Short Actions Rarity of L469 (.222 Magnum)

Discussion in 'Sako Short Actions' started by icebear, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    The L469 was a "stretch" L46 action created late in the L46 life cycle to accommodate the .222 cartridge. I have seen them marked as L46, L469, or with no model number at all. Regardless of markings, any detachable-mag short-action Sako in .222 Magnum is an L469, for the simple reason that the cartridge won't fit in an L46 action.


    I have seen L469 rifles in sporter, Mannlicher-style carbine, and heavy barrel configurations. (I have a sporter and a carbine.) I have three questions for whoever can answer them: First, how many of each configuration were built, and second, were there any other configurations, such as a rifle with a Mannlicher-style full stock and a rifle-length barrel? And finally, every L469 I have ever seen has had the late style stock with a raised cheekpiece, as was carried over into the L461 series. Has anyone seen one with the earlier style classic cheekpiece?

    I imagine the carbine is by far the rarest of the three configurations, as I see the other two for sale quite often and I've seen very, very few carbines. Of course, if there were any configurations other than the three I've mentioned, they are undoubtedly very rare indeed.

    And if you have an L469 in any configuration, let's see photos, and tell us how they shoot. I'll start it off with my two. Both are excellent shooters, but very fussy about ammo.

    Carbine, s/n 48xxx, no model number marked, just "Sako Riihimäki." Leupold 4-12x scope. Best group under 1/2" with Sako ammo.
    L469-222 Mag 1.JPG L469-222 Mag 2.JPG L469-222 Mag 3.JPG

    Sporter, s/n 55xxx, marked L46. Pecar-Berlin 4-10x scope. Best group around 5/8" with Lapua ammo.
    222 Mag 1.JPG 222 Mag 2.JPG
     

  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Yes, there was one other configuration: A Deluxe sporter L469. I'm sure that the Mannlicher is scarce, but I can't say if the Deluxe might be scarcer.

    Apparently, the .222 Magnum chambering was introduced after the L46 stocks were changed to the Monte Carlo style as I've never seen one with the straight stock. Also, I'm assuming that there were no .222 Magnums with the old-style stamped bottom metal, but rather all had the later forged bottom metal.

    I owned an L469 .222 Magnum HB which was an excellent shooter. But since I also owned an L461 .222 Magnum HB with the more capacious internal magazine which shot equally well, I sold the L469. As to whether the Sako .222 Magnums are finicky with the various brands of factory ammunition I wouldn't know as I've never owned a box of factory .222 Magnum, other than a box of Sako brand that a friend gave me and which is unlikely to ever be shot. I do have .222 Mag brass from R-P, Sako, and Herter's (the Herter's seemingly having been made by Sako). All works fine, but the Sako and Herter's seems a step above the R-P in overall quality.
     
  3. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    Stonecreek,

    Very interesting. I'd never heard that the Herter's brass was rumored to have been made by Sako.

    So would new Herter's 222 Mag brass fetch a premium price? I have a bunch of Herter's 222 Mag brass that I got along with a Model 700 HB from my Dad and I doubt I'll ever use it because I'm selling the rifle.

    Thanks
     
  4. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    As hard as 222 Mag brass can be to find, I think it all brings a little more than other similar sized cases.
     
  5. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Here is a thread in which I did a fairly in-depth comparison between Sako and Herter's .222 ammunition. My conclusion is that they came from the same factory (Sako). https://sakocollectors.com/forum/threads/herters-versus-sako-ammunition.13419/#post-70834

    I doubt that your Herter's brass would bring a premium over any other .222 Magnum brass, but any .222 Magnum brass is a bit hard to come by, so it should be very saleable on the market. I suspect that if you offered it here on the SCC forum that someone would jump at the chance to own it.
     
  6. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    stonecreek,

    Interesting. As you can see my box is quite different:

    Herter's 222 Mag.jpg

    But it still has a lot of similarities to your box.

    I don't know what your box end looks like but mine says:

    Herter's 222 Mag box end.jpg

    So Made in Sweden by Precision Craftsman must mean Sako, right ;)

    Plus my boxes don't have the Warning: Keep Out of the Reach of Children text. Must be older vintage brass before the firearms companies started getting sued for everything.

    Thanks
     
  7. deergoose

    deergoose Sako-addicted

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    Yes, icebear ! here are pics of my L469 "full stock rifle". I also have the .222Mag in sporter and HB model, but no deluxe or carbine here.....would love to get my hands on both.

    DeerGoose
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    That's one very nice looking rifle. Appears to be in near-perfect condition. I'd be interested in finding out just how many were made in that configuration and the carbine configuration. It appears that both are quite rare.

    Thanks for posting!
     
  9. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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    I happen to favor the 222 mag as a varmint round due to it’s ballistics and the cool factor that few cartridges have.

    I have a pre-Garcia Bofors deluxe, L469, L461 heavy barrel and the Bofors Mannlicher rifle.

    As far as rarity, I don’t think the Mannlicher carbine is as scarce as the Mannlicher rifle in the 222 mag. I do have and shoot 4 variations, and just finished an article on shooting the 222 mag that should be in print soon. For that article I was shooting a Remington 700 and an early Bofors L461 heavy barrel...

    0364C548-1BD0-49EC-8E47-06AE895B9488.jpeg


    269502EA-5C48-4653-AA27-C31874BDA8D1.jpeg 582F1F71-F1D6-4179-AB79-6C4E2C819B80.jpeg
     
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  10. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Herter marketed brass (and ammunition) in the silver & black boxes, some of which was marked "Made in Finland" and some of which was marked "Made in Sweden".

    All of the .222 and .222 Magnum I've seen was marked "Made in Finland", and from my analysis I believe it was made by Sako.

    Most of the larger calibers I have seen (6.5 Swede, .264 Win) were marked "Made in Sweden". I haven't had any corresponding Norma ammunition or brass to compare, but my supposition is that Herter's sourced this Swedish brass from Norma, the only cartridge brass manufacturer in Sweden to my knowledge.

    However, George Leonard Herter was incredibly prone to hyperbole and outright fictions (our current president must have adopted his speaking habits from reading old Herter's catalogs). So, just because Herter wrote something on the box doesn't mean it was necessarily completely truthful. But Herter's was an importer of a variety of goods and would have gone to whatever contractor (domestic or foreign) who would make what he wanted and stamp Herter's on it, so the Herter's brass and ammo being sourced from Sako and Norma is certainly credible.

    By the way, it seems somewhat ironic that Cabela's (more recently a subsidiary of Bass Pro Shops) somehow acquired the right to the name "Herter's" and markets some of their "leader quality" products under that name. I didn't really need it, but I bought a cheap soft gun case at Cabela's a short time back simply because it had the name "Herter's" emblazoned on it. I'm a sucker for nostalgia.
     
  11. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I agree that the L469 full-stock rifle is probably rarer than the carbine, but I'd sure like to know how many of each were actually built, and how many were officially imported to the US. I suspect most of the full-stock .222 Magnums remained in Europe. As far as I know, the L46 long rifle and the L461 carbine were the only full-stock, short-action Sakos imported to the US in any quantity. My L461 Mannlicher-style rifle was a GI bringback from when Sako rifles were sold in the PX.

    I'm not entirely clear on which L469 models you have, as opposed to L461. Could you clarify, please, and identify which guns in the photos are L469's? Or, even better, post a photo of just the L469's?
     
  12. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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    Here are pictures of the L469, and you can see the milled trigger guard. The last picture is the 222 mag Mannlicher rifle...


    photo4.jpg IMG_1264.JPG thumbnail_IMG_5967.jpg

    thumbnail_IMG_7365.jpg
     
  13. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Kirkbridge: Thanks for the clarification. You've got some pretty nice wood on that L469. I see different scope mounts in the two photos. One photo shows what appears to be medium height Sako rings. Does or did the bolt handle hit the ocular housing with the medium rings? I tried to mount a Zeiss scope with about the same size ocular on an L461 in medium rings and found that while the ocular didn't actually obstruct the movement of the bolt handle, there would be metal to metal contact unless I worked the bolt very carefully. I wound up remounting the scope in high rings to eliminate the risk of scratching the finish on the scope.
     
  14. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    The larger ocular on some scopes is helpful in enlarging the "eyebox", or the width and length of the area in which the eye can be placed and still see the entire scope picture. On the other hand, if the ocular is too large that forces the scope to be mounted higher, somewhat negating the advantage of the larger eyebox in the first place. Good rifle scopes are a compromise of numerous optical and physical factors. Some manufacturers do a better job of hitting the "sweet spot" on these compromises than others; or perhaps it is more accurate to say that the compromises some manufacturers make are better suited to some shooters while other shooters may prefer different compromises.
     
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  15. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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    I doubt many high quality scope manufacturers apply design features for the scope clearance over the function and optical performance of the scope. Mounting becomes the problem of the consumer and which gun he will mount it on.

    The difference in the rings in the L469 is because I originally had Redfield rings and bases, then later got some Sako rings as should be used on a gun like that. I do have quite a few Zeiss Diavari 3-9X36 scopes that do have a large ocular on them and bolt clearance is critical when trying to use lower rings.

    I also think there is a mistaken concept that you need a scope as low as possible to the bore. The difference in 1/4 inch or so on scope height doesn’t amount to anything in the field.

    Here are several rifles with different height rings and different size objective bells with clearance to keep the scope from touching the barrel. Regardless of the eyebox, scope height or objective clearance, they are all different in how high the crosshair is above the bore and yet I can hit whatever I am shooting at...

    33262AD5-3201-4691-BE77-D91BBE825BE4.jpeg
     
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  16. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I absolutely agree. Not only that, there is such a thing as mounting a scope too low, or the comb of a stock being too high. I have a wide face with prominent cheekbones and I often have trouble using the open sights on rifles that have a high cheekpiece for use with a scope. It is also pretty well known that you have to mount a scope very high on an AR-15 or similar rifle to get proper head position. Most one-piece AR mounts are taller than extra-high rings.
    Thanks for clarifying that. I assume, then, that the Swarovski scope on that rifle does not have a problem with the bolt fouling the eyepiece. My experience with Swarovski scopes is limited, but the one I have has about the same diameter eyepiece as the 3-9x36mm Zeiss, which would result in bolt contact if used in medium rings on an L461. Of course, it also could be that the bolt in my rifle has more vertical play when it is moved to the rear than in a different gun. As I mentioned before, when I mounted a Zeiss 3-9x on an L461 in medium rings, it was possible to operate the bolt without hitting the scope, but you'd be likely to make contact if you worked the bolt rapidly under stress.
     
  17. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    On the contrary, quality scope manufacturers do pay attention to mounting issues and sometimes alter their models to accommodate better mounting. A good example is the Leupold 1.75-6X model. It was originally made with a very short tube which was nearly impossible to mount on a full length action. Leupold recognized that this power was an excellent range for heavy calibers (or "dangerous game" rifles) which were always on a long action. So they revised the model and it is now made with a longer tube to accommodate long actions.

    By the same token, most manufacturers have a line of "compact" scopes which are designed for smaller or lightweight rifles where size and weight are important factors. Reducing the overall size of the scope requires necessary compromises in magnification, field of view, eye placement, etc. The trick is to keep the optical features sufficient to fulfill the requirements of a good optical gunsight while making the issues of size and mounting also meet the physical requirements of the rifle.
     
  18. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    In determining the proper height that a scope should be mounted the most important factor is the height of the stock's comb. An older L46 with a straight (non-Monte Carlo) stock has quite a bit of drop, so in order to put the eye in the right place the scope does need to be very low for most people (which, as Icebear notes, depends somewhat on the shape of your face, placement of cheekbones, and how narrow or wide set your eyes may be.) Later L-series Sakos have a "moderate" Monte Carlo which provides better eye-scope alignment, but still allows the use of iron sights. When Sako went to the A-series they raised the comb quite a bit, which allowed scopes on those models to be mounted somewhat higher with acceptable eye alignment.

    A higher mounted scope also has some sighting advantages and disadvantages. One disadvantage is that if the gun is canted off of vertical then the sighting error becomes greater the further the scope is from the bore. While this small sighting error might come into play on targets or long-range varminting, it isn't enough of a factor in a hunting rifle to consider. On the other hand, assuming your target is 50 or so yards or more away, a higher-mounted scope has the effect of making the apparent bullet trajectory flatter. I won't go into the mechanics of this, but some long-range shooters are happy to trade the potential sighting error for an apparent flatter trajectory.

    But the most important issue in scope mounting is to assure that when you shoulder the rifle the sight picture is right there and you don't have to hunt for it. This requires that the stock is the right length, the scope is mounted fore-and-aft to put your eye in the middle of the eye relief zone, and the scope is mounted up/down so that you neither have to lift your head from the stock nor push your face down hard against the comb to see the sight picture.
     
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  19. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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    I guarantee you that Zeiss didn’t consider any of those factors on their 3-9X36. It is a fantastic scope and you need to get rings that work with the scope because the scope wasn’t designed around what rings would work.
     
  20. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Prior to the Diavari-C 3-9x36 all Zeiss scopes had either 26mm or 30mm tubes. The Diavari-C was made (even before production was shifted from Germany to the U.S.) with a 1" tube. In other words, it was "designed around what rings would work", at least insofar as diameter goes. So I think that scope is an example itself of a scope manufacturer making changes in the physical features to accommodate mounting issues. Limiting the size of the objective to 36mm was also an effort to make the scope physically more compact -- as we know, European manufacturers seem to prefer objectives of 42mm all the way up to 56mm.
     

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