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Thread: Colt rifles with Sako action

  1. #1
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    Colt rifles with Sako action

    About what years were the Colts made using Sako actions. Were the rifle barrels also Sako, or Colt made?
    I have a .223 Coltsman rifle, and a .243 Forrester with Bofors marked barrel. Have had several Sakos through the years.
    Hardball

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    I thought those were JP Sauer 90 actions. W. Ger. Interesting Colt, must have moved around quite a bit looking for vendors.

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    Super Moderator misako50's Avatar
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    Hardball- The Coltsman rifles were produced from 1957 thru 1965. Sako actions were utilized depending on the model in question.Fn Mauser actions were used for some of the early ones, 1961 or older. The L57 and the L579 were prevalent. L46s and L461s were also popular. I think High Standard was the barrel maker for many of them. The "Biggest Hit" was the Colt Sauer Rifle featuring the model 90 actions from JP Sauer and Sons. Sako had nothing to do with that one. Regards, Misako
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    I'm not certain as to the origin of the barrels used on the Colt-Sakos, but the one I owned (L61R in .30-06) seemed to have the identical stock and barrel contour as a regular contemporary Sako, so my guess is that Colt used a Sako barreled action (and possibly Sako stock) on at least some of them. It seems that in the ones I've run across, the older L46 and L57 guns appeared to have non-Sako stocks and barrels, while the newer L461, L579, and L61Rs appeared to have Sako-made stocks and barrels. There may have been some mix and match going on, depending on the time frame and available suppliers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Coltsman rifles were produced from 1957 thru 1965. Sako actions were utilized depending on the model in question.Fn Mauser actions were used for some of the early ones, 1961 or older. The L57 and the L579 were prevalent. L46s and L461s were also popular. I think High Standard was the barrel maker for many of them. The "Biggest Hit" was the Colt Sauer Rifle featuring the model 90 actions from JP Sauer and Sons. Sako had nothing to do with that one. Regards, Misako
    </p>
    -misako50

    Hardball
    I will ask John Stimson about the HS barrel possibility. This .223 barrel is very good and has an interesting adjustable front sight. The stock is very plain. A light color and not even finished real well. The "Vixen" type action and the rest of the metal is superb. I have only seen one other like it, a 30-06.

    OH! I looked a little deeper on the forum and found a better room for this question on Colt/Sako. There the refered to Colt on Guns America is just like my .223.
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    An interesting find on the internet from GunBroker forum dated 2003.
    Hardball (aka Rem725, but I lost this old info long ago. Of course I found it right after I signed as Hardball)


    http://forums.gunbroker.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=67071

    Quote Originally Posted by -
    @page { margin: 0.79in }
    P { margin-bottom: 0.08in }
    --> </p>[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica
    The
    "Coltsman" Rifle was the "New Model and Name" for
    the Colt "57" line of High Power Rifles, and were announced
    in late 1958. The Coltsman line featured four different calibers of
    rifle in three models designated as "Standard, Deluxe, and
    Custom." None of these guns were actually made by Colt. They
    were assembled on barreled actions furnished by Firearms
    International, Inc., in Washington, D.C. to Jefferson Manufacturing
    Company of North Haven, Connecticut. The .30-06 and .300 Magnum were
    FN Mauser Model 300 Actions from Belgium and the .243 Winchester and
    .308 Winchester calibers were on Barrelled Actions from Sako/Finnland
    on L-57, (Medium) actions. This series of Coltsman rifles was
    manufactured beginning in early 1959 and the entire production was
    completed before the end of that year. Sales were extremely slow and
    this run of rifles provided Inventory until 1962 when some models had
    finally been completely sold, leaving some models unavailable to the
    buyer of that time.
    [/FONT]
    Jefferson Manufacturing Company had sold
    out to a Company named Kodiak after a failed attempt to market their
    own brand of rifle after producing the 1959 run of Coltsman rifles.
    This "New" company, Kodiak, purchased only Sako/Finnland
    barrelled actions and made a run of Coltsman rifles for Colt in 1963.
    This production of these guns was a redesigned line featuring a
    "Standard and Custom" Model in the following calibers: .223
    Remington, .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .264 and .30-06. There
    was also a few .222 Remington chambered guns as examples of these are
    known to exist although they were never advertised. This Group of
    Coltsman rifles on Sako actions was identical to the Sako Standard
    Sporter and to the Sako Deluxe Models of the time, with the exception
    of the addition of the Colt rollmark markings. Only a very few guns
    were made initially in this run and all were completed by Sako in
    Finnland. From 1963 to 1965, you could purchase one of these guns, if
    it was in stock, or you could "order it" and wait for it to
    be made and shipped in to your dealer. Because most of these were
    made to order, the serial number range was NOT followed nor was it
    consecutive in any manner. You will find guns with Serial Numbers in
    the 30,000 range as well as guns in the 76,000 range and all in
    between. It was the "luck of the draw" as each new order
    for a Coltsman was filled by taking an action off the assembly line
    in Finnland and completing it as a Coltsman instead of a Sako
    Standard Sporter or Deluxe Model. Pricing affected sales and public
    demand, (or lack of it), caused Colt to allow the inventory to be
    depleted by sales and discontinued their program of the Coltsman High
    Power Rifle line completely in 1965.
    Depending on the caliber,
    these models of the Coltsman rifle came on the L-46, L469, L-57 and
    L-61-R Sako actions.
    Now the "Short Answer" to your
    question is this: If you have a Sako action rifle in .30-06, it will
    more than likely be a L-61-R action. It would have been made in 1963
    and not 1961. If you have a .30-06 that was made in 1961,
    (confirmed), and it is a Coltsman marked gun, it would be on a
    Belgium FN Mauser action of that era.
    My New Book, "The
    COLTSMAN High Performance Sporting Rifle," will be available in
    September of this year if all goes as now scheduled. The Book will
    clear up the "mystery" of these rifles. Present information
    available has been found very lacking and in many cases, even
    incorrect. All of these issues will be explored and a difinitive case
    will be presented for all new facts regarding these fine rifles. To
    those of you that have an example of one of these, you will be amazed
    to learn more about your gun and its origins. To those of you that
    collect these rifles, you will finally be able to assign proper and
    correct values based on facts that will reflect the true values of
    these rifles. The Book is based on facts obtained during a very long
    and hard two years of research and is complete with many
    illustrations of these Sporting Rifles......... Hope this is of help
    to you! Thanks for the opportunity to "announce" my New
    Book!

    [end quote]


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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the informative link Hardball. Probably not necessary to quote it as well. I've taken the liberty of moving the thread to 'other rifles built on Sako actions' catagory so someone can easier find the info at a later date. Dick
    NW Montana, USA
    A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her.
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    There is currently a Coltsman Deluxe .222 for sale on Gunbroker. It is on an L46 action and has a barrel stamped "Bofors Steel". The only way that it varies from other Sakos of the era is in the Colt markings and by having a "European" type taper to the rear of the Monte Carlo comb. This "Euro"-looking stock makes me think that it, too, came from Sako.
    Texas Hill Country

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    I'm curious how might the .222 Coltsman's Sako Deluxe cousin (in equivalent condition and vintage) compare in terms of collectability, particularly at $1,400?
    Stephenville, Texas, USA

  10. #10
    Super Moderator misako50's Avatar
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    Hardball and Stonecreek- All I can answer any of the remaining questions with are from personal experience in ownership and visualization first hand. I have owned the L57 Coltsman and the L579 coltsman and I have handled the Kodiak Grizzly and the Wards Sako in L57. I currently own a Kodiak Grizzly ("Cub"- as one of our members named it. ) None of these stocks were remindful of a Sako made or Sako checkered stock. The finish was light lacquer and possibly shellac in two instances. The barrels on the L57 were not matches in profile to the Sakos. The L579 and the L461 were matches and carried a bofors mark. The L579 stock came the closest in configuration except for checkering pattern and recoil crossbolt. Sako rifles are easy to spot up close. These were not produced by sako. It is good to see a relative condensation of the Coltsman History. It puts much in perspective. The only real reference material I have looked at is two Gun Traders Guides. Frankly, they didn't do too bad considering there are several hundred guns to keep order with in the pages. - Best, Mike
    Cental USA

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