Dating an M78

Discussion in 'Sako Rimfires and Small Action Rifles' started by gmkmd, Nov 10, 2020.

  1. gmkmd

    gmkmd Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Pennsylvania
    Hi fellas,
    I just got my first Sako; saw it at a local shop, had never seen one before, but knew I had to have it. It’s an M78, .22LR, and conveniently came wearing a Leupold M8-12x with target turrets.
    Is there a way to tell when it was made?
    Thanks!

     

  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

    Messages:
    7,814
    Likes Received:
    1,722
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Texas
    We have no records on the M78, but they range from the late 1970's into the 1980's.
     
  3. gmkmd

    gmkmd Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Pennsylvania
    Ok; I guess that’s close enough.
     
  4. waterwolf

    waterwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    218
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    Can we see a picture of your M78? I have only ever seen one, and its my fullstock version. I'd like to see some other variations.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
    icebear and Andrew Rowland like this.
  5. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    1,015
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Arizona
    Robinpeck:

    Here's a very old, low-quality photo of a model 78 that I owned about 20 years ago. It was made with a very early digital camera and so it isn't much of a photo, but it does show the general characteristics of the standard M78 sporter. It has Williams sights; the front sight is missing the hood. If I remember correctly, this rifle was a .22 Magnum. The scope is a 6x Burris AO Mini. The M78 is visually all but identical to the earlier P72 (second photo, top, and third photo). I can't tell them apart. This one, a .22 Hornet, has had the sights removed and is equipped with a 3-9x Leupold Compact.

    P78.jpg 2x Hornet.JPG Left Side 1.JPG
     
  6. gmkmd

    gmkmd Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Pennsylvania
    C9A4FDC1-72C2-4F1D-B016-9366C30CFE44_1_201_a.jpeg 3CE1004E-ACF8-4CAF-973B-A3CEE3C6B9A5_1_201_a.jpeg 26393E44-86F5-4F98-8716-E780AB2A2414_1_201_a.jpeg 39F996C7-1530-49A0-A9B7-BFEC8644459F_1_201_a.jpeg 73D80903-339B-4CCB-9300-06376D78E9D3_1_201_a.jpeg Here's some pictures of my new one. I must say, that full-stocked one is pretty sweet!
     
    icebear likes this.
  7. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    1,015
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Arizona
    Nice one, with a great scope. 12x is more than you need for a rimfire, but you could put it on a .222 or .22--250 and put a 6x on the .22 if you feel so inclined. I've got one like it on an L461 HB in .222 Magnum.

    I'd have grabbed that too, if it had showed up at my LGS!
     
  8. gmkmd

    gmkmd Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Pennsylvania
    Thanks for your comments. I agree, that the scope seems like a bit of overkill. But before swapping it out for a smaller one, I figured I'd try it out.
     
    susanna likes this.
  9. waterwolf

    waterwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    218
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    At least you will be able to see the holes in the target.
     
  10. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    1,015
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Arizona
    I would do the same.
     
    Unclekax likes this.
  11. cl_leg

    cl_leg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    75
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA Ontario
    I believe, the m78 came out in 1978. it was replaced by the p94 which came out in 1994
     
  12. waterwolf

    waterwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    218
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    I'd sure like to see more Sako 22s "in the flesh". Like I said, I have only ever seen one, and its my full wood M78, and it's a bit of an oddball....so there was the P54, P72, M78, then the P94 and the numbers are the start-of-production dates? I guess to get a handle on them all, I need to search around on this forum.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
  13. gmkmd

    gmkmd Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Pennsylvania
    I think it's interesting that the sights seem to vary a bit. For example, mine is tapped for a barrel rear sight, and tapped for a front sight ramp, but there are clearly no marks to indicate that the plug screws were ever removed or that there was ever any sights mounted on it. Did they originally sell some models without sights, and some with sights? Or did they include them in the box, and leave it up to the end user whether to mount them or not?
     
  14. cl_leg

    cl_leg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    75
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA Ontario
    All m78 were drilled and tapped. Some came with sights some didn't.
    The front is a Sako the rear is a Williams.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
  15. cl_leg

    cl_leg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    75
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA Ontario
    P94's are nice
     

    Attached Files:

  16. waterwolf

    waterwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    218
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    My M78 is drilled and tapped for a rear sight. It still has the original filler screws and it appears that no rear sight was ever installed. I have a Sako .22 peep sight that fits the parallel dovetails, but it didn't come with the rifle.

    I think I would like to get a P54.
     
  17. waterwolf

    waterwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    218
    Country Flag:
    Canada
    State/Region:
    CA New Brunswick
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
  18. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

    Messages:
    7,814
    Likes Received:
    1,722
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Texas
    There was also a P46 made from circa 1946-54. None were ever commercially imported to North America so far as I can tell.

    The first Sako rimfire rifle commercially imported to the U.S. was the P-72. I bought the one I own from the retired president of Garcia Sporting Arms. He said that he personally opposed importing the P-72 because "Who would buy a .22 that retails for nearly $500?"
     
  19. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

    Messages:
    7,814
    Likes Received:
    1,722
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Texas
    Here is my collection of P72/M78 rifles, along with my P94. From top to bottom:

    1. Original stock for M-78 .22 Hornet.
    2. M-78 .22 Hornet in later factory stock purchased to cut down for a youth shooter. Notice that the drop at the Monte Carlo is straighter than the older stocks and makes for better scope use.
    3. P-72 .22 WMR
    4. P-72 .22 LR. Note the rare gloss finish. Most were oil/matte.
    5. P-94 .22 LR. Note that its stock also has less drop than the earlier P-series.

    DSC00893.JPG

    The only variance between the P-72 and M-78 that I can identify (other than the later stocks being straighter at the comb) is in the trigger, and there appear to have been at least three different triggers on these models. There was also a similar P-75 which appears only to have been made in .22 Hornet.

    My Hornet exhibits decent accuracy; I would say better than most other makes of Hornets, but not sterling, maybe 1.5 MOA. The .22 WMR also provides decent accuracy but not as good as my Kimber of Oregon Model 82. The P-72 .22 LR delivers outstanding accuracy, as does the P-94. I really can't say which of them is best. I suppose it depends on which ammunition they are fed. I like the robust build of the P-94 and think it is a shame that Sako never chose to offer it in a small centerfire version.

    I have a friend in Europe who has purchased a very nice P-54 for me. We are waiting for the Covid problem to abate so that I can bring it home under an import permit I've obtained.

    Finding a P-46 that is something better than a bucket of rust is a challenge. Like in the U.S., Europeans mostly regarded the .22 rimfire as a utility/pest rifle and many were stored in a shed or barn back in the 40's and 50's. Thus, not many P-46's are around which are original and in good shape.
     
  20. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    1,015
    Country Flag:
    USA
    State/Region:
    US Arizona
    What versions are the four guns in this photo? I see one rifle with sights and three near-identical sporters with scopes. Different calibers? Is one a heavy barrel? Curious people want to know.
     

Share This Page