How A Rifle is Made | Hands-on Tour of the Sako & Tikka Firearms Factory

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by fabtec, Jun 24, 2021.

  1. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Well-Known Member

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    Hey y’all
    Robotics are the norm in almost all aspects of industry. I can only imagine how many humans it would take jobs from. But the processes that most robots that I have been involved with are actually labor intensive lifting and transferring operations.
    I worked for Toyota Manufacturing for the last two years before I retired. I worked on several lines with robotics and PLC driven processes. There are hundreds of machines on these lines that pick up, rotate, invert, and stack parts as they are machined and tempered. Now in the same aspect, there are thousands of employees that do testing , inspections and evaluations on everything that goes by on each line, along with the transfer of materials and bins of parts moving to assembly process , 7 days a week.
    As an electrician, I had a few opportunities to see how things go when the robots are not yet involved. When a CNC machine get finished with a part , in this case it was a transaxle housing body, a robot was used to reach in and lift the part up and out, turn it 90 degrees, invert it and set it (gently without a sound) on a conveyor on its way to the next process. This was a brand new line still in its installation phases. The cnc machines were being calibrated and tested by hand. Since the robot was not in the sequence yet all parts had to be moved by human touch and human strength! Where a robot could reach in and do everything in less than 5 seconds. Two men would get together and wrestle the housing out of the machines and drop them (with a clang!) on to the conveyor. Which took over a minute, if everything went smoothly and maybe 10 minutes when the part would get jammed because the human touch would get things out of kilter. I was amazed by this.
    Now , I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched any of these videos , mostly because the new Sako Rifles don’t interest me much. If this was black and white footage from say..1962..I would be all over it, probably saving it to watch over and over. That would have been more interesting to see and understand in the way a Sako was made when they were all hand fabricated.
    Today’s production capacity in comparison to the mid twentieth century’s capabilities has increased tenfold at least.
    Quality control has been overwhelmed by increased production, simply because there was isn’t enough time , and since modern machines can replicate close tolerances every time they run, it’s no longer as important.
    Quantity over Quality !

    Sako will become Remington will become Howa will become Ruger will become Savage…until it all comes to be the same!

    Then , I will grin a huge grin as I reach for one of my old , beat up, but extremely accurate , functional and beautiful Sako’s

    Old Hippie
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
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  2. Bernie’s Dad

    Bernie’s Dad Well-Known Member

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    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  3. Bucktote

    Bucktote Well-Known Member

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    Is It JULIO JONES? or HULIO HONES? Just asking !!
  4. fabtec

    fabtec Active Member

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    Hey Hippie!
    I guess I’ll work backwards from your post. I like older things in general. No I like older items specifically. I have purchased many of my tools, equipment sporting goods new, but these days buying older items that were built here (USA) of better materials & design makes more sense.

    The only firearm I own purchased new was my Browning BPS 12 gauge. Every other item I own was purchased secondhand. Every item I want new is older.
    Just like a custom made Hot Rod made specifically for you is way cool, so too a custom made rifle built and fitted for you is a privilege to carry and use in the field.
    There are new rifles available from most manufacturers built in their “Custom Shop”. I know Sako, Remington,Winchester all offer this service. Others too. Obviously at a higher cost.
    They use to do this as a matter of course. Sako’s rifles from say late 50’s to the start of the Garcia days is illustrative of the high quality and hand made craftsmanship available in the day. Hand fitting components, hand inletting and finished, and glass bedding stocks. A palm swell. Hand checkering and hand engraving of metal components. These are the rifles most of us love and collect here on this forum. The reason is obvious. There is little comparison to a custom made rifle( by a craftsman with skills) and one that comes from an assembly line.
    As with the Sako, the pre-64 Winchester comes to mind. As some of you may know, much better than I, the earlier Winchesters came hand-made with better components. This about sums it up:
    ”The post 64's were a HUGE change for the worse. The shooting public and outdoor writers revolted. The changes were, stamped checkering, poorer wood and finish, plastic buttplates instead of hand fitted steel widow's peak buttplates etc. The Mauser style action so loved at the time(and still are) were changed to a simpler cheaper style push feed. They basically changed from being hand built, hand fitted, hand lapped barreled guns to being regular production guns just like the CHEAPER Remington model 700 introduced in 1962.

    It didn't take too long after the backlash in 1964 for Winchester to improve the quality but the reputation stuck and the quality really never got back to the hand built guns of the 40's and 50's. If you ever get to handle a model 70 from the 40's or 50's you'll see and feel the difference.” Sound familiar?
    The poor reputation of the post 64's is sometimes undeserved According to Jim Carmichael. His actual experience was post 64’s were more accurate and IIRC lighter than the predecessor. Go figure. But he preferred the fit and finish of the earlier ones.
    And I’ll tell you why. Just like Jack O’Connor took many of his rifles to Al Biesen, many people back then would purchase a new rifle, and then have a gunsmith customize, and blueprint a rifle making it shoot better, fit better, and look better. Jim Carmichael use to do it hisself. That’s how he got through college. According to him.

    Now hippie as to the videos, the documentary is just that! It documents all the talent they had developed through the years making their product. In B&W! Now just like I said about a custom hot rod, it doesn’t mean new cars are crap. They are not. Neither are new rifles. It’s just not as desirable as one that had skilled hands upon it produced by a craftsman. Nothing can replace this.
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