1972 Finnbear Mannlicher

Discussion in 'Sako Mannlichers and Carbines' started by waterwolf, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. waterwolf

    waterwolf Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering about this L61R Finnbear full-stock carbine. From the serial number, I believe it was made in 1972. I also read somewhere that the Finnbear full-stock carbine was made only in 1972. But then there are obviously the later versions of the AIII "Mannlicher" carbine, ...beginning when? Does someone know the manufacturing dates re: the earlier Finnbear carbine vs. the later AIII version (the ones with the somewhat unfortunate Williams sights)?

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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016

  2. Branxhunter

    Branxhunter Well-Known Member

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    Can't help you with your question but it is a beautiful rifle

    Marcus
     
  3. vigo

    vigo Well-Known Member

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    Hello robinpeck,
    What is the caliber? Need to know that to approximate date. Regardless, the Finnbear L61R long action in Mannlicher/Carbine configuration was available for only about a year or so '71-72, as an import option into the U.S. by Garcia Sporting Arms corp. To see the import stamp (if it is a U.S. import) You have to remove the barreled action from the stock, and the Garcia import stamp will be on the underside of the barrel, about half-way. During the Garcia import Model 74 years (74-78), the M-74 Carbine was available from 1974 to 78, only in .30-06, Until Stoeger became the SAKO U.S. importer. During the Transition from Garcia to Stoeger, in 1978-79, and the re-naming of the actions to the "A" designator, the AIII Carbine in .30-06 was still available. From 1974-1978, the Carbine did not barrel sights. In 1979, Stoeger's new Carbine had a front ramp with hood and a Willliams "guide" barrel sight. This model was initially offered in AII .243, and AIII .270 and .30-06. This is general reference info from original publications, and dates and other data posted here are approximate. There is more to this topic though, and probably plenty of more information on the SCC forum. Carl.
     
  4. waterwolf

    waterwolf Well-Known Member

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    It is a 30-06, and a Canadian rifle, so it doesn't have any USA import stamps.
    It seems to me, its a 1972 rifle. I don't see what else it can be.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  5. vigo

    vigo Well-Known Member

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    Since it is not a U.S. import, I think determining the production date/year is up in the air, unless one has an original hang-tag. I just determined that the old hang-tag data is no longer considered reliable, as the SCC now has factory records. I think the factory records are great, but as the administrators here state, do not submit a records request unless your SN falls within the numbers they have records for. For the L61R action Finnbear, that number is 1-48,000, for all long and magnum calibers. With this in mind, your rifle SN 84550 is obviously not within range. Carl
     
  6. vigo

    vigo Well-Known Member

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    Robinpeck,
    What do you mean by a "Canadian" gun? Was it purchased new in a Canadian Gun-shop? Have you verified by removing the stock that there is no import stamp on the underside of the barrel? If there is no Garcia import stamp or any importer stamp, without documentation of it being purchased new in Canada, it very well could have originally been purchased from anywhere SAKO's were exported, such as Europe, Military installations, England, Australia, South Africa etc. and brought to Canada. Around 72-73, The Garcia Corp, Headquartered at 329 Alfred Ave., Teaneck, N.J., expanded into Canada, with Garcia Outdoor Sports Ltd., 2440 Haines Road, Mississuaga, Ontario. Possibly SAKO and other firearms imported to the U.S. by Garcia were imported into Canada through the office in Ontario? Just a theory. Two of my SAKO Finnbear L61R action rifles dated 1971 (both have original Hang-tags) have no import stamp, yet I know those two were purchased at U.S. Military Installations in Germany and brought back to the U.S. The other I have with no import stamp, I have no idea where it went after it left the SAKO factory, nor how it ended up in the U.S. Carl.
     
  7. waterwolf

    waterwolf Well-Known Member

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    None of my Sakos have "import stamps" of any kind like you find on the USA market rifles. Although I suppose its possible that they might have been brought into Canada from some other market, Sakos rifles were never all that rare in Canada and have been imported for a long time, so its most likely that they were just direct imports from Finland to Canada.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  8. vigo

    vigo Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, I thought the photo's were of a rifle you owned. As I wrote in my previous post, if there is or is not an import stamp, the only way to verify that on a SAKO with a Mannlicher stock is to remove the barreled action from the stock and look on the underside of the barrel. Also, I have very limited knowledge about SAKO importation to Canada, but would really like to know what info you used to determine the SN 84550 in .30-06 makes it a 1972 manufacture. Also, as you posted, "so it's most likely they were just direct imports from Finland to Canada", it would be great to know who the Canadian import company(s) was/were that imported SAKO firearms into Canada. Carl
     
  9. waterwolf

    waterwolf Well-Known Member

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    ? The photo is of a rifle I own. When I purchase a rifle I always disassemble it to oil and wax the interior of the stock, clean and waterproof the metal, etc. and I have yet to see any import stamps on a barrel.

    re: "what info you used to determine the SN 84550 in .30-06 makes it a 1972 manufacture".

    Two things...first was a statement I read that said these carbines were only produced in 1972 and then there is this list of serial numbers and dates...which may or may not be very accurate...I am not overly concerned about this issue. If it was made in 1971 or 1973 that is fine with me.

    http://thehunterslife.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14777

    I do know that NAACO was the Canadian Sako importer around 1959-1962 (as well as producing their own proprietary line of restocked "Sako" rifles).

    I'm sure someone on this forum can provide a list of Canadian Sako importers with a timeline. Its not me though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  10. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Well, I finally have some information on long action Sako Mannlichers of this era. It took a while, but the subject was interesting and with the current cold and rainy weather it's been a good time to work at the keyboard.

    The reason it is so difficult to track down info on these in the Sako factory records we have is because our inspection records end about 1971 or 72. The inspection records are in serial number order. However, we do have a separate group of shipping records which, for whatever reason, extends until about 1978. The problem is that with the shipping records they are not in serial number order but are in chronological order by year and grouped with each page being a model and caliber. If you know the date of manufacture then it's not too hard to find an individual rifle, but if you are only guessing at the date of manufacture (as with all after about 1971-2), then you may have to scroll through literally thousands of pages to find the model/caliber group for a year, then thousands more pages to find the actual serial number within that model/caliber. There are 7,351 pages of shipping records!

    So here's what I eventually found on L61R #84550: It was shipped in November of 1973 to Impecco as one of 34 .30-06 Mannlichers in that shipping lot. This was the ONLY lot of .30-06 Mannlichers shipped in 1973 (other than the single gun shipped to "Sokos" and the two to "Messers Firearms and Co.", listed on the same page.) Below is the scan of that page.

    Now, as to the importer, "Impecco" was a subsidiary or related corporation to Garcia. Some Garcia imports were listed in the Sako records as going directly to Garcia, while others went to Impecco. Why Garcia used one or the other is not at all clear to me. However, what is clear is that when a rifle is imported to the U.S. the law imposes both a small import duty on it as well as the Pittman-Robertson 11% excise tax. Since 1968 the law has also required any rifle imported to the U.S. to bear the name and location of its importer. It would add a lot of extra time, cost, and red tape to first import a rifle to the U.S., then export it to Canada. So, I have to assume that Impecco imported this rifle (and perhaps the entire lot of 34) directly to Canada. Thus, no U.S. import stamp (or duty or excise tax).

    Another observation about importers: Sako has not always used an exclusive importer in each country. I do not know if there were multiple importers (at the same time) in Canada, but there certainly were in many other countries. In fact, the records show that Sako exported directly to various retailers in a number of European countries, as well as using at least a couple of different entities contemporaneously in each Australia and New Zealand as their outlets. It is my understanding that today Stoeger Canada is the exclusive Canadian importer, just as Beretta USA is exclusive to the U.S.

    But on to some other interesting revelations from the records: Sako shipped virtually NO .30-06 Mannlichers between 1973 and 1978. I find only two in 1974, three in 1975, and one in 1976, and none of these were to Garcia or Impecco. The records for 1977 can't be interpreted due to the original headers having been inadvertently cut off when they were originally microfiched, but the rocord shows that the floodgates opened in 1978 with the takeover by Stoeger, when they imported the vast majority of the 201 .30-06 Mannlichers shipped that year.

    Bottom line from the records: A handful (among which robinpeck's rifle is one) of .30-06 Mannlichers were produced in 1973 or earlier, after which essentially none were produced again until at least 1977 (and more likely 1978).
     

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  11. waterwolf

    waterwolf Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much for all your work. Outstanding. This certainly answers my original question, and again reminds me why I joined this great club.
    Thanks again.
     
  12. waterwolf

    waterwolf Well-Known Member

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    The only mark on "the underside of the barrel" on the (1973) Finnbear 30-06 is this single letter "B". I have no idea what it means.
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  13. vigo

    vigo Well-Known Member

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    Hello Robin,
    Mine all have the "B" as well, and I have no idea what it means either. If it did have a time period U.S. import stamp it would be very visible about 10" forward of the B and read, "Garcia Sporting Arms, Wash, D.C.". Anyway, maybe it's as simple as "B" for barrel!;) Carl. P.S. Are those Weaver bases on the top of the dovetails? If so how are they unfortunately attached?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  14. waterwolf

    waterwolf Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Weaver bases had been "unfortunately" attached with screws. It is very neatly done, a very professional job, but still, it was done...and it is what it is.

    However, the price I paid did take the Weavers into account. I paid almost half of what I would have paid had there been no Weaver mounts.

    I could hide the holes under scope bases. I have a couple of sets of slip-on bases, both Weaver and Talley, but the Weavers are ugly and the Talleys are too heavy (these long action carbines sure don't need more weight).

    Anyway, I took them off and put threaded plugs in the holes. They were big 8-40 screws, not the standard 6-48 screws, so I used stainless plugs from a Kimber Montana...actually doesn't look too bad...I'm not trying to hide the fact that someone drilled and tapped the receiver...like I said, it is what it is...and the rest of the rifle is so minty that it nearly makes up for it.
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    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016

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