm WSM limited in what size game it can take down.” The WSM can achieve muzzle velocities up to 3,225 ft/s. At 140 grains, you’re talking around 3200 ft lbs when the round impacts. In short, the round is great for taking down large mule deer, black bears, and even elk.
Don’t put too much faith in the gun-store myths you hear. They’re generally misinformed, or simply rumors.
Meet the Winchester Stealth Shadow Model 70.
The Winchester Model 70 is an iconic American firearm. It was originally conceived back in the late 1930’s, and was used by the Marine Corps throughout the Pacific Campaign, and even through the Korean War. Since then, the rifle has gone through many iterations, which has seen the rifle constantly improving. The Stealth Shadow Model 70 is one of those variants, and it has a tough design.
If you want to learn more about the Model 70, check out this video from Hickok45.
Range Performance of the Winchester Stealth Shadow Model 70.
The Winchester Stealth Shadow Model 70 was part of a larger range day where we went out and tested various hunting rifles. The range we shot at was in Wyoming, so the elevation was a bit higher than what you would normally be shooting this rifle at. Unless of course, you yourself live at a higher elevation. Our range featured targets out to two miles, but a majority of the shooting we did was between 100 and 500 yards. The weather on the day of our shoot was slightly inclement, with higher than average winds, but no rain. As stated earlier, on the rifle we mounted a Weaver Grand Slam 3-10x and we fired 140 grain 7mm WSM through the rifle.
Overall, I can’t say that I have any major complaints about the rifle. It operated as intended with no malfunctions through the duration of our shoot. The action and trigger on the rifle were both the stand-out features. The bolt was a smooth pull, and as a result, I feel like putting hundreds of rounds down-range with this rifle would be a joy. The trigger was also clean and crisp with a solid break-point and outstanding trigger reset.
On the rifle we tested, we didn’t use the standard cheek rest that comes with the rifle, so I can’t speak with any authority on that. The rifle itself is owned by Paul Markel, so it was fully Markelized as you can see from the pictures.
My Thoughts on 7mm WSM.
When it comes to WSM, I can’t say that I’m anything of an authority or expert. While this wasn’t my first experience with the round, it also wasn’t my hundredth. For the most part, 7mm WSM shoots like any normal round would. It doesn’t look the same as say your .308 or 30-06, but that’s because it’s intentionally designed to have more powder in the round.
To be absolutely up-front and honest, there isn’t anything crazy about the 7mm WSM if you’re an average shooter like myself. It’s definitely a solid round, and if you’re a truly exceptional shooter, then this ammo might give you a lot better mileage. That said, there’s nothing wrong with using the alternatives in 7mm Remington Magnum or .280 Remington. With that in mind, know that 7mm WSM is slightly more expensive, but you’re getting a lot better muzzle velocity out of it, as well as a round that packs more of a punch.
I can’t say that I’ll be going out of my way to acquire a rifle chambered in this caliber, but I definitely won’t be turning down a rifle chambered in it either.
Final Rounds on Target.
If I had to wrap up this review in a single sentence, I would just write, ‘I like this rifle.’ For me, it performed extremely well. I was easily able to reach out to 500 yards, and I’m fully confident that any experienced shooter using this rifle would be able to put food on the table. The action and the trigger especially were standouts to me. It’s also worth noting that when you hold the rifle in your hands, it feels like you’re holding a Winchester rifle. That means, it feels like your holding a rifle that was made in America, and that will stand the test of time.
That’s just the opinion of one average shooter though. Let me know down in the comments if you have any experience with the Winchester Stealth Shadow Model 70. If not the Winchester Stealth Shadow, then I want to hear from the guys who love 7mm WSM. As I said, I’m no expert in the world of ammunition, and I’m still very much a student. If I got anything wrong, then seriously, let me know and I’ll make an edit to the article. Together as a community we can come together to produce content that let’s people know where and why they should spend there money. Thanks for reading!