Let's talk about Sako L57 and L579 in .244 Rem

Discussion in 'Sako Medium Actions' started by ricksengines, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    The Sako L579 .244 Remington came in so, as promised I'm posting some pictures of it for all to see and comment on. I consider this rifle to be one of the grail rifles Sako produced not only because it is chambered to the .244 Remington but in addition it is a heavy barrel version with a blond stock. All I have seen have been furnished with darker walnut furniture. This one is very different and all original as you will see. As far as rarity I believe Sako produced very few of the L579 .244 rifles. From what I can tell, they produced numbers as few as 20 or as many as 50 of these very rare rifles.

    As you can see the rifle is all original. It sports a Unertl 10x44 scope mounted in a set of Sako High ring/mounts. The dovetails are in perfect order. Barrel is marked Bofors as you might expect given its vintage.I have only found one very minor blemish on the stock, otherwise the rig is virtually perfect. Both of the sling swivels are in place and are correct for the rifle.

    I admit that I think that I overpaid for this rifle. That said I wanted to add it to my collection. The bolt face looks as if it is unfired. So, I always use the adage show me another one These don't come along all that often and given the condition and configuration I am satisfied that I did well getting it.

    rick

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  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    That's a really nice acquisition, Rick. I stumbled into one of these which looks very much like yours several years ago. It's stock is a light blonde, but mine does not have a front sight. It is outstandingly accurate and I shoot it fairly often -- no point in owning it if you can't enjoy it. I'm now fortunate to own .244's in a standard L57, a Deluxe L579, and an HB L579.

    Our perception of what item is scarcer than another is colored by whatever our own experience has been -- and that can vary and not necessarily accurately reflect what's actually out there. I feel as if there are more L579's in .244 than L57's, but that simply reflects what I've seen, which is in turn only a fraction of the whole. Anyway, I can run through the shipping records in fairly short order to determine how many were made in each model. Unfortunately, the shipping records prior to 1968 don't differentiate between standard, deluxe, HB, and Mannlicher, so it will just be a total number combining all configurations.
     
  3. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    I agree, that's a nice rifle. When you said blond, you really mean blond. There's blond Sakos and then there's really blond Sakos. This is the latter. Usually I prefer the dark timber, but this rifle stands out as the quintessential blond stock. Nice! PM me if you get tired of it.
     
  4. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Okey-dokey: I scrolled through the shipping records until I was nearly blind, then did it again, and here is what I come up with for .244's chambered in each the L57 and L579.

    L57:
    1957 = 0
    1958 = 235
    1959 = 228
    1960 = 0
    Total = 463

    L579:
    1959 = 0
    1960 = 224
    1961 = 197
    1962 = 29
    1963 onward = 0
    Total = 450

    Wow! Who would have thought that the numbers would have been so close? Unfortunately, there is no way to tell (without checking each individual serial number against the inspections records) how many are in what configuration. Suffice it to say that the HB's, Deluxes, and Mannlichers in this caliber have to be very scarce, indeed.

    Incidentally, there were L57's in .308 and .243 continuing to leave the factory in small numbers until at least 1965! But no .244's after 1959. And there were no L579's in .244 found 1963 through 1965, so I assume there were no more made.

    For comparison, during the years 1957-1960 there were 1,281 L57's made in .308, 8,081 L57's made in .243, and 3 (yes, 3) made in .222 Magnum (yes, .222 Magnum). Would you have ever thought that the L57 .243's would outnumber the L57 .308's by better than 6 to 1?!

    In later years (after 1960) there were a handful of L57's in .308, and quite a few L57's in .243 made, including almost 200 .243's in 1962 and 1963 in the special Biathalon configuration, probably for the 1964 Olympics.
     
    Charles Witt and ricksengines like this.
  5. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Hi Stone. As always I really appreciate the extra mile you go to comb the factory records and compile production stats on what you find there. Obviously without some indepth analysis there isn't anyway to tell how many heavy barrel L579's were produced and I also doubt that the records speak to the color of the stocks that were fitted to the rifles. If that info was there I would be very surprised if more than 20 were produced with the blond stocks in the heavy barrel config.

    As I said I think I overpaid for this rig but I have no regrets as I believe that I found another Sako gem especially since it is outfitted with the Unertl and Sako rings set.

    Thanks again Stone for the extra effort.

    rick
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  6. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    Lucky find Rick. It sure is in wonderful condition and something to enjoy for many years. That heavy barrel is a bonus. Probably makes it super rare. I feel fortunate to have both an L57 and an L579 in .244. Both light barrels and not nearly as super condition as yours but worth keeping. The L579 is serial number 38x which makes me wonder what year it was actually produced and could it actually have been the first of that caliber produced. We will never know but this is just another thing about collecting Sako rifles that adds mystery to the enjoyment. Sakojim.
     
  7. Tomball

    Tomball Well-Known Member

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    My brother brought back a Sako 244 L579 from Ft Riley in early 1962 when he was discharged from the army. It was used and he actually bought it in middle of 61. Heavy barrel and very very blond wood. No sights. I used it to hunt deer on the farm in Alabama as well target practice. Most accurate gun I have ever shot. He sold it to buy new 270 Finnbear which his son still owns. Just after he sold it, I tried to locate but to no avail. He always thought it was a gun brought back by a serviceman, but never knew for sure. He bought from a gun store near base.
     
  8. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Thanks Jim for the comment and words of encouragement. I paid dearly for it but I suspected that it was really something special so I wasn't about to let it get away.

    Well Tom, once they are gone they are rarely if ever found again. Keep in mind that once a rare rifle goes into a collection they usually stay there for roughly 40 years or more.

    Thanks to everyone for enjoying my latest find. I still have to dig out the four PPC rifles and take pics of them to post. I know I keep making excuses but I am just getting around on the right leg after a full knee replacement about 2 months ago. Digging through the safes takes real effort that I am just getting back. Patience is a virtue.

    rick
     
  9. Paul B.

    Paul B. Well-Known Member

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    Excellent thread! What do y'all think a L57 Standard Sporter in .244 Rem would bring on the open market these days (assuming 95%+ condition)? I could swear that I saw one on GB not too long ago but, I lost track of that auction!
     

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