A Pair of Sako Carbines - One Rare, One Not

Discussion in 'Sako Mannlichers and Carbines' started by icebear, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Here are my two Sako Mannlicher-style carbines, one small and rare, one large and not so rare. I'm still looking for an L461 carbine in .222 or .222 Magnum and an L579 carbine in .308. I used to have a .308 but a friend wanted it and I was short of money at the time, so it went away. The guy who bought it is an aficionado of fine rifles, so at least it found a good home. The other Sako carbine that would be cool to have would be a Battue, but that model is very hard to find outside Europe. It was mostly designed for the French market, and I'm not sure whether they even make it any more.

    I'll also post photos of my rifle-length full-stock Sakos in the next few days.

    First is an L469 in .222 Magnum. I lucked into it many years ago at a gun show in Richmond, Virginia. The cost was a bit of a stretch but I had the money and wow, am I glad I decided to buy it! I don't think I've ever seen another detachable-mag .222 Magnum carbine. It is extremely accurate with the right ammo. It shot groups the size of a nickel with Sako factory ammo. Unfortunately, there's no more Sako .222 Mag ammo to be found (I still have a few precious rounds). It didn't get the same results with Remington ammo and none of my handloads ever shot as well as the Sako factory stuff. I haven't shot it in years, but I'm planning to try it out with some of the new Nosler 50 grain loads. These shoot very well in my Sako .222 Mag sporter, also an L469 with a detachable magazine. The scope on the carbine is a Leupold 4-12x, which is a good match for the caliber, in period Sako high rings.

    I'm curious as to whether Sako ever made a full-length .222 Magnum rifle with a Mannlicher-style stock. I've never seen or heard of one, but with Sako almost anything is possible. If I ever see such a thing for sale at a semi-reasonable price, it will join the collection. One of these days I'd also like to pick up a heavy-barrel L469 in .222 Magnum. At least I know that one exists. I have an L46 heavy barrel in .222 and an L461 heavy barrel in .222 Magnum, but there's an empty spot in the gun rack for a heavy-barrel "Riihimäki model" with a detachable magazine in .222 Magnum.

    The second carbine is one of the more common versions, an AIII in .30-06. It's also very accurate, producing consistent groups well under an inch at 100 yards. It's not much fun to shoot with full-power factory ammo, as muzzle blast and flash are startling. You can kill your deer and barbecue it with one shot. To make the shooting experience more pleasant, I worked up a handload especially for the gun. Using 3031, a fast-burning powder, minimizes flash and muzzle blast as it doesn't expel a lot of unburned powder from the muzzle the way a round designed for a long-barreled rifle would. I loaded it down to an energy rating comparable to a middling .308, which is still more than enough for deer and black bear. The lighter load with a 150-grain bullet is also easy on the shoulder. This load gives consistent 100-yard groups of 3/4 inch or better. The scope on this rifle is a Leupold 1-3/4-6x in what I seem to remember are Warne rings. The rings are quite unusual; not only are they vertically split, but they have indexing tabs that place them at the front of the rear ring and the back of the front ring. This makes an ideal setup for the Leupold, which has a very short tube. I wanted a short, handy scope to go with the short, handy rifle.


    First, a few pictures of the .222 Magnum.

    L469-222 Mag 1.JPG L469-222 Mag 2.JPG L469-222 Mag 3.JPG L469-222 Mag 4.JPG

    And here is the .30-06

    AIII Carbine 30-06 1.JPG AIII Carbine 30-06 2.JPG AIII Carbine 30-06 3.JPG
     
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  2. deersako

    deersako Well-Known Member

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    A fine pair Icebear, thanks for sharing.
     
  3. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Excellent. Thanks for sharing the pics of them. Both are great.

    rick
     
  4. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Good point. I typically prefer powders on the slower end of the spectrum for a given cartridge, largely because the fuller case typically yields more consistent velocities and the slower powders also provide optimal velocities. But in the case of a short-barreled rifle (which is going to give up some velocity, anyway), a faster-burning powder can noticeably reduce muzzle blast and flash.

    As you point out, the deer won't find much difference in its demise whether shot with a ".308" or a ".30-06", or even a "300 Savage". And since a Mannlicher is designed as a quick-and-close rifle, it typically isn't the rifle you'd pick for long-range sniping to begin with.
     
  5. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Stonecreek

    Thanks for your comments. I agree with all of the above. One of the great advantages of handloading is that you can tailor a load to a particular firearm. I have a similar "one-gun" load for a .30-06 Winchester 1895 carbine. In that case, the main objective was reducing the recoil of a featherweight .30-06 with a steel buttplate.

    The "quick and close" factor that you mention was also what led me to put a relatively low-powered scope on the Sako. It's kind of ironic that the bigger guns generally need the smaller scopes and vice versa. It leads to some issues in mounting. I wouldn't have been able to mount that particular scope on the carbine if I hadn't found the Warne QD rings that are placed very close together.

    One scope that I really like for .222 carbines is the Burris Mini. I don't think they make it any more, but it was available in 3-9x, 4-12x, and 6x fixed. I have the 4-12x on a custom .222 Sako and it looks perfect with the smaller rifle, while giving the higher power you want for a varmint cartridge. The only disadvantage is reduced low-light performance due to the smaller objective. But then, if you're doing long-range varmint shooting in iffy light, you're probably not using a short, lightweight rifle. I've got a heavy-barrel L46 with a 6-20x Leupold on it for that chore.
     
  6. clayt62

    clayt62 Member

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    Thanks Icebear for sharing these pictures of the Mannlicher Carbines. You certainly have superb taste; and are right on target too with selecting the ultralight Burris Mini scopes to attach to them (they are my favorite for placing on my Sako rimfires).

    Are you still in the market for a Sako Battue ? Am giving serious consideration to putting my NIB Sako Battue in .25-06 on the sale market
    soon; will give those within the Sako Collector Club community first dibs for purchasing it. Pictures of it will be likely forthcoming a bit
    later this month.
     
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  7. gowyo

    gowyo Sako Junkie

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    An AI kokotukki remains on my bucket list. I'm looking for a later model with the hunter style stock. I've only seen one example, it was a .222. If I found one of those, I'd be tempted to put a 6x45 Lothar Walther or Lilja tube on it. A .223 I'd keep intact. Maybe, I guess it would depend on several factors. Overall condition and accuracy.
     
  8. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    PM sent regarding the Battue.

    Regarding the Burris Mini scopes, I have several of them on assorted Sakos and rimfire rifles. You very seldom see them for sale on the secondary market these days, and they are long discontinued. The only disadvantage is that they have a rather narrow range of eye relief compared to a Leupold. You have to be very precise in your eye placement. I have Burris Minis in 3-9x, 4-12x, and 6x fixed. I understand there was also a 2-7x and fixed power scopes in 4x and either 8x or 10x, I can't remember which. The 6x with adjustable objective is especially nice for rimfires.

    Interestingly, Burris also made the Minis on contract for Pentax. I have a Pentax-branded 4x12 Mini with target turrets that I picked up many years ago at a gun show in Virginia. I'm planning to mount it on a heavy-barrel Ruger 10/22 that I'm building. I don't know if it's identical to the Burris-brand scope or if it has Japanese-made optics.

    Burris has a history of working with high-quality overseas optics makers. Currently Burris is building Steiner scopes for sale in the US. They are outwardly identical to comparable Burris models, but I have been told the Steiner scopes have German glass. I have a 2.5-10x Steiner/Burris on my Steyr SSG-69 sniper rifle, and it's a superb optic.
     
  9. deergoose

    deergoose Sako-addicted

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    you lucky rat, icebear.......I remember your original post on this rifle from years ago, I too went to that Gun Show in Richmond and missed it by a few hours. I must have been in the jug the night before and went to the show that afternoon, whereas I normally hit the shows first thing. LOL. :)

    Congrats!
    DeerGoose
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
  10. deergoose

    deergoose Sako-addicted

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    oh, they made 'em. I have one with one piece full stock.....there are pics of it somewhere here on the forum.

    DeerGoose
     
  11. Jeffy1

    Jeffy1 Well-Known Member

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    I have a 222 magnum, full stock, in L461. This is rare, but to my experience what deer goose has is exceptionally rare.
     
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  12. deergoose

    deergoose Sako-addicted

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    The pics I have were easy to find.....for once. L469 full rifle length (not carbine) with 1-piece Mannlicher stock. I lucked into this one. You guessed it, I got this rifle at a Richmond, VA gun show. May have been the same seller as icebear's purchase....

    Incidently, icebear's rifle is more scarce than mine. The L46/469 Riihimaki full stocks were dominated by full rifle length configurations. Finding a carbine is a challenge. Not until the L461's did they make the carbines in mass numbers.

    DeerGoose
     

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  13. Jeffy1

    Jeffy1 Well-Known Member

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    Deer goose, you did get lucky on that one, very rare piece. I don't think I have ever seen one of those. I have a one piece stock in a 244.
     
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  14. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Right! The same is true of the L57/579's. It is very difficult to find a full length Mannlicher in either the L461 or the L579. They exist, but finding one is like panning for gold in the lower Mississippi.
     
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  15. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    L579 - .308. I got this one from an ad in Gun List. The seller was an old rancher in Wyoming who had been using it as a saddle gun for many years. He had removed the front sight so it wouldn't cut a hole in his leather scabbard, but fortunately he had kept it and sent it with the gun, so I had a gunsmith reattach it. I'll never forget this one for another reason - the rancher boxed it up and mailed it directly to me instead of my transfer FFL. I was pretty surprised when I got home from work and saw the box on my front porch - and even more surprised when I opened it, since I thought I was buying a carbine!
    308-2.JPG

    L461 - .222. This was a GI bringback from Europe.
    L461 222-1.JPG
     
  16. Jeffy1

    Jeffy1 Well-Known Member

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    Sako mannlichers don't seem to command much attention in terms of collecting. However, they are a very fascinating segment of Sako production in which are many rare configurations. There is a rumor that Mims Reed, one of the Sako collector patriarchs, owned 500 of them.
     
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  17. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I think that's changing. Mannlichers have been commanding a pretty good premium over the same in a sporter in recent months.

    I doubt that Mims ever had 500 Mannlichers, but he told me that he did personally finance the entire lot of the Sako Collectors Club Finnwolfs; so he technically owned them until they were dispersed to the members who bought them. I think there were 175 pairs, IIRC, so that would be 350 rifles -- close to the 500 you mention.
     
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  18. Jeffy1

    Jeffy1 Well-Known Member

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    Stonecreek, guess you're right, a 308 mannlicher carbine just went off GB for 1925$.
     
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  19. gowyo

    gowyo Sako Junkie

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    Glad I used the buy it now function for my A2. Seeing those set screw bases fills my heart with dread...
     
  20. Charles Witt

    Charles Witt Well-Known Member

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    Great looking guns, Icebear. The prices on the full stock variety have definitely gone up, especially recently. I only have one (Sako full stock), but it is an interesting one, I think.
    Full length. One piece full stock. 308. Bofors.
    I would love some opinions on whether or not this stock is original. I bought this gun at an auction from a collector that had many fine Mannlicher style rifles. I also scored a Walther Stutzen in 7x57 that is an absolute stunner. (last picture)
    20211210_205047.jpg 20211210_205059.jpg 20211210_205107.jpg 20211210_205110.jpg 20211210_205118.jpg 20211210_205129.jpg 20211210_205135.jpg 20211210_205200.jpg 20211210_205217.jpg 20211210_205314.jpg 20211210_205325.jpg 20211210_205439.jpg 20211210_205452.jpg 20211210_205510.jpg 20211210_205520.jpg 20211210_205531.jpg 20211210_205540.jpg 20211210_205550.jpg 20211210_205601.jpg 20211210_205738.jpg 20211210_205824.jpg 20211210_205849.jpg 20211210_205855.jpg 20211210_212011.jpg
     
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