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Thread: Is this a L46 Sako 222 ???

  1. #1
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    Is this a L46 Sako 222 ???

    Hi Team,

    Firstly thanks for all the great info on this forum.

    I have an old 222 Sako my old man picked up years ago. Reading through this forum I am almost convinced it is a L46, however the stock isn't like anything I have seen on any of the other member rifles but the butt plate is still stamped sako. The rifle has heavey barrel which is also stamped sako. The saftey is located on the right hand side of the bolt. Serial number on the revceiver is stamped 46913.

    Here are some photos (click on small ones)

    5750527864_9379394121_b.jpgDSCN0894.JPGDSCN0896.JPG


    We have had this thing for a while but never managed to get it to shoot with 50gr / 55gr protectiles. I did read on another thread here that someone said the eariler sako 222's had a slower twist rate and prefers 40gr pills but many others have reported exellent accuracy with 50gr projectiles.

    We are considering rebarreling (or possibly recrown) the rifle to see if we can get it to shoot. Looking down the bore there doesn't appear to be anything visually wrong and there is only very very minor pitting on the muzzle. As it stands it doesn't like to group anything much better then 3" with hand loads at ~75 yards. Factory loads are a bit worst then that.

    I am just currious if anyone knows the history of this style of sako? The action is quite nice, I wouldn't mind bringing it back to life. Before I get to carried away though I would appreciate your opinions.




    Regards Jake

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Hello Jake,

    Your L46 is very much like my L46 .22 Hornet. The common twist for a .222 Rem of that period is 1 in 14 with the .22 Hornet at 1 in 16. I think your stock is very Sako and not
    unusual. The H B had a beaver tail forend. Hope some of this helps.

    Regards Blackjack AKA Mike {The Limey}
    M. C. Pink

  3. #3
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    THis looks a great deal like the Marlin Model 322 which was made on the Sako L46 action, although the photos are not detailed enough to make a determination. If it is the Marlin, then it should be so marked on the barrel. At any rate, it is definately a Sako L46. I have never seen a factory Sako with a walnut stock which was not checkered at the PG and forearm, but we never say "never" about Sakos. The arctic birch stocks were not checkered, but this stock looks more like black walnut (which was what Marlin used.)
    Texas Hill Country

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the responses guys. Any idea when this thing would have been made?

    I had a look at the Malin Model 322's however there must have been a few versions as my google searches did not find a similiar stock to the one that I pictured.

    If I were to get a replacement stock for this rifle (see crack in photos) and put a lighter sporter barrel on the action to make a nice carry rifle and sort out the accuacy issues, is a L46 stock the only stock that will work or are there a few other models that are interchangeable?

    Thanks for the help,
    Regards Jake

  5. #5
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    In looking a second time, it is possibly an original Sako stock that has had the checkering sanded off and refinished with an oil finish.

    There is nothing wrong with the L46 for a custom rifle. It does require a stock specifically for the L46 since it uses a detachable magazine which makes the magazine cut and bottom metal quite different from the later L461 with its internal box magazine. A stock for a singleshot L461 would probably be adaptable since you could make whatever magazine cut you needed. You are pretty much limited to cartridges based on the .222 case or shorter since the magazine cannot be expanded for something like a .223 or .222M. I have a friend who has a .221 Fireball on an L46 and it does splendidly for this little cartridge.
    Texas Hill Country

  6. #6
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    Your bedding could easily be the issue here. If your stock is a Bishop/Fajen or similar custom stock, it may be poorly bedded, which would explain your poor accuracy. The Sako buttplate might have been mounted on such a stock; I would. Your barrel should not contact the forearm at all except at the forend tip, and then it should rest on two small spots that function like a V-block. Your receiver must rest solidly in the stock with no tension to bend it. Get it right, and I'll bet your problems go away.
    Steve Diehl, Sr

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by stonecreek View Post
    In looking a second time, it is possibly an original Sako stock that has had the checkering sanded off and refinished with an oil finish.
    Stonecreek, you are correct. I can make out faint checkering around the grip area under the right light conditions.

    I thought I would post an update after getting a mate to take a look at the rifle. The last 1" of the barrel had NO rifleing left. I dont know how that happens but it was obviously the problem. After a recrown the rifle now shoots 0.550" 5 shot groups at 100m (after an afternoon of load development). With 52 nosler custom HPBT I didn't see one group over an inch. It did not like the 55gr sierra's though but I didn't try too many powders, just AR2206H and AR2207. Was suprised to see it revived so well, a week before I was thinking of selling it for action value but now it is the best shooter in my safe. My next rifle will likely be another SAKO now, old or new it doesn't seem to matter!

    Regards Jake

  8. #8
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    That's great news about your L46. The missing rifling in the last inch of barrel could be the result of a previous owner getting the muzzle plugged with dirt or mud, then firing a round. That could conceivably evacuate the rifling in the end of the barrel. I assume you had to cut the barrel back to about 22.5 inches or so. That is still plenty of length for the small case capacity and relatively fast powders used in the .222.
    Texas Hill Country

  9. #9
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    More likely, the previous owner used an aluminium cleaning rod and from the muzzle end. Aluminium oxide which forms on the rod exterior is a superior abrasive and cuts steel just fine.

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