Browning Sako Olympian Rifle

Discussion in 'Other firearms built on Sako actions' started by douglastwo, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    I thought you might enjoy a few pictures of Browning Sako Olympians. While most of the common large caliber Browning mauser action Olympians have fallen 20% to 25 % in the last few years, it seems the prices for Browning Sako action Olympians are holding their own. I'm talking about the very best collector grade Olympians that are in excellent condition, fantastic wood, master engraved and made pre 1966 to avoid the salt wood problem. Rifles that meet this criteria seldom come up for sale so it is hard to know where price really is. The rarest Browning Sako Olympian is the 222 mag HB and the last one I know of that fit all the above criteria was sold privately about 5 years ago for $34,000. The 284, 222 HB and the 22-250 pictured here were sold at auction 9 years ago. They were built in the salt wood era and still brought $24,150, $20,700 and $16,387 respectively. I don't believe they would bring this now, but I do believe they would be within 10%.


    The Browning collectors continue to prove that Browning could not have chosen a better base than Sako's small action L461 and medium action L579 to compliment Browning's FN large action mauser bolt rifle produced from 1960 through 1975. Browning pretty much followed Sako's lead by producing the small action Browning/Sako in 222 and 222 mag in both pencil bbl and HB. For the medium action, Browning chose 22-250 and 243 in both pencil and HB. Browning also produced a 308 Win and a 284 Win with a medium weight barrel. Browning made them in Safari, Medallion and Olympian grade.

    Browning Olympian 22-250 pencil bbl.jpg Browning Olympian 222 HB.jpg Browning Olympian 284 Win..jpg
     
    icebear, Tomball, Sean Hodges and 2 others like this.

  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Beautiful guns, D2.

    Sako made the barreled actions and shipped them to FN in Belgium who was Browning's contractor. The Sako records don't differentiate between those destined to become Safaris, Medallions, or Olympians, so I've often wondered what finished condition Sako shipped them in.

    I've always assumed that the Safaris were shipped fully blued and that FN did the minimal floorplate engraving which they then filled with a gold material. However, the Medallions had to have been blued (or reblued) after engraving; and the Olympians had to have the "white" finish applied. So, I wonder if certain barreled actions for the higher grades were shipped in the white? Or maybe all barreled actions were shipped in the white and FN did the bluing?

    By the way, I picked up a "light salt" Medallion .308 a while back for a song and have been very pleased with it. The salt damage is minimal and mostly hidden, so I have a drop-dead gorgeous shooter which I don't have to baby like I would a really valuable Medallion.

    One more thing I just remembered: Sako serial numbered the barreled actions prior to their leaving the factory. However, Sako only recorded the numbers prior to the year letter and the number(s) after it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
  3. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Would love to see a picture. Some Medallions have fantastic wood.
     

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