Finnbear 375 H&H Question

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by aj100x101, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. aj100x101

    aj100x101 New Member

    OK, Before you guys all start to roll your eyes and shake your heads at a question I am sure you have heard on here a thousand times, I am trying to sell this rifle for the widow of one of my shooting pals that passed away last fall. I would like to get her a fair price and figured you guys would know.

    From what I could gather by reading a few of the older post on here, what she has is a Sako/ Garcia Import, L61r Finnbear .375 H&H.

    One of my question is on the stock. I read last night in one of the threads that Sako installed that dowel in the wrist as another recoil lug. When I first saw the rifle I "assumed" , yes I know what that means, that the stock had an internal crack in it and it had been repaired. Even said I wanted to meet the guy that did it because it looked so good.DUH!

    Is this one of the Model 72's that I was reading about? The dovetail bases are smooth. There is no black pistol grip cap. The checkering is a two point style on both the wrist and the forearm.Did they come with studs for the swivels?

    If someone would be so kind and take a look at the pics in my photobucket album and let me know what it is and what I should ask for it I would appreciate it. Ballpark numbers are just fine. I know what the scope is worth but the rifle has me a little stumped. I am not trying to ring every penny out of it, but I don't want to sell it and not get her what it is worth either. 375/#!cpZZ1QQtppZZ16

    Thanks, Tom (AJ100)
  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek Well-Known Member

    AJ: Welcome to the forum.

    I looked at your Photobucket album and from what I see I would guess this rifle to be one of the much discussed Model 72's. As you may have learned, a number of features varied in the short-lived Model 72, but this gun has several that were consistent with the model, particularly the smooth dovetails, the non-swept bolt handle, having been originally equipped with screw-on open sights (likely Williams), and the two-point checkering. Its SN is also consistent with the M72 timeframe.

    There may be a few guys whose have developed an interest in the M72 and who might pay little more than "market", but I wouldn't count on it. However, it is a very clean gun with only the missing open sights (and somewhat poorly filled sight holes) to detract from it. A buyer can find better fitting plugs, or can even find replacement Williams sights for it if he wishes. It does appear to have a mysterious "third" sight hole for the front sight that somewhat baffles me.

    In a common caliber like .243 or .30-06 it would probably bring about $600 (not counting scope) without too much effort, and maybe a bit more. The .375 is attractive to some buyers and usually brings a premium between 10 and 25 percent over more common calibers. You asked for ballpark, and I think those figures fall somewhere between the foul lines, but others may have a different or better idea. As always, my learned opinion is fully worth every penny you paid for it.[​IMG]
  3. aj100x101

    aj100x101 New Member

    Thank you very much for the help. The dowel in the wrist had me concerned. I do have the open sights for the rifle and I think I might have some better filler screws in my gun room "get out of trouble" box.

    I think with the factory sights and the scope I will put a price of $700.00 on it and see what happens.

    Thanks Again,Tom
  4. 0710point

    0710point New Member

    E-mail sent Tom
  5. mcgrif2243

    mcgrif2243 Banned

    Hey Tom,
    You indeed have a L61R Finnbear, Garcia import Model 72. I own three, two being Finnbears and one Forester. I am one of those with an "interest" in the 72's. FYI, the barrel sights are not Williams. They are Sako and very, very hard to find. Williams sights were not used by Sako until the "A" action rifles imported by Stoeger starting around 1979. The mysterious third hole Stonecreek is referring to for the front sight is a guide hole. The front sight for the Model 72 has a small pin on the underside in between the two screw holes. When attaching the sight, placing the pin into the hole insures the screws are lined up correctly. I understand what Stonecreek is saying regarding the Model 72, yet there are some rare features found on some Model 72's, (my three have such features) that in my opinion would bring a premium. Your .375 H&H with dowel in the pistol grip is indeed factory and I would have to say super rare. I have only seen one and it was a photo here on the forum and I think it was a Deluxe. Anyway, at $700, it should sell quickly.
    Regards, Will
  6. stonecreek

    stonecreek Well-Known Member

    Will: On second thought I believe you are right that Sako started using the Williams sights at a later date. Thanks for the info on the "third" front sight hole.

    I have to believe that the Sako screw-on front sights must have had a pretty short production run. Earlier front sights were sweated on, while later sights were screw-on by Williams. Do you have any idea how long the Sako-produced screw-on front sight was used?
  7. mcgrif2243

    mcgrif2243 Banned

    Hey Steve,
    Don't know for sure if the screw-on front sight carried over to the Model 74 Super or not. Since Sako went back to the "pre-72" type characteristics with the Model 74, my guess is they went back to sweating them on. I do know that non-import rifles during the Garcia era had sweated on front sights. I have a 1974-75 Garcia Hunting Annual that shows the Model 73 (Finnwolf) with the unique Sako rear barrel sight and the front sight. On my Model 72's, the rear sights are screw-on, but again, not sure about anything past the Model 72.
  8. gunner620

    gunner620 Member

    Will, I have a model 74 in 270 win. that was purchased in 1976 from a club in England,ser#504301. It has no import markings and the front sight screws on.

    there is no 3rd. hole for front sight mounting. No rear sight either,I guess anything

    is possible with SAKO. The gun was purchased new while I was stationed in Iceland.

  9. stonecreek

    stonecreek Well-Known Member

    Gunner: Your's is the first "G.I. bringback" I've heard purchased out of England. Virtually all others I've heard of came out of Germany. Do you have any idea how many sources there may have been in how many countries for servicemen to buy Sakos? Do you have any idea if today's servicemen (and women) can still purchase guns in Europe to bring home to the U.S.?
  10. mcgrif2243

    mcgrif2243 Banned

    Hey Jim,
    Yea, ya never know. I have a non-import (no stamp) Finnbear mannlicher made around the end of 1973 maybe early 74 with the sweated-on front sight and no barrel sight.
  11. S-A

    S-A Super Moderator

    It was my experience while in the European Theater that PX's had the ability to special order a number of items that were cataloged. Anywhere there was a larger base with a large PX you could get anything from Rosenthal China to Sako rifles. I even ordered a new Corvette through a military program that was waiting for me when a got home. Glad I wasn't whacked first.
    This is no surprise to me to here about things available (Sako's) in Great Britain. You could also purchase them in local shops and if you were an NCO or higher, they came home with all you personal goods.
    I have two Sako's that came home like this. Although in Germany, I did not by them through the military.
    5-6 Marks to the Dollar went a long way back then.
  12. gunner620

    gunner620 Member

    stonecreek,boy it has been a long time since I was in the Navy .My last over seas duty (1978 ) was on the aircraft carrier Forrestal and at that time we formed a club and did purchase guns for members of our club.It wasn't easy, as much paper work was required. My guess, but only a guess, is that military gun clubs overseas can still purchase guns with the proper documentation. The question about my purchase and bring back.....Our gun club in Iceland received a letter listing guns available as excess from a rod and gun club in England and I ordered the 270 I previously mentioned.I don't remember the name of the club in England. The purchase invoice (my receipt) only shows that it was a special order and on our club form.Received the gun with a set of high rings May 1976. Paid a total of $232.00 This included a set of high Sako rings that I also ordered. I hand-carried the gun through customs when I returned to the US with no problems. Hope this answers your question. Jim
  13. stonecreek

    stonecreek Well-Known Member

    Yes, thanks to both Gunner and S-A for responding. Although the opportunity to purchase Sakos overseas to bring home sounds like a huge windfall, I suspect that the challenge in those days was coming up with the spare $232 on military pay!
  14. S-A

    S-A Super Moderator

    Now that was the proverbial fly in the ointment, for sure.:cry3: I had a friend who wrote me a couple years later (I got out in '69) and he was trying to get his hands on a Golden Anniversary that had come in to the Rhein-Main Gun Club at $450.
  15. mcgrif2243

    mcgrif2243 Banned

    Speaking of front sights, a week ago, I got a new, never mounted, screw-on front sight and hood for a Model 72/74 off of e-bay for $35! Whooo! I just love a good find.

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