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Thread: Colt-Sako .264 Mag questions aplenty

  1. #1
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    Colt-Sako .264 Mag questions aplenty

    I recently inherited my Father's Colt-Sako .264 Mag. rifle. It says "Colt L61R" on the barrel. I cannot find anywhere that it shows the word "Sako".
    It has a Leupold 3x9 Var-XII Scope on it as well.
    On the handle bottom, there is no "Finnbear" inlay, rather it's more of an oval shaped darkwood inlay.
    The most signifcant fact is that he purchased it from his friend Maj. Joe Foss back in around 1974 while he lived in Scottsdale, AZ. Unfortunately, he never got a bill of sale as Joe didn't operate that way according to my Dad. It was more of a "here's the rifle, pay me when I see you again".
    The Serial # is a 5 digit number starting with 110XX.
    Any idea what I have here? Any idea as to it's marketable value? Any idea if there is someone I can contact to see if Major Foss was the original buyer?
    I only fired it 26 times over the years. 25 of them were at the range and the final shot was back in 1978 when it took a very nice 4x4 Mule Deer at a paced distance of 333 yards in Section 20 just north of Prescott, AZ.



    Thank you in advance,

  2. #2
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    You have a highly desirable rifle. If you can, it would be great if you would post some photos.

    Your rifle could be the "standard" grade, but if it has an inlay on the bottom of the grip then it is likely a Deluxe, making it even more desirable.

    Curiously enough, it seems that the long action (L61R) Coltsman rifles were almost exclusively in either .30-06 or .264 as I can't recall ever seeing one in another caliber. (Short and medium action Coltsman rifles were in .222, .223, .222 Magnum, .243, and .308, and perhaps some others).

    I think you are correct that you won't find "Sako" anywhere on the rifle. And "Colt" won't be on the receiver. Under the wood line on the receiver you will find "Made in Finland". Debate continues as to whether some of the Coltsman rifles used Sako barrels or were all barreled in the U.S. (possibly by the High Standard company). However, the L61R Coltsman is a near twin to the contemporary Sako Finnbear. One difference is that the Coltsman uses no stock crossbolt -- the inlaid Rampant Colt midway in the stock is near where a Sako crossbolt would be, but is merely stock decoration and doesn't actually cover a crossbolt.

    As to value, I'd consider a Coltsman, in either standard grade or Deluxe, to be approximately equal to the corresponding Sako, condition being equal.

    Although it's too bad that you don't have some documentation of the previous owner, who was a decorated military officer, governor of South Dakota, commissioner of the old American Football League, and president of the NRA, gun values pretty much stand on their own and having such documentation woudn't much impact its value.
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  3. #3
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    Thank you for the quick reply. I brought it out tonight and looked at it a little closer. Yes it says 'Made in Finland" on the receiver. The furniture is 'blonde" with a darker wood at the end of the fore stock and in the handle area. I was wrong about where the 'Finnbear" inlay should be. The inlay is a light color wood as the grip area is the darker color.
    There are some etched designs in the receiver plate, a horse and some trees and on the trigger guard some trees and mountains. The Serial Number is etched onto the bolt while it's stamped onto the top of the receiver.
    I'll attempt to get some pics of it up...it really is a very handsome firearm.

  4. #4
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    Oohh, you got a nice one. That floorplate inlay design with the pony and stars is my favorite. Please post pictures. That is one cool rifle in a very cool caliber. You have a treasure. The nicest of all the Coltsmans.

    The question about the barreled-action is an interesting one. Very little info to be found online. I look at mine and I say, well, somebody went to the trouble of putting what sure looks like a Sako-style front sight ramp on it. Hard to believe High Standard would have done so, but possible. But, the rounded muzzle crown and non-matching proof marks on barrel and action suggest a non-Sako barrel. No big deal. Lots of fine guns feature a Sako receiver.

    Some of the lower-end Coltsman variants are painfully plain-Jane, and not very interesting or valuable. The higher-end ones like yours are just sublime.
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  5. #5
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    Iwanna, tell me a little about these 3 rifles, they are fantastic.
    Owasso, OK, USA

  6. #6
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    Attached are some pics.

    Talked with a Sako guy today...he loved the rifle. Said that his brother in Oklahoma used the same L61R with some handloads in .264 mag and one windless afternoon shot a 5 round 6" group at 978 yards.

    I had no idea these things are that accurate....
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  7. #7
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    Yes, you have the Deluxe model, and I'm surprised to see that it IS equipped with a stock crossbolt (and no Rampant Colt medallion inlayed in its place). See the upper rifle in Iwanna's photo to see what I'm talking about.

    Beautiful rifle -- enjoy it. Nosler now offers factory ammunition with their 130 grain Accubond, which should be an excellent performer in this caliber.
    Texas Hill Country

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by douglastwo View Post
    Iwanna, tell me a little about these 3 rifles, they are fantastic.
    Thanks, douglastwo. That's a .308 Coltsman at the top that I've had for about five years. I picked it up at a show. The middle one is a .300 Win Deluxe that I have since sold. (I bought it wholesale, but I'm not a big magnum guy. I also almost prefer the standards over the deluxes.) The Finnwolf at the bottom I bought off GB back in 2008 new old-stock with box. It's a .308 from the Garcia era. I shot my last deer with that one. A forever keeper. The Coltsman has survived several rounds of layoffs also. I never was quite as sure about that one, but it is still around.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the descriptions. All 3 are fantastic in my opinion. The guy that got your 300 WM deluxe got a nice one.
    Owasso, OK, USA

  10. #10
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    The Deluxe would have been a total safe queen to me, especially given its high condition. It was a pre-'72, but beyond that, not especially interesting from a collector standpoint that I could see. Now if that had been a .243, it would have been an entirely different story.

    My "big game" is Whitetail deer up in Northern Minnesota. The land where brush is thick, deer are small and shots are short. At least in my experience anyway.

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