L461 Varmint

Discussion in 'Sako Short Actions' started by Barossa_222, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Barossa_222

    Barossa_222 Member

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    Was wondering if anyone can tell me if it's possible to rebarrel a L461 Varmint from 222 remington to 222 remington magnum? I'm concerned there won't be enough room in the magazine to seat projectiles out. Any info would be appreciated.

     

  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    You can rebarrel or simply rechamber the existing barrel.

    Yes, the .222 Magnum is crowded in the L461 action, but the magazine accepts .222 Magnum cartridges up to SAAMI maximum length. The only bullets I've had difficulty with (in four Sako L461 .222 magnums) are long plastic-tipped bullets on which the ogive extends below the mouth of the case when seated to magazine length (specifically, the 55 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip). Conventional bullets of up to 55 grains work fine, and I've even used 60-grain conventionals without a problem. A bullet like the 64 grain Winchester would also be short enough. You'll run into a problem with anything heavier, and especially many of the long range bullets with extended ogives. However, these can be single-fed.
     
  3. Hootsmon

    Hootsmon Well-Known Member

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    What Stonecreek said.

    Bullets seated to fit in the magazine have something like a 1/4" jump to make before they touch rifling, at least in the factory Sako 222Mag chamber.
     
  4. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Watch out for freebore

    Rebarreling a L461 to 222 Rem Mag is possible, but as mentioned the OAL will be restricted. If you do this I would advise that you have the chamber cut with a specified shorter freebore to match what bullets you intend to use to avoid excessive bullet jump. Otherwise, accuracy may suffer. It's more than "will it fit the magazine". Then you will have a "custom" gun that has a smaller market if you ever want to sell it. It's your dice to roll.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  5. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Here are two .222 Magnum cartridges with the same bullet (a non-standard 52 grain HP made by Hornady with a cannelure). The shorter one measures 2.301" and is about as long as will work dependably through the magazine of my L461 .222 Magnum HB. The longer one measures 2.354" and shows land marks when chambered. I would say that to keep it from touching the lands you would need to seat it to about 2.340", plus or minus. So the "jump" with this particular bullet is around .04" or so. Most reloading sources advise to load bullets no closer than .05" off of the lands (although I think that is conservative as I've used many loads in which the bullet actually -- but barely -- touches the lands.) By the standard measure of .05" off the lands, then the L461 magazine accommodates .222 Magnum cartridges that are loaded about as long as the chamber allows, anyway.

    SAAMI spec drawings show the Maximum overall length of the .222 Magnum cartridge as 2.28" -- so it looks like Sako designed their magazine to "just" fit. Incidentally, SAAMI specs for the .222 Magnum chamber show a very short leade (riflings begin at 1.947" minus cartridge mouth at 1.85" = .097" "freebore") of just less than a tenth of an inch, meaning that full diameter of the bullet may be no more than .097" beyond the case mouth. So using a SAAMI standard reamer should create no excess freebore, even when limited by the L461 magazine.

    Bottom line: If you use bullets of the weight and construction which were typical for use in the .222 Magnum in the late 1950's when it was standardized, then you'll have no difficulty with the relatively short L461 magazine. If you attempt to use bullets of somewhat heavier weight or which use plastic tips or extra long ogives, then you may not have room in your L461 magazine for them.
     

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  6. Sexton

    Sexton Well-Known Member

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    Pardon my ignorance, but dimensionally, how much difference is there between the .222 Rem and the .222 Mag? Is it cartridge length? Diameter? Both? I admit it, I've squandered most of my time fooling with mil-surps and don't know much about sporting arms.
     
  7. L-46

    L-46 Well-Known Member

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    Arthur,
    the magnum case is 4mm longer, at 47mm.
    all else is near identical.
    L-46
     
  8. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Here are cases of the .223, .222, and .222 Magnum side-by-side for comparison.
     

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  9. Barossa_222

    Barossa_222 Member

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    Thanks stonecreek. Very helpful and informative. I am sourcing brass and dies at the moment for it. Gonna dummy up some rounds with bullets I want to use and go from there. I'm only planing to shoot 50-55gr projectiles out of it for kangaroos and foxes, so I should be able to come up with a load that will feed well. If not I'll look for something with a bit more mag room and have a new 222 rem barrel put it.
     
  10. Bowne1

    Bowne1 Well-Known Member

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    Tripleshock, I am interested in the slings. I have seen them on EBAY from time to time.
     
  11. tripleshock

    tripleshock Well-Known Member

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    I just deleted the thread figured out it was out of place.Going to repost. I dont know what they are going for .maybe you do and I'll get with the fellow that has them.Did you ever meet or deal with Jim Lutes?
     
  12. tripleshock

    tripleshock Well-Known Member

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    Browne1 sorry I took so long to respond. What r they going for? I will try to get some.
     

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