View Full Version : H&R/Sako Bolt Action Rifle in 222 Rem Caliber
I have a very nice H&R rifle that I purchased recently in 222 Rem caliber which has a Sako L461 short action. It has a hand checkered blondish stock that appears to look much like the Sako Vixen stocks I have seen over the years. It has somewhat of a flat bottom on the forearm. The rifle is marked Ultra Wildcat on the right side of the barrel and the only other markings are the SN and L461 on the side of the action and the H&R logo and caliber stamping on top of the barrel just forward of the receiver.
The books I have reserached indicate that there is a H&R model 317 and 317P but they are listed as having rosewood pg and forearm caps, recoil pads, and 20" barrels. MY rifle has none of these characteristics and there is no model number stamped on it anywhere from what I can tell. The receiver has a rounded top too.
It almost appears to me to be closer to the specs of the Sako Vixen with the 23 1/2" barrel.
Does anyone know what model H&R this really is?
2nd May 2011, 20:57
Don't know for sure as I have never seen them, but H&R made a Model 330 & 340 so it could be you have one of those. Try googleing them, something may show up. Maybe they made 317's with longer barrels & plainer stocks too. Bet Stonecreek would know!
2nd May 2011, 21:57
For whatever reason, several of these H&R Ultrawildcats with 23.5" barrels have surfaced recently. I bought one back in November of last year which was practically new, and there is one currently on Gunbroker for sale out of Central Texas.
Mine describes just like yours and appears to be virtually identical with the contemporanous Sako Vixen, having both the same stock and barrel contours. It has checkering on the PG and forearm which is two-point (much like the Sako Model 72) and it has the non-dovetailed receiver like used on the Browning Safari. The finish of the metal is a notch below a Vixen, but is otherwise identical and I'm guessing the entire rifle was made by Sako. One other feature: These receivers have two holes in the right-hand side of the bridge just above the stock line, presumably for mounting a receiver sight.
These guns are quite different from the Model 317 in that the stocks are very different and the barrels on the 317 are 20" pencil-weight barrels. The Model 317 is said to have descended from the very similar O'brien rifles, and I believe that H&R even bought the existing O'brien inventory when O'brien closed its doors. The Model 317 can be found with both dovetails and round receivers.
I've noticed that all of the H&R's with the 23.5" barrels like the ones you and I own seem to have a rather unique stock wood. It has a bit of "gray" in it with some dark marbling or striping. The one currently on Gunbroker, one other I've seen previiously on Gunbroker, and the one I own look like their wood all came from the same tree! Can you post a photo of yours?
Maybe keving will jump in here. He is the greatest expert within the confines of the Milky Way Galaxy (or at least between the Brazos and the Red Rivers) on the H&R Model 317 and the predecessor O'brien rifles.
3rd May 2011, 10:25
I'm pretty sure that your rifles are the H&R Model 322........the "full sized" Ultra Wildcat rifle, using the L461 action. Note that in 1975 and 1976 ALL H&R's, using the L461 action, had "round-top" action profiles. I'm also pretty sure that, in the same two years, all of the H&R L579 actioned rifles were round-tops.
I have some old H&R catalogs that show this rifle. Unfortunately, the catalogs are probably in a box.....in the deep dark recesses of my attic.
By my not having one, I'm curious.......about the two drilled/tapped holes on the rear right side of the action. Are there any drilled/tapped holes on the barrel end......possibly for a front sight?
Thanks so much fellows for the replies. This is my first but hopefully not my last of these neat little micro action beauties.
Mine has the two drilled, tapped and screw plugged holes in the right side of the action on 5/8" centers as mentioned. It also has two each d/t,plugged holes for a rear and front sight. The rear sight holes are on 9/16" centers, and the front on about 2" centers.
As stated before, the only model numbers to be found anywhere on this rifle is the L461 on the action.
I find it interesting that while only the Blue Book of gun value books seems to acknowlege a model 322 H&R at all. I could not find it in Shideler's Standard Catalog of Firearms. A friend of mine has also suggested that it may well be a model 322 but why is it then that the model is not stamped on it?
It pretty much leads me to conclude that H&R simply bought them from Sako under a marketing agreement and did nothing more than stamp their logo and the caliber on the barrel forward of the receiver ring. Why they did not bother to stamp their model number on it is a mystery to me.
I have been told too that all Sako L461 actions were flat on top versus rounded on those made for others, like Colt, Browning, H&R, Marlin, etc. If that is true, I find it somewhat perplexing that they made them different.
My rifle measures 24 3/8" from the back of the receiver ring to the end of the muzzle; 22 3/4" from the front of the receiver ring to the end of the muzzle and about 23 5/8" from the chamber inside to the end of the muzzle.The muzzle is flat cut at the end with no chamfer or crown.
Thanks for al the input.
I almost forgot to mention that the Blue Book indicates that the model 322 H&R was made only in 222 Rem caliber with a 24" barrel, etc. and only in 1973.
Is that true and if so, does anyone have any idea as to how many might have been produced?
Was it only made in 222 Remington caliber?
3rd May 2011, 16:47
Good info Kevin. Thanks. Did H&R ever offer a heavy barrel version with the round top in either L461 or L579?
3rd May 2011, 18:09
Rip: I forgot to mention that my H&R "mystery" rifle is in caliber .223. While the H&R "Ultrawildcat" model 317 was famous for being chambered in both the .17/223 wildcat and the later commercial version, the .17 Remington, I don't believe these "full sized" models were ever chambered for the .17's.
Kevin: My rifle also has the plugged holes in the right-hand side of the bridge for receiver sights. I think, but do not know for certain, that Sako put the holes on their round receiver guns on the theory that since there was no dovetail on which to mount the traditional Sako reciever sight that the action needed provisions to accomodate a bolt-on receiver sight.
H&R was pretty scattered with their model designations. Just as you will find Sako boxes and hang tags with the labels "Model 72", "Model 74", etc. but the rifles accompanying them did not have that model number on them, by the same token H&R may have cataloged these riflse as a Model 322 but not put the number on them. My best speculation is that they were received complete from Sako just the way you see them and H&R did nothing other than send them through their marketing system.
I'm away from home at the moment and don't recall if my rifle barrel is D&T for sights, but I'll try to remember to check it tonight.
By the way, I also own a Model 317 in .223. I found an inexpensive custom L461 stock for it (put the factory stock in the safe) that I reworked for my young grandson and he's taken two nice whitetail bucks and a tub full of prairie dogs with it.
3rd May 2011, 23:52
Here's the link to one of the H&R "mystery" rifles currently for sale on Gunbroker:
The dark figure in the stock visible in the first photo is similar to figure in the stock of the one I own.
That's the same rifle I outed a week or so ago, the one for 800.00 with the M8 6X Leupold. I had it in my sights an hour after it came out but the holes on the side spooked me. Seems to have gone up in price and the scope must of fallen off? That dark mineral streaking on the stock is a give away Snooze ya lose.
4th May 2011, 00:54
I know that seller...he definitely trys to buy low and sell high.
4th May 2011, 06:06
I know that seller...he definitely trys to buy low and sell high.
Yeah, $800 with a Leupold is a bargain, but a grand for the bare gun is pretty steep.
A couple of weeks ago I alerted a friend of mine to an attractively priced H&R 317 advertised out of New York. He called immediately and found it was already spoken for. Less than a week later the same gun, minus the scope, showed up on a Texas dealer's website priced at $375 more. However, in both of these cases each guy is just grabbing a bargain when its available and hoping to resell it at a profit.
Then there's a guy out of Montana (you're free to speculate on the exact location) who I have evidence purchases otherwise nice rifles which have obvious defects, then repairs or replaces the defective portion and misrepresents them as original when he resells them at an inflated price. This same dealer has also been known to purchase a gun at an online auction speculating that he has a customer to whom he can immediately resell it at a nice profit. Then if the customer declines the gun the dealer trumps up some complaint about its condition or the seller's description and contacts the seller demanding a refund of his money and threatening to complain to the auction company if a refund isn't immediately offered. In other words, he "stocks" his inventory for at no risk and only ultimately pays for the guns he can turn a quick profit on.
I may grumble about the first two guys beating me to a bargain, but theirs is a totally legitimate practice; I won't abide the latter guy's behaviour.
4th May 2011, 06:08
As others have noted, H&R had a habit of not marking their rifles with a "model number". This held true for the 317, 322, and probably also the 300, and 301. I don't know why.......but that it just "is".
It is interesting to note that prior to 1975, i.e. 1968 thru 1974, Sako ONLY provided the action. H&R provided the stock and barrel(some say a Douglas barrel). Afterwards Sako provided the entire barrelled action............at least for the model 317's.
Bill: You raise a good question about the possibility of any heavy barrel rifles by H&R. I don't recall any..................You guys are REALLY gonna force me into a catalog search.....huh??
I do have a round-top model 317, which has the side receiver holes......so it seems that ALL round-tops had side receiver holes. Gotta have been for a rear peep.
Since pics seem to help a thread, and Stoney mentioned the 17-223.......I'll add a pic of a model 317P in 17-223.
Note: It was only in 1971 that H&R offered the model 317 in both the 17 Rem. and 17-223......dove-tailed receivers.
4th May 2011, 06:31
Kevin: I remember to look and my "322" with the round receiver does have D&T holes in the barrel for both front and rear sights. However, it appears that no sight was ever mounted due to the pristine and undisturbed appearance of the bluing. I also checked and my round top 317 has the same two holes on the right-hand side of the bridge. However, my only other round top, a Browning Safari L 579, has no such holes.
By the way, for those of you who are not aware, Kevin has a lot of those really ugly little pigmy-sized rifles in his collection like the one pictured in his post. I don't know why he can't buy a man-sized rifle without all of that "squiggly" wood in the stock.
I'd love to see a copy of the page from the 1973 H&R catalog of the Model 322 rifle if possible. I say 1973 as one of the gun books seems to suggest that it was only made in 1973 and only in 222 Remington.
I will post a picture of my H&R/Sako 322 as soon as I can take some pics of it.
4th May 2011, 16:35
Man!!.......You guys sure know how to put the pressure on a fella.
Rip: I'll see what I can do, about the catalog pics. Although, I'm certain that the model 317 only had a round-top receiver in 1975 and 1976.......I'm only "pretty sure" that also applied to the model 322 as well.
StoneMan: "Squiggly" wood????........You know you love them!! Nice try.......just so you know....that I know.......I'll post a new thread. Don't want to hijack RIP's thread.
Can anyone tell me the proper number for the Redfield scope base for my H&R/Sako 322 model? Is it a JR B #511130?
I see one on GB that maybe I should look in to. The listing says it is for the Browning/Sako 222/222 Mag.
4th May 2011, 17:27
I'm not sure about the Redfield part number, but do know that their steel mount is a bridge mount.
Another option is Conetrol. They make a very nice 2-piece mount set, for the L461 round-top action.
Hope this helps.
4th May 2011, 18:03
Be aware that there were two different hole spacings used on the Browning round top L461. Or perhaps more accurately, there are two different Redfield bases that are listed as fitting the round top L-461 and one of them fits some Brownings while at least one of them does not fit some Brownings. I'm assuming that one of those spacings matches the H&R round top, but I do not know the part numbers for either of them. With guns this old and relatively scarce it's always a trial-and-error task to find the proper bases.
Rip: I think I've got a Redfield base that is listed on the box as fitting a Browning Sako L-461 somewhere in the recesses of my parts drawers. If you'll measure the hole spacings (and distance from the front holes to the rear holes), I'll check that against the base I have and let you know if that number fits your gun.
My round top "322" came with Weaver-type bases on it, so I used Burris Z-rings on them for a nice, clean, low set-up. I don't know the numbers of the Weaver bases, either, but it's pretty easy to find a set that will fit if you go to a dealer with a complete supply of Weaver bases from which you can mix-and-match.
Thanks Stonecreek & Kevinlg for all the input.
Front base holes are on 7/8" centers; center of frt base rear hole to center of rear base frt hole is about 2 11/16"; rear base holes are on 1/2" centers.
It now has what appears to be a Weaver frt base #35 and a #11 rear base. I just figured that a refield or leupold base would be much nicer and better to the rifle than the old Weaver ones.
5th May 2011, 17:41
Rip: Didn't see your post until I had left home -- will try to dig that Redfield base out and measure it tonight for you. One disadvatage of the Redfield base is that it is a one-piece which slightly obstructs the loading port, but this is not too much of a problem. Another is that it is heavy for a base, but we're only talking the difference in one ounce and two ounces or so. One problem I ran into on my 317 is that if you wish to use very low rings, surprisingly, the scope's turret housing may strike the bridge and force you to use slightly taller rings.
The Weaver bases with nice, all steel rings like the Burris Z-ring make a nice set up. I have guns with both the Redfield and Weaver/Burris set-ups and am happy with either.
Kevin mentioned the Conetrols. They are pretty, strong, and have clean lines, but are also expensive. However, assuming your wallet can take them in stride and price is not a problem, they are a WOOLEY BOOGER to mount. I have one set and was bathed in sweat when I finally got them right with the scope crosshairs reasonably square. I will warn you that due to the nature of the method you have to use to square your crosshairs (it is so complicated that I won't even try to explain it here), the "rougher" surface of a matte finish scope makes it almost impossible to move in small increments. A gloss scope is much easier to mount properly in Conetrols, and fortunately the scope I wanted to end up with on this particular gun is a gloss. Good mounts, but challenging. I'm sure the more times you've mounted them the more you learn about them and the easier it gets, but I'll assure you, you don't want to be switching scopes mounted in Conetrols at the drop of a hat.
6th May 2011, 00:20
My experience with Conetrols mirrors stonecreek's, plus you really have to be careful not to mar your scope tube as you try to adjust the crosshairs square and eye relief.
6th May 2011, 04:29
Rip: The Redfield base I have has front holes on .75" centers, rear holes on .50" centers, and distance between the nearest front and rear holes is 2.687", or exactly 2 11/16, but this is measuring from the near side of each hole, not center-to-center. So my mount sounds suspiciously close to your dimensions, with perhaps just a little vagary in how we did the measurements.
My mount box is marked "511145 JR BH Scope Mount Base Browning Sako .222, .222 Magnum".
Hope this is of some help.
I'm not trying to sell my base (as a gun might come along and jump under it sometime), but if you have difficulty finding what you're looking for, drop me a PM.
Thanks Sakotex & stonecreek for the responses. I really am not looking for any hassle with scope mounting issues so I will gladly stick with the Weaver bases and just use the Burris Z rings. I have far too many rifles and scopes to mount and remount, etc. to have to deal with additioanal issues as you suggest with the Conetrols.
Besides that .222 doesn't have enough recoil to worry too much about things jarring loose!, right?
Now, I have to decide whether to keep my CZ in 223 cal. Oh my, what the heck, I think I will. It shoots too good and I love that single set trigger. It is not as beautiful as this little H&R/Sako but I don't have a lot invested in it anyhow.
It might have to go however if I find a great deal on a Browning/Sako in .223 cal.
I saw an item listed on Ebay where they were offering an old ad by H&R on their 322 model along with some others. The text of the ad suggested that there were other calibers available but it only mentioned the .222 Rem in the body of the ad.Does anyone know for sure if H&R ever made the 322 model in anything other than .22 Rem cal.???
6th May 2011, 18:21
Yes, I have a 322 in .223.
However, you won't find that Browning-Sako in .223, at least not in a factory chambering. They only produced it in .222 and .222 Magnum. On the L-579 action they made .22-250 (even before it was a factory cartridge!) .243, .308, and a small number of .284's. Rumor exists of some .244's and .257s, but I've never been able to verify that.
I agree that the Weaver bases with Burris Z-rings (or similar nice rings for Weaver-type bases) are the least expensive and most effective way to approach your scope mounting. Not that strength is a factory with a .222, but I'd mount them on any rifle as far as strength is concerned.
31st October 2013, 01:23
I was somewhat reluctant to resurrect a thread this old, but I found some information that may be useful to others. After spending hours of frustrating research in an attempt to find a set of bases (other than Weaver) that will work on an H&R model 322 I purchased a while back, I started pulling rifles out of the safe, checking each for a set with equal front and rear height. After finding a set that matched the height criteria, I thought it would be an impossible stroke of luck to find a set with the correct hole spacing, front & rear. I removed the bases from the rifle (model 57 Cooper) and discovered that the bases fit perfectly. I have tried several sets of Redfield, one and two piece, and although the hole spacing matched, the rear base was slightly higher than the front - the Redfield catalog described them as correct for a Browning/Sako round top, 222 & 222 mag. For those who are interested, the model 57 Cooper was wearing a set of Leupold 53008 two piece bases. I ordered an extra set and just finished installing on the model 322.
31st October 2013, 16:08
Bill, that's useful information. Unlike the H&R round top, which is the same height at the front and rear action rings, the Browning-Sako has the rear bridge milled down lower, much like a Mauser action. I have no idea why Browning chose to do this other than perhaps shave another half-ounce off of their exquisitely light pencil-barrel Safaris.
2nd November 2013, 14:00
Thank you, Stonecreek. This site, and all of the dedicated members who support it, has been a valuable source of reference for me. Especially for the H&R 322. I had no idea what model rifle I had, other than an Ultra Wildcat in caliber .222 Rem. Also, the H&R ads I have found make no reference to the fact that it was available in .223 Rem. The post you added clearly indicates these rifles were produced in that caliber as well. I would expect the .223 to be extremely scarce. So, I am glad to make a small contribution to a great site.
The model 322 clearly resembles an L461 Vixen, except for the light colored wood. The caliber inscription is located on top of the barrel, immediately forward of the receiver, just as a L461 (and all other Sakos). This leads me to believe that Sako provided the barrel and action. But most of this has already been discussed in this thread.
I have always been a fan of the L46 and L461 and have owned several over the years. Like most , I have let a few nice ones get away through trades, etc. The most memorable being a mint L46 varmint in 222 back in the mid 70's, and an extremely nice L461 varmint in .222 mag. I have since replaced the .222 mag, but have not found a replacement for the L46.
Please accept my greatest appreciation for all of the hard work that you and other members have invested to make this site so successful.
2nd November 2013, 14:56
Bill: Glad you mentioned the .223. I looked again and was mistaken when I wrote that mine was a .223 -- it is a .222. So, it may be that they were not produced in this caliber. Since the Model 317 was produced in .223 (I'm sure about that one as I have one of those), it seems odd that the 322 was not, but it is certainly possible. But I've found that what is cataloged in a particular source is not always dependable information.
2nd November 2013, 15:47
Thanks for clarifying. With the many variations H&R produced in the 70's, I wouldn't be surprised if there is one floating around somewhere.
Thanks again for all of the information.
7th December 2013, 09:08
Does anyone have an estimate of the value of the H&R Sako rifles? I have three (one lightly used 300Win, a new 308 and a new 30-06). The few listings I've seen vary widely. Just wondering if anyone has recent experience buying or selling one.
7th December 2013, 16:00
The small "Ultrawildcat" with 20" pencil barrel offered in .17-223, .17 Rem, .222, and .223 has a strong following and brings a premium on the market. These were the successors to the esteemed O'brien rifles and thus command some collector attention.
The larger actions and calibers from H&R have never garnered any special attention, perhaps because the larger calibers were made mostly on Mauser actions and people are not accustomed to running across Sako H&R's in the larger calibers. I bought an H&R .270 with a Sako action just a few weeks ago and paid a song for it, seemingly because so few people recognize it as a Sako-actioned rifle.
Generally speaking, the "proprietary" Montgomery Wards, Sears, Marlin, and H&R Sakos bring a little less than a comparable Sako-branded rifle since these brand names tend to be associated with more economical guns. On the other hand, the Colt and Browning Sakos bring prices similar to a Sako-branded rifle, and sometimes a bit more since people associate these brands with higher quality. There are always exceptions, but this seems to be how the market typically views the proprietary Sakos.
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