L61r bolt shroud.

Discussion in 'Discussions about L61R, AIII, AIV, AV, L691 action' started by Toddley, May 13, 2012.

  1. Toddley

    Toddley New Member

    I've been sniffing around this forum for some time and have gain some excellent knowledge with Sako rifles, but looking at all the fantastic rifles around here has me stumped!
    I have an early L61r standard in 270 Win with a strange to me bolt shroud. Cocking piece sits flush with shroud when cocked much like a Howa.
    Previous owner purchased around 1964 (they tell me) and hasn't been touched in any way, so i hope you guys might be able to id the bolt shroud.

    Attached Files:

  2. misako50

    misako50 Super Moderator

    That will mess with our minds. Looks like a Remsaviwinchrugerington shroud to me (take your pick). I haven't paid attention to all of the subtle differences in L61s but I don't think that rifle came from Finland with it on there. Just MHO- post more pics, please. Thanks for putting it up.-Misako
  3. bloorooster

    bloorooster Moderator

    Yep...I've never seen a bolt sleeve like this, and many questions come to mind...I'd like to see more pics, showing the bottom side of the shroud, left side shot to see more of the profile of this piece...I wonder if the cockong piece/shroud has flats milled in the bottom to support it as the bolt handle turns to cock the firing pin...some may know where I'm going with this as far as Sako's "improvement" on the the M 74 super design and the use of the pin to carry the torque load of the cocking action and sear/trigger alignment... also the firing pin almost looks loose in aspect to the gap showing between the shroud and firing pin end piece...Sako has very tight tolerances typically~Bloo
  4. piper235b

    piper235b Member

    G'day & welcome aboard. Always great to see the locals getting a few words in.

    Yes, I have an early L461 in .222 which is the same. Does your receiver have an 'M' stamped next to the 'Lions Head' mark on the side?

    I saw another rifle with the same type of shroud, which a collector in SW Sydney showed me , sorry I can't remember the calibre but he made the observation that the guns which did have the unusual cocking piece or shroud (that travels into the back of the bolt), had a 3rd mark on the side of the receiver which is like a capital 'M'.

    Shall post some pics tonight after work.

  5. topgear

    topgear Member


    Your bolt looks perfectly normal to me and is the same as all the early sako's from the 1960's I've seen here in Australia. I also have an l61r in .270 (serial number range 11XXX) which has an identical shroud to yours. My early L461's also have the same shroud setup. All the early australian sako's I've seen (L461, L579 and L61) have had the same and I've probably seen hundreds of them in my lifetime.

    Piper - both mine have an M stamped on the action. I believe (speculate) this refers to the barrels having the 'sako' micro grove rifling barrels (well both mine do).

    Cheers John
  6. topgear

    topgear Member

    One more thing. Your sako is what will be referred to on this board as a "pre-garcia" sako. It should have a black plastic grip cap on the stock with white line spacer and also the same on the butt plate.
  7. sraaw

    sraaw Member

    Hello All,
    I can support what the other Australian members are saying. I recently looked at a couple of older .222 Rem L461s (Hunter and Carbine) in Canberra that had the same bolt shrouds. I had never seen this type before myself - as my only L461 is a transition gun which has the A1 or slanted bolt shroud.

    Having closely watched this site for a couple of years now I can also say that I have never noticed anything like this on here before either.

    It appears that this my have been a difference that was geographically driven by the Australian Importer/market of the day?

    I would certainly be keen to hear from anyone who can shed some further light on the issue!
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  8. bloorooster

    bloorooster Moderator

    :nopics:great thread guys, keep this one going! I find this rather interesting, a new sakoddity to ponder! I still wanna see more pics...What Importers are common with Sako's down under? ~Bloo
  9. topgear

    topgear Member

    Australia sako bolts all from between 1964 to 1966. Left to right L461 in .222 rem, L61r .270 win, L61R .375 H&H which show the above shroud which was standard on all the L series from this era that I've seen. All have bofors barrels and would be considered "pre-garcia's" in the US.
    bolt1.jpg bolt 2.jpg
  10. Toddley

    Toddley New Member

    Piper, you are correct, mine also has the 'M' stamped after the crest. Topgear, your pics answer it all, my bolt is the same as yours. My rifle has the 'Bofors' barrel, white spacer/black cap on the grip etc
    Bloorooster, the gap between the firing pin and shroud is actually a chamfer on the firing pin giving the illusion of poor fitment (Thank the heavens)
    The previous owner told me it has never seen a gunsmith and thanks to you kind gents i can sleep easier knowing its factory and not some strange repair.
    Thanks to all, Todd.
  11. topgear

    topgear Member


    Below is a time series of some of the L46 and L461 bolts I have. Left to right. Early left wing safety L46, later ring wing safety L46, a 1965 L461 and lastly a 1980's L461 (cross over) with the A1 shroud. A lot of the L461 .17 remingtons imported into Australia had the A1 bolt shroud.

    The shroud's shown in this thread where what was used in the 1960's for all the rifles I have seen in Australia. I would have thought it was the same in the US?

    l461 bolt series.jpg
  12. misako50

    misako50 Super Moderator

    Topgear- This is correct. Those and the picture of the other three are like what we have here, on the respective rifles. What I was looking at on the first picture looked llike a bell rim shaped shroud with the cocking piece in the fired position that was abnormal.-Misako
  13. piper235b

    piper235b Member

    You are spot on mate, the M would refer to micro groove barrels as the only rifles I have with micro groove barrels (a late L46 and early L461 - both .222's - both stamped Bofors Steel) both have the M stamp. Photos below.

    The first few photos are from the L461, and the last few from the L46. Also of interest to me is that the L461 bolt still has the long extractor; when did they change over to the short extractor I have on later model L461 .222's?

    I've only ever worked out approx ages; maybe the keener Sako connoisseurs could help me with a better idea of the manufacturing years, I wonder if they can't be too far apart in age even though the serial numbers are a fair bit apart.


    PS in my preview the photos came up too big. I hope they resize down when I post. Sorry if they don't - how do you manage the size when posting?? Thanks

    Attached Files:

  14. topgear

    topgear Member

    Hi Piper

    As a general guide the long extractor on the L461's seems to get phased between 100 000 and 125 000. I've never seen or heard of a long extractor after about 125 000. Someone on here will have a better idea. They are getting hard to find if you need to replace them. The Zastava 85 will also fit them but finding these too is getting harder.

    I like your L46 sporter. Do you hunt/shoot it with open sights or have you scoped it?
  15. bloorooster

    bloorooster Moderator

    Good stuff guys! Topgear...Do your L61R bolts shown in the previous pictures have a rear locking lug...I can't really tell by the camera angle, but it almost looks as if they don't. The early L61R's imported to the US had the third safety lug towards the bolt handle~Bloo

    L61R shroud 006.JPG L61R shroud 002.JPG L61R shroud 003.JPG L61R shroud 005.JPG

    I took some pics of my example from 1970, a garcia gun numbered 55XXX, the shots of the rifle are of fired position and cocked position...I believe the shrouds are the same same and the firing pin is what is different! ~Bloo
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  16. stonecreek

    stonecreek Well-Known Member

    I have never, never, never ever run across the "Austrailian" bolt shroud here in the U.S. What a fantastic discovery! I'd love to hear from anyone in Europe, Canada, the U.S., or anywhere else who has one of these. From the posts so far, it looks like they are limited to parts of the world where people walk around upside down.
  17. bloorooster

    bloorooster Moderator

    Stone, what are your thoughts on the M stamping? From the pics, it looks like the M has been stamped after the action was blued. I have a L46 numbered in the 50XXX range, it has the "mulitgroove" (12 groove) barrel...~Bloo
  18. stonecreek

    stonecreek Well-Known Member

    I agree that the stamped "M" was done subsequent to the factory stamping and appears to be applied by hand. I don't think it has anything to do with the barrel rifling, but perhaps is related to the import to Australia. These "M"-stamped receivers and long bolt shrouds are entirely new to me -- after some 45+ years as a Sako enthusiast.

    Just some rank speculation here: We think that Howa of Japan was at one time licensed to produce certain Sako patents (and thus the origin of the infringing Dickson-Howa Golden Bear Sako copy which was imported to the U.S. for a short time in the late 1960's or early 70's). Someone mentioned that the extended bolt shroud is similar to a Howa. Could it be that these bolts were produced by Howa for the Sakos marketed in Oz? Seems far fetched, but why else would Sako have licensed some Sako patents to Howa unless it was to facilitate marketing in some part of the world? Would Japanese-produced parts have made the Sakos somehow easier/cheaper to import to Australia? As I say, this is rank speculation on my part. Maybe some of our Aussie members might have some insight?
  19. gunner620

    gunner620 Member

    It is not only the bolt shroud,the cocking piece looks different to me as well. Ahhh Sako mysteries!
  20. bloorooster

    bloorooster Moderator

    I don't think the shrouds are any different in length..looking closely at the firing pin assbly on Toddley's rifle, notice the tang portion is extended (much like the A type tang with red dot indicator) protruding past the end of the firing pin adjustment screw...the bolt pictured in my L61R has that portion squared off even with the end of the assbly, making the assbly and subsequently the firing pin longer, not the shroud...using the location of the safety lever to scale the shroud length, it appears to me to be the same between the the two rifles...~Bloo

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