Coltsman L57 Question

Discussion in 'Other firearms built on Sako actions' started by icebear, Oct 27, 2021.

  1. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    There's a good-looking L57 Coltsman on Gunbroker, but I'm wondering about the stock. The buttpad is an unmarked brown one that looks like Pachmayr. I thought the Coltsman had a Colt marked buttplate Also, the stock looks like it might be a custom, but I'm not very familiar with the Coltsman to be sure. I did find a photo of a similar Coltsman by Googling. Can anyone clarify this point? Here are photos.

    Coltsman Pad?.jpg Coltsman.jpg

     
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  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    That's a custom stock, not an original Coltsman stock. Most of the Coltsman rifles on the L57 action were barreled and stocked by a contractor operating out of the High Standard facility located near the Colt plant in Hartford. The stocks could be described generously as "plain". Some later Coltsman rifles were made entirely in Finland by Sako.
     
  3. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Interestingly, here's an old auction from a few years ago showing an L57 Coltsman with what appears to be exactly the same pattern stock as the one on GB. Definitely not the same gun, though, as the wood grain is completely different. It's also interesting that the Coltsman was built in the same shop as the H&R-Sako. This stock does resemble closely the stocks on some of the H&R guns.
    https://www.auctionzip.com/auction-lot/sako-l57-the-coltsman-308-rifle_4B84C428ED
     
  4. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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  5. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I don't think that's accurate. The Montgomery Ward-Sakos (and maybe the Sears, Roebuck-Sakos?) appear to have been made by the same contractor as the early Colts.

    The H&R's were mostly Sako-made barreled actions that were stocked by H&R. There were 1,000 H&R .222's on the L461 action that were both barreled and stocked by Sako and were very similar to the contemporaneous Vixen. Then there were some "O'brien-style" H&R's with 20" pencil barrels in .17/223 which were both barreled and stocked by H&R, while the contemporaneous H&R's in the .17 Remington chambering were barreled by Sako and stocked by H&R. A few of those H&R's were presentation grades carved by Nils Hultgren (kevinlg can tell you much more about those.)

    On the other hand, early Colt-Sakos were barreled and stocked by an American contractor. Later, Sako did both the barrels and stocks for the Deluxe Coltsman. Its difficult to track down the exact provenance of the "proprietary" Sakos, but I don't believe that there is any confluence of the H&R-Sakos and the Colt-Sakos.

    Interestingly, both H&R and Colt-branded Sakos can be found with both the regular Sako dovetailed receiver and the special round-top receiver. Browning, Beretta, and Magnum Research are the other proprietary Sakos which are found with round top receivers -- but the round tops vary with some having the rear bridge level with the receiver ring, while the Browning follows the FN Mauser pattern with a lower bridge and the Magnum Research was identical to the Rem 700.
     
  6. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Very interesting. What do you think of the three L57 Coltsman rifles with what appears to be the same pattern stock? Could there have been somebody restocking a gun as uncommon as the L57 Coltsman on a production basis? I do note that the three guns in the photos do not have the inlaid Colt medallion in the stock like the early standard grade rifles.
     
  7. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Stone, I want to make certain I understand what you're saying about the proprietary Sakos with round top receivers. If a proprietary Sako has offset receiver rings, is the amount of offset 0.117" like found on the 1962 to 1974 Remington 700. Or is the offset all over the page based on whichever proprietary brand Sako it might be? Receiver Ring Offset.jpg
     
  8. misako50

    misako50 Sako-addicted

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    I have had a few old Gun Digests that showed that stock similarity. L57 would be about the correct vintage for the "fad" rollover cheekpiece. Guess it only piqued my interest because my Grandfather hunted with an L57. I'll try to dig up an old GD for us.
     
  9. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    D2: Not only does the top of the "round top" Sakos vary, but as you know, even the hole spacing varies on the Brownings.

    I've owned H&R's and Beretta 500's (bridge and ring level), a Magnum Research (Rem 700 bases fit), and Brownings (FN contour?). I'm not at all sure about just how much the offset between the bridge and receiver is on those which are offset, or if it is consistent.
     
  10. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The Coltsman was made in two separate production runs. The 1957 run did not have the Colt medallion in the stock, so the lack of the medallion on a L57 Colt would not disqualify it from being factory. That run sold slowly & lasted in the market til around 1960. IIRC, there were three different stocks, a plain "workhorse" stock without checkering, a standard checkered sporter, & the Deluxe or Custom Colt made & stocked by Sako. Only the short (L46) & medium (L57) Sako actions were used in the 1957 run. The long action was built on the FN Mauser. The initial advertising referred to these rifles as the "Colt 57". The second run of Coltsman was from 1963 to 1965 & all the standard grade stocks had the Colt medallion inlayed into the stock & all were built on either the L461, L579, or L61R actions. I remember seeing some old advertising on the "Colt 57's" that referred to a Deluxe or Higher grade stock & actually personally handled a FN action Coltsman with the identical stock in the photo, but thought it a custom stock at the time. The appearance of the three Coltsman in this thread gives much credence to the belief that these rifles, including the long action I saw, were done by the factory. I also remember seeing one with an identical stock about 5 years ago for sale on line that the seller called a Colt 57 Deluxe. So, contrary to what I used to think, maybe Colt did make these rifles. Carve that rollover off & it would suit my tastes just fine.
     
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  11. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I agree - but of course, that would make the gun no longer original. ;)

    But seriously, thanks for the information. Now I have to decide whether I want to bid.
     

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