L461 "Mannlicher" in .222 Rem. Mag.

Discussion in 'Sako Mannlichers and Carbines' started by robinpeck, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    Just picked up a fullstock L461 "Mannlicher" in .222 Rem. Mag. Can someone fill me in on the rifle (dates of production, etc.) and the caliber.

     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018

  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    In my opinion its a great caliber. I currently own four of them; three Sakos and a Krico (but none of them Mannlicher, unfortunately). Back when the .222 was the king of benchrest shooting quite a few guys moved to the .222 Magnum because they liked its long neck and slightly greater capacity. It won its share of matches before other specialized bench cartridges started edging it out.

    Case capacity is about 5% or so greater than the .223. However, factory ballistics for the two are very similar since the .223 had its SAAMI maximum pressures boosted in order to meet some arbitrary military velocity specifications. As a result, you can get .223 velocities from the .222 Magnum at less pressure, or if you want to boost the pressures modestly to .223 levels (which is perfectly safe in a Sako) you can get a bit more velocity.

    I have Remington, Sako, and Herter's brass for use in my rifles. Nosler currently offers loaded ammunition. If you can't find .222 Magnum brass you can reverse engineer it from .204 Ruger brass since the .204 was created from the .222 Magnum. There are some very slight differences in the two cases, but a trip through a .222 Magnum FL die will erase those discrepancies. Dies for it aren't hard to find, but dies for either the .222 or the .223 will work just fine -- all you have to do is back the dies off of the shellholder the right amount since the three cartridges have identical shoulder dimensions.

    As far as the rifle, Sako was chambering the .222 Magnum in the late L46's (called L469) and continued to chamber it in the successor L461. It seems that the caliber was largely dropped (mostly due to the rising popularity of the similar .223) around the time that Garcia took over from Firearms International; or sometime in the early 1970's. Nearly all I've seen have the "s" shaped magazine release with square floorplate tang while only a handful have had the later push button release with round tang. It is much less common than the .222, and Mannlichers seem particularly scarce. Congratulations!
     
  3. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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    At one time I had 5 222 mags. I fell in love with them and still think they are the premier varmint cartridge for all the reasons Stonecreek mentioned. I have almost put away the 220 Swifts and 22-250's that I have, as the 222 mag will approach 4000 fps with 40 grain bullets. This one WAS mine until about a month ago, when I sold it to purchase another scarce gun that even fewer people have seen.

    It is always about what becomes disposable when you just have to get another choice gun. The Mannlicher was the one I shot the least, so I sold it. It was the best feeling rifle in hand for offhand shooting, but I just didn't give it enough time in the field and now it is gone.

    I do have a spare set of RCBS 222 mag dies that need a new expander ball, and you can get them at any major sporting goods store. You can have these dies for free if you want them...

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    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  4. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    You're right...When the .222 Mag Mannlicher came up for sale, I immediately looked at my "disposable" rifles and picked out for sale two Swedish Mausers and a Husqvarna 30-06 to cover the cost of the Sako. It was almost a reflex...

    Thanks to all you fellows for the great info. on loading for the .222 Rem Mag.

    ...And today in a package deal I picked up five boxes of new Herters/Norma brass and a set of RCBS dies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018

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