What About Bofors Barrels?

Discussion in 'FAQ' started by S-A, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. S-A

    S-A Super Moderator

    I've been recently going through the Sako Collector's Association (1982-1995 RIP) Newsletters and ran into this tidbit. All pre-'72 Sako's have a Bofors barrel. This information was from the factory when Sako One and Two (aka Mims Reed and Jim Lutes) were there on a visit in the 80's and told such. So, if you have a pre- 72, your barrel is a Bofors, just not stamped as such. Don't know about you, but I can live with that.
    If there are any doubting Thomas' out there you'll be able to read it for yourself soon.
  2. bsmith

    bsmith Member

    How about the post-Bofors barrels i.e. those for the Model 72's? Did Sako manufacture them or buy them from another supplier (in Finland)? And how would they be different from the Bofors barrels in metallurgy and dimensions? I know the finish (polishing and bluing) is of lesser quality.
  3. S-A

    S-A Super Moderator

    Don't know the supplier, but do know that when Sako moved into their new factory with all new equipment, I don't think the barrels were hammer -forged, and the way they did the rifling was also different. Not saying it was a bad thing. I will research this more.
  4. sakorick

    sakorick Member

    I was told at the factory in 1979 that "Bofors Steel" was marketing ploy and that Sako up to that point had purchased from the same supplier for a long as anyone could remember. The Bofors Corp from Sweden took Sako to court in 1968 with a international patent lawsuit. Sako lost the and immediately discontinued the "Bofors" mark. I believe this occurred in the Fall of 1968. There is nothing magical about "bofors steel".....it's just a mark. Regards, Rick.
  5. stonecreek

    stonecreek Well-Known Member

    I believe that 1968 is about the right date for the discontinuation of the Bofors mark.

    Barrel manufacturing: Early Sako barrels were cut-rifled. At some point, and I have no idea when other than it would likley coincide with the advent of mass distribution in the U.S., Sako switched to the higher-volume hammer forging method. Each method has its advocates, but mass-producing quality barrels in significant quantity via cut rifling is simply not practical (read: economical).

    Many people have speculated that the removal of the Bofors mark in 1968 indicated the switch from cut to hammered rifling, however that date is much later than the actual switch in that, to my knowledge, all of the L - 461, 579, and 61R series had hammered barrels from the beginning. I do know that they were being advertised as hammer-forged in the early 1960's.

    Like sakorick, my understanding is that there was no difference in the 1967 barrels marked "Bofors" and the 1969 barrels with no such mark. Sporter barrels of both lighter (earlier) and heavier (later) contours can be found with the Bofors mark, however I don't think you'll find any of the lighter contour barrels without the Bofors mark.
  6. S-A

    S-A Super Moderator

    I'm beginning to think this barrel stuff just isn't an issue at all anymore. We've gone over it a bunch of times. It doesn't make a darn bit of difference to me. It's not in the criteria I use to select a Sako anyway. Anyone dissatisfied with the barrel on your Sako (given it's been cared for properly and you haven't shot the crap out of it)? Bofor's of Sweden just happened to make a certain anti-aircraft gun that was extremely good out of their steel that was used into the 80's by a lot of Western countries. The "Bofors" stamping just makes you think you've got the mystique of a pirated DVD. Side by side, if the polishing and bluing was better on the non-Bofors, I would take that one, all else being equal. I'm certainly not going to wrap either one around a tree, or melt it down with my lightening fast action cycling :bigsmile3:. And no, I don't have any fancy Bofors barrels and I'm darn jealous of everyone else who does.
    I am, however, in agreement with that as stonecreek says, "there was no difference in the 1967 barrels marked "Bofors" and the 1969 barrels with no such mark."
    bsmith, I don't think there was any real difference throughout the barrels and certainly not through the L series rifles where this forum draws the line, technically, for it's purposes.
  7. sakorick

    sakorick Member

    Guys, there was no difference in the Bofors marked barrels and the barrels up to at least 1979 and probably beyond. The type of rifling whether hammer or cut rifled has nothing to do with it. The barrels all came out of the same steel stock and I assume 4140. Ask 10 different barrel makers how to come up with the the most accurate rifle barrel and you are likely to come up with 10 different answers. I know one thing through prima facie evidence, that the Garcia era rifles are more accurate than their earlier counterparts. Why? Because they were heavier. It all boils down to barrel timing, thickness and length. I am not an expert on this but have read enough to understand the basics. Just because your barrel is marked Bofors does not make it more accurate than one with a Garcia or Stoeger import mark......quite the opposite.
    Having said all that, I happen to collect Bofors marked Sakos and own one NIB M74 Super Garcia. I collect them because of their rarity not because I believe they shoot better. After all, a poor shooting Sako is, as a rule, more accurate than the best Parker Hale, FN, Browning, Winchester, Mauser or Remington ever made! Regards, Rick.
  8. misako50

    misako50 Super Moderator

    Ok "Guys"- Lets not get carried away with this "my rifle is more accurate than your rifle", BS. There is no way to prove that statement and all of it is conjecture at best. I will still covet the inherent accuracy of many Sakos and mine just happen to be from the Firearms International era and Bofors Marked. It someone has a Stoeger or Garcia that shoots well. That is just peachy, but to disparage the pre-guns because they are lighter is a mistake.-Mike
  9. robersonarmory

    robersonarmory New Member

    [​IMG]Sako stamped their barrels {Bofors Steel} becaouse they were proud to show that their steel blanks came from the Bofors steel plant out of I beleive Sweeden. If you look back in history this steel factory was used to for the the steel that made the Tiger tank barrels and other German artilery weapons that was so accurate. And it might be to everyones surprise but the same steel mfg company today produces the steel to make the barrels on M-1 Abrams as well. As for accuracy it differs from rifle to rifle. I have a Sako Bofors barrel 222 that shoots in the .3's and my benchrest Nesika custom has done a few groups in the .2's (5 shot groups) so that is saying alot for a factory chambered rifle. Weight has nothing to do with it!! I have seen some post 72 rifles of extreme Finish craftmanship, but they are using pre 72 parts.
  10. S-A

    S-A Super Moderator

    Yes, Bofors was/is a Swedish company. Seems the Swedes were selling steel to everyone:bigsmile3:
  11. cmjr

    cmjr Member

    I think it's interesting that no where in any archives generated by Bofors as to the history of the steel manufacturer will you see any reference to even selling steel to Sako. In fact after the lawsuit of 1968 there is nothing from Sako claiming they use Bofors steel is there? As for the inherant accuarcy of one marked Bofors and one not my experience doesn't show it makes a difference. The only time I'm glad I've got a Bofors barrel is when I'm selling one.
  12. S-A

    S-A Super Moderator

    How true. I have the hammer. All I need is the stamp and all mine would be Bofors, too. It is a good selling point. I don't think Sako ever changed there source for barrel steel back then. Don't know how that Bofors thing got started internally with Sako to begin with. Anybody know?
  13. sakochief

    sakochief New Member


    The Bofors stamp may not make it more accurate, but it sure does make it more valuable.
  14. blackjack

    blackjack Member

    Hello Sako Lovers,
    Surely Sako and Bofors must have had records when they were trading with each other. I find it very hard to believe that Bofors of Sweden are in denial of ever trading with Sako. Come on Ladies and Gentlemen lets dig deep and get to the bottom of this exhausting subject.
    Here in England we rate rifle barrel methods as such - The best are cut-rifled and lapp finished. Next is Button rifled and on the bottom is Hammer - Forged which we consider of low quality. So how can Sako make Hammer - Forged barrels and claim that they are so accurate? My B.S.A. "Hunter" .222 Rem made in 1955 has a medium weight barrel 24 inchs long, is cut - rifled and lapp finished and has a 1 in 14 twist. This rifle is incredibly accurate and will clover leaf the bulls eye at 100 yards. The rifle wears a Pecar Berlin 6 X 45 "Champion rifle - scope.
    Regards Blackjack AKA Mike {The Limey}
  15. S-A

    S-A Super Moderator

    Without going into a long story, I have always suspected that Sako bought it's Bofors steel through a supplier in Finland or perhaps from Bofors itself. This really doesn't matter. The issue was that Bofors never signed on to Sako stamping it's barrels "Bofors Steel". Perhaps Bofors looked at it as a possible liability issue which the lawsuit, won by Bofors, made Sako stop stamping barrels with the "Bofors Steel" stamp in 1968. Nevertheless, Sako barrels were cut-rifled and lapped as you point out.
  16. blackjack

    blackjack Member

    Hello S.A.
    Would you say that my 1970 H.B. .308 Win L579 "Forester" has a cut-rifled and lapp finished barrel. I seem to recall that DeerGoose wrote that Sako barrels were only cut-rifled and lapp finished up until the demise of the L46 and L57. Would this be correct?
    Regards Blackjack AKA Mike {The Limey}
  17. niclas

    niclas New Member

    BLackjack- Sako used Bofors steel from Sweden until about 1975. Then their steel production and development allowed them to use their own steel for production. The hammer mill production would hammer forge the steel around the "rifling rods"producing the barrels as we once knew them. The bofors steel in Sako barrels was a formula just as a name brand beer is a formula. They were using the steel a few years before the L57 was made. Thank you niclas
  18. misako50

    misako50 Super Moderator

    I have also read from Mims Reed and/or Jim Lutes that they used bofors steel long after they stopped marking them in late 1967(another tidbit from the same guys). And i also think it was around 1975 when it stopped. I have the article so I can find it, if that is important.-Misako
  19. S-A

    S-A Super Moderator

    I think after WWII many changes began in rifling methods. I do not personally believe that your HB has cut rifling. I am in the process of building (having built) a custom and have been researching some on the barrel making process. Here is an article I found that will help understand the process, and also mentions Sako. I think you will find it interesting. For me, it will help my gunsmith in the selection of the "right" barrel for an expensive endeavor.
  20. scottbitterman

    scottbitterman Moderator

    I have a 22-250 marked bofors steel and according to our data base it was mad early 69,another of one of those sako anomalies?

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