Mannlicher Crime Story

Discussion in 'Sako Mannlichers and Carbines' started by icebear, Aug 3, 2021.

  1. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    A few weeks ago, I bought an L461 Mannlicher-style carbine in .222 Magnum from another forum member. I paid him, he shipped it to my FFL transfer guy, and I went to the shop to pick it up. Only it wasn't there. Somebody had stolen it from the shop! So, the dealer notified ATF and the local PD, and he said he would make the loss good. There was some discussion about a rifle he had that I might be interested in, as part of the compensation. He didn't have it right to hand, and I trust him, so we deferred action. Well, a bit over a week ago he heard from ATF that the gun had been recovered! He had to go get it from ATF, and I picked it up from him today. Still in the box it was shipped in, everything intact including the sight hood. You can imagine what a relief that was for both of us!

    The dealer's best guess as to how it was stolen is that someone had grabbed it and run out the door when he was distracted by a customer or in the back room. The thief probably didn't even know what he had stolen, as it was in the Ruger box it had been shipped in. The dealer didn't know how the gun had been recovered, but he thinks he'll find out from his regular contact at ATF. My guess is that either ATF picked it up in a trafficking investigation, or the local PD found it in the possession of the thief or a fence and turned it over to ATF. If my dealer doesn't get the story, I have some contacts at the local PD who can probably find out for me. One remaining piece of unfinished business is to make sure the serial number is off the stolen list. The local PD has already assured him that they've cleared the record, and he's going to follow up with ATF.

    Anyway, the gun is finally in my hands, much to my relief. And, it's quite a nice one. Condition is excellent plus to near-new, with bright, high-polish bluing and typical Sako high-gloss wood finish. It's got a 3-9x40mm Leupold with fine plex reticle in Leupold clamp-on dovetail rings. Scope is immaculate. Wood has a little bit of interesting figure and is stained a nice dark, slightly reddish brown. I'm going to put a more compact scope on it, either a 3-9x Burris Mini or the equivalent Leupold. I have original Sako rings for it so will sell the Leupold rings, but will keep the scope as I'm sure I'll find a use for it. I also may want to take a look at the trigger. It's a little heavy and may have some hardened gunk in it. It wouldn't be the first time I've had to clean the trigger on a Sako of that vintage. All in all, I am quite pleased (not to mention overjoyed that it was recovered intact). I'm looking forward to shooting it, possibly this week or next.

    At the same time, I picked up another Finnish rifle - a WWII-era Mosin-Nagant m/91 built by VKT (Valmet) and converted to a fake PU sniper by somebody, probably the importer. Stock is gorgeous and the gun looks brand new. I'll post photos of it, along with my other fake Finn snipers, on the Finnish military forum when I get time to do the photography.

    Here's one quick snapshot of the .222 Magnum carbine. I'll post more later, including a group shot with my other .222 and .222 Magnum carbines.
    222M-1.JPG

     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
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  2. Chrisss31

    Chrisss31 Member

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    Lucky!!! I bet the thief tried to pawn it. It’s nice to see a happy ending once in a while.
     
  3. Tracy Redpath

    Tracy Redpath Well-Known Member

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    I hope you enjoy the Sako.
     
  4. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    So far, so good. I've swapped the scope for a 3-9x Leupold Compact and gotten it zeroed at 50 yards. I was going to shoot it at 100 last week, but I had to take care of an emergency for a friend and didn't have time. Hopefully this week - but we just got word of a tropical storm blowing in from Mexico, so maybe another delay. Results at 50 were excellent - three shots in half an inch with very old Remington ammo. I will be very interested to see what it does at 100, especially with better ammo (Nosler).
    222M-2.JPG
     
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  5. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    Great Scope choice!
    I wish I had more 3-9 Compacts. The 33mm objective is perfect in combination with Sako vintage lows, leaving enough space to slide some paper between the bell and barrel. Super quick sight acquisition for me. I had one on my L579 full stock carbine for years , recently moved it to a Deluxe of the same size.
    Sweet lil’ rifle Icebear, with a rather messed up story of acquisition. Glad to know it turned out well!
     
  6. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    There's a problem with the low rings on an L461, which Stonecreek pointed out some time ago, and I have personally verified. While the scope bell does clear the barrel, the bolt can hit the eyepiece when operated quickly. There's quite a bit of lateral movement in a Sako bolt when it's open, and few people can operate the bolt without occasionally hitting the eyepiece. I tried the Leupold Compact in low rings on my Mannlicher and found this to be the case, so I switched to medium, as shown in the photo above.

    The longer Sako actions have a bit more clearance and are more amenable to low rings. My early L61R in .300 H&H has a 2-8x Burris Signature mounted in low rings. The Burris eyepiece is slightly bigger than the one on the Leupold Compact, but the bolt handle clears nicely and will not hit the eyepiece. I don't know about the L579; I've never tried to use low rings on one.

    I don't think an occasional hit from the bolt handle will do any significant damage to the scope, but it will certainly scrape the finish. I prefer to avoid even this minor damage, which is easily avoided by switching to medium rings.

    Here's the L61R with the Burris in low rings.
    300 H&H Finnbear-4.JPG

    And here's another example, an AV in 9.3x62 with a Leupold 1.5-5x in low rings. The bolt handle can hit the Butler Creek flip cap, but it's soft plastic so it doesn't matter.
    AV-5.JPG
     
  7. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    I’m sorry Icebear, I fetched my Deluxe L579 to have a look. My scope is a VXII 3-9x33 Ultralight.
    I also measured my ocular bells on a couple guns. They’re all leupys…
    VX II 3-9x33 ultra light- 1.357”
    VXII 3-9-33 AO rimfire -1.360”
    VX3 4.5-14 CDS - 1.560”
    FE27A4CD-32E0-40F7-A68B-4FCAA1177A57.jpeg D9C7E3DF-AF38-4FBA-B2EF-B66CD1FF8BE9.jpeg

    My bolt clears, even while holding side pressure towards the contact area…but like you say, the Leupold standard ocular bells won’t clear without medium rings.
    My bad on the mis-representation..:oops:
     
  8. kevinlg

    kevinlg Well-Known Member

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    BlooHip.....

    A matte scope.....even if it is a Leuy....on a fine deluxe Sako!!!???

    Isn't that some sort of felony......even in West Virginia??!! :)

    Here....I'll fix it for ya. I've a gloss finish compact around here somewhere......
    Here 'tis.......on an ol' fence post.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Bloo
    It's good to know that the ocular on a Leupold Compact in low rings will clear the bolt handle on an L579. I've never mounted that type of scope on a medium action; my experience has been with the L461 and L61R actions. With your measurements we now have more complete information.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
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  10. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Pretty fancy fence you got there.
     
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  11. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    Only if you redo the rifles finish to match the scope!
    Plus , the matte finish helps reduce scope slippage!:rolleyes:
     
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  12. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    I’d be happy to to take that glossy Leupold Compact of yer hands! I think I can get it pry’d off of that fence post!

    bloo
     
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  13. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Gloss-finish scopes are getting harder and harder to find. The glossy Leupold Compact I put on the 222 Mag carbine had to be scavenged off another rifle - I have one like it in matte, but I wanted glossy to match the high-polish finish on the carbine. I'm hardly even seeing glossy Leupolds at gun shows any more, and prices are up when you find one. The L-series Sakos, with their high-polish blue and gloss-finished wood, look their best with a glossy scope.
     
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  14. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    Understood
    The purist in me (what’s left) agrees that the gloss finish does look best, especially on the earlier L’s.
    I found the ultralight on eBay years ago for a very low price, and it turned out to be a very clear and accurate set up, with a LRD reticle.
    Now days I guess I don’t get too bent on matching finishes and appearance over functionality. My grandkids haven’t worn a pair of matching socks for five years, which used to bother me some. Now , one can buy them in pairs..of non-matching patterns and colors. I’ve surrendered some of my old ways of thinking to this notion. At least they’re still wearing socks…
     
  15. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Low rings on a L57 also work for a 3x9 compact Leupold.
     
  16. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Not quite so fast: Yes, the ocular bell of the Leupold Compact series will usually clear the bolt on the L579 using low Sako ringmounts, however, some of the early L579's used a bolt handle with a somewhat tighter curve. This tighter curve causes the bolt knob to sit a bit further out from the stock when the bolt is closed, and also to be a bit closer to the ocular bell of the scope when the bolt is opened and withdrawn.

    If you have an L579 with either a half-moon or an "s"-shaped floorplate release (not the round button) then it is possible that it has the "tight" bolt handle curve, so you'll need to check the clearance by actually mounting the scope before you can be certain.

    Like nearly everything "Sako", I've found no pattern to the how, why, or where these "tight curve" bolt handles occur, but there are a few of them floating around on the early L579's, and possibly on some others, but I've not run across any on other than L579's.
     
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  17. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    True .. the earliest L579’s had a Mauser-esque flat on the underside of the knob, and was also a bit shorter and curved slightly upward. Sako quickly (so it seems) dealt with the scope problems by adding some length to the handle. These can be found on models with the half moon type releases. I’ve had a few examples of both over time. Never noticed it with the S type release.
    The L57 bolt is much like it’s little sister ,L46, straight bolt handle, no sweep angle, and a circular relief milled into the upper handle section to aid in scope clearance. I love the 57’s!

    Bloo
     
  18. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Thanks for the clarification and additional info. I have an early L579, but scope clearance is not an issue because it has a B&L/Kuharsky scope setup, which puts the scope well out of harm's way. However, I think this is likely the bolt in question. It's more sharply curved than my other L579 (an H&R round-top with a pushbutton release), and the scoop for scope clearance comes to a distinct edge, rather than the softer contour of the later gun. It's more like the bolt handle on an L46. The knob is fully round, not flattened on the bottom.
    L579-1.JPG
     
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