Bofors steel

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by scj, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. scj

    scj New Member

    I found this site while trying to find info on a gun I bought. I've been digging around, there is a lot of good info here, but I haven't found what I was looking for. Hopefully it's not something that has been picked to death in the past. Since it concerns Bofors barrels I thought this forum would be appropriate. If not, feel free to move it.
    I bought my first Sako in 1972 at the age of 17. It was a .223Rem and too beautiful to pass up. I thought I was buying a Colt rifle, it was in a way. The seller explained it was a Colt Custom of 1961, and in the pre-internet days it took a bit before I found out it was a Sako Vixen Deluxe.
    Since that time I've associated Bofors Steel, Finland, and Sako all together. Recently I broke one of my cardinal rules, buying a gun sight unseen. What pushed me over the edge was the magic words in the ad. All it said was .270, made in Finland, Bofors steel barrel, $350. Reading that, my brain seized. I couldn't get on the phone fast enough. When he said Ithaca I completely forgot it was Garcia that imported Sako's.
    Ended up giving him $375 for it with 2.5 boxes of bullets and a half box of brass, along with an older Redfield 2x7 scope with the correct rings. Had my boy pick it up for me. It is a fine looking rifle, but had LSA65 on the side instead of L61. O-well, still a good looking rifle in excellent shape. I have figured out it is a Tikka, my first, but by this example not my last.
    So the question concerns the barrel. It says Bofors Barrel Steel on one side, made in Finland on the other, and a proof mark that looks like a dragon similar to the one on the action of my Sako's. Every Gun expert I've ask, including the appraiser at the closest Cabela's, insist that only Sako stamped their barrels with the Bofors mark. Did Tikka use the Bofors name in the early seventies? Or was this re-barreled with a Sako barrel? I'm mainly interested so in the future I won't buy a gun just on this description.
    Thanks for your help,
  2. emmerth

    emmerth Member


    Your .270 is an Ithaca not a Tikka. Ithaca made/assembled a couple different guns using Sako actions and barrels. Your LSA65 is one of them. Athough not a Sako, still a great rifle at a smokin price. Congrats and welcome to the club!
  3. scj:
    Your LSA65 is a Tikka long action. If the barrel is marked "Bofors" then Ithaca acquired the barreled action and assembled (stocked) the rifles here & marketed them under their name. The "Bofors" thing is mainly a marketing ploy & has no real bearing on the barrels quality or accuracy. Who knows, but Tikka could have acquired barrels from Sako & marketed them or stamped them that way for marketing purposes. The Finns did alot of things that are not documented. A law suit from Bofors ended that silliness years ago. You have a very nice quality barreled action that in my opinion is on a par with Sako as far as metal quality & accuracy. Ithaca did do a nice job & these guns tend to have nice wood & the fit & finish are good. I bet you will find that it will outshoot any Remchester. All the Tikkas I have had & still have are quality pieces & they are first class rifles.
  4. stonecreek

    stonecreek Active Member

    Your Ithaca LSA65 was made by Tikka in Finland. Later, Tikkas were imported and sold under their own name, and still later the controlling interest in Tikka was purchased by Beretta and the manufacture of Tikkas was combined with Sako in the same plant.

    The early Tikkas, just like the early Sakos, had "Bofors Steel" stamped on their barrels. Whether the steel actually came from the famed Bofors plant in Sweden, or presumably met the same standards, or the stamp was purely bogus is somewhat disputed. Regardless, Bofors eventually legally prevailed in disallowing its name to be stamped on anyone's gun, whether Sako, Tikka, or any other manufacturer.

    Tikkas shared (and still share) some features with Sakos like a dovetail scope mount (although the dovetails are different and rings won't interchange) and certain design and manufacturing characteristics. The Tikkas of the Ithaca era were well-made rifles which certainly match or exceed the quality of your typical Remrugchester, but are not quite up to the fineness of quality and finish of a Sako of the period.

    Regardless, $375 for the package you bought is a very attractive price and well worth the money.
  5. misako50

    misako50 Super Moderator

    scj- I've owned the Ithaca LSA in the 55 series. LSA stands for Light Strong and Accurate. Tikka assembled rifles for Ithaca out of the actions(Tikka) and Barrels (Tikka) and stocks (Tikka) They had permission from Bofors in Sweden to use the name because they used the steel. They acquired the rights because they paid for them. This transpired near 1968 (and continued into the 70s) when Sako no longer could use the name (as the story has been told to me by someone who worked for Bofors) because they did not wish to pay for the rights. Bofors was not a marketing ploy- the use of the name was the marketing ploy. Bofors steel had a formula which was adhered to the same as Coke or Budweiser Sako use Swedish steel from thate old bofors mill untill they had developed their own industry to the point of keeping up. I have heard this marketing ploy BS so many times it makes me laugh and it is attributed to someone from Sako saying it at a gunshow. As for this steel or that steel being more accurate in a gunbarrel, that is a hard argument to win. The Pre 1978 Sakos still shot very well using that steel from Sweden. I don't have anything but a smile on my face when I shoot for pleasure.
  6. deersako

    deersako Member

    Not sure why you guys would presume the Tikka LSA series rifles would actually be Ithaca rifles ?

    My thoughts would be that Ithaca was perhaps the importer of Tikka rifles to the US at the time,I'm not sure. LSA Tikka's were their (Tikka's) Deluxe versions of the model 55 and 65 at the time. Short and Long actions. These early Tikka's were indeed stamped "Bofors" and while not finished quite as nicely as our beloved Sako's they were indeed very well made and known for their fine accuracy.
  7. deersako:
    Stonecreek is very knowledgable with regard to the proprietary rifles from the Finns, so he can probably give more detail of the differences. The reason we call them Ithaca (although Tikka made the action) is that they were marketed & sold under the Ithaca brand with no reference made to the actual maker of the action. Beretta, Colt, Marlin, H&R & others had similar rifles. They used their own barrels(not always), stampings, stocks, logos & assembly variations to different degrees. Both Sako & Tikka actions were used. Even though Beretta owns & imports Sakos we don't call them Beretta as they are marketed as Sakos and 100% Sako made & assembled. The club refers to these guns as "proprietary" models & they are gaining a collector base as an offshoot from the Sako crowd. They also offer a quality action at a reduced price for those wanting to build a custom rifle. You probably won't see any of these guns sold by American gun companies overseas, as I doubt they exported any.
  8. deergoose

    deergoose Active Member

    Great rifles. What hasn't been said yet is that most of the LSAs were made in the 1970s. I have a NIB .30-06 from 1974, and others in .25-06 and 6mm. All three rifles are stamped "Bofors Barrel Steel". The .25-06 is one of the most accurate rifles that I own.

    yes, Sako didn't have the Bofors stamping in the '70s, but Ithaca/Tikkas did.

  9. Does anyone know if a list of all the various proprietary rifles built on Sako & Tikka actions has ever been complied. Would be a nice piece of data to have while roaming a gun show or web auction site.
  10. stonecreek

    stonecreek Active Member


    There was a thread on this a while back, but only on the Sako actions. I'll list what I can from memory and maybe someone can fill in the blanks:

    Browning Safari, Medallion, and Olympian (L461, L579)

    Beretta 501, 502

    Colt Coltsman (L46, L57, L461, L579, L61R)

    Harrington & Richardson 317, 330-340 (some, others were on the FN action)

    Marlin 322, 422

    Sears (L46)

    Montgomery Ward's EIN 750 (L57)

    North American Grizzly (L579 or L57?)

    Magnum Research Mountain Eagle (L691)

    Winslow (a few, most were FN's)

    O'brien (L461)


    The last three get into the gray area of "custom" or "semi-custom" guns in that most of their rifles were made to order from a list of cataloged options. However, all of them made some "spec" guns which were in-stock either at the builder or at some retailer.

    It is my belief that High Standard made the rifles on the L57 actions for both Colt and Ward's (although Colt's later guns appear to have been 100% Sako). While High Standard may have been the manufacturer, I have not listed them because so far as I am aware they never sold a Sako-action gun under their own label. High Standard did, however, sell some FN-action guns under the High Standard brand.

    I'm only aware of Ithacas as using Tikka actions, but I'm not that well-versed on Tikkas and there may be more. But in the case of Ithaca, I think that the entire rifle ("lock, stock, and barrel") was made by Tikka and simply stamped Ithaca and imported and distributed by the Ithaca company.
  11. L61R

    L61R Administrator Forum Owner

    And then we have Holland & Holland, AnschxFCtz and Grendel.
  12. stonecreek

    stonecreek Active Member

    Jim, I should have remembered Anschutz from our previous conversation. Never having run across a Holland & Holloand on the rack in the local pawn shop, I was unaware of their using a Sako action. Perhaps if I'd paid closer attention at the last flea market I attended I would have noticed one among the Daisy BB guns and Crossman CO2 repeaters.[​IMG] Tell us more about the H&H's and the Grendel.
  13. L61R

    L61R Administrator Forum Owner

    Stone and all!
    Apparently Holland & Holland made a few rifles out of barrelled actions. They were individually numbered but I am not sure if they did this in addition to the common serial numbers?
    The stocks on those I have seen have been a little bland. The barrelxB4s were marked Shot and Regulated by H&H. H&H made approx 500-600 rifles using actions/barrels from other makers.
    I have info on this somewhere but I need to check my harddrive to see if I can dig them up?
    TherexB4s two for sale at a Danish dealer:
    I have seen a few Grendel rifles when surfing the net but the only thing I remember is that they were a company associated with Armalite. I may be wrong here so donxB4t take this for granted.
    HerexB4s a link to our old site:
    I have a hunch there are more manufacturers who used Sako actions but I need to ponder on that for a while. When it comes to Tikka I have no clue as I am ignorant to these.
  14. Stone & L61R:
    Thanks for the input. Didn't know about Sears, Mountain Research, Winslow, & Flaigs. The H&H & Grendal rifles were also not on my radar.
    L61R thanks for the links. Great info!!!
  15. m995

    m995 Member

    Add Lazzeroni
  16. stonecreek

    stonecreek Active Member

    Right you Are! All on the TRGs action, correct?
  17. cmjr

    cmjr Member

    I'm not sure Grendel ever manufactured rifles on Sako actions. First off there is no company called Grendel, but there is a Alexander Arms which was the originator of the Beowulf and Grendel line of cartridges. Mainly the .50 Beowulf and 6.5 Grendel. Alexander Arms does do special custom work on a one off basis, expecially in the earlier years, which I suppose dovetails with his experience with design for the DOD and the British gov . Bill Alexanders company does specialize in designing and selling his proprietary line of rifles on the AR platform. Maybe it's a different Grendel?
  18. jburke832

    jburke832 New Member

    Don't forget the forgettable JC Higgins
  19. L61R

    L61R Administrator Forum Owner

  20. scj

    scj New Member

    Thank you gentlemen, I appreciate the replies. They pretty much justified my guess, along with more info on other rifles. It's good when a discussion expands beyond the original question. It also gives me more old guns to look for. I'm not as concerned about the name it's sold under as who built it. This type of info is very valuable. In years long ago I sold a Sears rifle cheap, real cheap. Found out later it was an early Winchester M70 worth many times what I sold it for.
    A question now concerning the statement from emmerth that it is not a Tikka but an Ithaca. The barrel is stamped made in Finland, along with a Tikka LSA65 action. I understand Ithaca made guns in the USA, not Finland, and imported other European rifles and merely stamped them Ithaca. Is this wrong?
    As far as LSA meaning light,strong,accurate, I will agree with strong and accurate, but this is one of the heaviest rifles in my collection, with a beefy action. I was proud of my FinnBear with the 3 lug bolt, this has 4 lugs and the rear ones look stronger than many of the cheaper brands front ones. seems like over kill for a .270Win. More like what you would see on a .378 Weatherby.
    Once again Thank you for the replies.

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