...it's FINALLY mine! Sako-Anshutz .222 L46

Discussion in 'Show us your Sako' started by Sendit6.5, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Sendit6.5

    Sendit6.5 Member

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    I finally managed to get my family's gun collection out of Germany and here to the States, after almost 2 years of paperwork, expenses and bureaucratic nightmares! Long story short... my Uncle that had the collection passed away without a Will & Testament and THAT proved to be a HUGE nightmare in a country where paperwork is needed for absolutely everything! Lol! This rifle is one of the prize guns I've been waiting to call my own for almost 50 years. It was my mother's first hunting rifle. It was given to her by her "uncle' Willie Horton (her godfather) when she finished her German hunting license - no small feat for a woman at that time - there were very few woman with hunting licenses and she was the first in her region. I'm not sure of the date exactly (old paperwork is buried somewhere) but it was either in the late 50's or early 60's

    I don't know much about these guns except the reputation, so I'm hoping to find out any information I can as well as whether there are any good options for mounting a really good modern scope and possibly having some trigger work done on it. I do NOT want to degrade the value of the rifle but I do prefer to have quality glass on all of my rifles and I'm picky about the triggers on the rifles I shoot regularly. If there's a way to do either without harming the value of the rifle, I'll do it. Otherwise, I'll leave it as-is for nostalgic reasons and to pass down to future generations. However, it sure would be nice to give it a little upgrade in those 2 departments.

    Here are some pix I took. Hopefully I'm not including too many photos....

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    Sako-L46-mdeol-stamp-close-up.jpg


    Sako-action-and-trigger-close-up.jpg

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    Sako-bottom-metal.gif

    Sako-magazine-side-view.jpg

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    Sako-scope-mount-top.jpg

    Sako-scope---Hesoldt.jpg

    Any information I can get on the history of this rifle would be great. I'm going to see how she shoots over the next few days. I don't even know how to adjust this scope, really. Haha! I'
    m going to have to do some google searches on how to adjust them because under that single scope cap looks nothing like any scope I've adjusted - just 3 little screws with ZERO markings or indicators. Crazy! If anyone can give me a ballpark value for a rifle like this it'd sure help - I have to add 6 guns to my insurance and I don't really have a clue on what to tell our agent; and I don't trust gun shop estimates because they always low-ball everything until they put it out for sale themselves! GRRRRR!

    Hopefully some other folks will enjoy seeing this old rifle. I actually killed my first Roe deer with this rifle and my first red fox - in the Rhineland region of Germany. Little did I know, at that time, that I would make a living from hunting. Pretty cool to have her in my hands where MY kids can now use it for our own hunts. I've always resisted .222 because I knew this was coming one day.....now I'm like a kid on Christmas with no batteries for his new toy! LOL!
     
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  2. wombat

    wombat Well-Known Member

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    Good things come to those who wait!! Beautiful rifle, enjoy forever!
    Jay
     
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  3. Sendit6.5

    Sendit6.5 Member

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    Thanks Wombat! Is there anything that can be read from the serial numbers, like the date of manufacture? Anything that can be determined by the various stampings on the action? Also, what's the story with "Sako-Anschutz?" I mean, were they one company at that time, was it a collaboration and, if so, is it a Sako or an Anshutz, etc.? I know nothing about all this and would like to learn. I have a modern Tikka CTR .260 (that I love) but don't know anything about Sako - they've mostly been out of my price range in the past.
     
  4. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    First, congratulations on getting that beautiful specimen through the paperwork. Whatever it took, it was worth it, especially since it's a family heirloom.

    The Sako-Anschütz rifle is quite rare and collectible in the US. It was built by Anschütz on a Sako L46 action. I don't have an estimate of value but some of the members of this forum own such rifles so hopefully someone will come forward.

    The Hensoldt-Wetzlar scope has excellent optical quality, assuming it is in good condition. The lack of modern coatings will produce some flare if you are looking toward the sun, but that's really the only issue. I have a number of older German scopes and the optical quality is as good as or better than most newer scopes. To fit a more modern scope to the claw bases will be expensive, as it will be necessary to hand-fit a new set of claws to the existing bases. You can check the website of NECG (New England Custom Gunsmithing) for information on this topic. They might also be able to direct you to some instructions for adjusting the scope. If it has a single adjustment, that will be for elevation and the windage adjustment will be done with opposing screws in the rear claw assembly.

    It would be great if you could post a photo of the rifle with the scope attached. Also, what else was in that 6-gun package?
     
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  5. Sendit6.5

    Sendit6.5 Member

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    81A0AED1-6E46-41FF-9903-C349772C6DE9.jpeg I grabbed a shell from my buddy (he only had 4 left) and plunked at a target on a tree at 40yds from my truck. Still shoots pretty good! If only the scope wasn’t mounted about 1.25” too high! Not bad for a removable sight that hasnt been shot in AT LEAST 35-40 years!

    I don’t even know what the load was other than it was a Remington cartridge with a core-lokt style bullet. My buddy didn’t remember Lol! I shoot long range and handload and he drives me crazy with never knowing what he has or is shooting - polar opposites.

    309FB2D4-3A1A-46E5-BDAD-3D9466A83B63.jpeg

    300171C3-8D4F-4184-8D7C-7A6F74D53817.jpeg
     
  6. deergoose

    deergoose Sako-addicted

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    Nice rifle. The club has the records for that serial number....you should run the SN through the service and get all the details on your rifle.

    thanks for sharing !....and great photos.
    DeerGoose
     
  7. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    You have a fine and rare rifle, Sendit, and thanks for posting so many excellent photos.

    Unfortunately, the Factory Records Service site is down at the moment due to reconfiguration going on by the webmaster, so you can't order information on it right now. However, in the interest of furthering general knowledge I looked up the inspection records and it (action-only) was made in 1961. This is surprising in and of itself since the rifle has the "old style" stamped bottom metal/trigger guard and not the forged metal of the late L46's. But, Sako was known to use "left over" parts as the dug into the parts bin and it is not unheard of to see obsoleted parts on later guns.

    I was a little surprised to see the stamping "Sako-Anschutz", which was put there by Anschutz after they received the action. Most proprietary rifles using Sako actions do not have the name "Sako" evident on the receiver.

    The barrel and stock are pure Anschutz, and no doubt of fine quality. If the bore has been taken care of over the years then it should be an excellent shooter.

    It isn't clear from the photos if the claw bases are simply held in place on the dovetails by friction or if they have been soldered. The gun would probably be of higher value if those are left in place along with the German scope. However, if shooting it accurately with a higher power (and properly low mounted) scope is important to you, then you should remove (or have a gunsmith remove) the claw bases. Then you can use any Sako dovetail ringmount to mount the scope of your choice directly to the receiver's dovetails.

    As to value, so few of these are seen that it isn't possible to place an exact value on it (and its used condition is also a variable). There has been one offered for sale on Gunbroker for some time now at over $3,000 with no takers, so that tells you that it is monetarily worth something less than that. However, its value to you is much more in terms of sentiment than money. You can't replace it, so why pay an insurance company to do what can't be done? If its loss is something that would financially bankrupt you, then insure it; if not, just keep it in a safe place and enjoy owning it.
     
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  8. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Unless my eyes are deceiving me, which is a real possibility, it looks like whoever installed the claw mounts, Anschutz or custom gunsmith, also modified the Sako dovetails by taking the taper out & making the width the same for both the front one & the rear one. If that is the case, Sako ringmounts are probably not going to work as a scope mounting option if the claw mount is abandoned. If your dovetails measure the same as Tikka dovetails or if they are 16mm like the CZ dovetails, one could possible get one of those ringmounts to work. Would be interesting to know how the claw mounts are attached.
     
  9. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Paulson makes an interesting point - those dovetails do look parallel. I wonder if those dovetails might be original - machined by Sako to order. Sako made round-top actions to order for a number of other customers (Browning, etc.) so why not a parallel dovetail mount for Anschütz? Other Anschütz small-caliber centerfire rifles have parallel dovetails (possibly standard Euro rimfire dovetails?). This is pretty common practice in Germany for small-caliber centerfire rifles; I once had a Walther .222 that took rimfire rings. Those bases don't look to me like they were machined from the original Sako dovetails; they look like factory work. Also, the tops of the dovetails appear to be stippled rather than checkered like regular Sako dovetails. Does anybody else have a Sako-Anschütz rifle, or a photo of one showing the dovetails?
     
  10. Sendit6.5

    Sendit6.5 Member

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    Thanks StoneCreek! We are probably not far apart - I can see the edge of the Hill Country on a clear day, if I look north, on a clear day! I'll PM you contact info if you're ever down my way, come do some shooting. I really appreciate the info - just discovered that the serial research link and the link to the store are broken. I can understand your logic on the insurance but I don't like to take the chance that sone natural disaster (including thieves) could claim my collection and I don't have any way to begin to replace it. I have no intention of selling and the family history aspect on some of my rifles and shotguns can't be valued.....if I lost all my firearms I want to know I could at least replace them with something and start over. Lets me sleep a little better when I'm traveling. Lol!

    The bore looks practically new. I ran a scope down it and while it's obviously been shot, the bore is immaculate.The wind is howling after last night's storm (as I imagine it is where you are) but if it lays down this weekend I'll try to run it through a few paces and see how it shoots groups. I'm not used to shooting with a 2.75x scope (or a rifle that light) so it'll be interesting to see how it shoots for me at 200yds.

    Here are some pics of the scope mounts )I believe they're called "claw mounts?") and it does look, to my untrained eye, that they are soldered or welded on; but maybe you or @paulsonconstruction can confirm? I measured the dovetail (that I could reach) with loading calipers and the section rear of the front scope mount measures .446"-.4465" so it looks like @paulsonconstruction is probably correct about the taper having been removed. Sorry I haven'
    t had time to do a deep clean before taking the close-up pix.

    Front of the front mount
    Sako mount - front of front mount.jpg

    Rear of the front mount
    Sako mount - front of rear mount.jpg

    front of the rear mount
    Sako mount - rea of rear mount.jpg

    Rear of the rear mount
    Sako mount - rear of front mount.jpg

    Given the person that gave my mom the rifle, it would be no surprise at all if this rifle was custom built by Anshutz or a custom gunsmith. I'm certainly not saying it was...just that its entirely possible.

    So, this is actually a Anschutz rifle built on a Sako action? Are the trigger and bottom metal Sako parts? Who's stock is it - Sako or Anshutz?

    IF I ever wanted any work done on this rifle, is there a specialist gunsmith in Texas you'd recommend? All the gunsmiths I'm friends with are long range and bench rifle specialists and this type of rifle isn't in their normal wheelhouse. I have had Hill Country Rifles do some precision rifle work for me but it'd sure be nice to know of a good smith that really treasures these old rifles.
     
  11. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Good point questioning whether the dovetails are original Sako, modified after manufacture, or custom made by Sako for Anschutz. From the photos it is not really possible to say which. Maybe Sendit6.5 can take some additional close-up photos of the receiver top which might help.

    Och du lieber! He has done so as I was writing and his excellent close-up photos do make it appear that the dovetails are closer to rimfire than to Sako Tapered dovetails. Anschutz did use a rimfire dovetail on its Model 1516(?) .222 which came after the Sako-Anschutz, so it is certainly possible that they had Sako produce a special action for them, or more likely, machined themselves to meet their own specs as they assembled the rifle.

    Sendit: Yes, the stock, barrel and everything but the action was made by Anschutz. It is not a "custom" in that there are some known to be floating around out there, but it is certainly a rare one. They were apparently intended primarily for the European market. I mentioned the one currently for sale on Gunbroker; that same seller has one of the scarce Sakos made for Holland & Holland, but unlike the Anschutz these were completely made by Sako and stamped "Shot and Regulated by Holland & Holland".

    I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult for a gunsmith to remove the claw mount adapters, after which you could probably use a good quality (meaning steel) rimfire-type tip 0ff mount. The one made by Burris has a wide range of adjustment and will fit both the wider and narrower dovetails. I've used it on .22 centerfires with good results.
     
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  12. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Bottom metal and mag are definitely Sako parts. Probably the trigger as well, but we'd have to see it (or the original specs for the gun) to be sure. As Stonecreek mentioned, the stock is by Anschütz.

    Looking at the close-up photos of the scope mounts, the claw bases do appear to be soldered on. What strikes me is that the dovetails are not cut from Sako dovetails at all. If you look carefully, you will see that they are round on top, not flat, and the contour follows the circular outline of the action. So, these dovetails were most likely cut into the top of a round action, either by one of the two factories involved or a skilled custom gunsmith/machinist later.

    A quick correction to the photo captions: the second photo is the front of the rear mount, not the rear of the front mount. The third photo is the rear of the rear mount. It's easy to get captions mixed up when you're posting multiple photos; I've done it more than once.

    Late edit: The above was composed while Stonecreek was writing his most recent post - that's why some of the information overlaps. I only saw Stonecreek's post after I had posted this one.
     
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  13. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The dovetails appear to have been machined from a round top Sako action. My guess is by Anschutz for 11mm Euro dovetail ringmounts. The "claw" mounts look like an add on, not factory, & appear to be soldered in place. The type of solder used will determine how much heat is needed to free them. If it is high temp silver solder, the heat could discolor the bluing some. Getting the mount hot enough to melt the solder without putting direct flame on the action would be best. My guess is the smith was smart enough to not use high temp solder on the action.
     
  14. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    This is a question of personal taste. I'd be more inclined to keep the claw mounts and the Hensoldt, just to preserve the rifle as it was built for the family in Germany. Obviously 2-3/4x is not the optimum in scope choices for a .222, but if it were my gun, the history would override its utility as a varmint rifle. And, there is always the (somewhat expensive) option of fitting another scope in claw mounts, giving the option of switching between two scopes. The high mounting, so typical of German practice, is a bit off-putting but you can get used to it. I have a German custom rifle with a similar setup, and I've learned how to shoulder it to shoot it reasonably well.
     
  15. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    To my knowledge Sako wasn't making any round-topped actions at the time this one was made. However, I agree that it does appear that the original dovetails have been mostly or completely machined away -- the same as if machined from a round top action. Regardless of how the action started out I believe that Anschutz customized it to their tastes, and an independent gunsmith added the claw mounts.

    Removing the claw mounts shouldn't permanently damage them. You could use a low-mounted modern scope for shooting and have the German set-up preserved in case you should ever want to return it to the state you received it in.
     
  16. Sendit6.5

    Sendit6.5 Member

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    Thank you for the kind words, sir! Yes, it's VERY special to me. I may look into that gunsmithing group you referenced if I can't find a gunsmith here in Texas that I can trust to work on it. I'm not entirely sold on the idea of making ANY changes right now - they're just thoughts I've had. I don't know why in the world they mounted the scope so proud - you can't line up with the scope with ANY sort of cheek weld. Instead, it requires a 'jaw line weld' to get your eye up to the scope for a clear sight picture. Also, the minimal power of the scope is just so mean for most of the shooting and hunting I do. It's obviously too nice to become a truck gun. Lol! Here's a pic of what's under the scope cap - any idea how to adjust the elevation? It seems to be shooting perfectly windage-wise but MAY need some slight elevation changes.

    The other guns in the collection were:

    Mid 1950's Krieghoff Drilling 16 gauge x 7x57 with Hensoldt-Wetzler scope A++ condition
    Weatherby Mark V 7mm Wby Mag
    Brno Akah 7x64
    Gebruder Merkel Suhl 12ga
    Browning Acier Special 12ga (Belium made A5, with poly choke unfortunately)

    I'm pretty proud and happy to have them all.
     
  17. Sendit6.5

    Sendit6.5 Member

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    @stonecreek @icebear @paulsonconstruction

    Thank you all for the information and the input! I'm certainly not in any hurry to change anything on any of these guns, particularly the Sako-Anshutz. I just know that my grandfather is up in heaven clamoring for me to take them all hunting. LOL! He would want to see them all being used. When he was still alive he did incredible amounts of hunting in Germany and throughout Europe. He had several Jagds of his own and his brother had 3 large Jagds in Germany and one in Austria. They did 2 things in life: Made tissue paper and hunted. They were very fortunate and entirely self-made. My great uncle's company WEPA is one of the largest tissue paper companies in Europe and it's still run by his sons who also hunt like fiends. Heck, my parents met on a hunting trip in Yugoslavia. The point being, it would please my grandfather MOST to see his guns being used to put meat on the table. I'll find a way to use them all over the next year, as they are. Luckily I run a large ranch for some folks and have a little property of my own with plenty of whitetail and a few axis. I just wanted to know what my options were. Thank you all again!
     
  18. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Some interesting items there. I bet the Merkel is a beauty - they make some nice guns. The Drilling is a treasure. I assume the caliber is actually 7x57R, the rimmed version of 7x57. A Drilling is pretty heavy to walk around with, but it might be interesting to take on a feral hog hunt. Load the rifle barrel with a soft point, one shotgun barrel with a Brenneke slug and the other with another slug or buckshot? The Brno-Akah should be a nice, versatile all around rifle for deer, etc. The cartridge is similar in performance to .270, .280, or .30-06. Sellier & Bellot makes inexpensive ammo in that caliber and I've had good results with it in my German 7x64 custom rifle. Best bullet weight depends on barrel twist - mine shoots well with the heavier S&B bullets (170-175 grain, if I remember right) but showed poor accuracy with lighter-bullet ammo (145 grain) from Norma. I've been told by people who know more about it than I do that most 7x64 rifles of that era were rifled for heavy bullets (170-190 grain).

    If you don't speak French, "Acier Special" means special steel.

    I'd love to see photos of the Krieghoff Drilling, the Brno, and the Merkel, if you have time to photograph and post them.
     

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