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Sako L461 17 Mach IV Nils Hultgren Furniture - My Latest Find!

Discussion in 'Sako Short Actions' started by ricksengines, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Hi Folks

    I have certainly been procrastinating by not getting this post up sooner but old age and a pretty busy schedule have taken their toll but now back to business.

    A while back I acquired this little rifle and intended to get info about it and pics on the board a lot sooner tan this. My sincere apologies for not following through and getting this done but now is the time.

    I found out about this little rifle and managed to get it believing that it was probably an O'Brien but I'm stumped as to who the builder was as there isn't any thing roll stamped on the barrel except the caliber. Hopefully one of you good people can provide some additional enlightenment.

    Please take a look at the pics.

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    Notice in the next to last pic you can clearly see Nils Hultgren's initials on the left panel on the pistol grip. You can also clearly see his trade make stippling on each panel . From these marks I believe that the stock is one that Nils did. The quality of the work and stock configuration are also indicative of his work so I am satisfied that the stock is an original Hultgren production. There is also no doubt that the barreled action is original to the stock but who was the gunsmith?

    Take a look at the caliber roll stamp. Look closely! It reads as follows: .17 MACH - IV (different font for the cap letters was used to do the stamp than what I am using to describe it). Also look at the spacing between the letters. It looks to me like the H was stamped slightly crooked and spaced a bit farther away from the C. I don't think that I ever saw .17 instead of 17 before and never a dash between the H and the IV designator.

    So from this roll stamp can anyone identify the gunsmith? Kevin?

    Regardless it is a really great little rifle and one that I was lucky to find and obtain. BTW the L461 Action is a dove tail action, serial number 66XXX. Pad is a White Line and there is a ivory colored diamond inlaid on the pummel.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope that you enjoy seeing this one.

    rick

     
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  2. kevinlg

    kevinlg Well-Known Member

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    Lacking any other barrel markings, if there are none under the forend wood, it would seem to be a custom barrelled action stocked by Nils Hultgren. Maybe a rebarrelled Hultgren grade O'Brien??

    A serial number of 66xxx would put the action's manufacture in the mid 1960's........but the rifle could have been built anytime afterwards. The xxx info might help.

    What is the barrel length?
     
  3. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Hi Kevin

    It is about the same size as an O'Brien overall. I have not pulled the action out of the stock. I have a real aversion to doing that for some reason. Never the less, I was thinking along the same lines as you but the uniqueness of the caliber stamp really got to me. It seems to me that the smith whoever that was had a very interesting way of inscribing the caliber on the barrel. In addition, it is possible that the person chambered other barrels and if so may have used similar markings (like .243 or .17 - 222). If that is the case, someone might have one and remember something about the builder.

    The fit and finish is really fine on this little guy. Obviously, Nils did the work. Is it possible that he had a relationship with the gunsmith and did custom jobs for him from time to time or whenever the smith had a special job for one of his clients? Perhaps one of our readers can remember something along those lines.

    Obviously, what got to me was the caliber stamp on the barrel. I can't remember seeing a period or dash in a 17 MACH IV designator like the one on this rifle. Also, to see the H out of sync with the rest of the nomenclature just didn't fit somehow because it wasn't consistent with the meticulous nature of the work that went into putting this rig together.

    Personally, I think the stamp is a big clue. Hopefully it will lead to the identification of the builder. Also, this rifle came from a person whose family had connections with Vern O'Brien. I can't verify that but they have too many O'Brien rifles for that to be just coincidence. Unfortunately, I have been unable to speak with the family member that I was told had the relationship. I'm still trying to arrange that but for now that isn't working out for some unknown reason.

    Regardless, this is still a very neat little rifle. I'll measure the barrel length and pull the action out of the stock to see if there are other marks on it. I'll post more pics if I find anything.

    Thanks for your input.

    rick
     
  4. havana

    havana Member

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    Nice, that's an interesting caliber. Have you shot it yet?
     
  5. Jeffy1

    Jeffy1 Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations, nice find.
     

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