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Thread: What About Bofors Barrels?

  1. #1
    Super Moderator S-A's Avatar
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    What About Bofors Barrels?

    All,
    I've been recently going through the Sako Collector's Association (1982-1995 RIP) Newsletters and ran into this tidbit. All pre-'72 Sako's have a Bofors barrel. This information was from the factory when Sako One and Two (aka Mims Reed and Jim Lutes) were there on a visit in the 80's and told such. So, if you have a pre- 72, your barrel is a Bofors, just not stamped as such. Don't know about you, but I can live with that.
    If there are any doubting Thomas' out there you'll be able to read it for yourself soon.
    S-A

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    Bolt Actions Speak Louder Than Words ------------------------------------------------------------

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    How about the post-Bofors barrels i.e. those for the Model 72's? Did Sako manufacture them or buy them from another supplier (in Finland)? And how would they be different from the Bofors barrels in metallurgy and dimensions? I know the finish (polishing and bluing) is of lesser quality.
    Stephenville, Texas, USA

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    Super Moderator S-A's Avatar
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    bsmith,
    Don't know the supplier, but do know that when Sako moved into their new factory with all new equipment, I don't think the barrels were hammer -forged, and the way they did the rifling was also different. Not saying it was a bad thing. I will research this more.
    Thanks,
    S-A
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    Bolt Actions Speak Louder Than Words ------------------------------------------------------------

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    I was told at the factory in 1979 that "Bofors Steel" was marketing ploy and that Sako up to that point had purchased from the same supplier for a long as anyone could remember. The Bofors Corp from Sweden took Sako to court in 1968 with a international patent lawsuit. Sako lost the and immediately discontinued the "Bofors" mark. I believe this occurred in the Fall of 1968. There is nothing magical about "bofors steel".....it's just a mark. Regards, Rick.
    Sako rifles and John Deere tractors.....doesn't get any better.

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    I believe that 1968 is about the right date for the discontinuation of the Bofors mark.

    Barrel manufacturing: Early Sako barrels were cut-rifled. At some point, and I have no idea when other than it would likley coincide with the advent of mass distribution in the U.S., Sako switched to the higher-volume hammer forging method. Each method has its advocates, but mass-producing quality barrels in significant quantity via cut rifling is simply not practical (read: economical).

    Many people have speculated that the removal of the Bofors mark in 1968 indicated the switch from cut to hammered rifling, however that date is much later than the actual switch in that, to my knowledge, all of the L - 461, 579, and 61R series had hammered barrels from the beginning. I do know that they were being advertised as hammer-forged in the early 1960's.

    Like sakorick, my understanding is that there was no difference in the 1967 barrels marked "Bofors" and the 1969 barrels with no such mark. Sporter barrels of both lighter (earlier) and heavier (later) contours can be found with the Bofors mark, however I don't think you'll find any of the lighter contour barrels without the Bofors mark.
    Texas Hill Country

  6. #6
    Super Moderator S-A's Avatar
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    I'm beginning to think this barrel stuff just isn't an issue at all anymore. We've gone over it a bunch of times. It doesn't make a darn bit of difference to me. It's not in the criteria I use to select a Sako anyway. Anyone dissatisfied with the barrel on your Sako (given it's been cared for properly and you haven't shot the crap out of it)? Bofor's of Sweden just happened to make a certain anti-aircraft gun that was extremely good out of their steel that was used into the 80's by a lot of Western countries. The "Bofors" stamping just makes you think you've got the mystique of a pirated DVD. Side by side, if the polishing and bluing was better on the non-Bofors, I would take that one, all else being equal. I'm certainly not going to wrap either one around a tree, or melt it down with my lightening fast action cycling . And no, I don't have any fancy Bofors barrels and I'm darn jealous of everyone else who does.
    I am, however, in agreement with that as stonecreek says, "there was no difference in the 1967 barrels marked "Bofors" and the 1969 barrels with no such mark."
    bsmith, I don't think there was any real difference throughout the barrels and certainly not through the L series rifles where this forum draws the line, technically, for it's purposes.
    Amen
    S-A
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    Guys, there was no difference in the Bofors marked barrels and the barrels up to at least 1979 and probably beyond. The type of rifling whether hammer or cut rifled has nothing to do with it. The barrels all came out of the same steel stock and I assume 4140. Ask 10 different barrel makers how to come up with the the most accurate rifle barrel and you are likely to come up with 10 different answers. I know one thing through prima facie evidence, that the Garcia era rifles are more accurate than their earlier counterparts. Why? Because they were heavier. It all boils down to barrel timing, thickness and length. I am not an expert on this but have read enough to understand the basics. Just because your barrel is marked Bofors does not make it more accurate than one with a Garcia or Stoeger import mark......quite the opposite.
    Having said all that, I happen to collect Bofors marked Sakos and own one NIB M74 Super Garcia. I collect them because of their rarity not because I believe they shoot better. After all, a poor shooting Sako is, as a rule, more accurate than the best Parker Hale, FN, Browning, Winchester, Mauser or Remington ever made! Regards, Rick.
    Sako rifles and John Deere tractors.....doesn't get any better.

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    Super Moderator misako50's Avatar
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    Ok "Guys"- Lets not get carried away with this "my rifle is more accurate than your rifle", BS. There is no way to prove that statement and all of it is conjecture at best. I will still covet the inherent accuracy of many Sakos and mine just happen to be from the Firearms International era and Bofors Marked. It someone has a Stoeger or Garcia that shoots well. That is just peachy, but to disparage the pre-guns because they are lighter is a mistake.-Mike
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    Sako stamped their barrels {Bofors Steel} becaouse they were proud to show that their steel blanks came from the Bofors steel plant out of I beleive Sweeden. If you look back in history this steel factory was used to for the the steel that made the Tiger tank barrels and other German artilery weapons that was so accurate. And it might be to everyones surprise but the same steel mfg company today produces the steel to make the barrels on M-1 Abrams as well. As for accuracy it differs from rifle to rifle. I have a Sako Bofors barrel 222 that shoots in the .3's and my benchrest Nesika custom has done a few groups in the .2's (5 shot groups) so that is saying alot for a factory chambered rifle. Weight has nothing to do with it!! I have seen some post 72 rifles of extreme Finish craftmanship, but they are using pre 72 parts.
    Chris
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator S-A's Avatar
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    Yes, Bofors was/is a Swedish company. Seems the Swedes were selling steel to everyone
    S-A
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    Bolt Actions Speak Louder Than Words ------------------------------------------------------------

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