Greetings from the UK... AII or AV conundrum

Discussion in 'New members, please introduce yourselves here!' started by Aviatore, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    Greetings everybody!

    I came across the site while researching a very diverse collection of rifles that my grandfather left the family and am looking to find value ranges for them and make a decision on which of the Sako Rifles I will end up receiving and keeping. I'm sure this is a common issue... but as this looks to be a very knowledgeable group and I'm not really sure where to start I'm hoping you all can point me in the right direction. I've done a few searches through the forum and without being a member was limited in access etc... so here I am ready to learn something about my new rifle... whichever it turns out to be.

    My background was USAF and have gravitated towards pistols and shotguns despite having always been much much more proficient with a rifle, that'll probably change with a quality rifle.

    So to the problem at hand... the many rifles of common manufacture weren't too difficult for me to date and find general values for but I'm afraid I'd only barely heard of Sako and never had the pleasure to fire one. Only learning of it a few years ago when my grandfather showed me the AII saying that I'd get it when he passed. I of course didn't like the morbid subject as we were quite close and he was in very good health so we didn't dwell on it, now to my chagrin. It looked a bit strange to my eye with a full length forestock but the quality in manufacture was apparent. Now I'm helping my mother from across the pond to value the collection and I will need to decide on the AII or the AV as there is some confusion as to which Sako he meant for me.

    Is there a good basic summary of Sako rifles to start a foundation of knowledge from or can somebody help me to lay one?

    The rifles I'm looking to value (doesn't need to be exact) are:

    Valmet M88 Hunter in .308 Win SN: 3963XX
    Sako AII in .308 Win SN: 3717XX
    Sako AV in 30-06 SN: 6424XX


    From what I can tell the Valmet is a subsidiary company or brand of the parent company Sako. It appears to be based on the AK but looks to be of a much much higher quality. Is there anything of particularl interest about these or are the common? I've heard the mags are proprietary with Galil's possibly being able to be substituted in.

    The Sako's confuse me as I'm still unsure if the AII is a model designation or an action design or simply a kind of cartridge power classification system. Same problem with the AV. I've seen reference to L579, L461... these appear to be action designations similarly to how watch movements are designated and can be installed into very different furniture thus begins the confusion. Finally I have seen descriptions of AI, AII, AIII etc... and gotten the impression that they might be a way ordering an action by rising cartridge power. So my very limited (non-existent) knowledge has been completely muddled so I'm hoping that can be cleared up.

    Thanks!
     

  2. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    Oh yeah and of course the gun porn will follow once I get a few better photos from mom...
     
  3. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Your questions are so broad & encompassing that it may behove you to peruse the forum sections on Sako medium actions (AII) & Sako long actions (AV). The answers to your questions will be revealed in little time. In short the AII is the action stamping on the medium action Sakos, sometimes referred to as a "Forester". It's length will accommodate cartridges the size of the 243 & 308 Win. The AV stamping denotes the Sako long action or Finnbear, which can be fed rounds like the 30-06 & 7mm Rem mag. The A series Sako began production around 1978 & ended in 1992. The A series actions were the same as the earlier L461, L579 & L61R actions except for some minor modifications. Configurations (sporter, varmint, mannlincher, deluxe), condition, caliber, time of manufacture, phase of the moon, & which side of the bed you got out of will affect value, so an appraisal, sight unseen, is impossible. There are several members on the forum from the UK that may be able to do a face to face with you if they are close by.
     
  4. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    As I understand it, you are in Britain and the rifles are in the U.S. Is this correct? If you can post some photos it would be very helpful.

    From the serial number ranges both the A-II and the A-V are late models in their run, probably from the late 1980s or early '90's. They will be excellent hunting rifles, but have no particular collector value.

    It sounds as if the A-II .308 is a full-stock carbine, often called "Mannlicher". These usually command a bit more money than a standard sporter rifle. Like paulson, I hesitate to provide any real appraisal, but an A-II Mannlicher in nice condition (without counting the value of any scope or other accessory) would be somewhere in the $1,000 range.

    The A-V in .30-06, while a superb hunting rifle, is relatively common and therefore doesn't command as much in the market place. If it is a standard sporter in nice condition it would be in the $800 range (bare). If it happens to be a Deluxe sporter (skip-line checkering, engraved floorplate) then it would be worth from 25% to 75% more, depending on the appearance of the wood and -- very importantly -- its condition (condition is much more important to the value of a Deluxe than to a standard.)

    Remember, these are only approximate valuations and represent somewhere near the middle of the range in which such rifles trade in the U.S. Prices in other parts of the world vary hugely, as do prices within the U.S., depending on the time of the year and the range of issues paulson cited. However, if your need for price information is for the purpose of fairly distributing your grandfather's possession among is heirs, then using these figures wouldn't be unfair if you use mid-range figures for the other guns.
     
  5. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Stonecreek and Paulson have provided good basic information. If I were in your shoes, I would want the AII full-stock carbine. They are much more sought-after than an AV conventional rifle in .30-06. It's short, it's handy, and a .308 is every bit as good a hunting round as an '06. There are some folks out there who claim the full-stock carbines are less accurate; I've got a bunch of targets from my guns that say a full-stock is as accurate as anything else if it's set up right.

    The Valmet Hunter is, as you have noticed, a Kalashnikov derivative, and a fairly rare one. It is much better made than most AK derivatives, and is quite accurate. It is based on the Valmet Model 62 and 76 military semiautos, which are improved and better-made Kalashnikov derivatives. It might be worth a couple of hundred more than the AII, but that model is mainly of interest to Valmet collectors. Magazines for it are scarce and expensive, and Galil mags do NOT fit. I know this for a fact because when I picked up my m/76 in .308, the transferring dealer happened to have a Galil mag and we tried it. No go. A Valmet Hunter may be the most accurate Kalashnikov in captivity, but it's very much a specialty item. It was also made in .223, .243, and .30-06. There's one in .308 for sale on GB; it's been up for a month or two and is getting no bids at an opener of $1695.

    Valmet was a separate company from Sako, but was merged into Sako-Valmet around 1987. Valmet is a Finnish acronym for State Metal Works, which in turn was the successor company to VKT, the State Rifle Factory. Valmet was also known for high quality farm tractors.
     
  6. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    Thanks Paulson, yes the questions are broad as I'm looking to build a foundation on which to understand details. I've been poking around in the AII and AV sections and was having problems seeing the forest for the leaves as it were. For now I've no basis on which to appreciate nuanced details between A actions yet so its just a confusing muddle at the moment.

    It would appear that the suspicion I had about the "A--" designation is more an identification of an action that could've been put into different rifle models over the years rather than a rifle model designation in their own right. Something akin to saying... sure its a Ford and its got a V8's but is it a 351 Windsor, Cleveland, or a 427?

    So if I understand you correctly... when you say L461, L579 & L61R those were the older action designations superseded by the A series as improvements in design were made?
     
  7. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    Thank you Stonecreek, I'll be posting some shots once I can get mom to provide me some better photos of them. What she's sent me is a little too blurry and distant at the moment. But you're absolutely right, I'm stuck in the UK while my guns are back in the US and Grandfather's collection is as well.

    I appreciate you providing a general date range and ballpark sense in valuation, the purpose is unfortunately a little complicated. Grandpa was diligent in his will and distributed things equitably. Everybody is happy except my uncle (his son) who was cut out completely as their relationship was broken for a very very long time. Knowing that his will would be contested by my uncle no matter what, Grandpa put many legal defenses in place to try and ensure his wishes would be honored in court. The general valuation will help my aunt and mother to use their limited resources in deciding which guns need a professional appraisal as the collection is just too large to do them all. The end result being that since they simply can't afford to keep a lawyer on retainer like my uncle they may need to use a few of the guns to "buy him off" so they're not financially bled to death if he keeps taking them to court.

    I'll have mom check the floor plate on the AV, both the AII and AV appear to have limited skip line checkering on the furniture.
     
  8. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    Hello Icebear, is that a C-130 that you're sitting in? Whereabouts in AZ are you? I was in Tucson for a good number of years, loved it and want to return. This last winter in the UK has been making me really homesick for the Sonoran winters!

    Thanks for the heads up on the Valmet, its an unfortunate byproduct of internet-ing that not all info is accurate or true. The source for the Galil mags' compatibility seemed to know what he was talking about but that's nothing compared to first hand knowledge. Much appreciated.

    Valmet builds tractors and guns? Talk about turning swords into plowshares eh? With a big and aggressive neighbor in Soviet Russia for the better part of the last century I can see the need. The Finns' performance in the '39-'40 Winter War was impressive to say the least and I can see why my Grandfather was taken with their weapons. He was Lithuanian - Polish.
     
  9. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that is a C-130. The photo was taken over the jungle in Liberia. We were on a UN relief flight dropping food on a village in the interior that had been cut off by the civil war. I was in Monrovia with a State Department inspection team and we got to drinking beer with a crew of mercenaries that was flying for the UN. They very kindly invited us to take a ride with them the following morning. My boss and I said "Hell, yes!", the rest of our team were not interested. So the next morning at oh-dark-thirty, we showed up at Roberts Field and got an airplane ride. We flew for an hour or so up-country and dropped a planeload of bagged rice on a village whose name I never did get. No parachutes on the drop - the pilot revved up the engines, dropped the flaps, and stood the aircraft on its tail in slow flight. They had the drop so carefully calculated with airspeed that the bags actually dropped vertically. I wrapped one arm around a stanchion and took pictures with the other. The last shot shows the air full of bags of rice, and the villagers rushing to collect the food on the ground. We closed the doors, went back to level flight and headed back to Monrovia. The command pilot very kindly let me fly the airplane all the way back to Roberts Field, taking control back only on final approach. It was the first and only time I've ever flown an aircraft that size (I have single-engine-land and glider ratings) and one of my best memories from 25 years in the diplomatic service.

    I am in Tucson. Been here since 2003 and love it. Went hiking in Saguaro National Park a couple of days ago. Weather this time of year is perfect but of course everything is upside down because of the pandemic.

    "Valmet builds tractors and guns?" That would be built - Valmet is now a manufacturer of industrial automation equipment, mainly for the paper industry. The company was put together after the war from a constellation of state-owned companies doing various kinds of manufacturing. The tractors were spun off several years ago and the successor company still makes them under the name Valtra. Valmet's gun business was folded into Sako and no guns have been produced under the Valmet name for quite a while. The Valmet over-under rifle/shotgun with interchangeable barrels is now produced in Italy by Marocchi, which purchased the machinery from Valmet. The Italian guns are said to be of lower quality than the Finnish originals.

    There is a lot of bad information out there about Valmet magazines. The Galil is basically a somewhat improved copy of the Valmet rk/62 assault rifle, but the .308 mags are not interchangeable. As far as I know there are no substitutes for these mags, although I have heard that somebody with machine tools and an arc welder can convert M14 mags. .223 Galil mags will lock into a .223 Valmet, but the feed angle is wrong and it is actually dangerous to use .223 Galil mags in a Valmet. The 7.62x39 Valmets will work with any regular AK-47 mag.
     
  10. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    The Valmet

    60658361784__7D4C4487-B4FA-4F14-B913-9E3E261B8E49.jpeg 60658363322__97F95211-155D-4174-A3DE-665798580B00.jpeg 60658364656__8A1C88EE-90C0-4C06-89BB-4F18DD062EF5.jpeg 60658367654__02030DD9-18CD-4625-BA3A-FDC98240E59D.jpeg 60658371241__C2EDFF1A-7E31-4DDC-BFD6-51E263686DDF.jpeg 60658373622__3D5F6A84-7044-4ED3-AED2-0F55D2FE162C.jpeg 60658375460__6AD11A6D-B185-4DBE-8F69-A2F354143E2C.jpeg 60658381912__9E660B23-F952-4D07-B48E-107011F84BB4.jpeg
     
  11. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    The AII

    60658310182__15513084-1028-4B13-B82A-DFB5C9039372.jpeg 60658314690__6410D470-C5AD-4EB2-A5E9-D6E2F12A8F84.jpeg 60658316657__5A247CC1-89D1-40AE-ABC2-CCCD0A48F265.jpeg 60658318498__8B345D52-47EB-4217-88A0-D6FA4A23105B.jpeg 60658328978__7C814C31-F243-4C02-BE21-36D239F9C367.jpeg 60658330367__A69CA634-FF4A-45DE-9114-47863C9C11CB.jpeg 60658335744__66E6FC4F-253D-472A-987E-4DCD73E2B512.jpeg 60658337117__2F3567BF-EE90-45DC-9417-DAA8E2C4401D.jpeg 60658339079__F5601C8A-C48B-4C75-B9D2-52A9B638FC2C.jpeg
     
  12. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    The AV

    60658406758__D1D9AB0C-0FB2-4A36-839B-F5E474447F35.jpeg 60658408275__B68F89A6-ACFB-4DD4-A814-F3482179E0EB.jpeg 60658410137__A286EA08-4A9C-4BA9-97B5-D1E069813C50.jpeg 60658413145__A758469D-84A0-4869-AF59-4227270916D5.jpeg 60658414732__75CA2472-BF5E-4394-9EE5-E3EDBD335E99.jpeg 60658417202__9651F9FD-1552-41B1-92EB-3211B0B28165.jpeg 60658418900__17E9CDE3-25BC-4026-B363-C08FBBB7AD1C.jpeg 60658420736__CE500681-FED5-4603-ADFC-BF4B14B09D7E.jpeg 60658424852__B7A56BA3-962D-4A05-BAD3-34EF42759F43.jpeg 60658429487__76824ED9-AE5A-48BB-B811-179B37A87C87.jpeg
     
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  13. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    Thanks for your service. I'm sure in 25 years with the diplomatic corps you'll have loads of interesting stories. Flying with mercenaries delivering food on UN missions sounds like a real high point.
     
  14. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    The A-II is a standard Mannlicher. The A-V is a standard grade sporter. Both appear in good condition, but probably have a few of the normal small nicks or bumps that rifles receive in the field.

    The Pecar scope on the A-II is a German-made item that is now out of production but highly prized by some who enjoy using European scopes. It would probably sell better if removed from the rifle, but I'm not current on prices of such scopes so someone else will need to provide a ballpark for you. The ringmounts are from Leupold.

    The Redfield scope on the A-V is an inexpensive but very serviceable scope marketed by Leupold. A used one is worth perhaps $100 or so. The scope mounts on this rifle are from Weaver and are one of the few mounts for Sakos that most Sako enthusiasts feel are better used as fishing weights than scope mounts.

    I don't see anything which changes my ballpark estimates for each rifle of $1,000 and $800, respectively.

    Good luck with the crazy uncle. Such a person can create difficulties even when a will is airtight. But if the will was well-written then any probate judge will toss him out on his ear.
     
  15. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    Thanks Stonecreek, in a way I'm glad they're not too rare or interesting. Less potential for trouble during the will transition. Also since I've got to make a choice on the AII or the AV it'll be nice to know that with either one I'll have a rifle that I can actually use. Nothing worse in my opinion than having something that is considered too valuable to use. Be it a car, bike, gun, or whatever... I like to see things used for their intended purpose, otherwise its just a very pricey paperweight.
     
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  16. blackjack

    blackjack Well-Known Member

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    Hello Sako Lovers,
    Nothing to do with this post, but please stay safe from this dreaded Coronavirus. My family and I are locked down and self isolating.
    Blackjack
     
  17. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    So I've been poking around the forum and from what I can tell the AII is an evolution of the L579, the main difference being an integral shroud to protect the face from errant gasses. Otherwise very very similar in design. Seems like a useful upgrade...

    I also came across the names Vixen, Forrester and Finnbear. As best I can tell they're names for action lengths. Short, Medium and Long respectively. My question is, how does this marry up to the AII, AIII, AV naming convention? I thought the A series denoted a rise in cartridge length/power as you went higher in the roman numerals.

    Put another way can you have an AII Vixen, an AII Forrester and and AII Finnbear? Or are they, as I suspect, synonymous and interchangeable with the A series? If so which roman numeral matches the name?
     
  18. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    Very much agreed! My brother in law lost a good (lifelong) friend very recently, most likely from the CV. Thanks blackjack for helping to protect family and strangers alike.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  19. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    I'll be leaving the Pecar scope on the AII. Seems like it'll do the job. So what makes a good ring mount? They seem simple enough. Hard to see what could really go wrong with them since they're not complex machines or anything. Grip the scope securely and hold it to the frame without moving poa from poi... but like most things loads of complexity often look simple to the ignorant. I'm guessing there's a good bit more to it if the Weaver's are best used as fishing weights.

    Any recommendations?
     
  20. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    The obvious choice for the AV would be original Sako rings, which clamp directly to the Sako dovetail. They are windage adjustable and work perfectly. They also will return to zero if you remove them to use the iron sights. They are not cheap, $80-125 on the used market, but they are the original and, in my opinion, the best. You will need a medium or high pair depending on the scope you choose to mount. The Sako rings come in two styles: the original type has horizontally split rings like most others; the later style has a wrap-around upper ring.

    Other options to fit the Sako dovetail include some from Leupold that work like the ones on the AII. They are a bit of a hassle to install because you have to get them in exactly the right spot on the dovetail to align the scope with the centerline of the barrel. However, they are popular and they work well if installed correctly. The traditional Redfield style bases with the turn-in front and windage adjustable rear are also made to fit a Sako; these work if you like that style and they have the advantage of an infinite assortment of rings to fit. Millet makes a ring set that consists of windage adjustable rings that fit a Weaver-type base, with an adapter for the Sako dovetails. They look a bit odd, but they work and they are windage adjustable. Warne used to make some fantastic Sako ring mounts; I have a set on my AIII, but unfortunately those are out of production and hard to find. Another great choice would be Australian-made rings that used to be sold in a blue and white box labeled "Original Sako Scope Mounts," but these are out of production and you have to know what you are looking for. Finally, current production Sako Optilock mounts work well and come in a huge variety of ring sizes and heights, but they are heavy, expensive, and somewhat complex (this is a setup with separate bases and rings). Sako-Optilok also has a simpler set of one-piece rings that attach in the same way as the Leupold rings. In ordering any Optilok mounts it is imperative to get exactly the right item for your rifle. The rings on the two-piece mounts run high; a set of low Optiloks will accommodate most scopes on most rifles.

    As a sidebar, the Pecar scope on your AII almost certainly has a 26mm tube diameter, as opposed to a 1" tube (25.4mm). Old Sako rings are stamped 25.4 or 26.0 on the bottom. Most Americans are unaware of the difference, and I've seen some nice European 26mm scopes damaged when somebody crammed one into a set of 1" rings. A gunsmith can easily ream out a 1" ring to fit, and 26mm rings can be found in the US if you know where to look. There are also some rings with flexible upper parts that will accommodate either a 1" or 26mm tube. It's something you'll want to check when you take possession of the AII. The scope seems to fit properly in the photos, but the only way to tell for sure is a close-up inspection.


    Original Sako rings (older style)
    L469-222 Mag 2.JPG

    Original Sako rings (newer style)
    Late Medium Rings 2.JPG

    Warne QD Rings
    AIII Carbine 30-06 2.JPG

    Pecar 4-10x in original Sako 26mm rings
    222 Mag 2.JPG Long Pecar.JPG
     

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