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Greetings from the UK... AII or AV conundrum

Sako Collectors Club Discussion Forum

Hi all, sorry its been a little while but I thought I'd re-engage here as I finally got home to the US after the 'VID lockdowns, the aviation industry tanking then bouncing back in record time etc... had to flex to other skills to pay some bills and of course am still looking for that perfect flying gig which probably doesn't actually exist... unless of course Icebear still has some friends in the C-130/UN/mercenary cargo business. :)

I've got a little free time to read and learn about the guns my Grandpa left me which you all were so kind in helping me to understand. I just wanted to say thanks and catch up with the community.

Quick update... it all pretty much panned out. The family drama over the will is done. It got ugly between my mom and my uncle (as expected) but after a fair few rounds of legal challenges which got knocked back pretty handily, mom and my aunt decided to buy him off to stop the lawyers fees having to defend against his unending frivolous challenges. My uncle got a few of Grandpa's guns as well as a cherry picked grouping of other valuable items from the estate. In so doing we saw his true colors as he only wanted things of high monetary value and nothing of any sentimental value, sucks that he's now estranged from the rest of the family but that's the way the cookie crumbled. :-(

Luckily since the AII, the AV and the Valmet weren't special enough or expensive enough for his consideration I didn't have to defend them. So a few years late and after much gnashing of teeth I finally got back to the US, had a tougher than expected visit to the Pikes Peak National Cemetery to pay my respects and took my inheritance to the range to have a chat with Grandpa. I think he would've approved. Shooting them I learned a few things, like I knew he had a large and interesting collection but we generally left them in the safe so I didn't appreciate it because guns weren't the basis of our relationship. Still from time to time he'd pull something out and we'd go shoot. Some great memories of diving for cover after taking the FN 30.06 bolt action out to hole an old rusty propane tank to comply with the scrap man's requirements. Who knew a 20+ y/o tank could hold any pressure with the valve fully open! :-D

After having shot the three rifles I'm sad we didn't get to share those three specifically when he was alive, it would've been nice to have that memory but I did get to see why he chose them. The AV was a tack driver, gave me the best groupings of my life. Far and away better than any AR the USAF had me qual on. Just a solid rifle and despite the scope not having the finest reticle of the three, I was putting round after round through the same holes. This rifle definitely exceeds my capabilities. The AII was no less its equal but kicked a bit harder and left me with a bruised shoulder (my fault). The Valmet gave me some trouble sighting in as I just couldn't get a nice consistent grouping and it had a few issues feeding. Probably due to my bruised shoulder and the old surplus ammunition I was using but still it was a very nice rifle.

Now I know why this brand has a dedicated following.
Sorry for your loss.
It’s a shame the way money can mess up some families.
Cling to the good memories and let the bitter ones go.
Enjoy your inheritance as best you know how.
Best regards
Thanks Kax, it does suck how it all fell out but it is what it is. Money and stuff have a way of exposing character. But since you can't take it with you whats the point of stressing. Especially if life's needs are met. Not like any of the property was used to keep people out of the poor house or required to put food on the table. They're just nice things to have and could've been shared around... oh well.

Now for the fact that my brother got that FN 30.06 bolt action that I mentioned earlier... yeah the gloves are off! ROUND 2!!!

We took that one to the range as well and I helped him sight it in. He's new to shooting and is more interested in handguns but it still is a lovely rifle and some of the features like the double set trigger got me thinking about modifying the AV.

Can't fault the AV trigger it was nice but while searching for details about the FN (since we still don't know the actual model) I found a youtube channel discussing an FN Supreme Commercial M98. Presenter said that SAKO made the trigger and safety for that particular rifle. Seems odd to me that there would be outsourcing like that between the two companies, but if it's true then the possibility to retrofit might exist.

Has anybody ever seen a double set trigger in an AV? Is SAKO the hidden genius I've never heard of behind some great manufacturers out there?
It isn't uncommon for manufacturers to use each other's products in building their own. Sako designed its trigger to fit the Mauser frame, and FN used it for a number of years starting in the late 1950's -- just as Sako used Mauser actions for their "long" cartridges from the early 1950's into the early 1960's.

Double set triggers are another subject, however. Instead of being mounted to the receiver frame, most are part of the trigger guard/bottom metal. So, despite the fact that many triggers are interchangeable between an FN Mauser and a Sako AV, it is the bottom metal that dictates what set triggers fit and what doesn't.

Since demand for rifle accessories is driven by the American market it's too bad that the vast majority of American rifle shooters simply don't understand double set triggers and either fear them or the concept is too complicated for simple minds. While I've seen Sako actions adapted to double set triggers, to my knowledge there is not a ready-made DST conversion made for Sakos. If there were, I'd be one of the first in line to buy.
Welcome back! To the USA, and to our group. I'm glad your issues with your grandfather's estate got sorted out (not without pain, but at least it's over) and that your heirloom Sakos turned out well.

still looking for that perfect flying gig which probably doesn't actually exist... unless of course Icebear still has some friends in the C-130/UN/mercenary cargo business. :)

I'm afraid I don't have those kinds of contacts these days. The guys I rode with in Liberia were contractors, but I'm not sure whether they were contracted to the UN directly, or to the owner of the aircraft. Those guys were probably working (directly or indirectly) for the UN Food Program, but other UN agencies and some nonprofits do run cargo flights into various conflict zones or natural disasters.

That C-130 was an interesting story in itself. It was a C-130A, built in 1957 or thereabouts. It was in pristine condition with only a few hundred hours. The story is that it belonged to a widow, whose late husband had bought it to start a cargo charter operation, and died shortly thereafter. It sat in a hangar for many years before being revived for the UN operation.

You shouldn't have a lot of trouble finding a decent (if not perfect) flying gig. According to what I am seeing in the media, everybody and his dog is hiring. And there was just a piece in this morning's Wall Street Journal that big ocean freight lines are buying or leasing airplanes because of the tight market in international freight. With military experience, I'm guessing somebody would just love to offer you a job.

All the best.
Hi Icebear & Avaitor!
Sadly the AF is sending the C-130s to the boneyard @ Davis Monthan AFB for scraping. We had one crash here in Savannah, GA, as they lost an engine shortly after T.O. Turned & lost lift, Killed 9 crewmembers. They were & still are a powerful Airplane & like all things must be kept up mechanically.
Thanks Icebear, appreciate the thought but I was half pulling your leg, those kinds of gigs are dead mans shoes. Somebody has to die to create the position.

My sister in law is in the UN and I pull her leg from time to time that she's like Jason Bourne who jets around the world to change regimes one bullet at a time... its funny because she leans pretty far left. After your Liberia story a while back I started on her to grease the UN wheels and get me funding to outfit a T-6 Texan II with a few .50cal's to hunt down poachers in Africa. As of yet no dice but I've not given up hope to bring her around!

That would be a gig!
a T-6 Texan II with a few .50cal's to hunt down poachers in Africa.
Speaking of poachers in Africa, DSA has been providing anti-poaching units in several African countries with brand new US-made FN FAL clones. They made a commemorative a few years ago for the US market. It's called the DSA Game Ranger; it's finished in green and decorated with an engraved rhino head. I got lucky and found one locally a few years ago. It's a fun shooter, and brings back memories of Kenya and Rhodesia.
Game Ranger 1.JPG Rhino Head 1.jpg
Isn't that the truth Bucktoe, can only push things so far.

I did follow that crash because it hit pretty close to home. I knew a guy from the PRANG from Little Rock, A/C upgrade course. We met up a few years later and had a good laugh in Bagram since I no longer flew the oldest birds in theater. Theirs outdated ours by a year! But since a few of ours had been pulled out of the boneyard (they were low hours airframes) I got a good ribbing back... hand me downs etc.

We used to say that when the last C-17 goes into the boneyard it'd be a Herc that brings the crew home, and to some extent its true with the J model. Not exactly my favorite Herc but its still hauling the mail and I like that... so would Grandpa since he was a Flight Engineer in Vietnam.
Hi again Aviatore,
My Bird was the B-47-E (ECM Capable) as well as bomber. I have seen C-130s
takeoff at our air base & it seems they could take off @ a 45 degree. Our B-47s were underpowered on takeoff with combat loads & needed water/Alcohol assist & ATO. A site to behold 33 bottles was a kick in the butt, they are all gone now, but they paved the way for all future bombers & civilian air craft.
All the best!! B/T
I have seen C-130s
takeoff at our air base & it seems they could take off @ a 45 degree.

B-47 well there's a sweet jet. Thanks for paving the way!

They saddled our Herc's with more weight and mission equipment than I care to remember. 45* was achievable for us.... during decent. With the temp/PA at Davis Monthan and Bagram at normal and combat loads we usually couldn't make the required 200ft/nm climb rate. More often than not de-fueled just to get the minimum legal 152ft/nm rate. I wouldn't go below that if I could avoid it but some guys regularly took the combat waiver down to 100ft/nm!!! Its basically counting on the curvature of the earth to gain altitude. I'd just opt to drop fuel and hit a tanker after takeoff. Too much pucker factor considering we were already climbing out so low the Taliban could knock us out of the sky with a well aimed bit of spit.

Makes airline flying pretty boring actually...

So that's a nice looking kill you're sitting on in your thumbnail picture... growing up on AF bases and all the deploying I did as a younger man I never did get to go hunting with my guns. Dad didn't hunt, grandpa's knees didn't allow it so it was just target shooting and CCW for me. I would like to try my hand at it when I'm back home.

Growing up on Pat McManus stories growing up didn't help so I've always wanted to but never got around to.

How might I go about learning the ropes when I'm back in Colorado next? I know the deer/elk season runs Sep 2 -30 for the areas that my family lives so this year is clearly not going to work but maybe next year.

Lots of unknowns like the hunting license process, how do game wardens enforce tag limits, techniques for actually hunting, even the logistics of how you actually pack out an animal after the kill?

Hiking 20 miles into the backwoods with a rifle, a friend and a backpack full of gear seems a great idea until I consider that I may actually get the chance to shoot something and then have to bring out 150-300lb of deer. While I'd love a hike in the woods the purpose to bring something edible out makes it a little intimidating. Outside combat survival training I've not had to prep anything bigger than a few rabbits. Packing out anything significant over a number of miles... well hows it done? Would love to learn the skills required in dressing larger game and get it back to a freezer.
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High runway temps.
and limited power made good use of the 2 mile runway even though it had a hump in it. Our tankers were KC97 prop jobs & air refueling was an art. As for the deer in the pic. it was from an McMillan Texas outfitter the biggest that year. I hope you can get settled back in the USA & find a good hunting mentor. I had one of the best a wildlife Bio/Forester for a large paper company. Plenty of land to hunt on & he was an ethical hunter & sportsman. Very much missed!! Keep well & all the best! B/T
With the temp/PA at Davis Monthan and Bagram at normal and combat loads we usually couldn't make the required 200ft/nm climb rate. More often than not de-fueled just to get the minimum legal 152ft/nm rate. I wouldn't go below that if I could avoid it but some guys regularly took the combat waiver down to 100ft/nm!!!
I don't fly any longer, but back in the 90's I had my own plane (a Piper Cherokee 6) that I flew to Alamosa, Colorado with a hunting partner. I killed a bull elk on that trip and was able to get it fully processed before leaving for home. I'm not small, and my friend was a big guy (275 lbs). Along with an entire elk worth of meat, horns, hide, guns, clothing, and camping equipment, the old Cherokee had all it wanted.

Fortunately, the airfield at Alamosa (about 7500 ft elevation) is an old military field with a runway about two miles long. I nursed that plane down the runway for what seemed like forever, fiddling with the mixture to try to get a little more power and messing with the flaps for a bit more lift. We were finally airborne, but climbed like a snail nearly all the way to Santa Fe. I think I kept the flaps at 10% for the first half-hour just to give a little more climb. It felt like grinding up a 15 degree slope in a full dump truck in granny gear.

Anyway, I can relate to heavy loads, high altitudes, and warm temps. Plenty of pucker factor there. Here are some old photos I found from that trip:

Elk 1991 001.jpg

Oh yeah, the gun isn't shown but it was a Finnbear Deluxe .338 shooting a 225 Nosler Partition. I later traded it to a guide in Canada as partial payment for a bear hunt. The bear hide is on the wall about 10 feet from where I sit.
Great Story & pics.!
My tale of woe was when the co-pilot figured the fuel distribution incorrectly,
( B-47 fuel is carried internally except 2 wing tanks) When we reached the required? unstick speed we were still rolling, The Navigator, (first person in nose of A/C) turned & looked at me, wide eyed & scared. The bird shook & the pilot called for a slick ship (Wheels up) we made it, just clearing the pines at the over run area! The pilot eluded to the co pilots canine ancestry & advised him to recalculate the C/G. You can't horse a B-47 off the ground, it will lift off then crash!!. But then I was young dumber & happy!! & I am still here!!

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