AIII Model?

Discussion in 'Sako Long/Magnum Actions' started by Doug Gordon, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Doug Gordon

    Doug Gordon Member

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    Hello
    I have an AIII and I cannot figure out the model that this thing is. When I can figure out how to take a decent pic, I will include that on here. But for now, here is the description. The receiver is stamped AIII followed by the serial number 536XXX followed by a symbol stamp then an R. On the barrel where it meets the receiver is marked SAKO Cal 30-06. The only other mark on it is "made in Finland" on the side of the barrel. The stock has a thin red recoil pad and has a cheek piece but it is a straight comb, not a monte carlo. The wood is very nice walnut and seems to be an oil finish, not a glossy finish. There is a rosewood cap on the bottom of the grip. I have seen no pictures of other rifles like this on the interweb. Any ideas as to what model this could be?

     
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  2. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Doug,

    The serial number places the rifle between 78 and 81. From the description it could be a variation from the standard rifle. I’d rather not try and speculate any further without photos. It may be all factory as there are variations from the standard rifle, but again speculation is not responsible. It’s easy to post from a smart phone. Just snap some photos, then begin a post. At the bottom it says upload a file. Go to your library and select. Post photos when you get that figured out. Take care.
     
  3. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    You have exactly what the receiver stamping says you have -- a Sako Model A-III. It was, like its predecessor Model L61R, shipped in a box labeled "Finnbear" (Sako's name for its long action rifles.) Your description fits a variation of this model perfectly. It is the "Classic", which featured a non- Monte Carlo stock of American Walnut with an oil (or matte) finish. "Standard" and "Deluxe" Finnbears of the same era usually had glossy finishes on Monte Carlo stocks made of European Walnut.
     
  4. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    I tend to agree with stone. I was less conclusive as I just wanted to make certain it wasn’t somehow restocked. Probably not, but I didn’t want to commit, only to find out I was flat wrong.
     
  5. Doug Gordon

    Doug Gordon Member

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    Thanks for the replies and great info to all. Dad bought it new in '78 (I think) and mounted a Leupold Vari X II scope on it. He passed and the only time I shot it was when I was preparing for an elk hunt in 2003. 10 shells to sight it in and couldn't make the elk hunt. So, 10 shells total. I will work on pics shortly.
     
  6. Doug Gordon

    Doug Gordon Member

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    Sorry for the delay in getting pics up posted and I wish I could fit the whole rifle in a pic. So, this is an AIII "Classic"? I'm guessing it isn't as desirable as some of the Sako rifles with names like, Finnbear, Finnwolf, etc?
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Doug,

    Any Sako in excellent condition is desirable in my opinion. Some calibers and configurations have more collector value because of scarcity and rarity. Yours is a Classic and appears to be in awesome shape. Given time yours may become more collectible as great specimens will be harder to locate. Very nice rifle.

    Take care.
     
  8. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Au contraire! The "Classic" version generally brings a bit more than a contemporaneous "Standard" Finnbear. Yours also has the full wrap-around checkering on the forearm, which is more desirable than the later Classics which had checkering panels on each side of the forearm. I would say that it would bring a premium of 15% or perhaps more over a Standard.
     
  9. Doug Gordon

    Doug Gordon Member

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    Thanks again for the info! Since this thing just sits in the safe and I no longer hunt big game, I had considered selling it, however, I think I may just let it sit in the safe.
    Dad bought the rifle from a store called Gemco back in California in '78. There were two on the rack, the '06 he bought and a 7mm Mag. They were sitting right next to the Winchester Model 70s and the Remington 700s, and had the same prices on them that the Remingtons and Winchesters had. Just over $300. When he bought the '06, we drove to a local gun shop and had the Leupold scope put on it. As soon as we left the store, he figured he should get the 7mm Mag because he knew the price was wrong. By the time we got back to Gemco, maybe 2 hours, it was gone. Now that you've convinced me to let it sit in the safe, what do you think this is worth? There are a couple dings in the stock, 3 I think, standard safe marks I guess, but the bluing and everything else is immaculate.
     
  10. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    In my part of the country a rifle in the same condition and caliber might bring between $1050- 1200. Perhaps a little more or less depending on the dings. Unfortunately.30-06 brings a bit less because of the commonality even though it’s a classic cartridge. Most of these were built in fairly common calibers. As time passes it will slowly rise in value if kept in great shape. These were not produced in high numbers, so they will become more sought after and desirable, but it may take a while. If you have the original factory rifle box and papers, preserve it in a safe dry location. It will add value if you decide to sell in the future.

    Sean
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  11. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    If you park it in a safe for X number of years, you will be lucky if it's value keeps up with inflation. It's value is never going to make a difference in your retirement, regardless. If you aren't going to use it, give it to a close relative that will use & appreciate it or sell it. After all, it didn't cost you anything so you'll likely never make more than right now. These rifles were built to be used!!! They are not precious heirlooms worth 6 figures. Counting on a future windfall from it is a fool's errand, IMHO, & hiding it in a safe is a tragedy. Just my two cents.
     
  12. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    I do generally agree, a rifle like this was built to be used. However, a rifle such as this should also see whatever use the owner deems reasonable.

    Here is where I respectfully differ.

    Heirloom is a very subjective and personal term. One persons heirloom is perhaps not the same for another. For instance, my father passed down a turn of the century 1894 Winchester full rifle. I remember going with him when he purchased it from The San Francisco Gun Exchange. I was 5 years old. He used it for everything. It’s far from perfect, but it‘s my heirloom. Perhaps Doug will reflect later and decide he cannot part with it at any price. My Winchester might have a street value of 800. To me this rifle is priceless.

    Also, I don’t think there’s been any speculation that a rifle worth perhaps 1000.00 - 1200.00 would ever turn into 6 figures. Only Hillary Clinton (cattle futures deal) could be so fortunate. I doubt any one would plan their retirement around one rifle.

    Take care.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  13. Doug Gordon

    Doug Gordon Member

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    This rifle wasn't any sort of family heirloom/keepsake, it has no sentimental value per se. We did have a couple of those type guns when I was young (wood and glass gun cabinet days) that were stolen after a break in...one being a Colt shotgun that was from 1878. I would've never considered selling that, however, thieves fixed that for me. I've hung onto the rifle this long because I really didn't know what to do with it, and year after year, it just sits in the safe. I know it should be shot, or at least appreciated by someone.

    I think now that I will off load it. I will not hunt elk again and I really don't just go "Plink" with rifles like that. The bad thing is, in the area in which I live, most folks don't know what a Sako is because, well, it isn't black and plastic and the caliber is other than 5.56 etc. I would like to maybe trade it off for a nice Colt revolver perhaps...if I can figure out how to get the word out.

    Thanks for all of the great info and advice you all have given. You really helped me figure out what this rifle is!
     
  14. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    So if you’ve perhaps made the decision to sell or trade then consider listing it right here in the Trade/sale area here on the site. Read the rules for posting. I’m sure you could find interest from a club member right here who will appreciate and understand what you have. Lots of good folks here looking to improve on their collections. Gunbroker or GunsAmerica or similar sites would be another potential option. Best of luck.
    Sean
     
  15. Doug Gordon

    Doug Gordon Member

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    Thank you Sean. I will check out the trade/sale area.
     

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