L46 and L579 Scope Rings

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by BruceHB, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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    I'm restoring my fathers L579 Sako Forrester and want to upgrade the scope rings to hold a 30mm Nightforce scope (NX8 4-32x50) It seems Leupold makes a Sako mount (Leupold SKU: 175121) that fits directly on the base of the Sako action. I have not posted enough to include links to my fathers L579.


    Am I correct these rings bolt directly onto the action?

    Thank you in advance.
     

  2. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    The mount you mentioned (Leupold SKU: 175121) is the wrong mount for the Sako dovetail. It is one of their Back Country Cross-Slot mounts that require either a Picatinny rail or Weaver bases. It won’t go on the Sako tapered dovetail. The scope you are planning to use is big and heavy, with a 50mm. objective lens and an objective-bell diameter of 2.32". The Leupold mount set that you need is the Sako 30mm. High Ringmount, SKU: 51037. I’m pretty sure that the high rings should work with your scope, particularly if your Sako Forester has a standard-weight barrel. However, it’s possible that you will need the Sako 30mm. Super High Ringmount (SKU: 51722). It’s hard to tell without the rifle and scope in hand. You could call Leupold to get their recommendation regarding the two choices. Those Ringmounts will slide and clamp onto the tapered dovetail on your rifle.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  3. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the information. I have a Nightforce ATACR 5-25 x 56 F1 optic on another rifle and know they are quite large, but are very clear and bright. My father's L579 was originally a Winchester 243 but he eventually replaced the barrel with a 24" Shilen and chambered it for a 243 Ackley Improved and developed handloads in the 75 to 85 grain range with I believe H4350. His best friend Mas Iwamoto (a benchrest shooter) glass bedded the action in Devon and free floated the barrel and installed a Canjar set trigger which released at two pounds or at two ounces when set.

    I didn't know how many rounds had been down the barrel and the 243 was known as a barrel burner, even more so in a 243 Ackley Improved. After shooting out my fathers handload's which were close to twenty five years old, the gun was still shooting .4 MOA at 100 yards. Wanting to restore the rifle I sent it to Blue Mountain Precision who builds precision rifles and the Owner Eric is a known PRS competitor who does exceptional work. I originally requested a 26" Bartlein match barrel in 6 Creedmoor in a 1 in 7.5 twist with an M24 contour only to find out that contour was to thick for the action. Eric made a custom contour as close to the M24 contour as possible which required opening the stock another .035 on each side and fitted an APA little bastard muzzle brake. However, Bartlein barrels were on backorder and Blue Mountain Precision uses Hawk Hill Match barrels along with Bartlein on their competition guns. I know Hawk Hill barrels are used by several benchrest shooters so I am trying a Hawk Hill barrel instead of the Bartlein which are on several of my guns.

    My plan is to develop loads using Berger Hybrid 105's and 109's, DTAC 115's and a few others. Powders will be H4350, Staball 6.5, Vihtavuori N140 and N555 using CCI BR-4 or Federal 205M primers. Cases will be annealed, neck turned, trimmed, primer pockets reformed and flash holes deburred, cases sorted by weight and capacity, all bullets measured and weighed, test rounds fired to find one or more velocity nodes and then determine the idea "jump" to the lands. All cases are full length size with the cases and necks check for concentricity as well as the wall thickness of the necks checked every ninety degrees. Annealing is done with the AMP Annealer.

    I'm curious how the gun will perform and if it will have a significant "cold bore" issue which it most likely will have. I'm considering experimenting with HBn bullet and barrel coatings which is said to reduced vertical dispersion, able to shoot more rounds before requiring cleaning and a few other things. My reloading procedure is already involved, so adding is something I'll have to think about.

    Again, thank you for your help, not that familiar with old Sako's but really enjoy shooting my father's.
     
  4. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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    In looking at the Leupold rings, are there alternative rings that are longer and have more tightening screws per ring? I use Spuhr mounts on many of my more modern rifles and they have two or three screws in a row per ring and have built in levels in the base of the rear ring.
     
  5. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    Leupold's Sako Ringmounts are the only rings that Leupold makes that attach directly onto the Sako tapered dovetail without an additional base. However, it's hard to believe that the two ring screws would be insufficient to handle the recoil of a 6mm. Creedmoor, given that they have undoubtedly been used on rifles chambered for much heavier cartridges like the .375 H&H. You could go with the Sako-brand Ringmounts which have four screws per ring, but in my opinion you'd gain little.
     
  6. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    You may want to reconsider using a Sako sporting rifle action with a proprietary scope mounting system to build a dedicated long range target rifle. The Sako dovetail receiver limits your options on the mounts you can use. If you modify the Sako action to accept the mounts you want you will be destroying the value of a desirable sporting action that hasn't been made for over 40 years. To each his own & it's your rifle & your money, but my feeling is you will be better served to keep your Sako action as is & accept the limitations or choose an action more suited to the scope mounting system you desire. Good luck in your quest.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
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  7. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you about not modifying the action and was wondering if anyone else makes scope rings for the Sako dovetail? As for building other rifles I'm currently using Impact 737r actions with Bartlien or Hawk Hill barrels, Trigger Tech adjustable triggers, MPA or Manner stocks, Spuhr mounts and APA muzzle brakes and so far Nightforce ATACR optics FFP, Horus Tremor 3 reticle which have been working well, but there are lots of fine actions and other premium barrel makers out there as well.

    My choice of the Nightforce NX8 series was due to weight and size compared to the ATACR series which I use on my dedicated precision rifles, not to mention the series is a $1,000 less expensive for a gun that more of a varminter.

    The picture with the target is my father's Sako before the upgrade with the Shilen barrel. Target was shooting 25 year old handloads (243 Ackley Improved) through a barrel with unknown rounds through it. While not a bad group, I'm hoping the new barrel in 6mm Creedmoor with handloads will be able to get into the .2 MOA or better. My dedicated precision rifles based on the Impact actions are in the .1 MOA range and I'm looking to get into the Zero's.

    The picture without a scope is the rifle with the new Hawk Hill 26" match barrel and APA little bastard muzzle brake.

    Thank you again for all your advice and help with my father's Sako L579 Forrester.
     

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  8. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    Other scope-mount companies--e.g., Talley--make mounts for the Sako dovetail, but they involve fitting a set of their bases to the dovetails and then installing the rings onto the bases, an obviously redundant setup. Since you are shooting a very light-recoiling rifle (maybe 9 ft.lbs. of recoil without the brake), with the addition of the muzzle brake making the recoil even less (probably about like a .223), there's no reason that the 2-screw Leupold Ringmounts wouldn't be more than adequate.

    For what it's worth, none of the most-common base+ring options involves "modifying the action." They just include more moving parts than the straightforward ringmounts from Leupold or Sako.

    Edit. One thing to add that might be helpful. The Sako-brand 30mm. Ringmounts (which have the 4 ring screws; Sako SKU: S1701904) are listed as "low," although they are just about as high as the Leupold 30mm. Super High Ringmounts. They put the centerline of a 30mm. scope at 1.14" above the receiver top, where the Leupold Super Highs put it at 1.16". Both should let your Nightforce NX8 scope clear the barrel, even with the latter's heavy contour.

    One other thing to note. After seeing the heavy Hawk Hill match barrel on your Sako action, I think that, if you go with the Leupold Ringmounts, you'll likely need the Super Highs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
  9. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    As a follow-up to the preceding discussion, I might add that I've been baffled by Sako's scope-mount height options. As noted above, Sako’s "Low" 30mm. Ringmounts put the centerline of a 30mm. scope 1.14" above the receiver. This means that, unless you are using a scope with huge objective bell, many 30mm. scopes will clear a standard-weight barrel by well over .25". For such scopes, I’d want a much lower mount to enable the shooter to line up the shot with a proper cheek weld. Why doesn’t Sako offer lower Ringmounts (in addition to the higher ones) for those that would like them? The situation with the Optilock mounts (with base and rings) is even worse. With the “Extra Low” 30mm.Optilocks, the centerline of a 30mm. scope is 1.20” above the receiver, putting a scope with, say, an objective-bell OD of 2.0” close to .30” above a standard-weight barrel.

    Does it come down to Sako’s catering primarily to European hunters who like to mount Hubble telescopes on their rifles? That doesn’t seem to be the dominant preference in North America, as evidenced by Leupold’s much more reasonable mount height options with their Sako Ringmounts. With the latter, for example, the Leupold 30mm. “Medium” Sako Ringmounts put the centerline of a 30mm. scope only .86” above the receiver. This means that for scopes with only-moderate objective-lens diameters (like 40-44 mm.), they can be mounted low and still clear the barrel.

    Seems as though Sako may be missing out here by neglecting the preferences of many North American hunters.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
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  10. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Another possibility for direct-mount rings would be the Warne vertically-split rings for Sako dovetail. I believe these were made in 30mm, although I am not absolutely sure. They are out of production but can often be found on eBay, Gunbroker, etc. and they even will occasionally turn up as NOS at a dealer. The Warne is a solid, well-made system. The rings were made as either QD or fixed mount. The only example I have is a set of medium QD rings on a Sako AIII. The rings in the photo have only a single top screw but Warne later switched to two screws on top. I believe they made this change before the Sako rings were discontinued. Here's a photo of the Warne QD rings.

    AIII Carbine 30-06 2.JPG


    Sako also makes integral rings in addition to the Optilocks with their separate rings and bases. Here's a link.
    https://www.berettausa.com/en-us/sako-ringmounts-30mm-blued-steel/s1701904/
    Unfortunately, the website does not specify which models these rings are available for; you'd have to check with Beretta USA to see if they have one that would actually fit your L579.
     
  11. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    Those are the ringmounts I was discussing above in Post #8. Here's a link showing the heights of the 1" and 30mm. models (scroll down).

    https://www.midwestgunworks.com/page/mgwi/prod/S170190

    They slip and clamp directly onto the Sako tapered dovetail the same way as the Leupold Ringmounts and the vintage Sako mounts; i.e., they don't use separate bases. It appears that there is only one height available for each of the 1" and 30mm. versions: 1.06" from top of the receiver to mid-line of the scope for the 1" version and 1.14" for the 30mm. mounts (Sako SKU: S1701904) . Both are labelled "low" by Sako.

    They should work fine on the tapered dovetail on the L579, and the 30mm. rings should accommodate BruceHB's Nightforce NX8 scope.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
  12. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    There were several sets of these, all 30mm., for sale in the SCC Trade Corner in July.

    https://sakocollectors.com/forum/threads/warne-premier-rings-nos.15339/

    The ad is still there, so they may still be available….
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
  13. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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    South Pender and icebear, thank you for the support and great information. South Pender I'm going to measure and see if the 30mm rings from midestgunworks. I think it will be close, especially if using the Nightforce lens covers. Here are pictures of my father's Sako Forrester L579 with the Hawk Hill barrel and APA little bastard muzzle brake. New glass to follow soon.

    One last question, at least for tonight. What is the torque setting for the large screws holding the rings to the dovetail? I'm thinking about 45 inch pounds.

    Again, thank you South Pender and icebear for your support and information.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
  14. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    That sounds about right. Here are recommendations from EuroOptic regarding screw torque with Optilock mounts. It's a little hard to read, but it states "base to dovetail clamp screws should be torqued to 45 in.-lbs."

    https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/35029243/optilock-tighting-instructions-euroopticcom

    You would have to think that this torque value could be applied as well to the bottom clamp screw on the Sako Optilock Ringmounts. Given the self-tightening nature of the Sako mounts on the tapered dovetail, I wouldn't go above 45 in.-lbs.
    with these screws, and I might go a little lower. The recommendation for the four ring screws is 15-17 in.-lbs.

    Although that's a heavy barrel, those mounts should allow clearance for the objective bell, which has an OD of 2.32". They raise the center-line of the scope 1.14" above the receiver top, and, with the drop off to the barrel of .04" or .05", it should clear, albeit not by that much, and not with the Nightforce "flip-up" lens covers in place. (The "screw-in" Nightforce BR scope lens caps, however, might work by not adding anything to the objective-bell OD.) If, for some reason, the Sako Ringmounts aren't high enough, the Leupold Super High Ringmounts will give you a little more height.

    And, if all that fails (which it shouldn't), there are the standard Sako Optilock mounts, with base and rings. If you use the 30mm. Xtra Lo rings (SKU S1300928) with the bases, you will raise the center-line of the scope 1.20" above the receiver, and that will definitely allow the objective bell to clear the barrel, with or without lens covers. (Despite the Sako designation "Xtra Lo", these are really very high mounts!) See PDF file in the following link:

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...lockring.pdf&usg=AOvVaw2RrFjM6Xk6sHpNUgZ85ib9
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
  15. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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    As soon as I measure everything I'll post up here. Here are pictures of the rifle in the sun. Eric at Blue Mountain Precision did a great job and he chambered it just a tad tighter than SAAMI specs, FB .135, Neck .275.
     

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  16. South Pender

    South Pender Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that is a pretty tight neck diameter, but I imagine you're planning to turn necks. Will that FB length allow you to jam with enough neck contact?
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
  17. MickTaylo

    MickTaylo Member

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    You'd need the leupold super high ring mounts if it's a heavy barrel
     
  18. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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  19. L61R

    L61R SCC President Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    “Seems as though Sako may be missing out here by neglecting the preferences of many North American hunters.”

    Seems as though Sako may be missing out on a lot of things.

    Jim
     
  20. BruceHB

    BruceHB Well-Known Member

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    Is there a special driver / tool that fits the Sako thumb screws perfectly?
     

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