L461 Stock / Action bedding and barrel float & heavy trigger

Discussion in 'Sako Short Actions' started by mattyj, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. mattyj

    mattyj Member

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    Hi All,
    I purchased a very nice almost mint L461 222 a month or so ago. I have noticed that the barrel is tight right at the fore end of the stock . It seems to be rubbing on the stock timber a little bit. hence the barrel is not floating
    However I am yet to shoot this rifle and wont get a chance until next month .
    Should I just see how it shoots before I do anything with ? what are your views on barrel floating a L461 ?
    Also the trigger on this rifle is somewhat heavy , actually its one of the heaviest triggers I have felt and I know I will have to do something about it. Is this something I could do myself or get a smith to look at it ..
    Cheers

     

  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I wouldn't mess with the bedding until and unless the rifle's lack of accuracy shows a need. Sako gained its reputation for accuracy with up-pressure on the fore end, not floated barrels. Unnecessarily messing with Sako bedding is a quick way to both devalue your gun and get into an endless spiral of chasing accuracy as good as you had before you started.

    You can find several extensive threads on how to adjust the Sako #4 trigger here on the forums. It is the same trigger whether found on the L461, L579, or L61R.

    And by the way, congrats on owning your fine .222 HB!
     
  3. gunner620

    gunner620 Well-Known Member

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    mattij,I think you should shoot the gun first and see how that works for you.Sako's of that era did not have floating barrels from the factory.The trigger you should be able to adjust yourself.Look at the top right of the forum page and go to the Sako website,find the old models at the top of the page,click on that ,find L461 on the left side of the page click on that and you should find trigger adjustment instructions there.Make your adjustments and you should be able to safely adjust the trigger to 3lbs. I would not adjust anything other than the pull weight to start with.One thing to do when adjusting is loosen the locking nut and run it out as this can prevent breaking one side of the adjusting screw off,the nut will support the screw slot while adjusting.After completing your adjustment close the bolt a number of times rapidly with force and hit the but with the palm of your hand to make sure the rifle will not slam fire or decock accidently.While you are at it please add your general location to your profile,click on edit profile at the top of the forum page and enter your location in the signature block click on save and you are done with it. Good luck Jim
     
  4. mattyj

    mattyj Member

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    Cheers Mate ,
    Yeah I thought I would just wait and see how she shoots before I do anything . I have read that the old Sako barrels were not free floating, Unlike my 75 SS , it has a fully floated barrel.
    The rifle is actually a hunter weight not a HB version and hopefully will make a nice little shooter . I have just purchased a Leupold VX 3 3.5-10X40 gloss for it too so it should look great .
    At this stage I will see how she shoots with factory ammo before I develop some loads for it .
    Here is a pic of my L461 and my 75 SS
     

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  5. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    mattyj:
    There are three adjustments on the #4 trigger. Weight of pull, which is a screw against a spring that can be turned to change the spring tension & alter the amount of force it takes to release the trigger. Sear engagement, which will change the amount of surface contact or engagement of the trigger sear. Overtravel, which will change how far the trigger travels after it is disengaged & also affects it's ability to go back to the proper position to engage the release sear when cocking the rifle. All these adjustment have a bearing on each other and need to be what I call "synchronized". All of these things affect what you perceive as weight of pull. If you have a basic understanding of how the trigger works & a very good understanding of the principles involved, by following the instructions recommended you should be able to get an acceptable trigger pull. This trigger can only be adjusted down to a limit with regard to weight of pull. Each trigger is individual it how low this limit is before it becomes unsafe. I have yet to see a Sako #4 trigger that can be adjusted to below 2 lbs. without creating an unsafe situation. The same can be said for the sear engagement. Too little engagement can be unsafe should the rifle be dropped or jarred while afield. Not enough overtravel can cause the trigger not to catch on the sear when cocking and cause a slam fire when closing the bolt, especially if it has been contaminated with a dirt/oil mix or debris. If you want a trigger below 3 lbs and don't have the experience & a good understanding of what you are doing, I recommend you have the trigger adjusted by a competent gunsmith. Crispness of the release & knowing the feel of when it will go off is a bigger factor in trigger control than weight of pull in my opinion. There are a lot of arm chair experts out there, but when it comes to your safety and the safety of others, banging your palm on the butt plate is not what I would call a quality control test.
     
  6. gunner620

    gunner620 Well-Known Member

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    mattyj, I am certainly not an expert; however , I do have a very comfortable chair. I have not had any trouble adjusting trigger pull to 3lbs.on any of my Sakos over the 45 years I have owned them. Perhaps someone has made adjustments to the sear engagement and messed things up. I have only had to make the trigger pull weight adjustment to reach the 3lb weight I like for my hunting rifles; and by the way, thats all I have. Sako says don't adjust trigger pull below 1.5 kg. which is approx.3.3 lbs. Many target shooters try to reduce trigger pull much lower than that which is recommended by Sako, and end up replacing the standard trigger with aftermarket trigger assemblies designed for that purpose. , Your Sako does not lock the firing pin, so if mechanical shock releases the trigger sear it will decock. The responsibility is yours for ensuring the rifle is safe, so if you are not sure of your work take it to a qualified gunsmith. As far as mechanical shock is concerned, I always check my rifles by hitting them hard with the palm of my hand on the butt, and operating the bolt forceably to check the rifle does not decock. Maybe Paulson has a more sophisticated means of checking this. Let us know how everything works out. Jim
     
  7. mattyj

    mattyj Member

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    Thanks for the advise people :)
    Yes At this stage , I will book it into my local gunsmith and let him deal with it . I am a qualified Fitter & Machinist by trade ans Im sure I could work it out myself . However , I would rather still get and expert to adjust it and he is quiet happy to show me how he does it .
    Cheers
     
  8. foxhunter

    foxhunter Member

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    if it ain't broke don't fix it.
     
  9. pk1

    pk1 Well-Known Member

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    Stonecreek pretty much said it all. Back in the 60's I had a nice Forester 243. I was a kid and new to reloading and got what info I had from a guy who taught me to hunt coyotes. He knew nice rifles and turned me onto Sako so I bought one. With my hand loads it never shot well so instead of changing my loads I decided to change the rifle. I messed with the stock first floating the barrel which made it shoot even worse and then glass bedding the action. I then tried full bedding it and it only got worse. The rifle never shot as well as when it wasn't tampered with. I sold it and got a Forester 22-250 that I left alone.
    I wouldn't allow a gunsmith or anyone else make changes to my trigger other than adjusting it. A lot of people, including gunsmiths, don't realize that on many triggers the parts are case hardened. Frankly, I don't know if that's true with Sakos but if they take a file to it and get past the case hardening and into the softer steel it will continue to wear every time the rifle is fired. I would adjust the trigger as light as is safely possible and then put a trigger shoe on the trigger.
    When I adjust a trigger I drop the butt of the rifle on a carpeted floor from about 6 inches to make sure the rifle isn't going to accidentally fire because the trigger is adjusted too light.
    I wish I could first find and then afford a minty Vixen 222. Congratulations on the purchase.
     
  10. dcfisherod

    dcfisherod Member

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    I do appreciate all the suggestions everyone has made to shoot it first before changing things. But, I did have a go 'round with one of the 'cheapened' Sako's, an A5 in .270. I picked it up used but in like new condition. I figured out why it got sold as soon as I shot it at 200 yards! The darn thing would shoot about 1.5" groups at 100 and at 200, it would throw about every 3rd or 4th shot off line by about 6"!!! It too had the upward ridge at the end of the barrel channel pressing on the bottom of the barrel and free floated every where else. I discussed it one day at the range with a marine corp sniper and member of the US shooting team. He immediately checked for free float. His comments were interesting. He said that the only part of the barrel that was affecting bullet flight, was the portion beyond the touch point on the stock! He further said that the touch point was causing barrel 'whip' and thus I would get fliers! So, I immediately free floated and glass bedded the darn thing as soon as I got home that day... The next trip to the range was impressive. That Stoeger imposter now shoots well below MOA!! At 200 yards. She shoots 5 shots in 2" groups but with the addition of a sacrilege, a Sims barrel vibration decompensator at the end of the barrel, she shoots 5 shots in 1 3/8" at 200 yards!!! Now I was and still am impressed! I since have lapped the bolt lugs in order to get bearing onto both. It was shooting the nice groups with only one lug bearing in the receiver!! (Note that I do load my own ammo and get quite picky about details like case weights, neck concentricity, individually weighed powder charges, individually mic-ing ogive/cartridge lengths vs distance to lands, and of course testing for best cartridge lengths and charge weights.)
     

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