Bigfoot: Sako P57R

Discussion in 'Sako Rimfires and Small Action Rifles' started by stonecreek, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Who says there is nothing new under the sun?

    While researching the records on another subject I happened across the usual set of rimfires, P54's I assumed, in the factory shipping records. But something funny caught my eye. The handwriting is often difficult to interpret in these old records, but these weren't P54's, but rather P57's. P57R, to be precise. "R" usually denotes "raskas", or "heavy barrel".

    There were 569 of these made (568 were marked as shipped) -- and all but one were shipped to the same person or company. They were all made/shipped between May and December of 1957.

    The ship-to person or company appears to be simply the name of an individual. I'll let those that are better at interpreting handwriting than me make a stab at the name listed in the scan of the records in the link below.

    Since no Sako rimfires prior to the P72 were commercially imported to the U.S., our European members will have to help us out with this puzzle. Has anyone ever come across a heavy barreled Sako rimfire labelled "P57"? I have to wonder if it had some special configuration or special sights that made it different from the P54 -- and I have to assume that it was probably a variation on the P54 since that rifle continued in production until replaced by the P72. And was it made to the custom specifications of the only person/company to receive all but one of the entire lot?

    Information and comments appreciated.

     

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  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Hey, I just searched our own forums and found a single thread on the P57R. It is from 2012 and even though I had commented on it I had completely forgotten about it (damn this old age!) Still not much information, but it does appear to be a variation of the P54.
     
  3. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Actually, there are two threads. The second link has photos.
    https://sakocollectors.com/forum/threads/sako-p57r-22lr.6851/#post-30454
    https://sakocollectors.com/forum/threads/sako-riihimaki-p-57r-22lr.6845/#post-30448

    I agree with the conclusion in these two threads that the P57R was an early version of the P54T heavy-barrel target rifle. Hyytinen lists the design year of the P54T as 1958, so the sequence fits. Stonecreek's new information suggests that Sako may have made a special run of heavy-barrel rifles for a particular distributor or dealer and then decided to put it into production. I'm not familiar enough with cursive Finnish to make out the full name of the customer, but the last name is something like Markkanen.
     
  4. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Thanks for locating those photos from 2012.

    Never having seen a heavy barrel P54 I don't know for certain, but I don't think the earlier ones had the "beavertail" fore end like the P57R shown in the photos. That distinctive Sako beavertail came along around 1957, I think, in the L46 HB, continued in the L57, and continues for decades on the Sako HB configurations. Perhaps the P57R was the first to have such a beavertailed stock?
     
  5. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    If, as you say, the L46 heavy barrel made its debut around 1957, the two would be contemporary. A photo in Arma Fennica of the P54T, introduced in 1958, shows a beavertail forend. Confusingly, the P57R preceded the P54T. If any heavy barrel P54's were made before 1957, they are not mentioned in Arma Fennica. That's not definitive, the book has many errors and omissions, but as far as I know it's the best information available.
     
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  6. L61R

    L61R SCC President Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    “That's not definitive, the book has many errors and omissions, but as far as I know it's the best information available.”

    Right on! A lot of good info for sure but also errors and omissions as you say Icebear.

    My best guesstimate is that Sako called them P57R inhouse but for some reason never went on with launching that moniker in public.

    I have never ever seen that designation stamped on any reciever or used in any printed material.

    Here are two pics (from AB Calic who was the Swedish importer from early 50’s in to the 70’s) from my collection website: www.sakoparaphernalia.com

    Haven’t updated my site in years and will most likely rebuild that site in the future.

    Jim

    E5252079-0FB3-4DAA-B112-8E0C338AF3E7.jpeg B7D67600-CA73-4D22-9828-7F2A4F996AD2.jpeg
     
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  7. L61R

    L61R SCC President Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    The pics I added to my former post comes from a large binder type of catalgue intended for gunshops and retailers and such. I will see if I can find that binder and check to see if there is any date.

    And two more pics!

    83E0E94F-6EEC-4FE5-BBD7-6EB64F51CFF5.jpeg 0BCB663E-26CA-44CC-A3BE-A4F09B87DC2B.jpeg
     

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