Herter's Ammunition "Made in Finland"

Discussion in 'Sako Ammunition' started by stonecreek, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Four or five years ago I bought an L46 .222 which came with several hundred rounds of Herter's factory ammunition. The boxes were very shopworn and the ammunition inside a bit dark, but with no corrosion. I've fired around 100 rounds of it in various rifles and reloaded the brass, finding it to be of top quality. Who knows what might or might not be the truth when printed on a Herter's box, but if the line "CUSTOM OFFICERS NOTE: BRASS AND BULLETS MADE IN FINLAND" is true, then the ammunition would almost necessarily be from either Lapua or Sako.

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    I recently acquired my second Marlin 422 -- the rare one with the SS steel barrel (again, due to someone misrepresenting it as a Marlin 322 and others overlooking it.) So I thought I would check it out at the bench with some of this Herter's ammunition and also some handloads I had put together for the other 422.

    I did my range testing over an Oehler 35 chronograph just out of curiosity. To my surprise, three shots of the Herter's ammunition clocked 3243, 3250, & 3232 for an extreme spread of 18 fps and a standard deviation of just 9 fps, and a true corrected muzzle velocity of about 3252 fps. That's over 50 fps more than the "old" publish velocity (3,200 fps) and more than 100 fps over the current published velocity for factory loads (3140 fps). It grouped .85 inches at 100 yards out of the previously untested Marlin.

    My handloads with 50 grain Ballistic Tips shot an almost identical group size, just a half inch lower, and averaged 3188 fps. The handloads are a few tenths of a grain over book-recommended "maximum", but then the "book" is very conservative with the .222 as compared with the .223.

    Anyway, I was impressed with the performance of the old Herter's "International Match Grade, Ultra Magnum Velocity, World's Finest, Ultra Accuracy . . . et al" ammunition and the test piqued my curiosity as to whether it was actually a Sako product.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015

  2. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Neat story Stone. Thanks for the pictures and post.
     
  3. L-46

    L-46 Well-Known Member

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    Great write up SC!
    I have not seen this ammo out here, but i am sure there are packets tucked away with collectors.
    I saw some packets the other day on 6BR that where made in Sweden.
    Interesting boxes for sure, any idea on its vintage?
     
  4. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Below is pictured a similar Herter's box for some .264 empty brass. I bought these about 1970-71 or so, but Herter's went out of business not too long afterward it seems. (Legend has it that Herter's ultimate demise was caused by running afoul of the Endangered Species Act by importing feathers for fly tying that were from prohibited species, perhaps inadvertently.)

    As you can see, the .264's were marked "Made in Sweden" (Norma?) Anyway, it was excellent brass. Wait a minute -- what do I mean "was"? Hell, it still is as I'm still using this lot of brass in my original Sako, a .264 I bought with a teenage farmboy's summer wages in 1965.

    I also had some similar boxes for 7x57 brass, which a friend and I bought to neck down for our Herter's XK3 rifles in .257 Roberts. We had bought the German-made barreled actions on a Herter's closeout for $45 each and ordered semi-inletted stocks which we fitted (sort of) and finished (sort of) ourselves.

    I also have a quantity of Herter's .222 Magnum brass from 1971 or so that I'm still using, but it came in bulk plastic bags with no boxes. However, I distinctly remember the label on the bag saying "Made in Finland".

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  5. alpine hunter

    alpine hunter Well-Known Member

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    The projectile in the herters 222 round does have the general "look" of a Sako projectile. It would not surprise me if it is indeed a Sako load. What is the headstamp.
    Sako did make brass and loaded ammo for at least a few companies over the years.
    Can you post pictures of the internal "tray" that holds the rounds? Some of these plastic inserts look generic but do indicate a certain manufacturer just by the shape/colour.

    Probably another series of Sako made boxes I need to chase down!
     
  6. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    The headstamp is simply "Herter's 222" with the "Herter's" on the top of the circle and the "222" on the bottom. The .264 brass, presumably from Sweden, is marked in the same way.

    The interior of the box is a plain white paperboard tray with paperboard dividers. It is the same for both the Finnish .222 and the Swedish .264, so I take it that the packaging is American and that the ammunition was shipped in bulk and packaged in the U.S.
     
  7. alpine hunter

    alpine hunter Well-Known Member

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    No clues there then.
    The H&R Blue Streak 222 box I have in my collection marked "Made in Finland" has the typical Sako plastic insert so I was hoping your Herters box was the same.
     
  8. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Never heard of any H&R proprietary ammunition. Could you post a photo of the box?

    Browning had a run of proprietary ammunition. I have some brass and a couple of gold-and-black boxes for .338, but I think it was made by Winchester-Western (Olin).
     
  9. alpine hunter

    alpine hunter Well-Known Member

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  10. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Hey, it's been almost two years! Anything that happened more than a week ago is news to me:(. Oldtimer's disease, you know.
     

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