Browning/Sako Safari .243 PHOTOS NOW

Discussion in 'Other firearms built on Sako actions' started by robinpeck, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    56
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    In a trade I recently picked up a Browning/Sako Safari .243 pencil barrel in excellent condition. A very nice little rifle. Serial number is 6065Z6. I think this means it was made in 1965, but I am not sure. Can anyone help me with a date for this rifle?


    I'll soon put up a photo.

    I can't make head nor tails out of the serial number information in
    Matt Eastman’s Guide to Browning Belgium Sporting Firearms 1903-1994. (Chapter Four is titled: Fabrique Nationale & Sako Bolt Action Rifles.)


    For Canadians: Although it is a beauty, I intend to stay focused and so I'll soon be looking to trade this rifle for an early Sako fullstock carbine.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
    Branxhunter likes this.

  2. bsmith

    bsmith Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    10
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Texas
    It's from 1966 since Browning used the last digit after the letter to indicate the year ("..Z6"). I have one from 1966 too - a beautiful rifle and a joy to hold and carry. Most here feel value is similar to that of comparable Sako Deluxes, but seems to me the Sako's are appreciating a little faster of late than the Safari's.
     
  3. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    56
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    Thank you.
     
  4. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

    Messages:
    5,969
    Likes Received:
    419
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Texas
    The Club doesn't have inspection records on the Browning-Sakos but does have shipping records which show the date shipped, number of rifles in the shipment, and to whom shipped. If you want the shipping record just order a Level 1 and you can get a copy of the ledger page for this rifle. The Sako records just show the serial number digits before the letter/date code.

    By the way, beautiful wood on that Safari. Browning used some very nice wood on these -- too bad a supplier salt-cured a lot of it.
     
  5. iwanna

    iwanna Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    21
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Minnesota
    I wouldn't mind being a little unfocused in my collection if I had one of those. I've always admired them.
     
  6. sakodeluxe

    sakodeluxe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    3
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Connecticut
    Nice wood on that Safari! Looks like it was refinished. I prefer the look of the oil finish like but almost all of the Safari's I've seen have the high gloss finish.
     
  7. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    56
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    Maybe, but I doubt it was refinished. As I understand it, the oil finish was the world standard on the Browning Safari until after the mid 60's and then the high gloss finish became the standard specifically for the USA. As an early import to Browning, Montreal, Canada from Belgium, I expect it originally had this oil finish. Its not "salt wood" either.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  8. sakodeluxe

    sakodeluxe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    3
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Connecticut
    Very nice gun but I'd do some research on the finish before you try to trade it.
     
  9. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    56
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    So I should slap a high gloss coat of varnish on it? I do have a big brush around here somewhere.

    Seriously, I'm not sure it really matters, because it has an after market recoil pad on it (even though it doesn't seem to have the LOP shortened) so the stock isn't 100% original anyway. However, compared to other Safaris I have seen, its an exceptional piece of wood.

    I know what its worth in Canada because I know what I have been offered for it. And it seems to be worth roughly what a fairly nice fullstock Sako carbine goes for in Canada. So it could be a fairly straight across trade...if I find the right carbine, the right guy who wants a Browning Safari, etc. etc.

    And if I don't find the right trade deal, it won't kill me to keep it for a few years, and use it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  10. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    57
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Texas
    Robinpeck, you're correct to state Browning used a oil finish on the High Power Rifle from the beginning of production until 1966. In 1966 they switched to a urethane finish. At the start of production (first year), Browning used at least 2 different methods to apply the oil finish. One way was to use enough oil to seal the wood, but not fill the wood pores. The result was a somewhat matt finish. The other way was to use more coats of oil such that all wood pores are filled, and the finish was polished in such a way that a subdued gloss finish was achieved. It seems the subdued gloss finish is the preferred finish by most Browning collectors. Beginning in 1966, Browning switched to the urethane finish. The eurethane was applied such that all pores were filled. The urethane finish was high gloss (more so than the subdued gloss achieved with the oil).

    I studied your photos closely and it appears to me the pores on your stock are not filled. I have closely inspected Browning rifle serial #1 and the wood finish on your rifle seems very close to matching #1. I have serial #7 and the wood finish on it matches #1. I feel my #7 is original, but I've seen the skepticism from some that I've shown my rifle. I've seen many other rifles with that matt finish, but most of them were made in the first year. After 1960 the matt finish is rarely encountered. It seems that Browning decided to produce the bulk of these rifles using the oil finish that was applied sufficiently to fill all pores. It's worth mentioning here that, during the production span of the Browning High Power Rifle, Browning would accept just about all requests to produce rifles with special features (i.e. matt finish, caliber, add Browning recoil pad, etc).

    My comments above are not meant to be fact, just my observations after collecting Brownings for 40 years. To cut to my point, it's very possible that, other than the recoil pad and that dark area above the trigger and on the bolt side of the stock, I believe your rifle could be original. But if I were looking at purchasing it as a collector, I would be skeptical of the finish being original. Its a great looking Browning and I would purchase it as a shooter if I had a gap I needed to fill.
     
  11. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    56
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    Thank you very much for the information. I really appreciate you taking the time.

    Yes, this rifle is a (very accurate) shooter. All my Sakos, no matter age, condition or collectibility, are "shooters". I've met collectors who don't shoot at all, who don't even own any ammunition, and yet have safes full of rifles. I respect their reasons for collecting. However, I like to shoot and I like to hunt. For this reason, "as new" condition collectible rifles don't really attract me all that much. To me, a bit of experience looks good on a rifle.

    re: " that dark area above the trigger and on the bolt side of the stock"

    That is the end of a reinforcing wood "crossbolt". And of course its on both sides. Should it not be there?
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  12. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    57
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Texas
    That's what I though it was. No for the wood crossbolt on the Browning High Power rifles. If that wood crossbolt is original, it's the first for me.
     
  13. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    56
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    But some of the Safaris and the higher grades, the Olympians and Medallions had steel cross bolts in the same spot right?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  14. sakodeluxe

    sakodeluxe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    3
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Connecticut
    I was not trying to criticize your rifle. Besides the recoil pad I thought the finish looked too perfect for the age of the gun and condition of the blueing. To be honest, I'm sorry I replied and got you upset.
     
  15. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    57
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Texas
    Yes, depending on the caliber, the safaris, medallions and Olympians had either 2, 1 or no crossbolt.
     
  16. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    56
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    What on earth are you talking about? I'm not even a little upset... very much the opposite...I enjoy the debate.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  17. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    56
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    Sorry for the wrong information. I was only assuming that the crossbolt was some sort of dark hardwood dowel. However, I just touched it with a magnet..and it stuck. That crossbolt is actually steel. I think its totally original, just not engraved on the ends.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  18. arthur36

    arthur36 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    3
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US New Hampshire
    Salt wood. First thing I thought of when I saw the thread title. Thank God it isn't. Beautiful piece of wood you have there.
     
  19. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    57
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Texas
    Browning was all over the page with crossbolts on the Sako medium action rifles. Some had no crossbolt, some had one at the rear where yours is, and others had one at the front receiver. Even on the safari they were always lightly engraved. Small action Browning Sakos did not have crossbolts. The bolt head on the left side of the stock usually had two small holes for a spanner wrench. Sometimes the bolt head on both sides of the stock had the two holes. And there are other differences such as the diameter of the head. Look at your photo above showing the crossbolt on the medium action Sako.
     
  20. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    56
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    I would say, based on physical evidence, not "always". I'll soon post a better photo of the crossbolt heads.

    By the way, if any of you find yourself in Alberta next month, the two day Easter Weekend Calgary Gun Show is April 14-15. It is Canada's only relatively large gun show, 1000 tables or more. And I'll have this Browning there. My trade table will be right next to the A.H. Fox Collectors Association display tables (my son).
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017

Share This Page

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Okay More information