Just inherited Grandfathers Sako Forester L579 .308- What model is it?

Discussion in 'Sako Medium Actions' started by JMB88, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. JMB88

    JMB88 Member

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    I am new to the board and just inherited my Grandfathers gun collection which includes a Sako Forester L579 in caliber .308 with Bofors Steel barrel, Sako scope rings, and a vintage Leupold scope and nice leather strap, possibly factory? The serial number is 53XXX. I believe this makes is a 1966 model year from what information I have already found.


    It has been in storage for over 20 years but is in pretty good shape considering he also hunted with it a good bit back in the day.

    It definitely needs some TLC but just want to know as much about the gun as possible.

    I have attached the only picture I have at the moment. Its is the second gun from the top. I will post some more pictures later on.

    Cheers!
     

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  2. JMB88

    JMB88 Member

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    Here are some more pictures i took today. The serial number is actually 58XXX.
     

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  3. misako50

    misako50 Sako-addicted

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    You are a very fortunate Grandkid. That is one of the most sought after Sakos that I could imagine. A fullwood in .308 is very hard to find in any condition. They are popularly called Mannlichers and the info you have given us is spot on as for the model and info. The strap is an aftermarket, I believe.-Misako
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  4. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The L579 action was used to make 4 configurations. A standard sporter, a Varmint (heavy barrel) with beavertail forearm, a "Deluxe" with fancier stock, high polished bluing & bottom metal engraving, & your Manlincher fullstock model. One in 308 Win chambering & a "Bofors" stamped barrel is less common than other configurations & will bring a little premium(if in equal condition) over the others, except possibly the Deluxe, when sold. Yours is an example of one of the best balance & constructed rifles ever made, IMHO. Your Grandfather knew his rifles & must have thought highly of you to trust you with it's safe keeping. There are many threads here that reference your rifle that will give you more understanding about it. Take some time to search the forum for these past threads, I think you will enjoy what you find.
     
  5. topgear

    topgear Sako-addicted

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    JMB88 that sako is a pretty special rifle and one that you should feel really proud to have been left. It's the type of rifle you could hunt with and still hand onto your grandson. As mi sako and pc indicate it's a pretty rare one and one I wouldn't be letting go of until I passed on as well and then I would leave it to someone special.

    The .308 is one of the great calibre as well, up there with the .222!
     
  6. 16b410

    16b410 Well-Known Member

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    Quite a nice collection you have had passed on to you. I would say it is the prize of the collection and hope you intend to keep it and shoot it. The cross-bolt on that .308 would not be there if it were a .243, and as mentioned, you will see more mannlichers without it than with it.
     
  7. JMB88

    JMB88 Member

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    Thank you all for you responses. I am excited to hear that it is in fact a Mannlicher model. I didn't even notice that the bolt is a different variation than usual. I have been reading up on the forum and have found a lot of great, helpful information.

    The guns are all staying in my family, I have just been surprised by the quality of my Grandfathers collection, especially this gun. I am trying to figure out if he bought it new... He was not very well off so I believe it may have been a gift. How much would this gun have cost in 1965/66?

    I have also been given a Browning BAR 30-06 semi auto, made in Belgium, and what I believe to be a 1955 Remington semi-automatic 12 gauge. Still doing my research on those.

    My Grandfather was a B29 Tail gunner in the Pacific during WWII, loved his guns, and was always a fantastic shot, so having his hunting rifles and shotgun means the world to me. He passed away this winter. I am very grateful to have the responsibility of taking care of his guns and just want to make sure I do it correctly.

    Any issues I should be aware of when firing modern ammunition? I am looking forward to sighting her in after 20+ years of sitting.
     
  8. topgear

    topgear Sako-addicted

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    Not for the sako. It's probably better built and better steel than most produced today!
     
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  9. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    The Sako Mannlicher is certainly the prize of the collection, but the Belgian BAR .30-06 is also a very nice rifle, and one of the few semi-autos which will shoot with close to the accuracy of a good bolt rifle. You should feel very privileged to now own your grandfather's guns.
     
  10. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    I would make sure the bore is squeaky clean & well oiled before firing. The carbon & cooper fouling removal products from back in the day were not as good as what is available now. Be sure to clean from the chamber end, use a one piece rod (preferably coated or carbon fiber), & be careful not to damage the rifling, especially at the muzzle crown. Sitting 20+ years could have allowed some corrosion which needs to be cleaned up. Shooting thru a fouled/dirty barrel will only add to any problems & not be conducive to good accuracy. If you are not familiar with proper cleaning techniques & don't have the correct equipment, I suggest you study some of the proper cleaning methods other shooters recommend on line or pay a gunsmith to do it & learn from him. More guns have been ruined by poor cleaning than by shooting. Good Luck & let us know how it shoots!!
     
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  11. JMB88

    JMB88 Member

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    I took the gun up to the local gunsmith last night and had him look it over. Needless to say it got quite a bit of attention from the staff. He said the bolt is in next to perfect condition with a very snug fit and smooth action. The barrel is clear of corrosion/pitting but he did recommend that I clean it using a little oil. You state I need to use a 1 piece rod, preferably coated? I have a Hoppes BoreSnake, is that sufficient or should I be looking at purchasing something else specifically for use in older guns?

    Also, can anyone recommend a product for taking care of the wood stock? It is clear coated, not oiled, correct?
     
  12. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    A bore snake is the fastest way I know of to ruin a barrel. Throw that thing away as those sharp little bronze barbs will gouge & scratch your barrel causing permanent damage. The guy that invented that should be shot! No pun intended. A rod you screw together will allow the edges of the metal at the joints to scrape & nick the rifling. Get a one piece Tipton carbon fiber or Dewey coated rod as long as you can get so that when the rod exits the muzzle the handle is still behind the buttstock. This will keep you from damaging the comb of the stock as you run the rod thru the bore. Educate yourself about proper cleaning techniques & keep from damaging one of the best factory barrels made because of a lack of knowledge. A good solvent designed to remove carbon & copper, good tight patches, a quality phosphor bronze brush, a bore oil & some elbow grease will go a long way in protecting your bore from corrosion & preserving it's accuracy. There are many ways to clean a barrel. The main thing is to get it clean without damaging it. The major custom barrel makers have recommendations as well as many of the shooting web sites. Birchwood-Casey Gunstock Wax will help your stock. Some guys just use regular furniture paste wax. Good Luck!!
    One more thought. A gun vise to hold the gun while cleaning is the best money you'll spend.
     
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  13. JMB88

    JMB88 Member

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    Exactly the answer I was lookin for. Thank you Paulsonconstruction
     
  14. 16b410

    16b410 Well-Known Member

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    Great rifle. I have one in .243 also S/N 58,XXX so it was made right about the same time as yours, and although it is pristine, it doesn't have wood like yours. Most were pretty plain. So glad to hear you are keeping them!
     
  15. JMB88

    JMB88 Member

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    I finally got the needed supplies this past week to property clean this rifle. It had nearly zero copper fowling, no corrosion, and took very few passes to get the rifling looking brand new. Makes me think it's hardly ever been shot. Also waxed the stock with Birch Casey and it definitely improved the look of the stock.

    Haven't had much time to shoot but was able to put a few rounds through her in the hills this weekend at about 100 yards and it performed absolutely seamlessly. Cant wait to get her 100% signed in at the range in the near future.

    I will post some more detailed pictures of the final result soon.

    Thanks again for all the advice/information!
     
  16. deergoose

    deergoose Sako-addicted

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    Sounds as if your grandfather gave us all a lesson in proper storage. Chances are he did shoot the rifle, but cleaned it properly and prepared it properly for storage. That means a lot. He was a B-29 tail gunner? How cool is that !! ?? You gotta just love the cool old birds from the greatest generation. It is them that allows us to do what we do today !! God bless them all.

    DeerGoose
     
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  17. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Picked up one in .243 today. Same general vintage, SN 56XXX, Bofors, etc.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. JMB88

    JMB88 Member

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    Beautiful! Looks pristine!
     
  19. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Not entirely pristine. I'd say its in very good-excellent condition with some hunting marks, and hopefully it will get a few more.

    This may be a very minor point but I was wondering about the (lack of) white line spacers. Every photo I see of these early Foresters shows them with white line spacers at the grip cap and the butt and mine has none. Of course it is 50 years old and they could have been removed at some point in the past but the plastic caps fit rather well and in my experience once the white line spacers are removed the plastic edge doesn't always line up perfectly with the wood. This is a Canadian rifle and may have slightly different specs than the USA model. At least it didn't need those "import marks". So my question to anyone who might know is, did they always have white line spacers?
     
  20. Steve Carr

    Steve Carr Member

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    It probably cost less than $250 new.
     

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