L 61 R Finnbear Questions

Discussion in 'Sako Long/Magnum Actions' started by BarkWorm, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. BarkWorm

    BarkWorm Member

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    Hello, my name is Bill and just found this place. Looks like you fellas are very knowledgeable so have a couple questions if you don’t mind.

    First let me say I’ve been a bow hunter for 20+ years but have only shot a rifle a couple times in my life besides a .22 rim fire, so my knowledge is limited except what I am reading about recently.

    I inherited a .270 Sako L 61 R Finnbear from my grand mother. The serial number is 541** and every thing is original on the rifle including scope rings from what I was told.

    Now the questions. Ok I took it to the local gun dealer to find out about the gun and what it’s value might be. I was only told it needs a new butt pad and something about the crown not being recessed. Was not clear what he was saying there. He also said it is worth 350 US dollars.

    I took some pictures to try to help if I can figure out how to post them. What can you tell me about the gun and it’s value? I see a lot of pre Garcia stuff being said. One more thing, I took it out to the range and did not shoot the best but I think the rings were not installed correctly. I am hoping that is all it is, do you know of any rings that will work for this rifle?

    Thank you gents ahead of time, not a great first post lol. Like I said first rifle I have ever owned.

     

  2. BarkWorm

    BarkWorm Member

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    I can take more pics if needed.
     

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  3. BarkWorm

    BarkWorm Member

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    Couple more
     

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  4. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    The "gun dealer" either doesn't know what he's talking about or is trying to cheat you out of the rifle, or both.

    Probably both: The crown is exactly like it left the factory, except for some ordinary bluing wear. That is how every Sako from that era (late 1960's or early 1970's was crowned. If the gun were trashed (which it is far from), even the action, which appears to be a three-lug model, would be worth around $500. A .270 is a common chambering, but even so such a rifle in just passable condition would bring somewhere from $700-up on any retailer's shelf.

    The rings are factory and (except for the missing tops, which I assume you have) appear to be installed correctly. The rings do show some application of a poorly-fitting screwdriver, but except for the cosmetics are probably fine. Factory rings in good condition bring anywhere from $100-up.

    The sight hood is probably missing, and a deteriorated pad is common on this age of Sako. Those things, along with ordinary wear, make it a "shooter" and not a "collector", but if you keep it and decide to hunt with it you'll have a much higher quality hunting rifle than anything available off-the-shelf from the "Rugchesterton" manufacturers these days. Besides, since it came from your Grandmother you probably consider it an heirloom. I'll bet that someone in your family has taken plenty of game with it in years past.
     
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  5. BarkWorm

    BarkWorm Member

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    Wow thank you very much Stonecreek. Unfortunately I was told this is a replacement for the heirloom I thought this was. My grandmother took many deer and a huge bull elk by Yellowstone in Wy in the 70s which I thought she used this gun. My father told me she actually used a pre 1964 model 70 Winchester.270 on those hunts. Then in the late 70s or earlier 80s my grandfather sold that gun to a brother-in-law for his collection.

    Well as you might have guessed g-ma was highly upset and demanded he get that gun back but brother-in-law had already sold that gun for some reason. So brother-in-law sold g-pa the Sako as a replacement for the Win model 70. The Sako was never taken hunting, so that is disappointing. Sorry for rambling.

    Not sure on the gun dealer, thought he was trustworthy so maybe he just didn’t know. Then again if that is your job you should find out. I do have the scope ring tops. I took them off to remove the Leupold 4x scope that was on it and did notice the knobs being messed up some unfortunately. The 100$ on those is a little shocking.

    Yes I have never seen a sight hood on this gun, didn’t even know there should have been one. Is the 3 lug bolt good? Also would this be the pre-Garcia steel then as well? I see the bofors steel is what more people seem to like from what I’ve been reading.

    Might you have any scope ring recommendations for shooting that will fit?
    I see why guys like the Sako, it is a very beautiful gun and the action extremely smooth from a couple other guns I have shot. Again thank you so much for your help, I appreciate it. Bill
     
  6. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    There are few mounts that are better than the factory mounts you have, but if they are somehow messed up to the point that you'd rather not use them then I'd recommend you buy some Leupold ringmounts. They run around $50-$60 new, and the "medium" is the right height for a scope with up to a 40mm objective.
     
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  7. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Bofors steel is a collector thing. Certain older Sakos were made with Bofors barrel steel imported from Sweden, and so marked on the barrel. The Sako marketing department seems to have picked up on the fact that Bofors was quite well known in the US and elsewhere for high quality military arms. The 40mm anti-aircraft gun used by the US Navy in WWII was a Bofors design and was often referred to as a "Bofors gun."

    The Bofors mark carries cachet with collectors, but the truth is that Swedish steel isn't any better than Finnish steel. They are both extremely high quality. I've shot plenty of half-inch groups with Sako rifles that didn't say Bofors on them. Sako obtained steel from Bofors due to some supply chain issues with roots in WWII reparations and rebuilding. Also, by coincidence Sako switched away from Bofors steel around the same time that it made some other changes that were perceived as lowering overall quality but not related to the source of the barrel steel. So, the Bofors mark adds a little bit of resale value to your rifle, but it doesn't really affect its merits as a hunting rifle.

    I'd recommend sticking with the factory scope mounts, if you can find a scope you like that fits the mounts and leaves at least a little bit of clearance of the scope bell over the barrel. I can't tell from the photos if those are low or medium rings. A Leupold 2-7x compact will clear with the low rings, but I'm not sure if it's long enough for an L61R action. The original rings are a bit fiddly to center and align but they are worth it. To avoid any further damage to the large mounting nuts, get yourself a Weaver scope ring tool. It fits the odd shaped slot. Brownell's sells a really good one that fits into a magnetic screwdriver handle. I've had mine for 20 years.

    Apart from the original Sako mounts, I'm partial to Warne rings. They are also pricey, but I like the way their Sako rings fit the dovetails.
     
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  8. BarkWorm

    BarkWorm Member

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    Thank you guys, I really appreciate the help and the history! That is some really cool information. Yeah I am planning on keeping it but when I took it out to shoot was having very poor groups, like not hitting paper at 50 yds after being bore sighted. I know I am far from great but I don’t suck that bad lol.

    That was what had me thinking scope and rings. I purchased a new scope, was looking at those ring bases and started to go hmmm. Looked off to me.

    Good call on the Weaver tools, I have their torque wrench which I think has that tool with it. I will have research on here how to set those rings up right and go from there. With a new scope if that don’t get it I will buy some of those Leupold rings.

    I am just hoping that it is one of those issues and not a barrel being abused or shot out. Thanks again for taking the time to help out. I enjoy the history of things, like a 100 + year old Nurlund hatchet passed down to me from my grandpa which I hope to pass on to mine one day.
     
  9. RC20

    RC20 Well-Known Member

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    I will throw in my 2 cents.

    My family has a 270 first year (pretty cool) - that said it was shot a lot and wound up with my younger brother who was hunting with it.

    He came to me and said he was getting large groups and he is a good shot.

    We made a date and he had 4 or 5 different types of factory ammo and none of them shot worth &*&^% (2.5 inch groups x 3 shots) Hmmm. Not a hot barrel and Not the 270 I knew.

    I ran up some reloads - we got that down to 1.5 inch, good enough for now.

    I then got a borsecope (Lyman makes a good one that does what I want) and yes, there was a lot of carbon built up (shot a lot, cleaned, but Hoppes 9 is not close to great stuff and yes, yours is new so not likely)

    Back to the range with more reloads and I was getting a shade under 1 inch groups (5 shots).

    What has changed in ammo I am not sure, the Sako has a long throat and I loaded accordingly, but it shot really good back when we were kids, damned tack driver - it clearly did not like the ammo it was fed now.

    I think cleaning it helped, I did more load development and that helped.

    On the basis of one gun (not worth a lot but interesting) hand loads were the biggest factor in improvement.

    Others may shoot factory ammo just fine, but ours sure did not.

    And thank you for the story, I can just see it. Having been in hot water once or twice in my married life I can appreciate it! Certainly learned where the boundaries are.
     
  10. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Find a new gun shop - any 270 in that shape would bring a higher price. He MAY have been offering you $350 - then sell it for $500+.
    Any older SAKO will bring a higher price. As stated, the action alone would exceed that price, however, that gun is way to nice to use as a donor for a custom build.

    As far as the grouping goes, stick to the basics: Scope and mounts (I use Leupold, period) check the torque on the action screws, bedding - run a business card between the stock and barrel, and clean with a great solvent (I use Br2) to remove copper fouling and carbon build up.
     
  11. BarkWorm

    BarkWorm Member

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    LOL yeah grandpa was a character and being in some kind of trouble with grandma was his fun, WW2 vet and he had the stories. I have never seen in person a man shot like he could. Hit a crow flying a block away with a .22 Ruger pistol by snap shooting it, I kid you not.

    Thank you very much for the insight guys, I appreciate it. I have always used Hoppes with my shotguns and cleaned the Sako with it as well but went and bought some of that BR2 copper solvent. Could not believe the amount of blue on the rags. I worked that solvent for 2 days, letting it sit wet as they suggested, clean, let it sit etc. There was a lot of copper in the barrel apparently.

    Probably won't get out for a while to see how it affected things but been buying couple different ammo makers ammunition to try. The bad thing RC20, my grandpa had tons of reloading equipment but that did not come my way unfortunately. I did manage to buy his Mec Jr. shotshell reloader from my cousin. We will see how it goes and go from there. Thank you again for all the time and help you guys shared, Merry Christmas and hope you and your family have a wonderful holidays.
     
  12. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Getting the copper out of your barrel should improve accuracy by quite a bit. As you note, it's amazing how much copper accumulates in a barrel that is cleaned only with old-style solvents that don't attack the copper. I have cleaned my Swedish sniper rifle many, many times with Shooters Choice and other copper removers and the patches still come up blue every time I clean it. Military organizations seem to have a blind spot when it comes to copper build-up. I don't know if the US military's current cleaning solvent attacks copper fouling or not, but if not I bet those M4's have got plenty of copper in them too.
     

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