A Sako AIII - Couple of Questions

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by South Pender, Feb 27, 2020.

  1. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    I ran across this Sako AIII and had a couple of questions about it. First, is this stock design very common on Sako rifles of that vintage? The Monte Carlo cheekpiece seems really extreme, greatly-raised and angular--a little off-putting to my more-traditional tastes. The Serial No. is 535XXX. Can someone give me the date of manufacture? I'm guessing somewhere in the late 1970s, but that's just a guess. It's a 270 Deluxe and appears to be in pretty good shape (but again just a guess). Any idea of its current value on the used-gun market?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020

  2. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the comb height is typical of the AIII series rifles. A lot of folks including myself do not care for this especially when compared to an L61R. 78 or 79 is my guess on the manufacturer date. It looks to be in good shape, but I do sense a few imperfections if I’m not mistaken. Deluxe rifles take a rather large hit regarding value if they are dinged up. Value is very subjective. In my region it may bring $850-900 +\- US, but it could do better in other regions. Maybe others will chime in.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
  3. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your views on this, Sean. What do you see as the imperfections? Not that the pics I have are very good.

    Here are a couple more pictures:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    One thing I liked about the earlier Sako Deluxes is the skip-line checkering.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
  4. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    The photos are certainly not the greatest so maybe what I see is actually because of the grainy quality. I see a ding on the right side in your first post where the bottom and side of the stock meet. The left side appears to show more dings around the cheek piece edge, but this photo is dark and somewhat out of focus. There also seems to be an imperfection on the right side above the rear sling mount. Again dark and not very well focused. If I’m wrong then obviously the value should increase accordingly.
     
  5. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    Yes, hard to say, isn't it. The pictures are not mine; I just copied some I saw in an online ad. Thanks for your astute observations.
     
  6. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Yes, the high cheekpiece is appropriate to the A-III.

    You need to ask for better photos to assess its value. I agree with Sean that chip, scratches, and obvious signs of usage hurt a Deluxe percentage-wise more than a Standard. Deluxes need to be in very good condition in order to bring a Deluxe premium. Otherwise they're just "shooters" which, at one time, had an extra nice finish. Deep, mirror-like bluing is meaningless if an appreciable amount of it has been worn off, just as skipline checkering is worth no more than standard checkering if it shows multiple deep bruises.
     
  7. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Goes to show the difference in personal taste. I intensely dislike skip-line checkering and much prefer a fine-line, deep, borderless style without embellishments such as the fleur-de-lis popular with some custom gun builders. I am currently redoing a Tikka Deluxe in .222 and one thing that I plan to do is fill in the missing lines and deepen and point-up the checkering. Unfortunately the border is too much work to get rid of, so that will stay. Skip-line checkering is one of the reasons I do not own a wood-stocked Steyr-Mannlicher rifle. Most of them have skip-line checkering, although you will occasionally find one that doesn't.
     
  8. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Funny how tastes evolve over time. I don’t particularly dislike skip line checkering but these days I also prefer deep borderless finer checkering and dark over light wood. Twenty or more years ago I owned several Deluxe rifles, and also had a stable of German Mark V’s as well. I still own a couple of sentimental Deluxe’s and a few Anschutz .22’s which have skip line checkering but all the Mark V’s are gone. I’m more drawn to Standard Sporters with nice wood than any Deluxe. I respect and admire collectors of Deluxe rifles but over time my flavor simply changed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
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  9. deersako

    deersako Well-Known Member

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    Not to ruffle any feathers, but yeh, tastes evolve, and as such my only stainless synthetic rifle has grown on me more and more...

    It will never replace blued steel and walnut though.
     
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  10. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Now that’s funny, because I own only one stainless synthetic too. It’s a Sako of course, it won’t replace my blued and walnut rifles either, but it performs extremely well and I simply don’t have to worry about it as much. Cheers
     
  11. deersako

    deersako Well-Known Member

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    My exact thoughts too Sean, and of course it is a Sako. It’s been mentioned before, but the Sako 75’s are gaining more interest from some of us die hards.
     
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  12. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    If you're going hunting in Alaska, or someplace like that where it's cold, damp, rainy, snowy, etc. and you're going to be out all day or all week, there's nothing like stainless and synthetic. Otherwise, I prefer blue steel and aesthetic.
     
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  13. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    Well, although I have liked the Sako skip-line checkering on their Deluxe models, my preference, like yours, is fine borderless checkering panels. However, I do like ribbon and fleur-de-lis patterns like one of Lenard Brownell's patterns. Here it is (24 lpi) on my custom Sako P94S (if you click on the picture it should be enlarged):
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
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  14. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of checkering, as we have been, here is, I think, my candidate for worst Sako checkering (or my least favorite):

    [​IMG]

    Sort of looks to me as if the checkerer ran out of time and left the job incomplete.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  15. deersako

    deersako Well-Known Member

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    I don’t mind that.
     
  16. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    Again re checkering, is it all machine-done on today's factory rifles? Or is hand-checkering still found on factory rifles? One of the really endearing things about the early Sako L46s and L57s (and probably some L461s and L579s too) was the really large checkering patterns, including wraparound patterns on the forend--all hand-done.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  17. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I suspect that it is all machine-done on current production rifles.

    Although Sako checkering on their products from the "good old days" was generally very good, I've seen one or two examples of terrible work that should have never left the factory. These were probably done either by apprentices or hungover workmen when the inspector or supervisor was himself either absent or hungover. Like I say, the number of examples of this I've seen is very small, but when you do see one it sticks out like a sore thumb.
     
  18. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    One advantage for machine checkering, I guess. Machines seldom hungover....:D
     
  19. deersako

    deersako Well-Known Member

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    I had three AII’s (‘Hunter’ style stocks) that were very close together serial no. wise, same chambering.
    They all had the same pressed/bruised checkering defect in the pistol grip.
    Machines need to be kept an eye on too...
     
  20. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    No, but they get out of adjustment, run dry of lubrication, cutters get dull and aren't noticed until a job comes out really, really bad...And they are subject to setup errors by hung-over operators. I don't know how it is today, but in 2003 when I toured the Sako factory, you still had a bunch of guys in a room doing checkering. They were using electric tools for most of the cuts and finishing the work with hand tools. I don't know if they were doing all the guns by hand or just the Deluxe and Safari.
     

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