Calling all customs!

Discussion in 'Show us your Sako' started by paulsonconstruction, Dec 4, 2020.

  1. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Nice grain pattern on that stock. The engraving looks very, very French.

     

  2. Coleman Cowboy

    Coleman Cowboy Active Member

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    Ooh, ooh...250 Savage...yes, please!
     
  3. northernlights

    northernlights Well-Known Member

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    For nearly 30 years in Alaska I hunted exclusively with a Sako in 338 Win Mag. One hard hitting, flat shooting caliber for everything...moose and bear to sheep and caribou. I sold that rifle when I moved south to New England. However, it wasn't long before I realized I missed not having a .338 WM in my rifle cabinet. Here's the .338 Win Mag custom Winchester Model 70 Super Grade I have now for the sentimental reasons of recollecting my AK adventures!

    I've enjoyed seeing all the custom rifles of SCC Members. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Nice one! Fantastic wood.
     
    ricksengines likes this.
  5. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Here's my contribution to the customs thread for the day, my .300 Blackout. Not fancy by any means, but it is a neat, accurate little gun that is a fun shooter and "just right" for carrying on foot or in vehicle for that surprise coyote or hog. Nor would I hesitate to take a whitetail with it if need be.

    It started life as one of the rare Marlin 422's built on the L46 action. Someone had rebarreled it, however, so it was valueless as a collector thus I was able to buy it worth the money. I had a local gunsmith fit, chamber, and blue a 21" barrel in .300 Blackout (which should really be named ".300 Fireball" since it is on a neck-up .221 Fireball case.) I make the brass, however, from surplus .223 that reworks easily and flawlessly into the .300 cases. No modification to the magazine or anything else on the action was necessary. The Marlin stock is well-shaped and much trimmer with a higher comb than the preceding and much more common Marlin 322.

    Since it is not suppressed there is no need for subsonic loads. I use some now discontinued Hornady 130 grain spire points propelled by a charge of AA1680 at around 2170 fps. One shot in the thorax did in a 100-pound porker a couple of weeks ago.

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  6. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    A very clever and innovative build. Congratulations on thinking out of the box.
     
  7. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Sweet!! Even without a suppressor the sub-sonic loads are fun & work well on turkeys.
     
  8. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Here's another one for you. The other guns I have posted were by well-known builders: Al Biesen, Creighton Audette, Atkinson & Marquart. This one is by a builder considerably less famous or skilled - me. This is a late-production FN-Sako in .300 H&H Magnum that I got from an ad in Gun List about 20 years ago. It was already customized when I got it. On the plus side, the action is bedded to the stock and it has a Timney trigger. Nothing wrong with a Sako trigger but the Timney is as good and maybe a tad better. On the minus side, it was in a Bishop drop-in stock that embodied the worst of 60's design - huge Monte Carlo comb that made it impossible to use the iron sights, and a clunky forend that was almost too ugly to believe. I wish I'd taken a "before" picture - the thing was hideous. So, I set out to turn it into something more to my taste. Fortunately, the ugly stock was made of good quality black walnut with attractive grain, the checkering was well laid out, if deficient in execution, and the over-the-top design meant that all I had to do was remove a lot of wood to make it look better.

    So, I stripped the finish and carved the comb down into something between an American classic and a Bavarian hump. I cut a bit off the stock and added a recoil pad. I normally prefer a solid buttplate, but for a Magnum caliber I made an exception. Also added an ebony grip cap, replacing the plastic one supplied with the stock. Then I reshaped the forend and cleaned up and deepened the checkering. Final step was many, many coats of a finishing mixture of linseed oil, turpentine, and Japan dryer. It came with Talley QD mounts and rings, which I modified by cutting a notch in the rear mount so you could see the iron sights. In effect, the recoil stop on the scope mount became the rear sight. I later swapped out the Talley setup for an East European clone of an EAW QD pivot mount, with a 2.5-8x Leupold.

    Now that the gun is all squared away, I'm getting groups in the 1"-1.5" range, which is plenty accurate for anything you're going to shoot with a .300 H&H. I'm thinking of replacing the pivot mount with Leupold steel Weaver-style bases and QRW rings. That would considerably lower the scope for better stock contact, and the lower profile of the mounts would make it easier to use the open sights.

    Here are some photos:
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    300 Stock - Left.jpg 300 New Scope.JPG

    Here is the Talley setup, with the sighting notch cut in the rear mount. The groove in the front mount was already there. Scope is a 3.5-10x Leupold; I decided the 2.5-8x was more appropriate for a big-game rifle.
    300 Old Scope Mounts 1.JPG 300 Old Scope Mounts 3.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  9. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Very nice job on the stock. Truly a classic piece!! Is that circular wood plug there to cover a steel recoil crossbolt end? One thing about those old stocks from the 60's is they gave you plenty of wood to work with!
     
  10. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Yes. Probably installed by the smith who did the bedding, but it also might have come from Bishop that way.

    And thanks for the positive reinforcement!
     
  11. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    When we hear the word "custom" rifle most think of exotic wood stocks, highly polished & engraved metal, fancy checkering, & $$$$$$$. My last custom was quite the opposite. After buying, selling, trading & building or have rifles built for me for over 50 years, I finally thought it was time to build a custom rifle from a purely utilitarian standpoint. I hunted enough game & had plenty of experiences to draw on, so instead of focusing on beauty or cosmetics I felt it was time to build, what for me, would be a hunting rifle that had all the useful features I have come to appreciate. I stumbled on to a Colt Coltsman built on a L57 action on the Sakosource website. It was chambered in 308 Win & was what Rodger said was the "Workhorse" model has it had an uncheckered plain factory stock. I believe this one was from the batch of Coltsman's that were marketed as the "Colt 57" model from the late 1950's. When test firing the rifle I discovered that I could hit a bull in the ass with a hand grenade better than I could with this rifle. So, I decided to change a few things. Having always wanted a 6.5mm hunting rifle I needed to find 6.5mm cartridge that would function in the L57 action & give me the ballistic performance of the 6.5x55mm Swede. On a whim I decided to look into a 6.5 Creedmoor loaded with 155 to 160 grain bullets for "hunting", not the target shooting bullets & loads it was being marketed for at that time. There was no load data or info on loading the Creedmoor with those bullets at that time or even today, so I decided to "go on an adventure". I wanted to use a fatter, stiffer barrel for their accuracy potential, but wanted to keep the weight of the rifle down. So, I used Pac-Nor's barrel weight calculator & figured out I could get a #4 heavy sporter contoured barrel to weigh the same as the factory sporter barrel by getting 6 flutes 17" long cut it in. Once I got the barreled action back from Pac-Nor it was time to start the experiment to make the Creedmoor a hunting round using heavy for caliber bullets. After consultation with some friends in the rifle ballistics world & research & using of some of the current pressure analysis software & then actually firing loads, I settled on the Lapua 155 grain Mega-Bullet with RL16 powder in a Lapua small primer case. It gives me .3" three shot groups @ 100 yards!! Velocity is 2552 fps, which mimics the Lapua 6.5x55 Swede factory load specs. I put a Limbsaver recoil pad on the stock & refinished the wood with an oil finish. It's just a Plain Jane rifle & I call it my "Workhorse". OAL of the round is 2.635", which is well under the 2.800 SAAMI specs so it feeds like a dream, yet the bullet ogive is only .020" off the lands. Rifle with scope, loaded, with sling weighs 8 lbs -4 oz & is exceptionally balanced. The 6x Leupold fits about any hunting scenario I have experienced. I have shot two deer, six wild pigs, & a Hereford bull (don't ask about that) & couldn't be more impressed with the the performance of the Lapua bullet & the Creedmoor case. If you lined up all my rifles & said take your pick, from a cosmetic standpoint, it would probably be the last one anybody would choose. But, it is hands down the best "hunting" rifle I have ever owned & the last one I would part with. Sometimes even I get things right!
     

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    Last edited: Dec 11, 2020
    Rocky, sws1213, Branxhunter and 3 others like this.
  12. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Pretty is as pretty does. This is an innovative and successful combination of rifle and cartridge. The only thing I would do differently is to put some kind of black coating on the stainless barrel. That's a question of personal taste - I hate the look of stainless or other bright metal on a rifle barrel. I'm a blue steel guy from beginning to end. But the overall concept and execution are brilliant.
     
  13. bigcountry4me

    bigcountry4me Well-Known Member

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    I really like the straight grain in the stock. It does have a working rifle look. Kind of kin to a Kimber Long Master with the stainless fluted barrel. It looks like the contour required the scope to be pushed a little more forward. Good thing it’s a Leupold with that generous eye relief.
     
  14. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    It does look like that in the pic, but actually the scope will clear the barrel no matter it's position. I couldn't ask for a better scope position when I shoulder it.
     
  15. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    This is the stock I mentioned I might copy your checkering layout after. I think if I do checker it I would use smaller panels. Not sure if I should "fancy" it up. What's your take??
     
  16. Branxhunter

    Branxhunter Well-Known Member

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    I reckon it's a great looking rifle, and well thought out. Obviously no slouch in the accuracy department either.

    Nice work.

    Marcus
     
  17. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Just wanted to mention that the action finish is original & on a par or better than any Deluxe polished blue I have seen. The original barrel was not as highly polished. My guess is Sako polished the action & Colt polished the barrel, then installed it & blued the whole thing. We will never see this kind of work on a common factory grade rifle ever again. Just remarkable craftsmanship!
     
  18. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Thanks! When I shot this three shot group my jaw dropped & I knew my work was over. Adjusted the scope so POI was 2.5" high @ 100 yards & in 4 years have never had to touch the turrets. Pretty much point blank on an 8" target to 300 yards, which is my self-imposed limit for hunting big game.

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  19. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I was just checking the trajectory of the 156 Lapua at 2550 fps on the JBM ballistics site and was surprised that it shoots much flatter than I would have expected. You don't necessarily have to have a pointy boat-tailed spitzer at 3300 fps to make 300 yard shots.
     
  20. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Well, unless there is something unexpected in Santa's bag this will be the last rifle I can contribute to the Customs thread. It's a .20 Vartarg (and yes, I prefer the term ".20 Fireball"). The action is an L461. The stock and barrel are from an unknown maker, and the barrel is fluted.

    When it came to me I quickly discovered that the smith who chambered it allowed the reamer to chatter and it turned out fired brass that was "multi-sided", meaning that you could smoke the brass before firing then see a dozen or so longitudinal marks on the case. The fired cases would not re-enter the chamber, either! The seller was a reputable gun store which offered to take it back or to pay to have it fixed. Luckily, I was able to find a local guy who polished the chamber so that the brass came out smooth and would easily rechamber. This was great, since both before and after reworking the chamber it put its little pills into tiny little groups on the paper.

    Topped with a Leupold 4-12X, it has become my very most favorite prairie dog rifle. A 32 grain plastic-tipped bullet at 3650 fps (with no recoil and modest report) is devastating on the dogs and the small powder charges heat the fluted barrel very slowly.

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