Greetings from the UK... AII or AV conundrum

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

  1. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The L461 was the short action, the L579 was the medium action, the L61R was the long action. The AI is a L461 with the bolt shroud, the AII is a L579 with the bolt shroud, the AIII is the L61R with the bolt shroud, & the AV is the L61R with the bolt shroud & a slightly longer rear tang. Vixen, Forester, & Finnbear are the marketing monikers for the short, medium, & long actions, respectively, regardless of the action stamping. So, it's L461, AI or Vixen for a short action, then L579, AII or Forester for the medium action and L61R, AIII or AV & Finnbear for the long action. Most everyone here refers to the different models by the action stamping to better define what it is, as the terms Vixen, Forester, & Finnbear apply to all variations of the short, medium, & long actions.
     

  2. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    “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?”

    Action length family is - Vixen - L461-AI-491. Forester L579-AII-591 Finnbear-L61R- AIII-AV-691. Just clarifying from your earlier post.
     
  3. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Was the AIV action used for just the first year of the Safari Grade. I've never seen an AIV on any other long action other than the Safari.
     
  4. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    I forgot to mention the AIV, as it is so rarely seen. Thanks for the reminder!! The AIV was called the L61R Safari internally by Sako from what I have been able to surmise. The difference between it & the AIII & AV is the mag well is deeper allowing 4 rounds down of the larger diameter "Safari" rounds. This required the stock to also be deeper in the magazine area creating what I call a "sow belly". The forward sling swivel is on a barrel band instead of on the forearm. Express rear sights & a hooded front were standard. What info I have suggests it was made in 1980 in low numbers, possibly a few thousand, & discontinued around the time the AV was introduced, after which the AV was chambered for the big magnums associated with "Safari" hunts sacrificing the extra round in the magazine. As far as I know the AV was never referred to as a "Safari" model, even if chambered in a Safari round. I have personally encountered only one AIV & regrettably didn't buy it. I don't know if Sako ever chambered it in 9.3x62mm, but if they did it would be my personal "Holy Grail".
     
  5. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Actually, the magazines of the L61R-AIII-AV all accept four rounds of "magnum" cartridges, while the extended magazine of the A-IV accepts five. This makes them "5-shooters" and "6-shooters", respectively, counting a chambered round. Sako is one of the few bolt actions that accepts this many rounds of belted magnums in the magazine as most only take three rounds down.
     
  6. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Math was never my strong suit!! Thanks for the correction.
     
  7. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Incidentally, the L461/AI's normally hold 6 of the small 222-sized cases in the magazine, but I have an A-1 which holds 7-down, making it an "8-shooter". That almost makes it an "assault rifle" by some people's definition.:rolleyes:
     
  8. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Sako did make the AIV Safari in 9.3x62. Few were built, and fewer made it to this side of the Atlantic. I seem to recall seeing one on GB or GI a few years ago. I don't think I've ever seen a Safari marked AV, with the standard magazine. I have an AV in 9.3x62, but it's a standard grade. It has a European rear sight, as opposed to the Williams sights used on the A series carbines. It also has no importer markings, so it may well be a bringback. The friend who sold it to me also had an AV Mannlicher-style carbine in that caliber. That would be another Holy Grail!
     
  9. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    Thanks, that clears it up for me with regards to AI/Vixen/L461, AII/Forrester/L579, and the rest. Was finding the variable monikers tough to reconcile as photos in other posts around the forum were beginning to look strangely similar with different names assigned.
     
  10. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    The 96 RI auction actually had a couple first year AIV Safari's. They had a 300 Win. Mag and it sold for $776. They also had a 9.3x62 that went for $1,035. When you see them now they are usually asking between $2500 to $3500. There was an as new boxed AIV with an asking price less than $2000 a few months ago which I thought was a steal, but I'm trying to stop buying so I passed.

    001.jpg 002.jpg Prices Realized at 1996 RI Auction.jpg
     
    Chinese Bandit and FLT like this.
  11. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    You guys are a negative influence on my wallet, as the info & pics provided was enough to start me on a new quest. I have to stop, but Sako is like AA. I quit, but I can still keep buying under a different name.
     
  12. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    :D:D:D I'm beginning to feel what you mean, looking at rings to better mount the scope and thinking... The AII will be all alone if I don't bring the Valmet and the AV along too! Hate for it to get lonely.

    I'm really liking the look of the mannlichers, they still look odd but appealing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
  13. Aviatore

    Aviatore Member

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    So my next curious rambling thought was about the sight radius of the iron sights on the AII. Seems an odd decision for Sako to put the rear sight so far forward on the rifle. Would've thought they'd put it all the way back on the receiver and simply make it a removable item if the buyer chose to mount a scope. Thoughts?
     
  14. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The position of the rear barrel sight is to allow scope clearance should one decide to mount one, without having to remove the sight. I believe the rear sight came only on some of the "Hunter" models. Most AII's came sans sights. Sako also imported many earlier rifles with front sights only with the option of buying & mounting their peep sight on the rear action bridge dovetail. It was designed to clamp on, then be easily removed should a scope mount be preferred.
     
  15. CVCOBRA1

    CVCOBRA1 Well-Known Member

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    Vixen Mannlicher 223 Mod 72 with three point checkering?
    Finnbear Mannlicher 375 Mod 74 with what also looks like three point?
    Didn't realize they made Mannlicher's in Models 72-74.
    I know it is just a catalog listing for a sale, RIA I take it, but is that correct?
     
  16. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely true - except for the A-series Mannlicher-style carbines. Most of those, at least the ones that were imported to the US, had Williams sights, front and rear. The Handy Carbines also had sights. I've seen a few A-series Mannlichers without sights, but the pictures weren't clear enough to tell whether they never had sights or the sights had been removed. My AIII carbine has the Williams sights. The L-series carbines generally were built with front sight only. The AII Battue had iron sights, but that was a specialty item seldom seen in the US.
     
  17. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    There were a lot of rifles in that auction that said, 1 of 1, 1 of 2, 1 of 3 and so on. I don't put a lot of faith in claims of 1 of 1 and so forth being accurate. They certainly are not supposed to represent a large run of rifles with those features, after all they are supposed to be 1 of 1. But I'm also guilty of wanting to purchase some 1 of 1 rifles.
     
  18. Wayne

    Wayne Active Member

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    I see that Lot# 1594 is listed as a 300 Sako Mag. Surely this is a 300 H&H ? Wayne
     
  19. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Most likely, especially with that 4-digit serial number. My L61R in .300 H&H is in the 8400 range, a few thousand higher than the auctioned gun. There were some L61R rifles in .300 Win Mag, but they would be later production. Early guns in .300 H&H were marked ".300 Magnum," as they were built before the .300 Win Mag was marketed. There's no such thing as a ".300 Sako Magnum."
     
  20. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Like icebear said, there's no such thing as a .300 Sako Mag. For the first 3 or 4 years of production of the L61R, Sako offered the long action in several calibers including the 300 H&H Mag. But they didn't stamp the barrel 300 H&H Mag., they stamped the barrel 300 Mag. Then, when Sako offered the rifle in 300 Win Mag, they stamped that barrel 300 Win Mag. At the introduction of the Win Mag, Sako changed the barrel stamp of the H&H to 300 H&H Mag. It was common to convert the early 300 Mag (i.e. the H&H ) to 300 weatherby. So, due to the low serial number of lot 1594, I'd guess it started life as a 300 H&H that was stamped 300 Mag., and I guess it may have been converted to 300 weatherby. It made me dizzy when I reread my comments. Hope I didn't make a mistake.
     

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