I was expecting gunman to chime in though he may feel that each of us has posted a good number of postings on W & S though I do have some things to say that I have not covered regarding the 700 series. As other folks have said that the 400 series was a more up market gun the reason being it was built and sold before ww2 with the 700 coming after ww 2 at a time when things in Britain was a lot of hand to mouth with rashoning that went on until 1954. Because of this people did not have a lot of disposable income so W & S still had to produce a home market range of shot guns so the 700 series side by side was produced as a cost cut 400 series. There where cost limitations removal of screw grip disk set strikers and back to basic wood, though on the working parts that mattered quality stayed the same with very little alterations. One benefit of the war that a lot of good quality steel was available at low prices. The first guns that came out of the factory where real plain Jane's and that name did stick for many years though the kinder name was a keepers gun with no frills but with ejectors the ability to work well in all situations with very little service if any.
This is my 1950 700 what you see is what you get. But what you cant see is the handling and balance being slightly lighter and is far superior to the models that followed along later.
Also with 21/2 inch chambers
Just for comparison two actions one very early and a later offering of the 700 the bottom action in the photograph is the oldest
Finally a mid 70's version but by then w & S would make many barrel lengths and different wood and engraving qualities, including some two barrel sets
All with 23/4 inch chambers though the later versions do not handle like their first offerings but as they say what cant speak cant lie a vast am mount of the factory's 700 output is still with us and working well some 60 years later.
Engraving is not generous but it is hand engraved with the engravers having a little personal flexibility on how they engraved the guns as you will see from the action photograph. Could say a lot more but it has already been said a number of times though one thing that is starting to grate with me is the much rolled out fixed hinge pin with you have to do work on the barrel hook if the gun comes off face. From what I have found there are mot many gunsmiths want to go to all the work of removing the hinge pin and making a larger replacement when they could just weld the barrel hook and that goes for many guns.