Short Actions Deluxe 461 in 222 mag with Leupold 8x36mm

Discussion in 'Sako Short Actions' started by douglastwo, Aug 26, 2020.

  1. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    I've had my Deluxe 222 mag rigged with a Leupold 3x9 compact for about 10 years and decided to try a Leupold 8x36 that I've owned about 3-4 years. After buying the 8x36, I decided to set it aside because I didn't like the reticle. The super fine crosshair just seems too small for my old eyes. Also, it has the tiny Leupold 1/2" target dot, which I can barely see. I was attracted to the 8x36 because the 1988 Leupold catalog introducing it, touted it as a compact scope even though they listed it with the fixed power scopes. Typical to compact scopes, it is a little shorter, a little lighter and the objective len is smaller than the objective lens on the standard fixed 8 power they were producing in 1988. For those interested, I've attached a snap shot of the Leupold specs for 1988. The 8x36 was a little fussy to mount on the 461 action. I prefer the 2x7 or the 3x9 compacts for the trim little Vixen. I use vintage medium Sako rings for the 3x9 compact and hoped the 8x36 would work. They do work, but if you're not careful, and lift the bolt upward when working it, it rubs the eye lens bell. I had some medium Leupold rings for the Sako dovetails. I installed the Leupold rings, and other than being about 1/16" too high, they work great. I like the scope to be 1/16" above the barrel and the 8x36 is setting 1/8" above the barrel. Here's a few photos of the end result.

     

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  2. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Wonderful scope!! The 8x & 7.5x older M8 Leupys are one of the bargains in varmint scopes. The variable craze blinds most to how capable they are. I have a 8x FXII made in Dec. 2014 in the Leupold custom shop on a J.C. Higgins Model 52 (L46 Sako action) with a custom barrel chambered in 20 Vartarg. It's one of my favorite scope/rifle/caliber combinations for varmint shooting. I find the fixed 8x gives up little to the variables for the shooting I do on PD's, bobcats, foxes, & coyotes. It's absolutely crystal clear!!!!
     
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  3. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Thanks for sharing. That 8x36 is an interesting old scope and I was not familiar with it.Looks like a good match for the L461. The 8x resembles the long-discontinued 3-9x AO Compact in appearance. A similar, newer alternative is the 2.5-8x VXIII, which is similar in physical size and also has a 36mm objective, but lacks the adjustable objective. The 2.5-8x is much easier to find than the 8x36, but usually more expensive. The crosshair-dot reticle Has fallen out of popularity. I'm partial to a similar one, the so-called "Leupold Dot," which has a dot on a tapered crosshair rather than a fine, straight crosshair. That reticle is seldom seen these days; I had one installed by many years ago by Leupod on a 12x.

    I agree that variable scopes are somewhat over-hyped for use on varmint rifles, but tell that to the gun magazine writers! The downside is that you don't see fixed power scopes much any more; the upside is that when you do find one at a show or online, you can often get a good deal. The Zeiss Diatal-C 10x36 is another undervalued gem. I paid $299 on eBay for this one, shown in Sako rings spaced for an L461. It requires high rings for clearance. The other scope in the photo is a Burris 12x that I also got cheap, $150 in the original box.
    Zeiss 10x - Burris 12x.JPG
     
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  4. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    I also like the Leupold Dot and my favorite 264 mag L61 Deluxe Sporter is rigged with one. I also look for sleeper scopes to avoid paying big bucks. I'm seeing more and more Leupold 3x9 compacts on the market for almost $400 to over $500, but they don't seem to be selling at that overpriced amount. I'm certainly not a buyer.
     
  5. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    At 14 years old, my first scope was a 4x of a manufacturer I can't remember. My next scope I got in 1962 at 16 was a Weaver 6x on a first year Remington 700 BDL in 7 mag. A few years later I upgraded the 6x to a fixed Leupold 7.5 x which I had for a few years until I foolishly sold it.
     
  6. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Absurd. You can get a good used Zeiss Diavari-C or a comparable Swarovski for that. Those scopes are only slightly less compact, and considerably upscale. I think I paid $225 or so for the last Leupold 3-9x compact I bought, and that was just last December at a big gun show in Phoenix. Even the very hard to find AO version of the Leupold shouldn't go for more than 300.
     
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  7. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    I agree with your comment about paying $225 for your last Leupold 3x9 compact. That's the price range that I paid about 2 years ago for the 3-4 most recent I've purchased. Due to health issues, I've been somewhat out of following the market on the compact Leupolds for about a year and a half. I just started looking at them again and all my shopping has been on the net (mostly Ebay). I've not been able to go to any gun shows for almost two years, which is a bummer! Lately I've been searching Ebay about twice a month and that's where I've seen the $400-$500 asking prices. I've not looked up the selling price.
     
  8. susanna

    susanna Well-Known Member

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    cant say have ever seen an 8x36 ao leupold, not many L461 deluxe sakos here in aust either. very nice. susanna
     
  9. kevinlg

    kevinlg Well-Known Member

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    Doug,

    I've also kept an eye out for the AO versions for a few years. They fit nicely on my small L461 based rifles.

    There's a guy "lfcrock" on eBay that buys most all of them..............and then puts them up for sale at $599 to $699.

    The "up-side"........is that I've never seen him sell one, at those prices.

    edit: BTW.......I've also sorta liked the old Leupold 7.5X with tapered reticle. O'Brien put a few of them on his rifles.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
  10. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Here in the US both AO & non-AO 7.5x & 8x M8 Leupys are commonly for sale. Many of the non-AO scopes were set to be parallax free at 300 yards, instead of the usual 150 yards. I prefer the longer parallax setting for my prairie dog rifles, but that might not be best for everyone. You can check your parallax setting by looking through the scope at different known distances & seeing if your reticle moves off target as you move your eye off center from the ocular lens. Just a FYI.
     
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  11. FLT

    FLT Well-Known Member

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    I’ve got one of the 7.5 Leupolds on a 22 hornet, it’s so old that the finish is starting to look purple in bright sun light , but it’s still clear as a bell and is still dead on after all these years.
     
  12. kevinlg

    kevinlg Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth.........

    I'll quote a guy on the AR board.

    "It's the Freedom series they've uglied up. [​IMG]"
     
  13. 16b410

    16b410 Well-Known Member

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    that is a beauty for sure. I do love the old fixed Leupolds. I have an 8X on this old girl and killed a fair amount of groundhogs with it. The fine crosshairs are fine with me but the dot is a bit annoying though.

    Sako L-46 Deluxe.JPG
     
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  14. Thomas Davis

    Thomas Davis Active Member

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    Nice set up.I have a 3x9x36 gloss compact that I'm thinking about putting on my Vixen instead of the VXII 3x9 it wears now.Just using mine too much right now to change things up.
     

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