Browning Safari Grade .308 made in 1964 by SAKO

Discussion in 'Sako Medium Actions' started by Johnny66, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. Johnny66

    Johnny66 Member

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    Gentlemen and Ladies,
    I am trying to gather a bit of info regarding a rifle I now own. It is a Browning Safari Grade in .308 that was made by SAKO in 1964 (****z4).
    I am trying to get rings and mounts for the rifle.
    I have a Leupold scope (3x9 40mm w/1" tube dia.)
    I have spoken to (3) techs at Leupold. Each one chose the mounts for the Belgian Browning made in the F.N. factory. They had me so convinced that I ordered them and gave them to my local gun shop to mount. The mounts don't fit as these are for the Mauser action used by F.N. I cannot get the techs at Leupold to understand that this rifle was manufactured -if I am correct- on the SAKO L579 medium action. Here's the rub...
    To my very amateur eye, THIS looks like a Mauser action? I would love a history lesson, or
    at least to know what mounts will fit this rifle.
    Thank you all in advance,
    J.


    20150702_095110.jpg 20150702_095058.jpg 20150702_094954.jpg 20150702_095012.jpg

     

  2. 16b410

    16b410 Well-Known Member

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    No, that is a real Sako action, but without the dovetails up top. The mount on my Safari is a 1 piece Redfield and I doubt very much Redfield is still making it. The fact that 3 techs at Leupold couldn't help you points to the likelihood that Leupold doesn't either. Prepare to spend some time on the internet looking for used mounts to fit your Browning.
     
  3. Johnny66

    Johnny66 Member

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    16B410,
    Thank you very much for the reply. Not being well versed in these rifles, I have already begun the task of learning bits here and there, and piecing all the info together as best I can. I keep hearing about "Tully" bases and rings. They seem to be well regarded, as well as the proper choice for the period.
    Does anyone know what is out there that would fit these rifles? I see two piece and one piece mounts on rifles for sale, but they only discuss the scopes (usually Redfield).
    Thank you again,
    J.
     
  4. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Several manufacturers make of made mounts for your Browning-Sako. The least expensive would be Weaver two-piece bases which will accept a variety of "cross lock" rings from Weaver, Millett, Burris, and others. I'm pretty sure that Weaver still offers the correct bases.

    Tally is a popular mount, but somewhat pricey. I'm somewhat doubtful that they offer the correct bases for your rifle, but it is possible.

    You'll be looking for bases for a Browning-Sako L579 "medium" length action. There was also a Browning-Sako L461 "short" action for .222 and .222 Magnum, but bases for it won't fit.
     
  5. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Like Stone says, there are several manufactures that made scope mounts that fit your Sako action Browning. If you want a Browning mount, it should be fairly easy to find the correct vintage one piece Browning mount at a gun show or on ebay. Keep in mind that during that time frame Browning only made one piece mounts for your rifle. The key is finding a Browning mount for the Sako action that has the correct front hole spacing. The front hole spacing is either 3/4" or 7/8". You may not be aware that scope mounts made by Browning during most of the sixties have a code stamped on the bottom of the rail that is specific to caliber and action type. The code used for the Sako action 308Win is BG for the 3/4" hole spacing; and the code is BL for the 7/8" hole spacing. A benefit of stamping the mount means you do not have to find them in the correct box in order to know what they fit. The mounts made from about 1969 on may or may not have the code stamp. Be careful if you find an almost 50 year old Browning mount being sold in the Browning box, because I've found out the hard way that the description on the Browning box and the mount inside don't always match up. But the code stamped on the mount has always worked for me.
     
    FLT and TagsAurora like this.
  6. bsmith

    bsmith Well-Known Member

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    One option you might want to consider is Redfield '2-Piece Scope Mount Bases with Integral Rings' that fit "Browning Sako Cals .243, .308, 22/250 (.860 front screw holes)", part nr 517119.
     
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  7. Johnny66

    Johnny66 Member

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    Wow! What a neat bunch of guys, and a wealth of knowledge between you! Can't thank you all enough for giving me some solid info (even part numbers!) to help me solve this puzzle. Here's what I found out...

    Douglastwo, my particular rifle has the 3/4" spacing, so if I find a Browning mount, it will be the "BG". When I spoke w Leupold techs on another issue, I shared this info (two front spacings) and they updated said info in their own tech manual for this rifle. Yes, they now acknowledge that it exists :) Since Browning offers no support, I will be searching ebay etc.

    Bsmith, thanks for your info as well. Here's an update. Leupold purchased Redfield. ATK has taken over Redfield mounts and they no longer make the ones for my rifle. So it's back to ebay if I want those too.

    Stonecreek, Weaver has mounts and rings of the same design period as my rifle and they still manufacture them. The Weaver bases are #71 front base w/.748 spacing (3/4"), and #72 for the rear w/.504 (1/2"). The tech also gave me two part numbers for the #7 medium rings that would mate w/ my 3x9 40mm Leupold scope w 1" tubes: part# 48360 (matte), or 49071 (gloss).

    I put all this in here in case someone else should run into the same jam as I did. Because you guys have probably forgotten more than I will ever know about such things, I'm sure you will find some poor soul to pass it on to.

    Many, many thanks Guys!
    J.
     
  8. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Sako Forum Pictures.JPG

    Browning mount model 1674 is for the 7/8" hole spacing which Browning referred to as the medium Sako action, and model 1679 is for the 3/4" hole spacing and was referred to as the short Sako action. FYI, the FN action 308win on the small ring is model 1672 and it will not fit your rifle. And the mounts for the Sako action Brownings in 222 and 222mag are model 1673 for the 7/8" spacing and model 1678 for the 3/4" spacing. The hole spacing issue with the sako Brownings has caused headaches for lots of folks.
     
  9. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Sako Forum Pictures 001.JPG
    Model 1673 is for 7/8" hole spacing, and 1678 is for 3/4" spacing.
     
  10. deerhunter

    deerhunter Well-Known Member

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  11. Johnny66

    Johnny66 Member

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    Douglastwo and Deerhunter,
    Thanks so much for the info. I found the weaver bases (front and rear from different sources). They are being shipped now. I have a bid in for the rings. I am the only bid and it closes in an hour. So, all that to say...for better or worse, I have a way to mount a scope to my rifle. Not sure I went about it in the most elegant way (I bet that Browning base is nice D2), but I am off to the races. Next I will run some pristine, match grade fmj from the 70's through her to get on paper, and figure out the twist with a tight wad to choose a hunting load and dial-in to zero. When I take my first deer with her, I will remember the journey, including you fine folks.
    It will be a fine moment for me.
    Thanks to you all,
    J.
     
  12. deerhunter

    deerhunter Well-Known Member

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    J,

    Are the Weaver bases you found aluminum or steel? I've only been able to find the aluminum bases on sites like Ebay. Numrich is the first place I was able to find the steel bases #s71 and s72. The aluminum should work fine but I prefer the steel when I can find them. Best of luck with your new rifle.
     
  13. Johnny66

    Johnny66 Member

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    These were "old stock" nib. Should be steel, but we will see. If not, perhaps I will hold off on installing and check-out your link first.
    Thank you for the heads-up. I have learned so much from all of you!
    J.
     
  14. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Johnny66: The old Weavers were aluminum, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with them and their bright anodizing will probably come closer to matching the bright blue on your Safari than the slightly duller finish of the steel bases will. There is nothing about the way the base functions that requires any harder metal than aluminum, and while there is also nothing at all wrong with the pricier steel bases there is nothing they will do that the aluminum ones won't, except perhaps rust:D. So use the ones which look best to you.

    Good luck and good hunting with your Safari. They are classy rifles.
     
  15. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Johnny66, I don't blame you for being anxious to rig out your Sako browning and taking her to the field. You can always change out the mounts after you play with her for a while.
     
  16. Johnny66

    Johnny66 Member

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    Thanks for the info Stonecreek,
    And for the well wishes.
    Best to you and yours,
    J.

    PS. Just won the bid on the rings. Here we go!
     
  17. Johnny66

    Johnny66 Member

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    You're right Douglastwo,
    But the pragmatic side of me says form follows function. Once mounted, if she shoots straight, she will spend her days dressed as is. If there is a functionality issue, all bets are off and I'll do what I can to make it right. With the advice you all have given me, I'm pretty sure that if the parts are correct, they'll get the job done. I look forward to posting a pic when I get it all dialed-in.
    Thanks D2,
    J.
     
  18. Bob58

    Bob58 Active Member

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    Great topic, but I find it frustrating.

    I have 2 round top Browning Sakos, a L579 243 pencil barrel and a L461 222 Rem. Medium Barrel. Each have bases, the former Weaver styles (71 front, 47 rear) the latter an unknown 2-piece which the back of the front base overhangs the rear of the front ring. Don't really like either so I've been in search of some 1 piece bases.

    I thought I had the answer when I found NOS Redfield base 511145 JR BH marked " Scope Mount Base with Folding Peep Browning Sako .222, .222 Magnum". The base inside matched the box with the peep sight and is marked BH.

    Much to my disappointment it didn't fit. The base was too long for the L461/222 (and of course too short for the L579/243.) The front base hole-spacing fits and appears to be 3/4"... It's just too long.

    Appears from reading above I need a 511144 BG for the 243, but dang... why is the BH wrong for the 222?
     
  19. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Sako L461 base code BH.JPG
    Bob58, I can't answer your question about why the Redfield BH base will not fit. I don't know a thing about Redfield bases. The attached picture is of a Browning base model 1678 code BH that shows the distance from the center of the front holes to the center of the rear holes to be 3.5". The front holes have 3/4" spacing. The base is laying with the bottom up so you can see the code BH. Will the 3.5" spacing fit your rifle? If not, I'm at a loss as to what's going on.
     
  20. Johnny66

    Johnny66 Member

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    Darn it! Douglastwo,
    It was tough enough looking at those boxes sitting on that pretty wood wondering what was inside that might fit on my rifle, but that is gorgeous! If you don't mind me asking, if I could locate one, what should I expect to pay? I know I'm sounding fairly inconsistent right about now, but that base is really beautifully made. Thanks for the pic...I think :)
     

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