Gen. Earle Gilmore Wheeler's Sako Deluxe in .308

Discussion in 'Show us your Sako' started by deergoose, Nov 17, 2021.

  1. deergoose

    deergoose Sako-addicted

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    ......Presented to him by General Jaako Sakari Simelius in 1963. Simelius was the Commander of the Finnish Defense Forces at the same time that General Earle Wheeler was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under US President Lyndon B. Johnson. Vietnam Era stuff. They must have had some military pow-wow in Finland back in September 1963, when according the rifle's attached plaque, General Wheeler was presented this piece by General Simelius. Check out the pics ! Would love for other members to weigh in on this and perhaps know something more than I do at that time of our nation's history. Provenance checks out with the records service that I ran on this rifle, and now wondering two things: 1) what (military) event was occuring in Finland in Sept. 1963?, and 2) where did the other six (6) rifles go that were sent to General Simelius? Sako coolness at it's finest here, Gents ! Enjoy the pics!


    I bought this rifle from another member here on the board! Thank you.
    DeerGoose

    IMG_4555 (2).jpg IMG_4556 (2).jpg IMG_4557 (2).jpg IMG_4558 (2).jpg IMG_4559 (2).jpg IMG_4562 (2).jpg IMG_4565 (2).jpg IMG_4566 (2).jpg IMG_4568 (2).jpg IMG_4570 (2).jpg IMG_4571 (2).jpg IMG_4572 (2).jpg
     

  2. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    Incredible find DG! Absolutely minty Sako awesomeness! Well done!

    Bloo
     
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  3. misako50

    misako50 Sako-addicted

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    Great- my favorite everything Sako. Is the pad in good shape? (Just kidding).
     
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  4. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    0AE858A8-656B-43C5-A047-6391E2FD59DB.jpeg F29EE1AD-9159-4F52-8481-CF0AD63F5040.jpeg Once again, I find that DG and I have some comparative Sako Coolness to share! Opened up the safe and low & behold…L579 De Lux, .308 win, #29491! It bears also the inverted or Southbound Fishgods plate! I doubt it was one of the six but it’s dang close!

    I would like to add that the Sako Coolness is only the fact that our rifles are so closely numbered…the chance that they shared a bin or bench together is rather high, even in the poker hand probabilities of Sako serialism.
    Deergoose’s rifle is of ultra level collectibility and Historic significance! One of a kind!
    F244B633-5506-4529-A2CE-4E2C5657672C.jpeg bloo
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021
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  5. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

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    Cool gun with a neat story in excellent condition, plus the Fish God floorplate. Hard to beat that one.
     
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  6. John Legler

    John Legler Member

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    Looks great
     
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  7. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Guessing here only -- it appears that the General probably ordered rifles to present to a group of his peers. I don't know what the occasion might have been , but in 1963 the "Western" countries were wooing Finland to establish stronger economic and military ties as a counter to Soviet influence. Vice-president Lyndon Johnson toured Finland in 1962 and was presented a Sako at that time. We think we have identified it as a Deluxe .264 which shows to have been sent to "U.S. Embassy" around that time, and have been attempting to verify this with some of Johnson's family.

    (Note: Under current law a gift from a foreign source belongs not to the President or Vice-president, but to the United States -- and there is a whole warehouse full of such gifts. But the presentation to Johnson pre-dated this law, and since Johnson & guests frequently hunted deer on his ranch I suspect that the rifle might still be in the family's possession.)
     
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  8. Jeffy1

    Jeffy1 Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic. I am impressed.
     
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  9. northernlights

    northernlights Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful rifle, DG!

    I think for many of us here our "best" rifles have the best stories to tell. Like with so many other valuable "things" we take pride in owning, their stories are their greatest value to us.

    I have mint Bofors Sakos and pre-64 Winchesters, but one of my "best" rifles is a 1901 Winchester 1894 30wcf with a MSA (pre Marbles) tang peep sight and a pitted barrel with lands worn almost smooth with the grooves. You just can't help but wonder: Over 120 years how many snowy days has this old Winchester 1894 been carried in the woods; how many deer has it taken during hunting season; how many deer in July to feed a farm family with 9 children? I'm sure so many this tired 1894 carbine can't possibly remember!

    55 years ago I first heard stories of the legacy of the oldest boy in that farm family who hunted with this 1894. Regrettably, I never met the man in person. He died the year before doing what he loved...hunting. Very recently I had the privilege of acquiring his 1901 Winchester 1894 30wcf carbine. Oh, to hold it...to imagine the stories...to know a very tiny part of its legacy now will be my story, too!

    Looking through the tang peep and sighting in this carbine has revitalized my tired 75 year old eyes and surprisingly my interest in woods-walking again carrying a venerable Winchester lever action. I have heard it said to "expect the unexpected." Riflemen, listen closely to what was totally unexpected: Shooting Remington Core-Lokt 150 gr. ammunition this 1901 Winchester 1894 30wcf carbine that appears to be so worn out shoots 1/8th and 1/4 inch groups at 50 yards...3 shots in 2 holes! I assure you that's not me; I can't do that! This 1894's worn and pitted barrel seems to be...well, worn and pitted just right like perfectly aligned stars!

    One of my "best" rifles!

    NorthernLights
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
  10. Sexton

    Sexton Well-Known Member

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    Stunning.
     
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  11. Bucktote

    Bucktote Well-Known Member

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    Hi Northernlights,
    Looking back is a blessing we vintage hunter/shooters can enjoy. While preping for a hunt fri. pm I came across a box of .348 cartridges from my dad's model 71 Winchester .348 they cost $4.60 for 20 ea. 200 grain pills.Dad hunted in Maine in the Penobscot river area. His stories are what kids dreams are about. Forgot to mention, it kills on both ends. Three shot max. to zero it,that's about all the punishment I can take !! B/T
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
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