A hard-used L461 HB .223

Discussion in 'Sako Short Actions' started by Branxhunter, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I still think that the action is usable, or could be made usable. However, there is such demand for Sako parts like the ejector, housing, trigger, bolt sleeve, magazine parts, etc. that you might get enough money out of those to pay for most or all of a better action.

     

  2. Branxhunter

    Branxhunter Well-Known Member

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    So I have put in a permit to acquire for the $650 Sako in the LGS, so the Bofors is available for you collectors out there - I will put a more comprehensive post with extra photos in the for sale section for those interested.

    Marcus
     
  3. topgear

    topgear Sako-addicted

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    Good luck with the build Marcus and keep us posted on its progress.
     
  4. DPR

    DPR Member

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    I would have the smith pull the barrel to get a good view of the lugs. If you found a new bolt the action might be usable, but hard to say without a look at the action lugs. It definitely looks like some one made a living with it. I saw a Sako 243 a few years back that had absolutely no rifling left in it. It looked like a shot gun barrel is was so worn out.
     
  5. Branxhunter

    Branxhunter Well-Known Member

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    Reading back through this old thread I realised I should give an update. The old well worn L461 is still going strong.

    I sold off the big Hakko scope for $400 (all $ are AUD) from memory, leaving me $200 in the rifle. The Tasco WC bridge mount that was on the rifle had gone onto the .20-222. I already had an old Hillver bridge mount and 1" rings that came on the .20-222 donor so they moved across onto this rifle.

    I also has a Tasco World Class PLUS 3-9x44 scope that had come to me when I bought my Brno Mod 2, and had sat in a box on the shelf for the last 4 years. It mounted up perfectly just clearing the barrel, and was a evaluation under the spotlight - beautifully bright and clear.

    I picked up a second hand 21" Tobler stainless fluted barrel already chambered in .223 and threaded for an L461 for $90. Once screwed in it was evident that there was excessive headspace due to the worn bolt lugs. To check whether it would shoot I necked 10 cases up to 6mm and then incrementally sized longer portions of the necks them back down to .224 until they chambered with a slight feel. It proved to shoot well with reloads using 55gn Sierra SP, 40gn Sierra BKs and 40gn Nosler Varmageddons.

    To enable factory spec rounds to be safely fired I sent the rfile to a local gunsmith who turned a little off the read of the barrel shoulder to tighten the headspace up. Testing then found the barrel loves the factory OSA round with the 55gn Sierra SPs, disliked the OSA plastic tip Blitzking loads, and shows various results with a limited selection of other factory offerings I tried.

    One aspect that transpired with all this testing was that reloads couldn't be run too warm as cases would quickly get sticky, and this was mainly due to the worn bolt lugs and worn extractor cam on the bolt leading to no contact and hence no initial camming as the bolt is lifted. A mate from work built up the bolt extraction cam with a TIG welder and I filed it to the required shape. It certainly improved the issue significantly but hasn't completely fixed it.

    In keeping with the low cost approach I used Birchwood Casey cold blue to reblue the action and bolt which I had polished when this old thing was going to be a donor.

    More to come.

    Marcus
     
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  6. Branxhunter

    Branxhunter Well-Known Member

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    So the old .223 has been on duty for the last few years knocking over foxes,rabbits and other beasties. Because of what it is it is the only rifle that tends to sit in the safe in an unclean state, and so it is the one I can just grab, slide some shells into, and go a chase something in the paddocks around the house.

    Here are a couple of photos of it in action:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG].

    I had recently been running a Zeiss 4.5-14x44 HD5 on this rifle, but yesterday slid it off (it too is mounted in Hillver bridge mount and rings, so just loosen off the side screws and slide off backwards) and slipped the Tasco back on in its bridge mount. These were the first two shots at 100m to check zero:

    [​IMG]

    One click up and zeroing done.

    Marcus
     
  7. deersako

    deersako Well-Known Member

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    That’s great Marcus !
    You’ve cleaned the stock up nicely, looking at the original pics I thought that stain would have been hard to remove ?

    What trigger did you put in it ?
     
  8. Branxhunter

    Branxhunter Well-Known Member

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    Cheers DS.

    Yes the stock came up OK, although the checkering needs repointing and there is an oil mark on the LHS that is still there, and a square-edged compression dent across the top of the wrist I couldn't steam out. Cam Hatcher saw it and knew what it was immediately; his father was a pro-shooter and had a Sako varmint with exactly the same dent, which was caused by the holder the rifle sat in within the the cab of the ute while spotlighting. I'm not too fussed as it means it is the perfect work tool that I don't need to coddle.

    The trigger is a Timney I bought second hand from member 6x47l. I swapped out a spring and it now has a very nice pull weight. I also ground the front of the trigger finger lever, as it had a sharp transition from vertical into the curved finger piece that sat below the line of the stock and was uncomfortable. It has a much better and more comfortable shape now.

    Reading back through the thread I see Topgear mentioned having a .17-222; I bought a barely used heavy stainless Shilen chambered in .17-222 from a friend to try on this action. Its threaded for a Zastava 85 which is close but apparently not identical, as it will screw on about halfway. With the .223 barrel still shooting so well the urgency to sort out the .17 barrel isnt there at the moment.

    A few more of 'Ol' Dependable':

    image.jpeg image.png

    image.jpeg

    All three foxes were shot at seperate times in one of the paddocks bordering our house yard. Last thing at night I headdress out and lock up the chooks (chickens for you yanks ;)) and I sweep the Solarforce LED torch across the paddocks while I am outside.

    If see somethingI grab an un-oiled rifle - usually the old .223 - put the torch on top and go for a walk. I think the tally for 2018 might have been around or 8 or 9 from within 300m of the house. :D

    Marcus
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
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  9. Branxhunter

    Branxhunter Well-Known Member

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    That stubborn oil stain can be seen on the LHS of the stock in this photo:

    [​IMG]

    A before and after comparison:

    [​IMG]

    A close up of how I mount the LED torch:

    [​IMG]


    Marcus
     
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  10. Branxhunter

    Branxhunter Well-Known Member

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    Well I finally got around to sending the action and .17cal Shilen barrel away a couple of months ago, and it returned three weeks ago. I spent some time doing some pressure tests with the variety of powders I have on the shelf, all in Lapua .222 brass with Rem 7 1/2 primers and 20gn v-maxes.

    The data:

    AR2207
    17.2gn AR2207 - 3590 fps

    BM8208
    20.0gn - 3727 fps
    20.2gn - 3686 fps
    20.4gn - 3768 fps
    20.6gn - 3798 fps

    AR2206H
    19.7gn - 3489 fps
    19.9gn - 3526 fps
    20.1gn - 3518 fps
    20.3gn - 3542 fps
    20.5gn - 3673 fps

    BM2
    21.0gn - 3857 fps
    21.2gn - 3953 fps
    21.4gn - 3948 fps
    21.6gn - 4000 fps
    21.8gn - 4033 fps

    AR2208
    20.4gn - 3408 fps
    20.6gn - 3418 fps
    20.8gn - 3461 fps
    21.0gn - 3508 fps

    The idea was to check for pressure and velocity. For most of these powders there is no listed loads so I looked at 17FB, .17Rem and .222 listed loads for guidance. All were easy to extract with no pressure signs, and could be loaded with heavier charges. I have tried more increments for BM8208 and BM2, with the latter being the clear winner:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tried it out under the light last weekend:

    [​IMG]

    Marcus
     
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  11. Branxhunter

    Branxhunter Well-Known Member

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    I thought for velocity and accuracy BM2 was good.....


    ...... turns out BM1 is even better!

    Group shot while pressure testing (all extracted easily, no pressure signs at all):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A couple more victims:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Marcus
     
  12. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Hi Marcus, You are the man.

    I'm getting cranked up for the 14 walker Hornet build. I'm using a Ruger SS rig for the receiver and stock. Managed to get my mitts on one of the very last medium 14 cal barrels that were made by Pac-Nor. Just ordered a new Grizzley mill (sold off the older machines in the hopes of getting an upgrade). So within a month or so I should be up and running.

    rick
     
  13. Branxhunter

    Branxhunter Well-Known Member

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    Excellent, I have been looking forward to this one.

    Marcus
     
  14. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    In my opinion, the .17 on the .222 case provides all the powder capacity that caliber can use (and probably a little more). In fact, the .17 Fireball may be as close to perfect as you can get; I'm not sure why Remington used the .223 case as a basis for its original .17 when the .221 or .222 would have made more sense.

    Looks like your Vixen is a great shooter!
     
  15. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Marketing! A new cartridge based on the .223 is cooler to the average Joe who has an AR-15 and wouldn't know a .221 Fireball from a spicy meatball. Also, there would likely have been a cost advantage. Remington produces .223 brass blanks in enormous quantity so the unit cost would be lower even though a Fireball has slightly less metal in it.

    Look at the evolution of the 7mm Remington Magnum and the assorted Winchester and Weatherby Magnums (.300, .338, .264, etc.). All those cartridges have a belt; the Winchester design is based on a blown-out and shortened .300 or .375 H&H. The original Holland & Holland design had a belt for a very specific reason - the long, gently tapered case needed it for headspacing. The later magnum cartridges need a belt like a cigar store Indian needs a bra. With their steep shoulder angles, all of them could easily have been designed without the belt. However, gun writers had made the phrase "belted magnum" into some kind of magical incantation, so Remington, Winchester, and Weatherby all put completely superfluous belts on their Magnums. As with the .17-.223, coolness trumps optimal engineering.
     
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  16. wombat

    wombat Well-Known Member

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    Hi Marcus, good project and a great calibre/cartridge combo. I made one nearly the same about 7 years ago, an L461 s/n 77***.
    With medium weight Shilen sporter 24" barrel. I have stuck with the 25gn. Hollow points, either Hornady or Berger, for some reason? I reckon the Bergers shoot better groups?? I have a Meopta 4-12x50 on it, under rated optics.!
    Shoots 3/8" to 3/4" groups all the time, with any of the following powders.
    AR2207, AR2206H, RL7 and N133.
    Perfect fox medicine as you have shown in those great pic. Enjoy.... Jay
     

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  17. Branxhunter

    Branxhunter Well-Known Member

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    Nice one Jay. I would
    Be happy to read and see more on your rifle and experiences.

    I have tried a couple of loads with 25gn Hornady and Rem HPs, and the results look promising.

    Marcus
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019

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