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Another Variation in a Beretta-Sako

Discussion in 'Other firearms built on Sako actions' started by stonecreek, Mar 9, 2022.

  1. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary SCC Board Member

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    https://www.gunbroker.com/item/926633651

    Beretta's 500-series bolt rifles were built on Sako actions, but long before Beretta became the owner of the company. Sako made the actions specifically for Beretta and shipped them to Italy where Beretta fitted the barrels and stocks. I own a 500 (.222), 501 (.308) and 502 (.30-06) in each respective A-series action size (AI, AII, and AV). All I have seen or owned were round topped using screw-on bases instead of the traditional Sako tapered dovetail. Also, they were not marked with either the Sako name nor the action designation.

    The rifle in the auction is clearly a Beretta 502, but it has the dovetails and action marked AV, although I can't see "Sako" anywhere on it. This would represent a variation in the Beretta 500 series that I was previously unaware of. Wondering if anyone else knows of a Beretta 500 series rifle with dovetails?

     

  2. deersako

    deersako Well-Known Member

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    Interesting piece Stonecreek. Made in Finland on the barrel also.
    I can’t quite make it out, but there is another unfamiliar stamp on the front right of the action.
     
  3. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary SCC Board Member

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    Sharp eye, deersako! I hadn't noticed that. All three of my 500 series Berettas have "Made in Italy" on the barrel, plus extensive proof marks not seen on Finnish rifles. They do have the Finnish Lion proof on the receiver, but no "Sako" visible. You can see the "P. Beretta" scroll and Finnish Lion in the second photo, and a serial number which is consistent with the AII actions. By the way, my bolt handles are blue like Sakos, not bright like this one (and Browning Sakos).

    It appears that the rifle on Gunbroker was sent to Beretta as a barreled action, perhaps early on in the series?

    IMG_0509 (1024x671).jpg

    IMG_0510 (1024x419).jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2022
  4. misako50

    misako50 Sako-addicted

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    That one says Berben Corp NY and a number under that.
     
  5. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary SCC Board Member

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    Yes, the Berben Corporation of New York was apparently the U.S. importer of Berettas for some period of time. They held the U.S. trademark on the name "Beretta" at one time. According to the records I can find, the corporation has been dissolved for a number of years. I have found reference to Beretta pistols and shotguns being imported by Berben up until the mid-1980's, which is about the age of the 500 series rifles.

    Since Garcia was the importer of Berettas until 1978, I'm guessing that Berben took over Berettas at the same time that Stoeger took over Sakos and was the Beretta importer until Beretta USA was formed.

    By the way, my Model 500 .222 and Model 501 .308 are both quite accurate, while my 502 .30-06 is still unfired. Another SCC member, Coleman Cowboy, has posted about the excellent accuracy of his Model 500 .222.
     
  6. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary SCC Board Member

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    Right. The Berben Corporation of NY was apparently the importer of Berettas during the late 1970's to mid-1980's and once held the U.S. trademark for the name "Beretta". I've found reference to both Beretta pistols and shotguns from the mid-1980's marked with the Berben import stamp, which is about the right time period for the Beretta 500 series rifles on the A-series Sako actions. The corporation has since dissolved, probably when Beretta USA came into being. Since Garcia was the importer of both Berettas and Sakos until 1978, I'm guessing that when Sakos went to Stoeger that Berettas went to Berben.

    By the way, my Model 500 .222 and Model 501 .308 are both quite accurate. My Model 502 .30-06 is still unfired. A member here on the SCC forums, Coleman Cowboy, has also had great accuracy from a Model 500 .222: https://sakocollectors.com/forum/threads/beretta-500-222-rem.14682/
     

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