A Pretty Good Day at the Range

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by icebear, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Went out today to work with a pair of Sakos and a CZ, all of them recently rescoped and/or reworked. Things are starting to shake out nicely. First up was my L461 carbine in .222. I bought that off Gunbroker a few months ago and have been fiddling with it to see how well it will shoot. A couple of weeks ago I replaced the Burris compact scope I had on it with a secondhand 3-9x Zeiss Diavari-C that I picked up off eBay. I am just incredibly impressed with the West German Diavari. The picture is visibly bigger and brighter and sharper than an equivalent Leupold or Burris. I think the larger eyepiece may be a factor, as well as just plain better glass. Anyway, I may just be replacing some more of my Leupold, Burris, etc. scopes with Zeiss, as finances and availability permit. I've had a 6x Diatal-C for a long time and that's also a superlative scope, but the Diavari is a real eye-opener.

    Anyway I got the scope more or less sighted in at 100 yards with Remington ammo and then loaded up 3 rounds of Lapua 50-grain JSP to see what it would do with good ammo. I was rewarded with a nice little half-inch triangle. I think we have a winner there. I had also been fiddling with the tension on the barrel band screw, as a lot of shooters say that affects the accuracy of a full-stock rifle. The Finnish m/39 infantry rifle is known to be sensitive to this factor. Anyway I got the half-inch group with the barrel band screw backed off about half a turn from tight.

    Then I turned to a .300 H&H FN-Sako that I have been fooling around with for ages. I got this thing years ago as a custom with an ugly Weatherby-era Bishop stock. I completely reshaped the stock, installed a recoil pad, and did a few other things; the last time out I managed a one-inch, three-shot group. This time was a little better with four rounds in 7/8". There was a fifth round but it was a called flyer way out in the ozone. So, I'm pretty pleased with that one too. The FN-Sako has a 2.5-8x Leupold Vari-X III in a fake EAW pivot mount. That is an excellent scope and I've favored that model for years, but it isn't the equal of the Zeiss.

    I also spent some quality time with a CZ 527 in .22 Hornet. I bought that rifle at a show up in Phoenix and it's been driving me up the wall ever since. I've had constant feeding problems with it, which turned out to have two causes. First, you have to slam the bolt forward rapidly or the nose of the bullet will flip up and jam. Second, I had a bad batch of reloads that some SOB at a show sold me with the lie that they were factory. I even bought an extra mag for the gun, but the mag wasn't really the problem. Anyway I finally got that sorted out and replaced the 6x Burris compact I had on it in factory CZ rings with a 3-9x Leupold compact in Warne QD rings. I spent the extra for QD rings because the little CZ has a nice set of iron sights on it and I thought it might be fun to pull the scope off and plink with the iron sights. This was also an opportunity to lower the sight line of the scope, as the factory CZ rings are very high, presumably to accommodate a European scope with a larger front bell. I didn't get any itty-bitty groups but I did get the new scope sighted in and the rifle showed some promising results for next time.

    I like the Warne QD mounts. Warne used to make them for Sako, but unfortunately they have been discontinued. I have a set on an AIII full-stock carbine that has iron sights.

    Final note: I just went through this post to fix the damage done by spell check. My favorite was that it changed "rescoped" to "rescued."


    Here are some images.

    FN Sako & 222 Carbine001.jpg
    L461 carbine in .222 with Zeiss Diavari-C in Sako medium rings
    Carbine + Zeiss.JPG
    Custom FN-Sako in .300 H&H
    FN 300-1.JPG
    CZ 527 in .22 Hornet (older, Brno-built gun) The scope could go quite a bit lower, but these were the lowest QD rings I could find and they are way lower than the original CZ rings. The detachable magazine is not in the rifle.
    CZ Hornet w:Zeiss 1.JPG
     

  2. Branxhunter

    Branxhunter Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful rifles Icebear, and the Sakos are shooting nicely too. You are obviously like me - a sucker for nice timber!

    Marcus
     
  3. XTrooper

    XTrooper Active Member

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    Very nice rifles and shooting, icebear! Love the .300 H&H cartridge, as well!
     
  4. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    If you like nice wood, here's something for your amusement. I do a fair amount of stock work and general woodworking, and a while back I picked up a French Unique .22 pocket pistol that had a set of plastic grips that looked like they'd been left out in the heat too long. Sort of like Salvador Dali's painting of watches. Replacement originals were nonexistent, low quality repros were expensive, so I decided to make my own from scratch. I made these out of a slab of Hawaiian Koa wood I had stashed away in a drawer. It's actually quite a nice shooting little pistol. The sights are much better than average for a pocket pistol, and I did a trigger job while I had it apart.

    Unique M52 Left Side.JPG Unique M52 Right Side.JPG
     
  5. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Me too. I've got three of them - the FN-Sako custom, an early L61R Finnbear, and a Model 70 with a Super Grade stock and an old 3x Leupold in a Griffin & Howe side mount.
     
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  6. RifleNutPPC

    RifleNutPPC Well-Known Member

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    Great work on the pistol grips!
     
  7. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. They were a lot of work to make, mainly because I couldn't use the old grips for a template so I had to freehand the shape. Also the location of the screw holes is absolutely critical - off by even a tiny bit and you've just wasted a nice piece of fancy wood. I drilled and counterbored the holes before I cut the final outline. But, it was worth the work - I don't think I've ever seen another pair of pistol grips made of Koa wood.
     
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  8. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I've only got one .300 H&H -- an early L61R -- but it is a ringer. It was not well-cared for earlier in its life; the stock had plenty of nicks, the outside of the barrel had some pitting, and someone had assembled the bottom metal without the magazine box properly seated and bent it. But I got it cheap, so I thought I could afford to refinish and reblue. However, once I shot it and found that nothing I put in it was willing to group larger than 3/4 of an inch, I changed my mind about the refurbishment because a gun that shoots that well should be left alone! I've since taken elk, whitetails, and feral hogs with it and it is my favorite large game rifle. It may not be the prettiest Sako on the rack, but it is truly a favorite.
     
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  9. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    That’s funny Stone, and I don’t blame you.

    I learned this lesson the hard way, because that’s exactly what I experienced when I refurbished a Sako L61R Deluxe. I bought it very reasonable, (sounds like it was in similar condition to yours) shot it at the range, hunted (killed a nice mule deer) with it for a season. Then thought I’d do my magic in the off season.

    The rifle was sub MOA clusters with factory ammo prior to rust bluing the barrel, action - and refinishing the stock. When I put it all back together I could do no better than 1.5” at 100yds. Even hand loading didn’t provide acceptable results. I tried literally everything you can imagine to tweak out better accuracy. I even had friends shoot it. I ended up selling it to a friend (very reasonable) who simply wanted a nice rifle which was hunting accurate. He’s completely fine with it as is - and still shoots it to this day.

    There’s no good reason for this example as I’ve had success with several other rifles in my ownership. Just was a mind boggling, sort of costly, frustrating experience.
     
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  10. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Let's see a picture!
     
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  11. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Several years ago a dealer friend came across a Savage 99 in .300 Savage made in 1939. It had been drilled and tapped and had a cloudy old Kollmorgen 4x on it. He sold it to me for cheap, and I went out to try it at the range in its "as delivered" condition. It put three shots into an inch. My dealer friend said "Don't touch that barrel!", advice I adhered to as I am yet to put a patch down it. Since I shoot it once every five or six years I figure it can go several decades without cleaning it and thus preserve whatever magic is in that old barrel.

    I'll post some photos of my L61R .300 H&H when I work up the energy to take some.
     
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