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What's the Significance of a BOFORS Barrel?

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by South Pender, Jun 15, 2017.

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  1. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    I see "Bofors Barrel" referenced frequently in discussions of and ads concerning Sako rifles. From a brief search, I gather that Sako marked their barrels "Bofors" prior to 1968, but possibly not after that date. Were the Sako barrels after this date different in some significant way from the Bofors barrels? Were the Bofors barrels considered superior in some way to other barrels?

     

  2. deergoose

    deergoose Sako-addicted

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    It's all a collector thing, IMHO. Short story is this: Sako used "Lokomo" Finnish steel from their non-military production beginning in their L46 and earlier small action prototypes as well as the Sako Mausers and L57s. Somewhere's along the late '50, they imported Swedish steel from the Bofors foundry and used it up until the mid-70s. The general rule is that the Bofors stamp went away in 1968 or so for whatever reason that you wanna believe (cost saving measures, lawsuits, etc....). However, I have confirmed a NIB Bofors marked Sako from 1971 (not my rifle), and I'm not at liberty to disclose the owner or any other details.

    Post-Bofors barrels for the most part are of a heavier contour, and as for Bofors superiority......(blasphemy) I've found that just the opposite is true. The most accurate rifles that I own have been early L46s and late '60s early '70s L579s in .243/.308. I've got a .222 (mid-50s) and a Mannlicher .243 (1970 or so) that shoots lights out. And what I've found is that Sako rifles shoot better than I do, which I kinda like it that way, to be honest.

    Great topic.
    hope this helps.
    DeerGoose
     
  3. blackjack

    blackjack Well-Known Member

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    Hello Deergoose,

    Amen to what you have just said. I own a Sako L461 HB in .222 Rem Calibre. This rifle came out of production in April 1978, and is the most accurate rifle I have ever owned! Also the late 1970's Sako's used really lovely walnut, and my rifle stock has Tiger stripes running right through the stock, and being a HB which do not usually have well figured walnut.

    Blackjack
     
  4. Cali

    Cali Well-Known Member

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    Having owned several Sako rifles from the early 60's to the early 90's all were tack drivers with the right load. There's much more to accuracy than just barrel steel. My experience is whatever they used it was good quality.
     
  5. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The three previous posts pretty much sum up the "Bofors" thing. Some collectors like to think the "Bofors" stamp denotes something special about the barrel & are willing to place a small premium for that stamp. The reality is Sako used the same steel for quite some time after they were forced to drop the stamping by the Bofors foundry & all Sako rifles, no matter the era or the stamping, have a reputation of having fine barrels with regard to the steel used & the manufacturing quality. The lines & shape of the stock & the barrel contours from the "Bofors" era are a bigger attraction to me than the barrel stamp.
     
  6. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that makes sense. My guess is that any differences in the steel quality used in different barrels are unlikely to relate to the eventual quality of the barrels produced. You'd have to assume that the chrome-moly or stainless steel alloys used for barrels are fully adequate for the purpose, and the differences in barrel quality stem from the precision of the boring, rifling, contouring, straightening, and lapping processes that are employed and the tolerances maintained.

    If I can expand the topic a little, has Sako always hammer-forged their barrels, or have they, at times, used cut- or button-rifling? Also, does anyone know what dimensional tolerances Sako employs in their barrels?
     
  7. blackjack

    blackjack Well-Known Member

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    Hello Sako Lovers,

    My 3 1950's B.S.A. rifles have Cut - Rifled & Lapp Finished barrels. B.S.A. changed to Button rifleing in the early 1960's and Cold Hammer Forging in the 1970's. I would suspect that my Sako. 6, 3 X 33 R { .25 - 20 WCF } which came out of production on 1st October 1949 is Cut - Rifled & Lapp Finished, because Button and Cold Hammer Forging did not exist in the 1940's and 50's. The B.S.A. rifles in .222 Rem., .22 Hornet. and 7 X 57 mm are all highly accurate and made to a very high standard, as Is the Sako L46 in 6, 3 X 33 R { .25 - 20 WCF } Calibre. My friend Bill who is a B.S.A. & Sako collector has said to me that if you look hard down the barrels of 1950's B.S.A. & Sako rifles that the rifleing lands & grooves have quite a rough finish, but this does not seem to de - tract from the accuracy. It would be very interesting to have some views on this subject.

    Blackjack
     
  8. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting, Blackjack. My guess is that cut-rifled barrels will probably show more roughness and tool marks than the other rifling methods unless the barrel is thoroughly lapped afterwards. Button rifling should produce a smoother finish, and hammer-forging might produce the smoothest of all, although I'm just speculating about the latter. In addition, one might think that dimensional precision (same land and groove diameter the full length of the barrel) would be easier with hammer-forging, since a perfect mandrel could presumably be made and then used a number of times. Again just speculation as I'm certainly not an expert on barrels.
     
  9. ricksengines

    ricksengines Well-Known Member

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    Seems to me that I remembered a pretty in depth discussion on Bofors Barrels appearing on the forum a while back. I found it so folks take a look at this thread.

    What About Bofors Barrels?

    You will be glad that you did and afterwards you will be Bofors experts.

    Enjoy!

    rick
     
  10. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Rick. I did do a search before putting up this thread, but obviously I didn't search far enough. Here's the link to that informative thread from 2010, "What about Bofors barrels?":

    http://sakocollectors.com/forum/threads/what-about-bofors-barrels.4522/

    The brief article in the link provided by Anonymous in that thread--on the three methods of rifling a barrel--is worth reading too:

    http://www.lasc.us/RangingShotBarrelMakingFeature.htm

    I think most of my questions have been answered....:)

    Looks as if the very early Sako barrels were cut-rifled, whereas the later ones were hammer-forged. Sako never used button-rifling. It's not entirely clear as to when the switch was made to hammer-forging.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017

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