Franken-Vixen, finally finished

Discussion in 'Sako Short Actions' started by Sean Hodges, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    6C6546BF-C3C1-4DC9-85E0-AA44482E103F.jpeg Thought I’d share my finally finished budget project. I got serious about two months ago after having this stuff for what seems like forever.

    I bought the L461 action at a gun show in 1992. Serial number 150xxx. I paid $225.00. It had been in a Crown Royal bag ever since. It came with the Redfield bases but no windage screws. Thanks Chaucer (SCC member) for those. I polished the bolt myself, nothing else was done.

    I bought the stock at another gun show in 2000. It is an old Fajen. I paid $40.00. The guy had a literal pile of stocks. I had the action with me and simply lucked out. The stock was a mess. I mean like a club. It was slimmed down and re bedded. The pad and grip cap were also addressed. I wish I had before pictures. I used 25 coats of Pro Custom Oil to do the finish.

    I was lucky to know the late great Larry Brace. He was in my opinion one of the finest custom gun makers of his time. His rifles are/were favorites of hunters all around the world. He was a very kind man and shared his refinishing technique with me.


    The barrel is a 21” Pac-Nor. I bought the barrel used from a gunsmith friend for $160.00. It’s chambered in .223. He installed and headspaced it for me.

    The scope is a 6x36 Leupold fx-II. I think for my intention the scope will work well. My close friend didn’t like it so I bought it for $100.00.

    Thought I’d share, I hope to shoot it this weekend. Thanks.
     

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  2. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Nice work. The shape of the stock came out well. It is slim and well-proportioned. Congratulations - hope it shoots as good as it looks.
     
  3. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

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    Great job bringing it back to life.
    Are you going to have it checkered?
     
  4. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the kind words.

    Slimming the stock and removing the roll over comb took several hours. I did it the old fashioned way, no power tools. I probably shouldered it a hundred times until I was satisfied.

    I doubt I’ll have it checkered. I have some skill, but checkering is not one of them. If this was exhibition grade wood, then yes I most likely would send it to a competent artist. It’s hard for me to justify the cost given the fact it is a parts gun of sorts. Thanks again.
     
  5. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    You might want to think about getting some basic checkering tools, looking at a book or video, and giving it a try - presumably on scrap wood or a beater stock for your first learning effort! You can also get useful practice by deepening and cleaning up crappy checkering on any inexpensive rifles you might own. In my case, I did my first checkering job on a Mini-14 with the usual blah hardwood stock. It wasn't professional work but it looked OK, it was a learning experience, and I have since done a couple of checkering jobs that are as good as you see on many commercial hunting rifles. It's enjoyable, and not as hard as it looks. I'd say that if you have the skill to do what you did on that stock, you can teach yourself to checker. Brownells has everything you need and I'm sure there are plenty of instructional videos on YouTube or wherever.
     
  6. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    That’s actually a great idea icebear. My wife has been bugging me about my upcoming birthday. So, perhaps I will ask for a basic set. Plus, I retire in 755 days according to my phone app. I’ll have lots of time and-I have a nice well lit work bench and several scrap stocks. Thanks for the compliment and the idea.
     
  7. OldIronMan

    OldIronMan Member

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    I'd say it was worth the wait, it looks very stunning ! Congrats to a job well done.
     
  8. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much.
     
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  9. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Just for further encouragement, here's a very similar project of mine. This is an FN-Sako in .300 H&H that I bought many years ago with a rather ugly Bishop stock on it. (Actually, it was hideous. I wish I had taken a before picture.) As with your rifle, I lowered the cheekpiece and slimmed down the forend. I also added a pad and an ebony grip cap. The stock already had checkering on it. The layout was fine but it was sloppily executed. I spent some time finishing off the lines, getting them to uniform depth, and doing the best I could with the overruns. The result is a distinct improvement. Here are some photos. The top gun is the one I redid; the other is an original FN-Sako.

    I think a nice checkering job would put the final touch on your very well-done custom Sako, and I'm sure you'd be able to do it with a little practice.

    2 Rifles .JPG 2 Stocks - Left.JPG 2 Stocks - Right.JPG
    2 Forends.JPG
     
  10. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing your photos. The rifle turned out very nice. This give me encouragement to perhaps give this a try. It might be a while until I repost new pictures because I’m sure I’ll need lots of practice. Take care.
     

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