Hello from WI - just inherited a Sako & trying to ID it

Discussion in 'New members, please introduce yourselves here!' started by prebans, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. prebans

    prebans Member

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    Hello!

    I'm not a Sako collector, but I do admire the quality of the Sako I just inherited. The reason I'm here is to learn more about this rifle. Despite a lot of Googling and comparing photos, I just can't find a match.

    The receiver has none of the required markings (manufacturer, importer, model, or serial number), telling me that this was both manufactured and imported before the GCA '68. Just forward of the receiver on the barrel is SAKO and 1072xx (serial number). Just opposite on the right side is MADE IN FINLAND. The chambering is 30-06, which is indicated on the top of the barrel close to the receiver.


    The buttplate has a machine gear logo with a S in the center and S A K O above that. There is one proof mark on the bolt handle and two on the left side of the barrel, forward of the SAKO and serial number. I believe that there was a front sight hood and that it is missing, probably removed to accommodate the Weaver (K4 60-B) scope.

    Can anybody identify this Sako? Thank you very much! sako-2.jpg sako-3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020

  2. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Your rifle is an early model Sako Hi-Power long action built on a FN Mauser action. The left side wing safety on the rear of the bolt indicates it is an earlier model from the early to mid/late 1950's. In the late 1950's Sako started using the Sako #4 trigger that had an integral safety with a safety lever on the right side of the stock. It was replaced in 1961 when Sako introduced their own long action design called the L61R. All the ones I have seen have serial numbers in the 100,000's, so i think they started with 100,000. Peruse the section on Sako long actions to get more detail. They are nice rifles & undervalued in the market place, IMHO. Your scope & rings appear to be period with the rifle. Bet there are some hunting stories that go along with that piece.
     
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  3. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    You have what is commonly known as an FN-Sako High Power. In the 1950's, Sako bought actions from Fabrique Nationale in Belgium and added their own stock, barrel, sights, etc. Production of the FN-Sako ceased when Sako started making its own long action, the L61R, in the early 60's. It is an excellent rifle, of equal quality to later Sakos. .30-06 is the caliber most commonly seen in these rifles; they were also made in .270, .300 H&H, .375 H&H, and 8x60 and 8x60S Mauser. I think a few were also made in 7x57, but I'm not sure of that. The bolt-mounted wing safety marks your gun as an early version; later versions had a Sako trigger with a built-in thumb safety.

    Where in Wisconsin are you from? My family is from Oconomowoc.

    Here's a photo of two more rifles like yours. The top one is a .300 H&H with a custom stock; the bottom one is a .30-06. My '06 also has the Mauser-style safety. The rifle on top has the later style safety, but the trigger is actually a Timney, not the original Sako.
    2 Rifles .JPG

    (note: The duplicate info with Paulson's post above is because his post went up while I was writing mine.)
     
  4. prebans

    prebans Member

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    Hello! Thank you both so very much. I was going nuts looking online at photos. "Okay, so FinnBear. Wait, it doesn't have that. What about a L... No, there's no weird knob at the rear of the receiver. %$#@!"

    Even in 30-06, this must be a rare bird. I Googled the model and details, plus checked GunBroker (GB). GB had absolutely none of these in current or completed auctions. There are relatively few pages about this model anywhere, especially when compared to other Sako models. Frankly, it looks like even most modern Sako owners don't know about these rifles.

    Yesterday I loaded a snap cap. SMOOTH. Even with a spot of rust on the follower adding drag to chambering, the action is smooth. Originally I was going to stick this up on GB and move it along. Seems like 30-06 and 243 are the only readily available deer calibers in these parts. Now I'm thinking of cleaning it up and keeping it..? Not sure which way I'll go. Plus the scope, simple as it is and even with the finish loss, is still bright and clear.

    Thank you so much for your help and assistance!

    PS. Icebear, this is a hoot! I used to live in Mesa and later in Gold Canyon, Arizona! Oconomowoc is about 30 minutes from here; I have good friends next door to Oconomowoc in Chenequa. Looking at your profile pic, do you have a private pilot ticket?
     
  5. prebans

    prebans Member

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    Updated reply due to missing Icebear's questions.
     
  6. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    As Paulson notes, the Sako-Mausers are underappreciated on the market. Sako (or Firearms International) marketed these in .270, .30-06, .300 H&H, and .375 H&H in the U.S., plus Sako distributed a few metric calibers like 8x60 in Europe. The .30-06 is the most common, and your rifle showing some bit of hunting use wouldn't bring nearly what I feel is its intrinsic value; therefore, if it were mine I'd keep it and hunt with it. I own a similar Sako-Mauser and it is a favorite of a European friend who comes to visit and hunt (when pandemics are not the scourge of the world.)
     
  7. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I agree with Stonecreek - I would find the personal satisfaction of hunting with that rifle as an heirloom to be greater than its cash value. As Stonecreek says, a well-worn specimen of an FN-Sako, especially in the most common caliber, probably won't bring a high price.

    In answer to your question, yes, I have a private pilot's license for single engine land and glider. It isn't current; I haven't flown in years. I got a scholarship to flight school when I was a Civil Air Patrol cadet. The photo was taken in a C-130 over the jungle in Liberia in the mid-90's. I was part of a team inspecting the US Embassy in Monrovia during the civil war, and a bunch of us got to drinking a few beers with a crew of ex-USAF mercenaries who were flying food drops for the UN. One thing led to another and the command pilot invited us to go for a ride and see what they did for a living. My boss, an adventurous type who had previously served as Ambassador to Iraq and Yemen, jumped on it and so did I. So at oh-dark-thirty the next morning, there we were at Roberts Field watching the crew preflight a C-130A that was on charter to the UN. The takeoff was pretty funny - there was only one empty seat and the boss and I were each too polite to take it, so we both stood up, facing each other like straphangers on the New York subway. We flew for an hour or two into the interior until we reached the target village. The load was several tons of bagged rice. Parachutes were not used; the bags were strong enough that very few of them broke. The drop run was pretty exciting. Ever seen a C-130 in slow flight? Nose up, flaps down, hanging on the props with the engines screaming flat out - not your everyday milk run. Airspeed was about 60 knots if I recall correctly. They had the drop so carefully calculated that the airspeed balanced the wind resistance and the bags dropped vertically. The bags were on pallets but not secured. The entire load was held in place with a single heavy nylon strap, and the loadmaster, clipped into a harness, was standing by the rear door with a giant Bowie knife. On a signal from the copilot, he cut the strap and the load started sliding out the rear doors. Meanwhile I was at the front of the cargo bay, wrapped around a stanchion with a Nikon in my hand, frantically taking pictures of the operation. The last shot is fantastic - you are looking through the open cargo doors at the huts in the village, with bags of rice flying through the air and the villagers rushing to pick up the bags that had already landed. Unfortunately I don't have a digital copy to post. Anyway, after the drop the pilot straightened up the aircraft, pointed the nose toward Monrovia, and invited me to fly the plane home from the copilot's seat. (It had been mentioned during the previous evening's beer drinking that I was a licensed pilot.) He gave me course headings and the occasional correction, but I did actually get to fly the aircraft. The command pilot talked me into the approach pattern and actually only took the controls back when we were on final. That was one of my best adventures and it made up for spending a month in Monrovia with a checkpoint manned by Nigerian peacekeepers as the only thing between me and the chaos of a war zone. Being a diplomat is not all striped pants and cocktail parties!
     
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  8. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    I saw these rifles quite often when I went to gunshows. Covid put a stop to that! The 30-06 is the most common, but I've seen 270's & 300 H&H's as well. While not plentiful compared to other rifles they are not all that rare. Most sellers don't even know much about them, which may be why they slip under the radar amongst rifle buyers. I assure you that any Sako nut knows about these rifles. They were not produced in very large numbers like many other rifles, but the demand for old bolt actions built on Mauser actions isn't very strong anymore either. Enjoy it & create more hunting stories with it.
     

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