Help me identify my Sako L579

Discussion in 'Valuation Corner' started by Tshabalala, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. Tshabalala

    Tshabalala Member

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    My family has a Sako L579 Forester with a Bausch & Lomb Balfour A scope that I believe dates to the late ‘60s but I don’t know much about it. I say I believe the late ‘60s because the serial number is 704xx.

    It’s in excellent condition as it sat undisturbed in a case for 30+ years before I discovered it a few years ago. After cleaning it up a bit it still shoots excellent groups after all those years.

    Beyond it being a Forester I don’t know much about it. I’ve seen terms like Sporter, Varmint, and Heavy Barrel thrown around on this forum but don’t know how to identify any of those things. I’ve also seen Bofors barrel mentioned and have seen other similar rifles with a Bausch & Lomb scope listed on other sites. Was this a common scope for the rifle at the time?

    I love shooting/deer hunting with this gun, especially with the somewhat unusual sight picture the scope has. I’d love any insight that can be provided based on the limited information I’ve provided. What should I be looking for to help me further identify what I’ve got?

    Thanks in advance!

     

  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    It is probably a .243 or a .308, but you don't say. No matter, either is a proper deer caliber.

    Sako serial numbers skipped around somewhat randomly, but one on the 70,000's is likely from the late 1960's.

    There were four basic configurations: Standard Sporter, Deluxe Sporter, Mannlicher (full stock), and Heavy Barrel.

    The standard sporter had a fairly dark wood finish with a plastic buttplate and a fairly light contour 23" barrel of about .600" diameter at the muzzle.

    The externally adjusted Balfour (along with its Balvar variable power siblings) was a popular and high-quality scope in the 1960's. It isn't uncommon to find Sakos of that era outfitted with B&L scopes.

    The Bofors Steel mark on the barrel was used until sometime in 1968 with some left-overs stretching into 1969 and maybe even 1970 since Sako tended to always use up any existing stock of parts.

    The Deluxe sporter usually had a blonde finish stock with skipline checkering, contrasting fore end and grip cap, and engraving on the floorplate.

    The Mannlicher, or full stock, has wood all the way to the end of the barrel.

    The Heavy Barrel has a considerably heavier barrel than the sporter and a wider fore end.
     
  3. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious about the "unusual sight picture." What kind of reticle does the Balfor have? One of my Balvars has a tapered crosshair reticle, which I really like. I don't know all the reticles that B&L offered on those scopes, but there were a number of them that are not commonly seen these days.
     
  4. Tshabalala

    Tshabalala Member

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    I’m sorry I didn’t realize I didn’t include the caliber, it’s .243. Where would I look for the Bofors steel marks?

    Regarding the sight picture, I’d say a “normal” sight picture nowadays looks like a cross. This is an uppercase T. I’m sure they have actual names and that might not even be unusual but it’s always been novel to me and one of my favorite parts about this gun.
     
  5. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like either a German #1 or a T-post reticle. Is it one of these? On a Balfor, I'd guess the T-post or some variation would be the most likely.

    T-post
    Tpost.gif

    German #1
    german-1-reticle.jpg
     

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