Downsize AIII 300WM

Discussion in 'Sako Long/Magnum Actions' started by LouisianaHunter, Jan 8, 2021.

  1. LouisianaHunter

    LouisianaHunter Member

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    I have an AIII 300 that I put in the vault some years ago because I got tired getting the **** kicked out of me. It's too nice a rifle not to do something with. I would like to replace the barrel and moderate the recoil. Can I downsize the bolt face or am I limited to 7mm RM or 264 WM ? I would rather something like a 280.

     

  2. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    You could install a bushing in the bolt face to reduce it's diameter for the .473" case head rounds, but it would probably be more economical to sell or trade your magnum & get a standard Sako long action in 30-06, 270 Win or other "normal" chambering. You might even find one of the G-O Wholesale special ordered Sakos in 280 Rem. IIRC, they made 500 of them. The cost for the bolt face work(which may include modifying the extractor) & new barrel will exceed what a different rifle will cost you and you may get more for your magnum than another rifle will cost. Keep in mind that the magnum action probably has a wider opening on the bottom of the action, so you may have some feeding issues that may prove problematic as well. Just some things to be certain of before you start "modifying". You may be opening a money pit that could prove hard to fill. Just my two cents!
     
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  3. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Agree.
     
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  4. LouisianaHunter

    LouisianaHunter Member

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    I think that is sound advice . I wondered if there was an easy way to change the bolt face. I’ll take look at the estimate to make it a 7mm RM . If that’s not doable I’ll sell it.
    I’m experienced with money pits . I live in an old house
    and have a 1982 Jeep Scrambler .
     
  5. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    In my experience the 7mm Remington Mag is a nasty kicker like the 300 Win Mag. Surprisingly, I find a 300 H&H much more shooter-friendly. The recoil, while considerable, is more of a hard push than a slam. There's something about the older design that gives less felt recoil - some have speculated that it has to do with the burning rate of the powder in a long, tapered case. In any case, I'm not the only one; I've seen that observation several times in this and other online forums. I own three rifles in .300 H&H - an L61R Finnbear, an FN-Sako with a custom stock, and a Model 70 - and I don't find the recoil from any of them to be a big problem. However, I used to have an L61R in 7 Mag and I sold it because it was unpleasant to shoot.

    If it was my gun, I'd either swap it out for a .270 or rebarrel it in .300 H&H.
     
  6. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    There are a couple of choices which would require only simple rebarreling (still an expensive outlay). A .270 WSM would fit the bolt face and feed through the magazine. So would a 6.5 Remington Magnum. Either of these might work best with a magazine block installed in the rear of the magazine, but would probably work okay without such a modification.

    You mentioned a .264 Win Magnum. It's not a hard kicker, so if it suits your needs is a viable alternative.

    Be advise, however, that any of these choices are poor ones if you are not a handloader.

    Unless you just have a special attachment to your A-III, selling or trading for a lesser caliber in a similar Sako would be your least expensive and likely most satisfactory alternative.
     
  7. FLT

    FLT Well-Known Member

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    I’d just load some reduced power rounds for it, I’ve loaded some 150 grain bullets to mild 308 Winchester power levels for use in a lightweight 300 model 70 with good results.
     
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  8. LouisianaHunter

    LouisianaHunter Member

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    I’ve been considering this . Used to have all the stuff. I’ll have to ask the guys I shared the equipment with what’s still around. Could you share the load you used?
    These days with rangefinders and dial in scopes muzzle velocity doesn’t seem as important.
     
  9. FLT

    FLT Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps this chart will be helpful in picking a load.
    9D79507C-9762-47B2-BE9C-0C879FCC2468.png
     
  10. LouisianaHunter

    LouisianaHunter Member

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    Thanks. Now I have lots to consider.
     
  11. CVCOBRA1

    CVCOBRA1 Well-Known Member

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    I hate to even mention about doing this to a Sako rifle but there is always the option of threading the barrel and adding a brake. Your AIII is past the collection value phase as it is. Some people say that brakes are the only way to go and some don't want to even be around one. They are extremely noisy to anyone next to them when fired and I would say that is the main reason for most complaints. They will tame the recoil with the correct brake. Again, bringing up threading a Sako will make some people on here cringe, just thought I would bring it up since it hasn't been mentioned yet.
     
  12. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I would be against putting a muzzle brake on a Sako or anything else short of a .338 Lapua or a .50BMG. If you shoot at a range, the effect on the shooters to the left and right of you is extremely unpleasant, if not downright offensive. I can tell the difference if a guy next to me with an AR-15 has a brake, let alone a .300 WinMag. And if you hunt with it, you probably won't be wearing ear protection, and the extra noise from even a shot or two with a brake could temporarily or permanently damage your hearing. Don't do it.
     
  13. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Lots of ranges flat out ban brakes or have a designated area away from everybody else. They not only devalue your rifle, they just flat P!$$ everybody around you off. If you don't care for the recoil, get a different rifle. The 6.5 Creedmoor has the same trajectory as the 300 Win Mag to 1000 yards. Gee, wonder why it is so popular??? Rebarreling, reduced handloads, muzzle brakes & any other suggestions are all doable, if you like chasing ghosts & wasting time & money. The simplest, most economical, & most logical thing is to just get a different Sako that suits your goal. Good luck!
     
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  14. CVCOBRA1

    CVCOBRA1 Well-Known Member

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    I knew I would get P!$$ED on when I even mentioned a brake. That is why I hesitated to do so. The OP was looking for options, my goodness. Notice I did say they were extremely noisy to anyone next to them!
     
  15. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Nothing personal. As the OP considers his options, he should know what the reaction of his fellow shooters on the line would be. I also think that hearing damage is a serious possibility if it is fired out in the hunting field without hearing protection.
     
  16. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth. Some folks have physical shoulder defect and some do not have the ability to suck that stock into their shoulder, which causes pain and flinching when shooting, especially big magnums. I am fortunate that I can tolerate pain, so I have never had that problem like some of my friends. If I had the problem I would look for any alternative other than altering a perfectly good rifle for no fault of it's own. I would like to offer the following suggestion. For a lot less money and more comfort, first try a shoulder recoil pad. With a slight difference in LOP which you can easily get used to, it could solve the problem. (If you suck that rifle butt tight into your shoulder it will be less than 1/2 inch difference and your head will move a lot further than that.) Many bench rest shooters always use them for comfort. Sakojim.

    https://bestreviewgeek.com/best-shoulder-recoil-pad
     
  17. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Another recoil reducer is the mercury-tube device that is inserted into a hole drilled in the buttstock, which is concealed under the buttplate. These gadgets are somewhat popular with trapshooters, who fire a lot of full-power 12-gauge loads. They aren't cheap, and the cost would be further increased if the Sako has a recoil pad, as Sako pads are typically glued in place rather than held with screws, and often are destroyed in getting them off.

    I'm just mentioning this as an option; I wouldn't actually recommend it for the gun we are talking about here. I agree with Paulson that the best way to go would be to sell it and use the money to buy a more suitable caliber.
     
  18. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I use a PAST pad with a shoulder harness. I jokingly refer to it as my bra. I don't need it often but it does come in handy when firing a .45-70 Trapdoor or Sharps with a steel buttplate. I also have a T-shirt with a built-in recoil pad, but I don't know who made it.
     
  19. kevinlg

    kevinlg Well-Known Member

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    Muzzle brakes

    They have their place.........namely, the prairie dog fields. Where they work very well.....under certain conditions.

    Just a thought.....
     
  20. Kev1Doggy

    Kev1Doggy Member

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    I have an AV 300 WM Fiberclass thats had a Kdf brake added to it, and it makes it a lot more enjoyable to shoot. I cant say I have ever had a ringing ear after shooting an elk with it. And by the way if you shot PRS matchs everyone runs brakes on there rifles so they can stay on target and view their bullet splash!
     
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